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Showing posts from February, 2017

Microbes in Glittering Crystal Cave Revived After 10,000 Years

Microbes that may be between 10,000 and 50,000 years old have been revived from the inside of enormous, glittering crystals from a Mexican cave. This chamber is filled with selenite crystals many meters long that formed over hundreds of thousands of years in magma-heated, mineral-rich groundwater. "What we have been finding are organisms whose closest relatives are also from extreme environments around the world," said study leader Penelope Boston, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.


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ISRO will now look for new bodies of water in India's Silicon Valley

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently set a world record by launching 104 satellites at one go, but their next venture will be discovering new lakes in India's Silicon Valley, according to reports .   SEE ALSO:Lake catches fire in India's Silicon Valley yet again Bangalore is said to have had over 1,000 lakes once upon a time. But environmental pollution and urban development has reduced that number by half. Only 478 lakes remain currently, according to state records.  But there could be more. And the state wants to ascertain that, with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) bringing ISRO on board for the project. “When a water body gets dry, water has to find its own course and form new bodies elsewhere,“ KLCDA chief executive told The Economic Times. "We are cross-checking with ISRO through GIS [Geographic Information System] mapping to see if new lakes have been formed," he said. Bangalore lakes are inundated with sewage…

The Scary State of Volcano Monitoring in the United States

Thirteen days before Christmas, somewhere in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea, a massive volcano unexpectedly rumbled back to life.   Just like that, Bogoslof volcano began its first continuous eruption since 1992, belching great plumes of ash tens of thousands of feet into the cold sky over the Aleutian islands, generating volcanic lightning, and disrupting air travel—though not much else.


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Meet Moondrop: A gravity-defying fidget toy that leverages a fascinating quirk of physics

Fidget toys are all the rage these days. This astronaut-themed desk accessory showcases Lenz's law to demonstrate how gravity works on the Moon and on Mars. You might even learn something!


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Science And The Brexit Mountain

I'm a fan of the three rules of mountaineering: it's always farther than it looks, it's always taller than it looks, and it's always harder than it looks. Ed Hillary, he of Everest fame, said that nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. You claim the science to raise the money, but you swing through, say, the Lhotse wall 'for the hell of it.' Some Brexiteers seem to be of the Hillary variety, and approach the impending divorce with our mainland neighbours with a whoop, a holler and a cheery wave.


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Real life ’Star Wars’ planetary system discovered

Scientists discover planetary system resembling Star Wars' Jedi Luke Skywalker's home of 'Tatooine,' orbiting two stars in the universe


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Earth’s Orbiting Junkyard Threatens the Space Economy

Rocket and satellite litter is endangering private space commerce. Enter the cosmic debris tracking industry.


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NASA inks deal with Boeing for extra rides for astronauts

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA will pay Boeing Co up to $373.5 million for rides to fly up to five astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz capsules, the U.S. space agency said on Tuesday. The extra rides will allow the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to add a fourth U.S. astronaut to the six-member station crew more than a year ahead of schedule. NASA also wants backup seats available to staff the space station in case of delays with U.S. commercial space taxis under development by Boeing and by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp, known as SpaceX.


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Early bird special: Spring pops up super early in much of US

Spring has sprung early — potentially record early — in much of the United States, bringing celebrations of shorts weather mixed with unease about a climate gone askew. Crocuses, tulips and other plants ...


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Robotic Arm Turns Your Digital Doodles into Good Old-Fashioned Sketches

A small robotic arm can bring your digital sketches to life, by re-creating your on-screen drawings with a pen and paper. The arm, dubbed Line-us, mimics the user's drawing motions to re-create a digital sketch with pen and paper, by connecting to an app via Wi-Fi. At its heart, the machine was developed to be a device for people to play with, said Robert Poll, a technologist and one of Line-us' co-founders.


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See the sand on Mars move under NASA's Curiosity rover

Mars' blustery summer winds push the sand around in an animated image from NASA's rover.


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Lego launching Women of NASA toy set

It's one very tiny step for womankind: After the hit "Hidden Figures," which highlights a group of African-American women and their contribution to the U.S. space program, Lego has announced it will sell a Women of NASA set of its Minifigures.Review: 'Lego Batman' is impossible not to enjoy'The Lego Ninjago Movie' Trailer Debuts on 'GMA'The idea is the brainchild of Maia Weinstock, a science writer and editor, who submitted to Lego that the company should highlight the efforts of a number of prominent women. ...


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What we know about the 2018 SpaceX mission to the moon

Tech billionaire Elon Musk, founder of the pioneering space transport company SpaceX, has announced a mission to fly two people to the moon next year in what would be a landmark moment for space travel. The mission is expected to use an upgraded version of SpaceX's Dragon capsule and its Falcon Heavy rocket in development. "At 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying," SpaceX said in a statement Monday.


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A volcano just erupted in Europe and the footage is amazing

Red-hot, sparkling lava is shooting into the sky in eastern Sicily. Italy's Mount Etna volcano first became active on Jan. 23 and has experienced a series of eruptions ever since. The latest lava-spewing event began on Monday evening. SEE ALSO: India's only active volcano is back from the dead after 150 years In the video below, posted by Storyful, orange explosions of lava are seen spewing from the southeast crater. Residents in the nearby cities of Catania and Toarmina could see the lava show in the distance. Authorities reported no dangers to communities along the mountain’s slopes, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. At 10,900 feet high, Mount Etna is Europe's largest active volcano. The "stratavolcano" has a conical shape and is made from many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and volcanic ash.  This Sicilian landmark also has one of the world's longest documented records of historical eruptions, dating back to at least 1,500 B.C.E. Smaller burs…

Here's How Much Less Sleep Women Get Once They Have Kids

In the study, researcher Kelly Sullivan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University, wanted to understand the factors that affect adults' sleep. "It's important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health," Sullivan said in a statement.


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US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials have announced.


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Laser technique sheds light on pivotal Chinese feathered dinosaur

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A technique using high-powered lasers to reveal hidden soft tissue alongside bones in fossils is giving scientists insight into one of the major evolutionary transitions in the history of life: small feathered dinosaurs taking flight as birds. Scientists said on Tuesday they used the method on fossils of the chicken-sized, feathered, bird-like dinosaur Anchiornis that lived in China about 160 million years ago, finding it possessed drumstick-shaped legs, arms similar to the wings of some modern gliding and soaring birds, and a long, slender tail. If a person had a chance to see Anchiornis alive, the reaction might be, "That's a weird-looking bird," said University of Hong Kong paleontologist Michael Pittman, who helped lead the study published in the journal Nature Communications.


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Why Women Look "Mad" When Men Look "Serious"

And 8 ways to navigate the stereotype at work.


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'Ring of fire' eclipse delights Africa, South America

Stargazers applauded as they were plunged into darkness Sunday when the moon passed in front of the sun in a spectacular "ring of fire" eclipse. Astronomers and enthusiasts in Argentina were among the first to see the so-called annular eclipse as it crossed South America shortly after 1200 GMT, on course for Africa. The eclipse was most visible in a 100-kilometer (62-mile) band across Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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Lasers flesh out dino-bird profile

The outlines revealed it had "drumstick-shaped legs, a slender tail and an arm that looks just like a modern bird wing," said Michael Pittman of the University of Hong Kong, who co-authored the study in Nature Communications. "We shone violet lasers at Anchiornis specimens in a dark room to cause them to glow in the dark, revealing amazing details," said Pittman. "The fact that we find this really neat wing in an older bird-like animal is really exciting," said Pittman.


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Everything you need to know about SpaceX's big moon announcement

Elon Musk is nothing if not ambitious.  The SpaceX founder wants his company to lead the charge to build a city on Mars, and next year, the spaceflight company plans to fly its first astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA.  SEE ALSO: SpaceX wants to send 2 people around the moon in 2018 So generally, SpaceX is pretty busy. But that doesn't mean it can't take on just one other little project, right? Namely, in 2018, SpaceX plans to fly a pair of (presumably rich) private citizens around the moon and bring them back home. It all sounds pretty intense, so let us break it down for you. SpaceX is planning to fly around the moon, not land on it Fly me to the moon ... Okhttps://t.co/6QT8m5SHwn — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2017 At the moment, SpaceX isn't planning to actually land on the surface of the moon for this mission.  Instead, the company is opting to use its Falcon Heavy rocket and crewed Dragon spacecraft to circumnavigate the moon before coming b…

New help for that bane of middle-age: blurry close-up vision

Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is ...


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Osaka University researchers create flexible cloud-based computing system

A team of researchers at Osaka University led by Takashi Yoshikawa has created a sophisticated cloud computing system that can be heavily customized depending on the needs of an individual project.


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SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company's founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27). The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company's Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have "already paid a significant deposit" for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company.


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US Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise: Here Are the Numbers to Know

The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States continues to rise, with a particularly sharp spike in heroin-related deaths in recent years, according to a new report. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of U.S. drug overdose deaths more than doubled over a 16-year period, increasing from about 6 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 16 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, according to the report. The drug overdose death rate increased by about 10 percent per year from 1999 to 2006, and then continued to increase but at a slower rate, rising 3 percent per year from 2006 to 2013.


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'Love Hormone' May Help Dads Bond with Toddlers

Oxytocin — the "love hormone" perhaps best known for stimulating bonding between mothers and newborns, or between romantic partners — may also play a role in dads' empathy toward their toddlers, a new study suggests. Researchers found that fathers who were given a boost of oxytocin via a nasal spray, and then were shown a picture of their 1- or 2-year-old sons or daughters, showed higher levels of activity in regions of the brain linked with empathy and reward, compared with fathers who did not receive a dose of oxytocin. This increased activity in the men's brains may elicit greater feelings of empathy and reward processing, and may motivate fathers to become more involved in caring for their children, said study author James Rilling, a professor of anthropology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta.


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Will The SLS' Debut Flight Carry Astronauts?

NASA has begun a feasibility study to consider the risks associated with adding crew to the first integrated launch of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft.


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Science And The Brexit Mountain

I'm a fan of the three rules of mountaineering: it's always farther than it looks, it's always taller than it looks, and it's always harder than it looks. Ed Hillary, he of Everest fame, said that nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. You claim the science to raise the money, but you swing through, say, the Lhotse wall 'for the hell of it.' Some Brexiteers seem to be of the Hillary variety, and approach the impending divorce with our mainland neighbours with a whoop, a holler and a cheery wave.


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Elon Musk: SpaceX is going to launch 2 space tourists 'beyond the moon'

SpaceX plans to launch two paying customers around the moon in late 2018. The company, founded by...


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New Zealand mudslide wipes out sea life in precious marine reserve

While earthquakes cause damage on the surface, we often don't pay attention to the havoc played out under the sea. Back in November, earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 7.8 hit Kaikōura in the north-east of New Zealand's South Island.  There was significant damage to major roads, as well as nine faults discovered in the area.  SEE ALSO: Here's what the Ice Age tells us about future sea level rise But scientists have recently discovered that the earthquakes also unleashed underwater mudslides in Kaikōura Canyon, wiping out all life living in its sea bed. New bathymetric data shows that the earthquake resulted in a huge slipping event in the #Kaikoura #Canyon https://t.co/WIROkVrmwe http://pic.twitter.com/1i7vPQATIC — NIWA (@niwa_nz) February 26, 2017 The Kaikōura Canyon is an undersea canyon which stretches for over 60 kilometres (37 miles) and reaches depths of more than 1,200 metres (1,312 yards), according to Whale Watch NZ.  Ten years ago, Kaikōura Canyon was found to…

Goal! Ball-Rolling Bees Score Big Science Wins

Though bee brains may appear relatively simple when compared with mammalian brains, the experiments, described in a new study, show that these clever insects are capable of more complex learning than scientists previously suspected. The researchers' previous work with bumblebees showed that they could be trained to pull strings and move levers to get rewards, and that they could learn by watching other bumblebees do it first. "We wanted to explore the behavioral flexibility of bumblebees by testing whether they could use a non-natural object in a task likely never encountered before by any individual in the evolutionary history of bees," Loukola said.


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Israel's Spacecom begins operating Amos-7 satellite

Israel's Space Communications has begun operating a new communications satellite, Amos-7, it said on Monday, a major milestone after it lost two satellites in the past two years. Spacecom had lost contact with another of its satellites in 2015. Amos-7 is the first addition to Spacecom's fleet since the Florida explosion.


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Marshall Islands first to ratify HFC greenhouse gas deal

The Marshall Islands, a Pacific archipelago highly exposed to climate-induced sea level rise, said Tuesday it was the first country to ratify a global pact to phase out planet-warming gases called HFCs. The Kigali Amendment on ending hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) was agreed by nearly 200 countries in the Rwandan capital last October, after years of talks. "My country will not survive without urgent action to cut emissions by every country and every sector of our economies, including HFCs," President Hilda Heine said in a statement after parliament approved ratification of the amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol.


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Stargazers applaud as moon eclipses sun

Stargazers applauded as they were plunged into darkness Sunday when the moon passed in front of the sun in a spectacular "ring of fire" eclipse. Astronomers and enthusiasts in Argentina were among the first to see the so-called annular eclipse as it crossed South America shortly after 1200 GMT, on course for Africa. The eclipse was most visible in a 100-kilometer (62-mile) band across Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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SpaceX announces planned private trip around moon in 2018

SpaceX, the space technology and exploration company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, plans to fly a pair of civilians around the moon and back to Earth in 2018, the company announced Monday.


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Humans Now Watch A Billion Hours Of YouTube Every Single Day

Congratulations world, we have now collectively reached the milestone of being able to say that we watch a billion hours of YouTube between us, every single day. This proof that mankind is destined to fail (and that we all need desperately need a new hobby) was announced in an official YouTube blog on Monday. For the last few years, the video platform has been moving its focus on to engagement time on videos, rather than the number of video clicks, and it seems it is finally paying off.


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Musk’s SpaceX Plans 2018 Flight Circling Moon With Civilians

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year as it continues to work with NASA for a planned crewed mission to the International ...


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'Ring of fire' eclipse delights Africa, South America

Stargazers applauded as they were plunged into darkness Sunday when the moon passed in front of the sun in a spectacular "ring of fire" eclipse. Astronomers and enthusiasts in Argentina were among the first to see the so-called annular eclipse as it crossed South America shortly after 1200 GMT, on course for Africa. The eclipse was most visible in a 100-kilometer (62-mile) band across Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon

SpaceX has plans to send two private citizens around the Moon, CEO Elon Musk announced today. It will be a private mission with two paying customers, not NASA astronauts, who approached the company. The passengers are “very serious” about the trip and have already paid a “significant deposit,” according to Musk.


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Will The SLS' Debut Flight Carry Astronauts?

NASA has begun a feasibility study to consider the risks associated with adding crew to the first integrated launch of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft.


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BBC documentary creates a stir, India bans channel from filming in tiger reserves

In an unprecedented move, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been banned from filming in India's tiger reserves for five years.  The ban was reportedly caused due to misrepresentation of facts in BBC South Asia Correspondent Justin Rowlatt's documentary on Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. SEE ALSO: This national park tracked down rhino poachers thanks to a selfie In his documentary titled Killing for Conservation, Rowlatt highlighted the Indian government’s "ruthless" anti-poaching policies. He claimed that Kaziranga has a "shoot-at-sight" order for poachers.  He details in his written account: "The way the park protects the animals is controversial. Its rangers have been given the kind of powers to shoot and kill normally only conferred on armed forces policing civil unrest." He further says: "At one stage the park rangers were killing an average of two people every month - more than 20 people a year. Indeed, in 2015 mo…

What Makes a Viral Story? Study Takes a Look Into Readers Brains

In the study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looked at the brain activity of 80 college students while they read the titles and abstracts of 80 New York Times articles, published in the health section. The researchers found a specific brain activity pattern that was linked to how often the articles were shared in the real world. "We looked at parts of their brain that helped determine how valuable, self-relevant and socially relevant a piece of information is," said Emily Falk, the study’s senior author and the director of Penn's Communication Neuroscience Lab.


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SpaceX to send first paying tourists around moon next year

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - SpaceX plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year using a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket yet to be flown, the launch company announced on Monday. The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Space Exploration Technologies Chief Executive Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call. Musk declined to identify the customers or say how much they would pay to fly on the weeklong mission, except to say that it is "nobody from Hollywood." He also said the two prospective space tourists, who know each other, have put down a "substantial" deposit and would undergo "extensive training before going on the mission." "I think there's a market for one or two of these per year," he said, estimating that space tourist fares charg…

Daily YouTube Views Have Reached A Truly Terrifying Milestone

Congratulations world, we have now collectively reached the milestone of being able to say that we watch a billion hours of YouTube between us, every single day. This proof that mankind is destined to fail (and that we all need desperately need a new hobby) was announced in an official YouTube blog on Monday. Cristos Goodrow, VP of Engineering at YouTube, said: “Let’s put that in perspective.


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Autism genes conserved during human evolution to make us smarter, say scientists

Autism genes may have been conserved during human evolution because they make us smarter, say scientists. More inherited genetic variants linked to autism have been naturally selected than would be expected by chance, a study has shown. The same variants were associated with traits linked to brain performance, such as molecular functions involved in the creation of new neurons.


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Genetically engineered bacteria could help wipe out deadly mosquitos

A pair of bacterial genes may enable genetic engineering strategies for curbing populations of...


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