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Showing posts from August 24, 2016

Scientists hope new test could help contain meningitis outbreaks

By Umberto Bacchi LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A test has been developed that could help diagnose bacterial infections including meningitis in minutes, but it could take several years before a cheap testing device is available to developing countries, scientists said on Wednesday. The new test could save lives, allow treatment of disease - which is difficult to diagnose - to start much sooner and reduce the risk of life-changing after effects, an international team of researchers led by Imperial College London said. "We would very much hope this could become something cheap enough to be applied even in resource poor regions," Imperial College Professor Michael Levin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbor

The relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The planet, located about 4.2 light-years from Earth, or 25 trillion miles (40 trillion km), is the closest of some 3,500 planets that have been discovered beyond the solar system since 1995, according to the paper.


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Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

Powerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.


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Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbour

Scientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published on Wednesday showed. The relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.


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Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbor

Scientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published on Wednesday showed. The relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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It's Splitsville: Divorce May Be Seasonal, Study Finds

The rates of divorce filings may peak twice a year, a new study from one state suggests. In a 14-year study of divorce filings in Washington state, researchers found that the rates of such filings consistently peaked in March and August. "People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past," study co-author Julie Brines, an associate sociology professor at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

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Mental Toll of Bad Jobs Lasts Decades

If your job causes stress and anxiety in your life, it may seem obvious that it may be bad for your health. A new study shows that people who had low levels of job satisfaction in their 20s and 30s may have an increased risk of mental health problems in their 40s. "We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s," lead author Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.

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Man Swallows 40 Knives: What's Behind His Weird Craving

A man's craving for metal that led him to swallow 40 knives may sound bizarre, but such strange cravings can be symptoms of an eating disorder in which people ingest anything from dirt to talcum powder. The 42-year-old man in India said he had consumed the knives over a 2-month period, according to CNN. Some of the knives were folded up when the man ingested them, but some were unfolded, and extended to about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long.

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Not So Sweet: New Sugar Limits for Kids Announced

Kids in the United States are sweet on sugar, but a major health organization is issuing new guidelines to curb children's consumption of sugary foods and beverages. In the first of three new recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA), a panel of health and nutrition experts suggested that children ages 2 to 18 consume no more than 6 teaspoons (30 milliliters) of added sugar a day, according to the organization's statement published today (Aug. 22) in the journal Circulation. "There is little room in a child's diet for added sugars, because they need calories from vegetables, fruits, protein sources, whole grains and dairy to grow up healthy," said Dr. Miriam Vos, the chairperson of the committee that wrote the scientific statement, and an associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

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Male Termites Pair Up When Females Are Scarce

When male termites are single, and no female mates can be found, the guys tend to form homosexual couples in order to survive, a new study finds. Genetic analysis of the subsequent offspring showed that one of the invading males was able to successfully mate with the female.


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Hate Parallel Parking? New 'RearVision' Camera and App Can Help

The new backup camera for cars, dubbed RearVision, is powered by solar energy and uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect with your phone. The device also will be the first backup camera to update itself automatically to get better over time, according to Pearl Automation, the Silicon Valley-based company developing the gadget. Backup cameras are designed to help drivers see behind their car as they back up.


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Condoms Filled with Chili Powder and Firecrackers Teach Elephants to Stay Away

Conservationists are filling condoms with chili powder and firecrackers … to keep elephants away. This scare tactic, part of a multistep alarm system, has been developed to protect farmland and villages from elephants, without harming the animals. Honeyguide Foundation, with support from The Nature Conservancy, has been training villagers to use the alarm system, and though unconventional, the chili condoms have already shown promise.


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1st Look at World War II-Era Aircraft Carrier Sunk in the Pacific

More than 60 years after a World War II-era aircraft carrier sunk to the bottom of the sea, the word "Independence" could still be made out on its surface. By exploring the wreck with robotic subs, scientists are getting their first look at this decades-old ship, which was a target during atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the 1940s. The exploration is already revealing secrets: Scientists operating the underwater robot discovered a fighter plane within the sunken aircraft carrier that, according to records, should not have been there.


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Hoax or Secret Code? Copies of Unreadable Manuscript to Be Published

Armchair cryptographers, rejoice: A Spanish publisher plans to release replicas of the Voynich Manuscript, a book that no one knows how to read. Discovered by an antique bookseller in 1912 by the name of Wilfrid Voynich, the 600-year-old Voynich Manuscript is housed today in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. According to AFP, a publisher called Siloe based in Burgos, Spain, will produce 898 copies of the Voynich manuscript, replicating every detail down to the pages'stains and tears.


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