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Showing posts from November 17, 2016

China's Shenzhou 11 manned space capsule returns to Earth

China's Shenzhou 11 space capsule landed safely in the northern region of Inner Mongolia on Friday with two astronauts aboard, state media said, completing the country's longest manned space mission to date. China Central Television (CCTV) showed images of the craft - whose name translates as "Divine Vessel" - on the ground flanked by Chinese flags and support teams. State news agency Xinhua said the capsule had touched down "successfully" just after 2 p.m. The two astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, spent 30 days aboard the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, or "Heavenly Palace 2", which China is using to carry out experiments ahead of a longer-range plan to have a permanent manned space station around 2022.


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Multinational crew blasts off, bound for space station

A multinational crew, including a U.S. astronaut who is the oldest and most experienced woman to fly in space, blasted off from Kazakhstan on Thursday for the International Space Station, where it should arrive in two days, a NASA TV broadcast showed. The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying American Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:20 p.m. EST (2020 GMT).


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Dino-Killing Asteroid May Have Punctured Earth's Crust

After analyzing the crater from the cosmic impact that ended the age of dinosaurs, scientists now say the object that smacked into the planet may have punched nearly all the way through Earth's crust, according to a new study.


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Excavations at Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre Reveal Elizabethan Secrets

Archaeologists have uncovered one of William Shakespeare's first theaters, offering insight into the famed productions. Before the famous Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's plays were performed at the Curtain Theatre — one of the earliest purpose-built theaters in London, according to the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). After three months of archaeological digs at the theater's site in East London, discoveries at the site could "completely transform our understanding of the evolution of Elizabethan theatres," MOLA researchers wrote in a blog post about the discovery.


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1,200 Pieces of Fossilized Poop Earn Collector Guinness Record

A collection of 1,277 pieces of prehistoric poop may not sound like something worth celebrating, but one man's stash of ancient feces has set a new Guinness World Record. George Frandsen, from the United States, studied paleontology in college, which is when he began collecting fossilized poop. The 1,277-piece collection was documented at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida, earning Frandsen the Guinness World Record title for world's largest collection of coprolites, or fossilized feces.


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Pocket-Size Device Lets You Print from Anywhere

Zuta Labs, based in Jerusalem, reasoned that printers nowadays are essentially a printhead running back and forth on a moving piece of paper. "The name 'Zuta' in ancient Aramaic means 'small,'" said Tuvia Elbaum, CEO and founder of Zuta Labs.


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Science of 'Arrival': If Aliens Call, Does Humanity Have a Plan?

The answer is yes, and no, said astronomer Seth Shostak, who leads efforts to detect radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. "There are some protocols, but I think that's an unfortunate name, and it makes them sound more important than they are," Shostak told Live Science. In the 1990s, Shostak chaired a committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) that prepared a revised version of the "post-detection protocols" for researchers who watch for possible alien transmissions using radio telescopes, a field known as SETI (short for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).


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Scientists modify plants, making them use sunlight better

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have hacked a plant's genes to make it use sunlight more efficiently — a breakthrough that could eventually dramatically increase the amount of food grown.


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In Belgian lab, scientists search for 'perfect' beer yeast

By Matthew Stock LEUVEN, Belgium (Reuters) - Belgium famously produces hundreds of different beers, but that is nothing compared to the varieties of yeast used to make it - around 30,000 are kept on ice at just one laboratory by scientists seeking the perfect ingredient for the perfect brew. A team from the University of Leuven and life sciences research institute VIB are examining and cross-breeding yeast strains, adding modern genetics to a search for brewing perfection that dates back centuries. "We're ... using robots to cross different yeast like farmers have been doing with cattle and livestock for centuries," genetics professor Kevin Verstrepen told Reuters.

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In Belgian lab, scientists search for "perfect" beer yeast

By Matthew Stock LEUVEN, Belgium (Reuters) - Belgium famously produces hundreds of different beers, but that is nothing compared to the varieties of yeast used to make it - around 30,000 are kept on ice at just one laboratory by scientists seeking the perfect ingredient for the perfect brew. A team from the University of Leuven and life sciences research institute VIB are examining and cross-breeding yeast strains, adding modern genetics to a search for brewing perfection that dates back centuries. "We're ... using robots to cross different yeast like farmers have been doing with cattle and livestock for centuries," genetics professor Kevin Verstrepen told Reuters.

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Moderate Drinking May Have Some Heart Benefits

Moderate drinking may have positive effects on some aspects of heart health beyond those seen with light drinking, a new study from Australia finds. Metabolic syndrome is a condition that is diagnosed when a person has at least three of these five risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, low levels of "good" cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglycerides (a type of fat) and high waist circumference. The new findings were presented here Monday (Nov. 14) at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions annual meeting.


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Marijuana-Like Drugs May Offer Addiction-Free Pain Relief

As abuse of prescription opioids in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, researchers around the nation have been searching for other ways to offer people pain relief, ways that don't bring such a risk of addiction. Now, two independent teams of researchers have developed drugs similar to marijuana that show evidence of providing pain relief in laboratory animals, but have no apparent addictive properties and do not cause a "high" that impairs motor function. Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain, according to a government-funded study published last year in the Journal of Pain.


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Kim Kardashian's Pregnancy Risk: What Is a Retained Placenta?

Kim Kardashian's doctors say that a third pregnancy would be unsafe for the reality TV star, in part because she could be at risk for a serious pregnancy complication called a retained placenta. In last night's (Nov. 13) episode of the show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Kardashian visited two doctors who both advised her not to get pregnant again, given the particular complications she experienced in her other pregnancies, according to People Magazine. "You never know if you might have the same type of problem that could be more serious this time," Dr. Paul Crane, Kardashian's OB-GYN, said during the show.


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Europe launches four satellites for Galileo satnav system

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Europe launched four more Galileo satellites on Thursday, bringing it a step closer to having its own navigation system and marking the first time it has sent up so many satellites at once. The satellites, which blasted off from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket at 10.06 AM local time (1306 GMT), will be part of the European Union's alternative to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS. ...

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