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Showing posts from February 21, 2017

Brain scans 'may spot teen drug problems'

Brain scans may help predict which teenagers go on to develop drug problems, a study suggests.


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NASA Aims to Measure Vital Snow Data From Satellites

Denver (AP) -- Instrument-laden aircraft are surveying the Colorado high country this month as scientists search for better ways to measure how much water is locked up in the world's mountain snows — water ...


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Lemur facial recognition tool developed

A method that can identify individual lemurs could improve the way the endangered species is tracked.


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Science’s supporters suit up: How to get ready for the global march on Earth Day

BOSTON – Hundreds of science-minded demonstrators converged on Boston over the weekend to test a prototype for the March for Science, a campaign that’s expected to bring out more than a million people around the globe on April 22. Sunday’s “Stand Up for Science” rally took place during the height of this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as a result drew attendees from the AAAS crowd – including Bish Paul, a molecular biologist who got his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and worked at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Paul, a gay immigrant from… Read More


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60,000-year-old microbes found in Mexican mine: NASA scientist

NASA scientists have discovered living microorganisms trapped inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years in a mine in Mexico. "This has profound effects on how we try to understand the evolutionary history of microbial life on this planet," she said. The mine is famous for its huge crystals, some as long as 50 feet (15 meters).


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Cern: 'We generate 1PB each second. Here's what that's taught us about big data'

The big data pioneer on how to use machine learning to mine gold from your company's data stores.


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Scientists aren’t happy with Trump. So what are they going to do about it?

Pro-science demonstrators filled Boston’s Copley Square on Sunday, February 20. BOSTON — Scientists have long spoken up for causes like the proliferation of nuclear weapons and climate change. On Sunday, hundreds of scientists filled Boston’s Copley Square at a rally, holding signs with statements like “Alternative facts are the square root of negative one.” Thousands are expected to show up at the March for Science in Washington, planned for April 22.


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NASA Has Made A Huge Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System

Exoplanets are widely believed to be the best hope of finding life elsewhere in the universe. 


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Could smartphones replace datacenters? These Finnish researchers think so

Researchers think they've found a way of using the vast untapped resources of processing power in smartphones and IoT devices for large-scale number-crunching.


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‘Baby Came Back!’ SpaceX’s Rocket Safely Returns to Earth in Launch Pad Landing on Historic Site

Rocket launches are always cool to watch. On Sunday, private space company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After sending a cargo spacecraft packed with 5,500 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station, the Falcon 9 returned to earth — and cameras where there to capture its awe-inspiring descent and subsequent landing.


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Space buffs drool as NASA announces a major 'discovery beyond our solar system'

NASA will host a news conference on Wednesday to discuss recent discoveries of planets beyond our solar system. The even will begin at 1 p.m. ET. The public are invited to ask questions via Twitter with the hashtag #askNASA.


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Scientists Hold Rally Against Trump In Boston

The rally included hundreds of scientists and crowds holding signs such as “Stand up for science,” “Science is not a liberal conspiracy,” “Science, not silence” and “Climate change is NOT a controversy."


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'The Blob' in Pacific Ocean Linked to Spike in Ozone

A warm blob of water lurking in the Pacific Ocean in 2014 and 2015 led to a spike in ozone levels across the western U.S., new research suggests. The blob of warm water, which sat about 310 miles (500 kilometers) off the Oregon coast, was linked to a high-pressure system in the atmosphere that resulted in warm, calm air and sunny skies across nearly a quarter of the country, said study co-author Dan Jaffe, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington Bothell. Those atmospheric conditions sped up the formation of ozone in the atmosphere, Jaffe added.


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Scientists Measure Effect Of High-Energy Electrons On CMB

An image released Monday by the European Southern Observatory shows the first measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect on the Cosmic Microwave Background.


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Facial-recognition software may help save Earth’s most endangered mammals

Lemurs are considered the world's most endangered mammal, but a team of researchers have devised a system called LemurFaceID, which uses facial-recognition software to spot lemurs in their natural habitat.


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NASA Aims to Measure Vital Snow Data From Satellites

Denver (AP) -- Instrument-laden aircraft are surveying the Colorado high country this month as scientists search for better ways to measure how much water is locked up in the world's mountain snows — water ...


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Here’s How the Disappearance of Bees Will Drastically Affect Our Food Supply

We may not be fond of our pollinating bug brethren, but bees are buzzing off at alarming rates, and we should be worried. A new study published by scientists at the University of Vermont maps the decline of the bee population and its potential to seriously impact agriculture-heavy regions of the...


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When Brazil ran 'concentration camps' during droughts

Even as northeastern Brazil suffers a devastating drought, few remember a grim chapter of a past drought when the government forced mass internment of peasants trying to flee dying farms. The first was in 1915 and the last time was between 1932 and 1933 when the authorities set up what they called concentration camps -- a fairly common term in several countries at the time and yet to be associated with the horrors of Nazi Germany. Fearing the peasants would descend in huge numbers from their parched lands into the city of Fortaleza, the government ordered thousands of families incarcerated in camps with little food, unhealthy living conditions and under guard.


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Billionaire Elon Musk credits his success to these 8 books

The SpaceX and Tesla founder is a voracious reader.


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Uber reportedly taps Holder to lead sexual harassment probe

Former attorney general hired to investigate claims by former engineer at company


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Court considers constitutionality of Ohio execution process

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal appeals court plans to consider arguments over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state tries to start carrying out executions once again.


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EPA's Scott Pruitt enters a hotbed of anti-Trump resistance: his own agency

Usually, new administrators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are welcomed at headquarters without too much fanfare. That is, until today.  Scott Pruitt — the new EPA administrator nominated to the position by President Donald Trump — gave his welcome address to his agency Tuesday after garnering more "no" votes on the Senate floor than any other EPA nominee since the agency was founded in 1970.  SEE ALSO: One of the shortest bills ever was just introduced in Congress, it's basically just 'KILL THE EPA' In taking on the job, Pruitt is facing a daunting challenge: stiff resistance from within the agency itself, with current and former employees having protested his nomination, with some taking the nearly unheard of step of openly advocating for senators to vote "no" when it was brought to the Senate floor.  For some scientists in the agency, his first speech was probably the equivalent of Voldemort himself walking into Hogwarts and assuming th…

Small ponds have outsized impact on global warming: study

Tiny natural ponds pose an overlooked danger for speeding up global warming, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In experiments designed to simulate moderate future warming, scientists in Britain found that such ponds -- a metre (three feet) across -- gradually lose the capacity to soak up one kind of greenhouse gas and give off even more of another. After seven years at higher-than-ambient temperatures, "the ability of the ponds to absorb carbon dioxide was reduced by almost half, while methane release nearly doubled," said lead-author Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, a professor at the University of Exeter.


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Get a drone’s-eye view of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket landing – and much, much more

SpaceX’s first-ever commercial rocket launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was picture-perfect, but the landing was arguably even more photogenic – or should we say “dronogenic”? The company’s Falcon 9 rocket quickly rose into the clouds over Launch Pad 39A, the Florida takeoff point for Apollo moon missions and space shuttle flights. Within just a few minutes, SpaceX’s robotic Dragon capsule separated from the rocket and headed toward the International Space Station for a cargo delivery. Meanwhile, a camera-equipped drone captured a thrilling view of the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster descending through the clouds, firing its engines and touching down on… Read More


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Secret Behind Rorschach Test: Why We See Images in Inkblots

Whether you see a butterfly, dancing elephants, bloody humans or some other imagery when peering at one of the abstract blobs that makes up the Rorschach inkblot test, your answers can divulge some of the darkest, or just hidden, corners of your mind. And now, scientists have figured out why people see so many images when looking at the inkblots: The number of images elicited by these inkblots is determined by the irregular shapes at the edges of each. The researchers specifically looked at fractals, or repeating patterns that can be seen at all scales (close-up and farther away).


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India's space agency employees get treated with free pizza after setting world record last week

India’s space agency ISRO shattered world record last week when it launched a flock of 104 satellites into space with one rocket.  SEE ALSO: Fumed Indians continue to troll NYT over 2-year-old cartoon mocking their space agency The space agency has since won many hearts, and earned many fans including the billionaire Elon Musk. Amid all of this, it also won itself a lot of free pizzas.  Celebrating last week’s milestone, pizzeria chain Pizza Hut offered a free pan pizza treat all ISRO employees across India yesterday.  "It’s a moment of great pride for us as ISRO created history and this initiative is a small token of our appreciation to put cheerful smiles on the faces who made the nation proud by achieving such an amazing feat." Unnat Varma, Managing Director Pizza Hut was quoted as saying.  According to the report, Pizza Hut spent Rs 600,000 ($8,960) to treat over 2,000 ISRO employees, who were invited to visit select Pizza Hut stores.  Last week, ISRO surpassed Russia’s …

Scientists Hold Rally Against Trump In Boston

The rally included hundreds of scientists and crowds holding signs such as “Stand up for science,” “Science is not a liberal conspiracy,” “Science, not silence” and “Climate change is NOT a controversy."


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Humanity In The Age Of AI

"We are either kings or pawns of men," said Napoleon Bonaparte. In his famous quote, he describes possibly the biggest challenge facing humanity as we move into a world driven by ever smarter, more manipulative technology. As technology advances, we are quickly becoming slaves to it, unaware of our intentional manipulation.


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'Blood on the Mountain' exposes the human costs of coal mining

President Donald Trump has promised to return the U.S. coal sector to its glory days.  Experts say that isn't likely to happen, given the nation's shift toward natural gas and renewable energy. But if the coal sector does rebound, it'd be a boon for thousands of laid-off miners and struggling coal towns. Yet those jobs won't come without certain risks for workers — not to mention a boost in carbon emissions and toxic air pollutants. SEE ALSO: Coal-fired electricity is at its lowest since officials started keeping track Blood on the Mountain, a documentary now available on iTunes and DVD, highlights a litany of health problems that coal miners face, particularly when their employers slack on safety measures.  In the clip shown here, West Virginia miners discuss their battle with "black lung," a disease that develops from long-term exposure to coal dust.  An Ohio coal miner shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump on Feb. 16, 2017. Trump signed a bill disa…

South Dakota bill leaves evolution skepticism up to teachers

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.


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This real-time pollution map will enlighten you on your city's air quality

Air pollution isn't always visible, but it's definitely real. To help us gain a better understanding of air quality around the world, BreezoMeter, an air quality analytics provider, is visually breaking things down with a new interactive air pollution map. SEE ALSO: Wi-Fi passwords from airports around the world in one brilliant map The map delivers real-time information on air pollution along with hourly forecasts and helpful weather-related health and fitness recommendations. Its data is drawn from "official air quality sensors" placed across cities that monitor airborne particles and combined with information on wind, weather and traffic conditions. By simply searching a location, users will be shown a color-coded map of the pollution level in the surrounding area. They'll also receive useful information such as carbon monoxide and ozone levels, weather forecast updates, and heath, sports and child care-related suggestions. You can use the map to choose the cl…

David Attenborough will narrate a new series of Blue Planet this year

Following the success of Planet Earth II (coming soon to a Snapchat app near you), the BBC has announced its latest nature-doc extravaganza: a sequel to the award-winning series The Blue Planet. As the name suggests, the show will focus on the variety of wildlife found in the Earth’s seas and oceans. Blue Planet II will air in the UK later this year (hitting US screens some time after presumably), and will feature the narrating talents of naturalist icon David Attenborough.


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Get a drone’s-eye view of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket landing – and much, much more

SpaceX’s first-ever commercial rocket launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was picture-perfect, but the landing was arguably even more photogenic – or should we say “dronogenic”? The company’s Falcon 9 rocket quickly rose into the clouds over Launch Pad 39A, the Florida takeoff point for Apollo moon missions and space shuttle flights. Within just a few minutes, SpaceX’s robotic Dragon capsule separated from the rocket and headed toward the International Space Station for a cargo delivery. Meanwhile, a camera-equipped drone captured a thrilling view of the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster descending through the clouds, firing its engines and touching down on… Read More


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Billionaire Elon Musk credits his success to these 8 books

The SpaceX and Tesla founder is a voracious reader.


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NASA Aims to Measure Vital Snow Data From Satellites

Denver (AP) -- Instrument-laden aircraft are surveying the Colorado high country this month as scientists search for better ways to measure how much water is locked up in the world's mountain snows — water ...


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Cern: 'We generate 1PB each second. Here's what that's taught us about big data'

The big data pioneer on how to use machine learning to mine gold from your company's data stores.


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Life expectancy to keep rising; S. Korean women could hit 91

LONDON (AP) — While most people born in rich countries will live longer by 2030 — with women in South Korea projected to reach nearly 91 — Americans will continue to have one of the lowest life expectancies of any developed country, a new study predicts.


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The future of private space flight

Lawrence Krauss, chair of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, on the future of private space flight.


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Microchipped bumblebees show that worker bees act a lot like humans

Bumblebees fitted with microchip backpacks have offered researchers a unique glimpse into the hidden world of colonies. As it turns out, when it comes to carrying the workload, bees behave a lot like human beings.


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SpaceX celebrates successful launch from historic NASA launch pad in Florida

The private company's newest rocket was sent with supplies to the International Space Station.


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This Bizarre Ancient Sea Creature Is So Weird No-One Can Agree What It Is

It is unlikely that there exists a creature more bizarre, more alien to our understanding of how life evolved on Earth, than Tullimonstrum gregarium. While we know what it looks like, and indeed where to find it, experts have been stumped by one single aspect of this bizarre creation of nature. It was initially decided last year by a team from Yale that Tully was in fact a vertebrate.


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Warning on Flu: It's Not Going Away Just Yet, CDC Says

Flu season may have started several months ago, but it isn't going away just yet — U.S. health officials expect flu activity to remain high for at least a few more weeks, according to a new report. The report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that flu activity in the U.S. started to increase around mid-December, and remained elevated as of Feb. 4, the most recent date for which flu data is available. And so far, the percentage of doctor's visits for the flu has exceeded the national baseline for eight consecutive weeks, the report said.


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Small ponds have outsized impact on global warming: study

Tiny natural ponds pose an overlooked danger for speeding up global warming, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In experiments designed to simulate moderate future warming, scientists in Britain found that such ponds -- a metre (three feet) across -- gradually lose the capacity to soak up one kind of greenhouse gas and give off even more of another. After seven years at higher-than-ambient temperatures, "the ability of the ponds to absorb carbon dioxide was reduced by almost half, while methane release nearly doubled," said lead-author Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, a professor at the University of Exeter.


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