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Showing posts from January 23, 2017

Ultrafast Camera Captures 'Sonic Booms' of Light for First Time

Just as aircraft flying at supersonic speeds create cone-shaped sonic booms, pulses of light can leave behind cone-shaped wakes of light. When an object moves through air, it propels the air in front of it away, creating pressure waves that move at the speed of sound in all directions. If the object is moving at speeds equal to or greater than sound, it outruns those pressure waves.


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Fossils of utterly huge otter unearthed in China

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unearthed fossils of an intriguingly large otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in southwestern China about 6.2 million years ago. Who would have imagined a wolf-size otter?" said Denise Su, Cleveland Museum of Natural History curator of paleobotany and paleoecology. "I think it used its powerful jaws to crush hard clams for food, somewhat like modern sea otters, although the latter use stone tools to smash shells," said Xiaoming Wang, head of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.


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Later Gator! Video of Giant 'Humpback' Alligator Goes Viral

A viral video of a massive, and monstrous alligator known unofficially as "Humpback" has just been posted on the Facebook page of a natural reserve in Florida. The giant alligator was caught trekking slowly across a trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland, Florida. Though a face-to-face with "Humpback" would be terrifying, he is not an unusually large creature for his kind.


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Pendant Just Like Anne Frank's Discovered at Nazi Death Camp

Archaeologists have discovered a German Jewish girl's pendant — nearly identical to the one that belonged to Anne Frank — in the ruins of a Nazi death camp in eastern Poland. The discovery has sent researchers looking for more information about the young girl who once owned the medallion and her possible links to the Frank family. The silver pendant was unearthed at the Sobib√≥r extermination camp, where some 200,000 people were killed between 1942 and 1943.


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Ketchup Bottle Physics: Scientist Unlocks Key to Splat-Free Sauce

As such, the common method of tapping or whacking a ketchup bottle to encourage the sauce to come out is necessary, but what's the best way to keep the splatter at bay? The answer lies in understanding rheology, which is the study of these soft solids, said Anthony Stickland, a senior lecturer in the University of Melbourne's School of Engineering. There are three simple steps to getting ketchup out of the bottle without the mess, Stickland said in a statement.


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Adorable Terror: Wolf-Size Otter Hunted Ancient China

A fearsome, wolf-size otter with a large head and a powerful jaw once swam around the shallow, swampy waters of ancient China, likely hunting for clams and other shellfish, a new study finds. At 110 lbs. (50 kilograms), the animal would have been about twice the size of the modern-day South American giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and about four times the size of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), the researchers said. "This extinct otter is larger than all living otters," said study lead researcher Xiaoming Wang, a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California.


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Unusual Rat Virus Strikes 8 People in Illinois and Wisconsin

A virus rarely seen in the United States recently infected eight people in Wisconsin and Illinois who were working in facilities where pet rats are bred, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Authorities first became aware of the infections when two people in Wisconsin who operated a rat-breeding facility fell ill in December 2016, with one going to the hospital. Both breeders tested positive for Seoul virus, which is part of the Hantavirus family, a group of viruses that typically infect rodents, the CDC said.


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Could Eating Chili Peppers Help You Live Longer?

People who eat hot red chili peppers may be more likely to live longer, a new study suggests. In the study, researchers found that eating these peppers was associated with a 12 percent lower risk of death, particularly from heart problems or stroke, over the 19-year study period. It's unclear "if actually eating chili peppers is what caused the results, or if simply people who eat chili peppers are more likely to engage in overall healthier lifestyle behaviors," said Keith Ayoob, a nutritionist and associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, who was not affiliated with the study.


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Survey of Doctors Reveals the 'Lowest-Value' Treatments

Of all the treatments that patients use, the ones that benefit patients the least  include unneeded antibiotics and dietary supplements, according to a recent survey of U.S. doctors. It is the second of two surveys on high-value care, which is defined as providing treatments to patients that have benefits that outweigh their potential harms and avoid unnecessary costs. "The bottom line: the health care costs are rising," and they're increasing at an unsustainable rate, Dr. Amir Qaseem, the lead author of the paper and chair of ACP’s High Value Care Task Force, told Live Science.


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Lights Out: Asteroid Triggered Freezing Darkness That Killed Dinos

When a giant asteroid careened into Earth about 66 million years ago, the enormous collision led to the formation of an airborne "curtain" of sulfate molecules that blocked the sun's light and led to years of freezing cold and darkness, a new study finds. The finding shows how these droplets, or aerosols, of sulfuric acid formed high in the atmosphere, and likely contributed to the deaths of 75 percent of all animals on Earth, including nonavian dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and long-necked sauropods, the researchers said. Earlier studies suggested that the dino-killing asteroid kicked up dust and debris that hung in the air and blocked sunlight in the short term.


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ISIS Damages Iconic Monuments in Ancient Syrian City, Reports Say

A month after retaking control of Palmyra, the Islamic State group (also called ISIS or Daesh) has allegedly committed new destruction and executions in the ancient Syrian city. Two of Palmyra's iconic monuments, the Tetrapylon and the Roman theater, have experienced  "significant damage," according to the Cultural Heritage Initiatives (CHI) of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), which obtained new satellite images of the site from DigitalGlobe. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights alleges that ISIS is again using the archaeological site for mass executions, killing a group of 12 prisoners on Jan. 19.


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UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden color rather than browned.

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UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden colour rather than browned.


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UK scientists give cancer risk warning on overdone chips, toast

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Potatoes and bread cooked at high temperatures for a long time could increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them regularly, British government scientists said on Monday. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a substance called acrylamide, produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures, has been found in animal studies to increase the risk of cancer. In a statement that drew criticism from some independent experts, the FSA said that, to reduce the danger, consumers should cook these foods at lower temperatures and eat them when they are cooked to a golden colour rather than browned.

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