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Showing posts from September 20, 2016

More than 300 scientists warn over Trump's climate change stance

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of top scientists warned on Tuesday against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-warming accord if elected in November. The 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, said in an open letter that a U.S. abandonment of the agreement would make it far harder to develop global strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. "Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord," the letter said.


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Just going on vacation may change gene activity

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - In a new study comparing a meditation retreat with just relaxing in the same locale, both options improved stress regulation, immune function and other cellular markers in the blood. For those who continued meditating, benefits were seen even 10 months later. “Vacation in a relaxing, resort-like environment takes you away from your day-to-day grind, which may be high stress in which your body is in a more defensive-like posture, with pressures to meet deadlines, dealing with angry customers, ‘battling’ with colleagues for resources to accomplish your mission or whatever,” said senior author Dr. Eric Schadt, founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai in New York.

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More than 300 scientists warn over Trump's climate change stance

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of top scientists warned on Tuesday against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-warming accord if elected in November. The 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, said in an open letter that a U.S. abandonment of the agreement would make it far harder to develop global strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. "Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord," the letter said.


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Dinosaur's Dark Coloring Helped It Hide in the Shadowy Forest

The 120-million-year-old dinosaur, a Triceratops relative known as Psittacosaurus, had a dark-colored backside and a light underside, along with a splash of spots and stripes on its body, including its back legs, the researchers said. Creatures with countershading can use their coloring as camouflage when they're in a shadowy area, such as a forest. Given the Psittacosaurus's coloring, it's likely that the beast lived in an area with "diffuse illumination" such as a forest, the researchers wrote in the study.


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Could Massive White Cliffs Be Forming Beneath Antarctica's Ocean?

The White Cliffs of Dover, the steep, chalky cliffs that fringe England's southeastern coastline, formed about 100 million years ago thanks to a "Goldilocks" set of ocean conditions, new research suggests. What's more, a massive new set of cliffs could be forming right now in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica as tiny algae shed their calcium-laden shells. "While we don't have the great cliffs of the Southern Ocean, there is solid evidence that the calcite is making it to the seafloor," William Balch, a biological oceanographer at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, and lead author of the new study, said in a statement.


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How Astrophysicist Neil Tyson Got His Kid to Test the Tooth Fairy

It's A-OK to captivate your child with the story of the tooth fairy, right? Nope, not if it entails telling a big, fat whopper, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson told "The Late Late Show with James Corden" early Thursday morning (Sept. 15). "We're not going to lie to them," Tyson said to Corden.

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Rare Sea Life Found in Mysterious Underwater 'Mountains'

Scientists recently traveled thousands of miles below the ocean's surface to explore underwater mountain ranges of cone-shaped dormant and active volcanoes with peaks rising 9,843 feet (3,000 meters) above the seafloor off the coast of Hawaii. Living along these seamounts, Conservation International researchers spied enough quirky and unusual marine life to fill a Dr. Seuss book. Their findings provide a window into some of the most mysterious spots in the ocean: Tens of thousands of seamounts extend across the world's oceans, but many have never been explored, and scientists are only just beginning to discover the complexity of the ecosystems they support, one of the expedition scientists told the Conservation International (CI) blog Human Nature.


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'Fault in Our Stars' Couple: Why Cystic Fibrosis Shortens Lives

Dalton Prager, a young man who received national attention because both he and his wife had cystic fibrosis, died this weekend of the disease at age 25. Because they both had cystic fibrosis, they were warned against ever meeting in person, since two people with the condition can spread bacteria to each other, which can result in life-threatening infections. But the pair met anyway, and had a five-year marriage before Dalton's death on Saturday (Sept. 17), CNN said.

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Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Gestational Diabetes

Women in the study who reported feeling depressed early in pregnancy were more likely to develop gestational diabetes later in pregnancy compared with those who did not report depression early in pregnancy, according to the study, from researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The findings suggest that "depression and gestational diabetes may occur together," Stefanie Hinkle, a population health researcher at the NICHD and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. In addition, the researchers found that having gestational diabetes may increase women's risk for developing depression after pregnancy: Women in the study who had gestational diabetes were more likely to develop postpartum depression compared with those who did not have gestational diabetes, according to the study.

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Addiction's Not Adorable: Babies Less Cute to Opioid Users

In the study, people with an opioid dependence who viewed images of cute babies didn't show any activity in the part of the brain linked to reward. However, when the same individuals were given medications to block the effects of opioids and then asked to repeat the experiment, the individuals' reward centers lit up, according to the study, presented today (Sept. 19) at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in Vienna, Austria. People's perceptions of cuteness may have effects that go beyond how those individuals feel about babies.

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Want to Quit Drinking? Abstinence Works Best

Some people with alcohol dependence may want to try to learn to control their drinking, with the help of a treatment program, rather than give it up entirely. An estimated 15.7 million Americans ages 12 and up had an alcohol use disorder in 2015, according to a recent federal report. People are considered to have an alcohol use disorder if, for example, they have a difficult time controlling drinking, continue to drink even when it causes problems, develop a tolerance to alcohol or experience withdrawal when they stop drinking, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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'Super Sleepers' May Actually Be Sleep Deprived

However, the new results show that these people's real-life functioning may actually be affected by the shortage of sleep even though they report feeling just fine, said study co-author Paula Williams, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah. Originally published on Live Science.

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New Electric Bus Can Travel 350 Miles on Single Charge

Set for release next year from the startup Proterra, the Catalyst E2 Series electric vehicle debuted last week at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Proterra named the new bus for its unprecedented battery, which can store up to 660 kWh. With a nominal range of 194 to 350 miles (310 to 560 km), Proterra claims that the Catalyst E2 series is capable of fulfilling a full day's mileage on one charge for nearly every U.S. mass transit route.


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'Wild Sex' Author Dishes on Weird World of Animal Mating

Dating and mating in the animal kingdom aren't just complicated — they can be fraught with violence and danger. The prospect of exploring mating positions in frogs, porcupines' use of sex toys or hermaphroditic sea slugs' penis spines might seem daunting to some, but not so for biologist and writer Carin Bondar. From finding a mate, to procreating, to dealing with the successful outcome of mating — offspring — "Wild Sex" investigates the often-harsh realities of sexual behaviors practiced by animals large and small.


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'Smart Textile' Turns Body Movements Into Power Source

A fabric designed to power wearable devices by harvesting energy from both sunlight and body movements can be produced on a standard industrial weaving machine, according to a new study. Scientists in China and the United States have demonstrated how a glove-size piece of the "smart textile" could continuously power an electronic watch or charge a mobile phone using ambient sunlight and gentle body movements. The fabric is based on low-cost, lightweight polymer fibers coated with metals and semiconductors that allow the material to harvest energy.


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China launches second experimental space lab module

China launched its second experimental space laboratory on Thursday, part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022. Advancing China's space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles. China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.


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DNA Sequencing in Space Could Protect Astronaut Health

NASA astronauts are opening new doors in the worlds of science and medicine by sequencing DNA in all sorts of extreme environments, including, for the first time, the microgravity of the International Space Station. NASA astronaut and biologist Kate Rubins has sequenced DNA in space, marking the first time this has been done. "Welcome to systems biology in space," Rubins said in a statement after the first few DNA molecules had been sequenced successfully.


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