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Showing posts from January 17, 2017

Global warming could steal postcard-perfect weather days

Global warming is going to steal away some of those postcard-perfect weather days in the future, according to a first-of-its-kind projection of nice weather. On average, Earth will have 10 fewer days of ...


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Antarctic ice floe crack forces UK scientists to leave

The decision was taken after a huge crack appeared in the Brunt Ice Shelf, just 10 miles away from the Halley VI research station. "We want to do the right thing for our people,” said Captain Tim Stocking, Director of Operations at the British Antarctic Society (BAS). "Bringing them home for winter is a prudent precaution given the changes that our glaciologists have seen in the ice shelf in recent months." There are currently 88 scientists stationed at the Halley VI research centre, which monitors climate data and played a key role in discovering the ozone hole in 1986.


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Southern African maize munching pest is South American invader: experts

By Chris Mfula LUSAKA (Reuters) - A maize pest that has devastated crops in southern Africa is a South American species which is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart, agriculture officials and experts said on Tuesday. The fall armyworm outbreak has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought which scorched much of the region last year. The pest devours maize and other crops.


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Phew! Taking Selfies Doesn't Make You a Narcissist

Instead, the researchers found that selfie-takers fall into three categories: communicators, self-publicists and autobiographers. "It's important to recognize that not everyone [who takes selfies] is a narcissist," study co-author Steven Holiday, who was a graduate student at Brigham Young University while working on the study, said in a statement.


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Can Cannabis Oil Help Heal Wounds?

A middle-age man in Canada with oral cancer found that medical cannabis oil may have helped to slightly reduce the size of a wound that his cancer caused on his cheek, according to a new report of his case. The cannabis oil treatment also reduced the man's pain after the cancer created a hole in his right cheek, according to the report published in the January issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Studies have suggested that marijuana may work to treat cancer patients' pain.


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New You: Personality May Change After Therapy

Personality, once thought to be fundamental and resistant to change, can shift in response to therapy, new research finds. The study synthesizes data from 207 published research papers that measured personality traits as one outcome of various psychotherapies. But that doesn't mean that personality change is easy, warned study researcher Brent Roberts, a social and personality psychologist at the University of Illinois.


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Wreck of 16th-Century Spanish Ship Found Off Florida Coast

The third of six sunken Spanish ships that were lost in a hurricane in 1559 has been discovered off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. In the summer of 2016, the wreck of the ship, dubbed the Emanuel Point III, was found resting under the sand 7 feet (2 meters) below the ocean surface in Pensacola Bay. Archaeologists have found the ship's hull, ballast rocks and ceramic artifacts in the wreckage.


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Strong, Flexible Spider Silk Created in Lab

Pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch, spider silk can absorb huge amounts of energy without ripping apart. Now, scientists have created a synthetic spider silk with many of the same properties as its wild counterpart, and they can produce it on a large scale — overcoming two limitations that have stymied past research in the area. For instance, in 2010 the National Science Foundation funded a project to genetically engineer goats to produce spider silk in their milk, while other projects focused on mass-producing spider silk proteins, called "spidroins," in yeast, bacteria and insect cells.


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Antarctic Lifeline Visible from Space (Photo)

A thin black line against a sea of white is all that connects Antarctica's Concordia research station to life. Concordia research station is known as the "remotest base on Earth." It's so far from other humans — 372 miles (600 km) from the nearest base, Vostok in Russia — that it's more remote than the International Space Station, according to the ESA. The station is located on the Antarctic Plateau at an elevation of 10,499 feet (3,200 meters).


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Doe! Deer and Macaque Caught Monkeying Around

A young male Japanese macaque — a tailless monkey with distinctive cheek pouches — was recently observed mounting and performing sexual actions on the backs of female sika deer on Japan's Yakushima island. However, further observations would be required for scientists to determine how interspecies sexual activity could affect the breeding fitness of macaque males in the long term, and for researchers to better understand how the behavior emerged in the first place, he added.


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High-Speed Video Captures Amazing Viper Strike in the Wild

For the first time, scientists have captured high-speed video of a viper striking at its prey in the wild. The infrared footage shows a Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) lunging at a kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami) in the New Mexico desert. The coiled snake strikes swiftly and without warning, but the rat manages to twist its body midleap, narrowly evading the predator's venomous fangs.


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Sophisticated Defense System Discovered at Biblical-Era Mining Camp

Archaeologists in Israel say they've discovered elements of a sophisticated gatehouse at a mining camp that dates back to the biblical era of King David and King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. Recent excavations at the hilltop copper-smelting factory known as Slaves' Hill in the Timna Valley have revealed a fortified gatehouse with donkey stables. The archaeologists, led by Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, think these features show that this Iron Age settlement had a highly organized defense system and depended on an impressive network of long-distance trade.


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Rare Evidence of Pregnancy-Related Death Found at Ancient Troy

Death during pregnancy or childbirth would have been common in the ancient world, but these stories are often invisible in the archaeological record. Archaeologists from Germany's University of Tübingen have been working at Troy since the 1980s, and in 2005, they excavated this woman's remains. Initially, the researchers thought these calcified lumps were the result of tuberculosis, or perhaps urinary or kidney stones, the scientists said.


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Gene Cernan, last astronaut to walk on moon, dies at 82

(Reuters) - Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon - an experience that he said made him "belong to the universe," died on Monday at the age of 82, the U.S. space agency said. Cernan, who was also the second American to walk in space, died surrounded by his family, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement without providing details. A separate statement from his family and released by NASA said his death came after "ongoing health issues." Cernan and fellow Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt became members of the most exclusive club in the universe on Dec. 11, 1972, when they stepped from their lunar landing module onto the moon's surface.


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