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Showing posts from December 26, 2016

China says space program must help protect national security

China's space program must help protect the country's national security, but China is dedicated to the peaceful use of space and opposes a space arms race, the government said in a policy paper issued on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping has called for China to establish itself as a space power, and it has tested anti-satellite missiles, in addition to its civilian aims China has repeatedly said its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.


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Bite the dust: meek dinosaur lost its teeth as it hit adulthood

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A modest little dinosaur that scampered across northwestern China 160 million years ago boasted a unique trait not seen in any other dinosaur or other prehistoric creature yet unearthed: it was born with teeth but became toothless by adulthood. Scientists on Thursday said fossils of 19 individuals of a dinosaur called Limusaurus, ranging in age from under a year to 10 years, showed that juveniles had small, sharp teeth but adults developed a toothless beak. This cluster of dinosaurs, found in Xinjiang Province, apparently became hopelessly trapped in a mud pit and died.


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Vera Rubin, pioneering U.S. dark matter astronomer, dies at 88

Rubin died on Sunday at an assisted living facility in Princeton, New Jersey, and had suffered from dementia for several years, Allan Rubin, a geosciences professor at Princeton University, said in an email. Rubin, a Philadelphia native, used galaxies' rotations to discover the first direct evidence of dark matter in the 1970s while working at the Carnegie Institution in Washington.

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Time of Death? Check the Body's 'Necrobiome'

It's a line you'll hear in almost any crime show after someone finds the body — the detective turns to the medical examiner and asks, "Time of death?" But in real life, medical examiners don't have a very precise method for figuring out how long ago someone died. Now, researchers say they could use the bacteria found on the body to provide a more accurate way to pinpoint the time of death, according to a new study. Currently, medical examiners estimate the time of death by physically inspecting the body for signs of early-phase decomposition and, in later stages of decomposition, by looking at the insects present on the body, the researchers wrote.


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Your Giving Brain: Are Humans 'Hardwired' for Generosity?

In one study, researchers scanned participants' brains to identify connections between generous behavior and brain activity. In the other, scientists dampened activity in areas of the brain associated with impulse control, to see if that would alter a person's empathetic actions. In addition, the findings suggest a path toward treating people with conditions that lower their ability to understand others: Someday, people whose social cognition is impaired could be helped by treatments that regulate the neural pathways that enhance or restrict their empathetic feelings, said Dr. Marco Iacoboni, a co-author of both studies and a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.


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