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Showing posts from August 23, 2016

China shows first images of Mars rover, aims for 2020 mission

China has showed off its first images of a rover it plans to sent to Mars in mid-2020, which is designed to explore the planet surface for three months, state media said, the latest aim of China's ambitious space program. China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States. It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar "soft landing" since 1976 with the Chang'e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.

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Here's How Many US Mothers Breastfeed

The percentage of U.S. mothers who breast-feed their newborns continues to rise, but many stop breast-feeding before their infant is 6 months old, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2013, 81.1 percent of U.S. mothers said they started out breast-feeding their baby. Breast-feeding rates were highest in Utah, where 94.4 percent of mothers said they breast-fed their newborns in 2013.

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Deadly Case of 'Bagpipe Lung' Highlights Danger of Fungal Infections

One man's fatal lung infection highlights a rare danger that musicians may face: getting sick from fungi growing within their instruments, according to a recent report of the case. The 61-year-old man developed what his doctors in England described as "bagpipe lung," and died just a month after he was hospitalized for his infection, according to the case report, published today (Aug. 22) in the journal Thorax. The man had previously been diagnosed with a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, in 2009, the doctors who treated him wrote.

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Sea Anemone Proteins Could Help Fix Damaged Hearing

When it comes to creatures with keen hearing ability, sea anemones are not at the top of the list. In mammals, including humans, sound is translated from vibrations in the air into nerve signals that can be sent to the brain by highly specialized cells called hair cells. Damage to these hair cells, which can be caused by exposure to loud noise, can result in hearing loss, and mammals are not able to repair hair cells once they are harmed.

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The Maya Were Tracking the Planets Long Before Copernicus

An ancient Mayan text captured the moment when a royal astronomer made a scientific discovery about the movement of Venus across the night sky.


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Breadwinner Men May Have More Money, But Poorer Health

Men who earn more money than their wives may be rolling in the bucks, but they tend to have poor health and heightened anxiety, new research shows. Researchers analyzed surveys from 9,000 young married men and women in the United States taken annually over a 15-year period, and evaluated each participant's response on income, health and psychological wellness. The findings suggest that men who are primary breadwinners — and who, in essence, fulfill the culturally held expectation that husbands should bring home more money than their wives — are actually worse off than men who earn salaries that are more equal to those of their wives.


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This Tree Started Growing During the Viking Age

Europe's oldest officially dated tree has been uncovered in Greece, and despite living more than a millennium (and counting!), it doesn't look a day over 200. The tree, dubbed "Adonis" by the scientists who discovered it, is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) that took root in A.D. 941, high in the Pindus mountains of Greece. "It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years," Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the leader of the expedition that found the tree, said in a statement.


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Alien Megastructure? 'Tabby's Star' Continues to Baffle Scientists

Nearly a year after first making headlines around the world, "Tabby's star" is still guarding its secrets. In September 2015, a team led by Yale University astronomer Tabetha Boyajian announced that a star about 1,500 light-years from Earth called KIC 8462852 had dimmed oddly and dramatically several times over the past few years. Boyajian and her colleagues suggested that a cloud of fragmented comets or planetary building blocks might be responsible, but other researchers noted that the signal was also consistent with a possible "alien megastructure" — perhaps a giant swarm of energy-collecting solar panels known as a Dyson sphere.


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