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Showing posts from November 18, 2016

Fearsome Malagasy Dinosaur Remained a Pipsqueak Most of Its Life

A fearsome carnivorous dinosaur known for eating its own kind wasn't that large — it weighed only about as much as a hefty crocodile. The finding suggests that M. crenatissimus was a real pipsqueak for most of its life, at least compared with its fast-growing, enormous relatives Tyrannosaurus rex and Albertosaurus, said study lead researcher Michael D'Emic, an assistant professor of biology at Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. The researchers chose to study M. crenatissimus because it was a common dinosaur with multiple specimens available for study.


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Novartis backs off from 2016 date for testing Google autofocus lens

Novartis has abandoned a 2016 goal to start testing its autofocus contact lens on people, though it said the groundbreaking product it is making with internet giant Google is "progressing steadily." "It is too early to say when exactly human clinical trials for these lenses will begin," a spokeswoman for the Basel-based drugmaker said in an email on Friday. Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said last year his company's Alcon eye care unit was on track to begin testing in 2016. In 2014, Jimenez said he hoped the lens would be on the market in about five years.


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New Zealand Quake Ruptured 6 Faults

The magnitude-7.8 quake that rattled New Zealand, killing at least two people and stranding thousands of people, completely transformed the underlying faults in the region. Six major faults ruptured as a result of the New Zealand quake, a new map reveals. The Kaikoura earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand early in the morning on Nov. 14 local time, triggering landslides, tsunamis and hundreds of aftershocks.


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Love at Last! Rare 'Lefty' Snail Finds Mollusk Mate

Jeremy, a snail with a rare left-spiraling shell, is lonely no more. After a vast media campaign designed to help the mollusk find a left-spiraled mate, two matches have oozed forward, in a manner of speaking. The double discovery astonished Jeremy's keeper, Angus Davison, an associate professor and reader in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham's School of Life Sciences.


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Newfound Spider Species Masquerades As a Dried-Up Leaf

But about 100 spider species also sport physical features that make them appear inanimate and unappetizing, like a jumble of twigs, plant debris or a messy glob of bird poo. This is the first known spider species to be leaf-shaped.


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Why Tall Women Should Eat Their Vegetables

Taller women are more likely to have physical or mental health problems by the time they reach their mid-70s than their shorter counterparts, a new study finds. Previous research showed taller people have a reduced risk of heart disease, but a greater risk of cancer, said Wenjie Ma, a doctoral student in epidemiology at Harvard University's School of Public Health and the lead author of the study. Ma presented her findings here Tuesday (Nov. 15) at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.


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People with Ebola May Not Show Symptoms

People who have Ebola may not always have symptoms, a new survey confirms. Researchers who conducted the survey in a known Ebola "hotspot" in West Africa found 14 people who tested positive for Ebola antibodies, but who reported that they never had any significant symptoms. Two of these people said they had suffered a fever during the Ebola outbreak, which stretched from late 2014 until the spring of 2016.


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Here's Why Hostility Could Be Harmful to Women's Hearts

Scientists have known that, in women, optimism is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, and that "cynical hostility" — or a general mistrust of other people — has been linked to a higher risk for heart disease, according to a previous study. What has been unclear, however, is what mechanism optimism and hostility act through to influence women's heart health. In other words, why do these traits have such effects on heart disease risk?


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Island Diversity: Cuba's Amazing Animals in Museum Spotlight

From lush wetlands to dense networks of caves, the island of Cuba is home to diverse environments that are teeming with life, hosting many unusual species found nowhere else on Earth. And a number of these unique animals take center stage in the new exhibit "¡Cuba!" opening Nov. 21 at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. "¡Cuba!" showcases the nation's culture as well as its natural wonders.


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Happy Anniversary, MAVEN! NASA Mars Probe Marks 2 Years of Science Work

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft reached Mars on Sept. 21, 2014, and officially began its science mission less than two months later, on Nov. 16 of that year. MAVEN — the first orbiter tasked with studying Mars' atmosphere as its primary task — has made a number of interesting discoveries over the past two years. In 2015, for example, MAVEN's measurements allowed mission scientists to determine just how quickly Mars' atmospheric gases escape to space today — at an average rate of about 4 ounces (100 grams) per second.


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