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Showing posts from August 16, 2016

China Launches Pioneering 'Hack-Proof' Quantum-Communications Satellite

China launched the first-ever quantum satellite Monday (Aug. 15) in an effort to help develop an unhackable communications system. "In its two-year mission, QUESS is designed to establish 'hack-proof' quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground, and provide insights into the strangest phenomenon in quantum physics — quantum entanglement," China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.


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200 Rare Tarantulas Hatched in Captivity for First Time

For the first time, scientists have managed to breed rare spiders known as Montserrat tarantulas. Little is known about these elusive, secretive creatures that live on the island of Montserrat, in the Caribbean. It's taken a lot of patience and care to reach this point," Gerardo Garcia, the curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.


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Did Hydrogen Peroxide Really Turn Olympic Pools Green? Not So Fast

Olympic officials in Rio de Janeiro announced this past weekend that they had found out why the water in two pools turned bright green, but their explanation has at least one chemist scratching her head. The confusion comes down to an understanding of basic chemistry and swimming pool maintenance, said Susan Richardson, a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina and a former pool owner. On Saturday (Aug. 13), Olympic officials said they had definitely found out why the water in two of the swimming pools turned an unusual green color, The New York Times reported.

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Long-term study links neonicotinoids to wild bee declines

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Wild bees that forage from oilseed rape crops treated with insecticides known as neonicotinoids are more likely to undergo long-term population declines than bees that forage from other sources, according to the findings of an 18-year study. The new research covered 62 species of bee found in the wild in Britain and found a link between their shrinking populations and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonicotinoids are used worldwide in a range of crops and have been shown in lab-based studies to be harmful to certain species of bee - notably commercial honeybees and bumblebees.

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Bad Timing: Biological Clock Linked to Infections

There are plenty of old wives' tales about what gets you sick — the myth about going out in the cold, for example — but new research in mice suggests that the time of day at which an infection starts up could play a role in how sick you get. Researchers found that, in mice that were infected with a virus in the morning, the virus replicated within the cells of those mice much more than it did in the mice that were infected with the same virus later in the day. The difference may be due to the mice's circadian rhythm, or biological clock, according to the study published today (Aug. 15) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Kids' Behavior Linked to Moms' Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy

Women who take acetaminophen during pregnancy may be more likely to give birth to children who later develop behavioral problems, a new study from England finds. At two points in time during their pregnancy — at 18 weeks and again at 32 weeks — researchers asked women whether they had recently taken acetaminophen.

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Brain Region Associated with Generosity Uncovered

This particular brain region seems to makes some people quicker to learn empathy for others, the study found. "A specific part of the brain called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex was the only part of the brain that was activated when [the person was] learning to help other people," study co-author Patricia Lockwood, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford in England, said in a statement. Previous research has shown that this same brain region is smaller in those suffering from major depression or bipolar disorder.

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What's the Most Challenging Gymnastics Event, According to Physics?

Fans of the Summer Olympics can't seem to get enough of American gymnast Simone Biles. Biles may make it look easy, but between all the different events that gymnasts have to master — from balance beam to the vault for women, and the pommel horse to the rings for men — what's the most challenging apparatus, according to science? For example, the physics of the pommel horse, an apparatus that male gymnasts must tackle, is easy to understand, said Jonas Contakos, a gymnastics coach with a Ph.D. in kinesiology and a master's in biomechanics.

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