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Showing posts from March 1, 2017

Surviving Russia's winter a grim triumph for homeless

As the fierce winter drags towards an end in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, Eduard Okuniyev is counting himself lucky to still be alive. Some die of hypothermia, while others suffer complications from existing conditions.


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A new way to warm up frozen tissue could help with the organ shortage

Unlike convective warming, the new nanowarming method prevents tissue damage by evenly reheating cryogenically preserved tissues. A new way to warm up frozen tissue using tiny vibrating particles could one day help with the problem of organ shortages. In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, scientists used nanoparticles to warm up frozen tissue quickly and without damaging the organs.


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Washington produces record harvest of wine grapes in 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state's booming wine industry produced a record harvest of wine grapes in 2016 after cooler weather lengthened the growing season, officials said Wednesday.


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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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A top economist says Americans are not nearly as ambitious or innovative as they think

Americans often point to our role as the world’s leading innovator. There are plenty of realms in which this is true, whether we look at lists of top universities, most important pharmaceuticals, or leading tech companies. And yet despite this leadership in innovation, if you compare America today to its past, the country seems to…


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China coal consumption falls for third year

China's world-leading coal consumption fell for the third straight year in 2016, government data showed Tuesday, as the planet's biggest carbon emitter struggles to break its addiction to the heavily polluting fuel. Coal consumption fell by 4.7 percent year-on-year in 2016, and the share of coal in the country's energy mix slipped to 62.0 percent, down 2.0 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report. Overall coal production also fell, dropping 9.0 percent to 3.41 billion tonnes in 2016.


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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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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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With its Moon announcement, did SpaceX kick off the first public-private space race?

SpaceX shocked the spaceflight community yesterday by announcing a new ambitious goal for 2018: sending two people around the Moon. If SpaceX pulls this mission off, it will be the first private company to take civilians beyond lower Earth orbit. The mission also mimics a possible NASA plan.


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UN sees bird flu changes but calls risk of people spread low

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says it has noticed changes in the bird flu virus now spreading in China, but says the risk of the disease spreading easily between people remains low.


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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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Lego celebrates Nasa's female space pioneers with new set

Lego has announced it is producing a new set of figures commemorating women who have played key roles in the history of the US space program. The figures were green-lit for production after being proposed by science writer Maia Weinstock through the Lego Ideas series, which invites members of the public to suggest concepts for new Lego sets. After winning support from 10,000 fans - the required level at which the toymaker considers Lego Ideas proposals - the firm has now confirmed the set will go into production in the near future.


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Surviving Russia's winter a grim triumph for homeless

As the fierce winter drags towards an end in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, Eduard Okuniyev is counting himself lucky to still be alive. Some die of hypothermia, while others suffer complications from existing conditions.


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Cutting science funding means sacrificing the US’s future

Science is expensive, and for most of its history, the funding has come from wealthy patrons: nobility, the very rich, and — most notably — the US government. President Donald Trump plans to change that, with his plan to slash spending on basic science by 10.5 percent in 2018. The White House has to convince lawmakers to roll back the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, which is aimed at keeping a balance between military and civilian spending.


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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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Crazy new metamaterial bricks let scientists ‘steer’ soundwaves, levitate small objects

Scientists in the U.K. have developed a supermaterial that allows anyone using it to focus sound waves in a way that’s no tougher than rearranging Lego blocks. Here's why it's so exciting.


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A top economist says Americans are not nearly as ambitious or innovative as they think

Americans often point to our role as the world’s leading innovator. There are plenty of realms in which this is true, whether we look at lists of top universities, most important pharmaceuticals, or leading tech companies. And yet despite this leadership in innovation, if you compare America today to its past, the country seems to…


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First step to help preserved organs survive the deep freeze

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-freezing donated organs might one day help improve the transplant supply but scientists must first figure out how to thaw the delicate tissue without it cracking. Now researchers are taking a first step toward that goal, using nanotechnology to create super heaters for preserved tissue.


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Snooze news: elephants may sleep less than any other mammal

You also can say they almost never sleep. Scientists on Wednesday said a first-of-its-kind study tracking the sleep behavior of wild elephants found the world's largest land mammal sleeps two hours per day on average, and some days not at all, and does so mostly standing up. This represented the shortest-known sleep time of any mammal.


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NASA reacts to SpaceX’s plan to launch rich people into space

As the space industry gradually moves from government-run programs to the commercial sector we knew there would come a day when the first paying customer was launched into space simply because they wanted to do it. Yesterday, SpaceX announced that it plans to do just that starting in 2018, with a pair of unnamed by obviously wealthy passengers who want to see what it's like to slingshot themselves around the Moon in a space capsule. Now, the organization that first sent a man to the surface of Earth's celestial satellite is weighing in on the bold endeavor, and its response is pretty much what you'd expect.NASA, which, by the way, pays SpaceX large sums of money to launch supplies to the International Space Station, is totally cool with sending random folks out of Earth's atmosphere — or at least that's how they're playing it off. "NASA commends its industry partners for reaching higher," the organization said in a statement. "We will work closel…

New minerals back idea of man-made epoch for Earth: study

By Alister Doyle OSLO, (Reuters) - Scientists have identified more than 200 minerals created as side-effects of human industries in a sign that mankind's imprint on the Earth is so deep that it marks a new geological epoch, a study said on Wednesday. Rare chemical combinations such as those found in mines, ore dumps or smelters have triggered the formation of new minerals, it said. The scientists listed 208 items in the first global catalog of minerals caused exclusively or mainly by human activities, compared to about 5,000 formed by purely natural processes including iron, silicon, gold or silver.


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The Industrial Strategy And Support For Disruptive Innovation

The government has a tricky challenge ahead with their new Industrial Strategy. Fusion energy, previously just in the domain of government funded research, but now attracting private investment in technology development - provides an ideal microcosm of the wider technology industry, offering insight that can answer this tricky question. Part of the answer to the government's conundrum is to build on existing clusters of expertise.


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SpaceX’s Moon flight will be the first truly private ticket to space

Yesterday, Elon Musk announced a bold new SpaceX mission for 2018, flying two as-yet-unnamed passengers in a full orbit of the Moon. Of course, Elon Musk didn’t invent space tourism, and he isn’t proposing anything that’s beyond its current capabilities. Since 2001, a Virginia company called Space Adventures has offered multimillionaires the opportunity to hitch a ride on a Russian flight to the space station, ferrying seven people to Miir over the course of eight years.


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Lego launching set featuring women stars of NASA

Lego sets its sights on some of NASA's most brilliant minds with the approval of a fan-designed set depicting female NASA scientists and astronauts.


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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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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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In an ironic twist, a 1991 Shell ad contains a warning about climate change

The U.S. president might doubt the reality of human-driven climate change, but you know who doesn't? Major oil companies. In fact, they've known the reality of the problem for decades. Take Royal Dutch Shell, for instance.  In 1991, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant produced a film, called "Climate of Concern," that warns of potentially catastrophic risks from burning the very oil and gas that companies like Shell produce. SEE ALSO: Trump gives second life to Keystone XL, Dakota Access oil pipelines Its narrator speaks of a "new sense of urgency" driven by the "realization that our energy-consuming way of life may be causing climatic changes, with adverse consequences for us all" — like famine, flooding, waves of climate refugees and extreme weather.  Many of these consequences have now become apparent, and are predicted to worsen in the coming decades. The Correspondent, a Dutch online journalism platform, recently unearthed the video and shared it with …

Your name could shape your face, new study suggests

Long before anyone knows what we'll really look like, we're given the label we will probably carry for the rest of our lives — our name. But what if your appearance, particularly your face, somehow reflected the name you were given at birth? A new study suggests that each person's face, insanely enough, could actually be shaped by his or her name. So that would mean, yes, that Sarah really does look like a Sarah, and that Fred really does look like a Fred. Basically, the new findings could finally give some credence to all those weird, usually seemingly baseless assumptions you might have the first time you hear a new name, as NPR reports. SEE ALSO: Twitter helps brands become more than faceless monoliths to their customers "We Look Like Our Names: The Manifestation of Name Stereotypes in Facial Appearance" is the name of the the psychology experiment led by researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and published Monday in the Journal of Personality and S…

Washington produces record harvest of wine grapes in 2016

Washington state's booming wine industry produced a record harvest of wine grapes in 2016 after cooler weather lengthened the growing season, officials said Wednesday. Last year's harvest in Washington, ...


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The Industrial Strategy And Support For Disruptive Innovation

The government has a tricky challenge ahead with their new Industrial Strategy. Fusion energy, previously just in the domain of government funded research, but now attracting private investment in technology development - provides an ideal microcosm of the wider technology industry, offering insight that can answer this tricky question. Part of the answer to the government's conundrum is to build on existing clusters of expertise.


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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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Wild Elephants Sleep Just Two Hours a Night

In April 2014, Nadine Gravett tranquilized two female elephants and fitted them with actiwatches. These small devices—the scientific version of Fitbits—record movement, and researchers can use them to measure how well volunteers are sleeping. They’re usually worn around the wrist, but that’s not an option when your subjects’ limbs are literally elephantine. So Gravett had to implant them in the females’ most mobile appendages—their trunks.


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A top economist says Americans are not nearly as ambitious or innovative as they think

Americans often point to our role as the world’s leading innovator. There are plenty of realms in which this is true, whether we look at lists of top universities, most important pharmaceuticals, or leading tech companies. And yet despite this leadership in innovation, if you compare America today to its past, the country seems to…


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Your Genes May Predict How Wealthy You Are

Economists find evidence genes may predict how rich you will be.


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SpaceX announces plans for moon mission

SpaceX founder Elon Musk announces plan to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year


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Robots and drones: Coming soon to a construction site near you

The construction industry is turning to technology in a big way to enhance building processes.


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Federal 2017 quake forecast highlights Oklahoma, California

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal scientists forecast that Oklahoma will continue to have the nation's biggest man-made earthquake problem this year but it probably won't be as shaky as recent years.


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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…

Lego celebrates Nasa's female space pioneers with new set

Lego has announced it is producing a new set of figures commemorating women who have played key roles in the history of the US space program. The figures were green-lit for production after being proposed by science writer Maia Weinstock through the Lego Ideas series, which invites members of the public to suggest concepts for new Lego sets. After winning support from 10,000 fans - the required level at which the toymaker considers Lego Ideas proposals - the firm has now confirmed the set will go into production in the near future.


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We look so much like our names that strangers can predict them, study says

Can you correctly guess this man's name?


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

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.


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A new way to warm up frozen tissue could help with the organ shortage

Unlike convective warming, the new nanowarming method prevents tissue damage by evenly reheating cryogenically preserved tissues. A new way to warm up frozen tissue using tiny vibrating particles could one day help with the problem of organ shortages. In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, scientists used nanoparticles to warm up frozen tissue quickly and without damaging the organs.


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SpaceX to send first space tourists around moon next year

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies plans to launch two paying customers 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, Chief Executive Elon Musk told reporters 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, 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’s "nobody from Hollywood." He also said the two prospective space tourists know each other.


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