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Showing posts from January 10, 2017

Japan space agency postpones launch of mini rocket because of wind

Japan's space agency postponed on Wednesday the launch of a mini rocket that will put a satellite into space because of strong wind, an agency spokeswoman said. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had planned to launch the SS-520 rocket, which is about 10 meters (35 feet) long and 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter, at its Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan, early on Wednesday. The rocket, which media has called the world's smallest space rocket, will carry a 3-kg (6.6 lb), 35-centimetre (14 inches) satellite, which will take images of the earth and gather other data.

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2017 Total Solar Eclipse: A Magnet for Scientists ... and Hordes of People

The 2017 total solar eclipse, which will be visible across the contiguous United States, will be a scientific marvel and a potentially life-changing experience for people who view it. The eclipse was a hot topic of discussion Dec. 3 through Dec. 8 at the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.


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U.S. lists first bumble bee species as endangered

The rusty patched bumble bee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once familiar to much of North America, was listed on Tuesday as an endangered species, becoming the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain such federal protection. One of several species facing sharp declines, the bumble bee known to scientists as Bombus affinis has plunged nearly 90 percent in abundance and distribution since the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency listed the insect after determining it to be in danger of extinction across all or portions of its range, attributing its decline to a mix of factors, including disease, pesticides, climate change and habitat loss.


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Giant telescope in Chile to seek habitable planets in Alpha Centauri

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile will be modified in order to allow it to search more effectively for potentially habitable planets in Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to Earth. The ESO said it has signed a deal with Breakthrough Starshot, a venture that aims to deploy thousands of tiny spacecraft to travel to the system and send back pictures. Starshot, which is backed by internet billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking, will provide funding to allow equipment on the Very Large Telescope that studies in the mid-infrared to be adapted to better detect faint planets, the ESO said in a statement on Monday.


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Scientists find clues to why binge-drinking causes binge-eating

Scientists have found that the brain cells in mice that stimulate the urge to eat can be activated by alcohol as well as by hunger - a discovery that could help explain why binge drinking often leads to binge eating. In an experiment, mice subjected to a three-day "alcoholic weekend" were found to eat significantly more food than mice that stayed sober. The results, published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, show that major components of the brain's feeding circuits are activated by alcohol, the researchers said.

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Sorry, Steak Lovers: Red Meat Linked to Gut Condition

Men who regularly eat red meat have a higher risk of developing an inflammatory bowel condition called diverticulitis than men who don't have much red meat in their diet, a new study finds. The men in the study who ate six or more servings of red meat weekly were 58 percent more likely to develop diverticulitis during the 26-year study than the men in the study who ate the least amount, which was 1.2 servings weekly on average. Diverticulitis occurs when the wall of a person's gut bulges out from its usual position and forms a small sac — called a diverticulum — and this sac becomes inflamed, according to the study, published today (Jan. 9) in the journal Gut.


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'Weekend Warrior' Workouts Improve Health

If going to the gym during the workweek sounds daunting to you, fear not: Working out only on the weekends has health benefits too, a new study suggests. In the study, researchers examined so-called weekend warriors, who cram a week's worth of exercise into just one or two days. The researchers found that the weekend warriors in the study who met physical activity guidelines were less likely to die during the nine-year study period, compared with people who didn't get any exercise.


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Ultralight 'Super-Material' Is 10 Times Stronger Than Steel

A spongy new super-material could be lighter than the flimsiest plastic yet 10 times stronger than steel. "You can replace the material itself with anything," Markus J. Buehler, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said in a statement.


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New Illumina launch seen to rejuvenate thawing sales: analysts

(Reuters) - Shares of Illumina Inc rose 14 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday, after the maker of products used for genetic analysis launched its newest gene-sequencing platform, prompting a slew of analyst price target increases. Gene-sequencing is used to analyze the human genome and can be used to identify inherited disorders, characterize markers of disease progression and for tracking disease outbreaks. A complete replacement of sequencing instruments used by Illumina's current customers represents a $2 billion opportunity alone, and the company believes the lower price could drive further market expansion, Barclays analysts said.


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