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Showing posts from August 19, 2016

Are Black Holes Truly Black? Lab Test Supports Stephen Hawking's Theory

If Hawking radiation comes from astrophysical black holes (not just those created in a lab), it would mean these objects are not entirely dark. It could also help scientists solve a paradox posed by black holes, and perhaps shed light on one of the most significant problems facing modern physics. According to Steinhauer, earlier calculations by cosmologist Stephen Hawking (who came up with the theory that bears his name) combined the theories of quantum physics and gravity.


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Differences in Brain Activity May Determine How Smart You Are

Your brain activity differs depending on whether you're working on a task, or at rest — and just how much that activity differs may be linked to how smart you are, a new study finds. Researchers found that people who displayed similar brain activity while at rest compared to while they were completing a mental task performed those tasks more efficiently than people whose brain activity differed more between their resting state and when they were working on a task. In the study, the researchers analyzed a series of brain scans on 100 healthy adults who had participated in the Human Connectome Project, an ongoing neuroscience effort that involves researchers at many U.S. institutions, including the University of Southern California and Harvard University.

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Catastrophic Louisiana Flooding Measured from Space

Intense rainfall is causing widespread and disastrous flooding in parts of Louisiana, and new measurements from a NASA satellite illustrate just how much precipitation has accumulated in this region of the Southern United States. Rain totals in southern Louisiana were at least 600 percent over normal levels over a seven-day period, according to the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center of the U.S National Weather Service. Data collected from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, offers essential rainfall observations for NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and five other national and international partners.


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Calcium Supplements Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia in Some Women

For older women with certain health conditions, taking calcium supplements may be linked with an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study. Researchers found that women who had previously had a stroke and who regularly took calcium supplements at the start of the study were seven times more likely to develop dementia over the five-year period than women who had had a stroke but who did not take those supplements. Additionally, the researchers found that women who had signs of a disorder that affects blood flow in the brain and who regularly took calcium supplements were twice as likely to develop dementia over five years as women who had signs of this disorder but did not take those supplements.

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Drifting Tectonic Hotspot Overturns Himalayan Theory

In a region that boasts the tallest peak in the eastern Himalayas and a body of water so impressive it has been nicknamed the "Everest of rivers," an enormous canyon has been carved through the rock over the course of millions of years. This imposing landscape is the result of powerful erosion and dramatic tectonic activity, but the interactions between the surface and interior processes in this part of the Himalayas have been the subject of major debate among scientists. Now, a new study provides evidence that a patch of extreme rock-uplift in the eastern Himalayas — the area of greatest tectonic activity — has been slowly migrating northward, drifting rather than remaining anchored to the location of river erosion, as researchers had previously theorized.


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U.S. astronauts prepare station for commercial space taxis

Two NASA astronauts left the International Space Station on Friday for a 6-1/2-hour spacewalk to install a parking spot for upcoming commercial space taxis, which will end U.S. reliance on Russia for rides to the orbiting outpost. Station commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Kate Rubins floated outside the station's airlock at about 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT) and headed toward the berthing slip once used by NASA's now-retired space shuttles, a NASA TV broadcast showed. "Great view," said Rubins, who is making her first spacewalk.

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