Sunday, 31 July 2016

New Michael Crichton Novel Discovered by Widow

New Michael Crichton Novel Discovered by Widow

A newly discovered novel from late writer Michael Crichton is on the way. “Dragon Teeth” is set in the late 19th century American West. It focuses on the real-life rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh — during a time known as the “Bone Wars” — as seen through the story of fictional character William Johnson. Sherri Crichton was searching her late husband’s files for material for the Michael Crichton Archives when she discovered the manuscript.

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Ocean-cleaning sea bins will gobble up plastic waste to recycle

Ocean-cleaning sea bins will gobble up plastic waste to recycle

Bins designed to suck up debris floating on the sea are in the final stages of testing, shame they won’t make it to Rio in time to clean up dirty waters at the Olympics. By Alice Klein.

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One of the fastest growing fields in science still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable

One of the fastest growing fields in science still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable

The idea we can be anything we choose is “such an old-fashioned notion, with absolutely no backing whatsoever.” By Olivia Goldhill.

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Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

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A Cognitive Sciences Reading List for Designers

A Cognitive Sciences Reading List for Designers

If you’ve ever done any contextual inquiry or usability testing, you’ve probably observed first hand the difference between what people say they will do and what they actually end up doing. This post is a quick roundup of the most enlightening books on the task of designing information systems for messy, irrational humans. By Andy Fitzgerald.

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Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka

Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka

Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.

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Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer

New drugs and methods of altering a patient’s own immune cells are helping some cancer patients — but not all — even when standard treatments fail.

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Monumental proof to torment mathematicians for years to come

Monumental proof to torment mathematicians for years to come

Conference on Shinichi Mochizuki’s work inspires cautious optimism. By Davide Castelvecchi.

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The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone

The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone

Kaylee Byers crouches in a patch of urban blackberries early one morning this June, to check a live trap in one of Vancouver’s poorest areas, the V6A postal code. Her first catch of the day is near a large blue dumpster on “Block 5,” in front of a 20-some-unit apartment complex above a thrift shop. Across the alley, a building is going up; between the two is an overgrown, paper and wrapper-strewn lot. In the lot, there are rats. “Once we caught two in a single trap,” she says, peering inside the cage.

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Deep space travel might blow your mind, but it could be bad for your heart

Deep space travel might blow your mind, but it could be bad for your heart

Bad news would-be astronauts: Traveling into deep space could be bad for your heart. In a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports, researchers found that astronauts who went to the moon were almost five times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than astronauts who remained in low-Earth orbit on the International Space Station. The findings suggest that leaving the protective fold of the Earth and its magnetic field could be more damaging to the cardiovascular system than was previously thought.

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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Scientists grow dandelions to make rubber

Scientists grow dandelions to make rubber

Scientists have developed a dandelion strain with natural rubber in its roots. The summer weed that invades suburban lawns could be the next rubber tree. Researchers are working to improve the weed so that it can be produced fast and efficiently enough to be a sustainable source of rubber.

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Can this woman cure ageing with gene therapy?

Can this woman cure ageing with gene therapy?

Biotech boss Elizabeth Parrish has tried out her company’s anti-ageing gene therapy with, she says, amazing results. Too good to be true?

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Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring

Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring

The Lorax might have spoken for the trees, but it turns out that trees can speak for themselves. At least to other trees, that is.

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The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak

The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak

In a news report that could easily be the plot of a cult horror movie, an anthrax outbreak has swept the remote Yamalo-Nenets district of western Siberia, killing 1,500 reindeer since Sunday. According to NBC News, authorities think the outbreak began when some zombie anthrax thawed out of an infected reindeer corpse and woke up.

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Don’t Blame Divorce on Money. Ask: Did the Husband Have a Job?

Don’t Blame Divorce on Money. Ask: Did the Husband Have a Job?

Financial stress and fights over money can eat away at a marriage. But do they cause divorce? That’s a more complicated matter. A Harvard University study suggests that neither financial strains nor women's increased ability to get out of an unhappy marriage, starting in the 1970s, is typically the main reason for a split. The big factor, Harvard sociology professor Alexandra Killewald found, is the husband's employment status. For the past four decades, she discovered, husbands who aren’t employed full time have a 3.3 percent chance of getting divorced in any given year...

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Meet the nudibranch: Seven reasons these 'naked' gastropods are more than pretty faces

Meet the nudibranch: Seven reasons these 'naked' gastropods are more than pretty faces

Nudibranchs, a group of soft-bodied and immensely colourful molluscs, are often mistaken for sea slugs. But these gastropods couldn't be more different — or more interesting.

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How Altruism Might Have Evolved

How Altruism Might Have Evolved

The key insight is that the total size of population that can be supported depends on the proportion of cooperators: more cooperation means more food for all and a larger population.

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After Glow - 90 Years Ago Workers At The Waterbury Clock Company Began Dying After Painting Radium On Clock Dials

After Glow - 90 Years Ago Workers At The Waterbury Clock Company Began Dying After Painting Radium On Clock Dials

The workers, mostly young women, used their mouthes to form sharp points on the brush that they would dip in and out of radium paint.

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Friday, 29 July 2016

A Heritage Site That's Out of This World

A Heritage Site That's Out of This World

This Apollo 11 poster will have you dreaming of a lunar vacation.

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The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists

Science is in big trouble. Or so we’re told. In the past several years, many scientists have become afflicted with a serious case of doubt — doubt in the very institution of science. As reporters covering medicine, psychology, climate change, and other areas of research, we wanted to understand this epidemic of doubt. So we sent scientists a survey asking this simple question: If you could change one thing about how science works today, what would it be and why?

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Sea Slug? Disco Ball? Beautiful Deep-Sea Purple Blob Puzzles Scientists

Sea Slug? Disco Ball? Beautiful Deep-Sea Purple Blob Puzzles Scientists

Researchers have found a curious purple orb near California's Channel Islands – and it's left them stumped.

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Here's What 'Free Will' Looks Like in Your Brain

Here's What 'Free Will' Looks Like in Your Brain

Scientists have for the first time watched the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike in brain imaging studies where researchers wat

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Scientists find cancer in million-year-old fossil

Scientists find cancer in million-year-old fossil

Cancer may not be so modern after all. Though we typically think of it as a new affliction attributed to bad habits, bad luck or longevity, a surprising discovery has revealed that the disease existed in human ancestors more than a million years ago. Scientists have found evidence of cancer in a foot bone and spine from two ancient hominin specimens in South Africa.

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Reef sharks in French Polynesia rely on annual mass grouper spawning for food

Reef sharks in French Polynesia rely on annual mass grouper spawning for food

Up to 900 reef sharks survive in one of the most untouched reef environments in the world, researchers have found.

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Climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming

Climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming

For those of us who are concerned about global warming, two of the most critical questions we ask are, “how fast is the Earth warming?” and “how much will it warm in the future?”. The first question can be answered in a number of ways. For instance, we can actually measure the rate of energy increase in the Earth’s system (primarily through measuring changing ocean temperatures). Alternatively, we can measure changes in the net inflow of heat at the top of the atmosphere using satellites. We can also measure the rate of sea-level rise to get an estimate of the warming rate.

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Likely a Massive Heat Source

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Likely a Massive Heat Source

New NASA-funded research suggests that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be the mysterious heat source behind Jupiter’s surprisingly high upper atmospheric temperatures. By Tricia Talbert.

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Here’s What Hypnosis Does To Your Brain

Here’s What Hypnosis Does To Your Brain

Though many people associate hypnotism with second-rate magicians, the practice is in fact supported by a large number of clinicians and neuroscientists wh

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Orangutan ‘copies human speech’

Orangutan ‘copies human speech’

An orangutan copying sounds made by researchers offers new clues to how human speech evolved, scientists say.

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This Physics Pioneer Walked Away from It All

This Physics Pioneer Walked Away from It All

Why Fotini Markopoulou traded quantum gravity for industrial design. By Sally Davies

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The Veggie Burger of the Future Cost $80M to Invent — And Carnivores Will Be Impressed

The Veggie Burger of the Future Cost $80M to Invent — And Carnivores Will Be Impressed

While many types of veggie burgers are made with thought and care, most come out like a weirdly textured, flavorless puck that tastes like anything but real meat. But one company has done what used to seem like the impossible: create an entirely plant-based burger that could probably fool most carnivores. Appropriately called the "Impossible Burger," the beefy, but beef-free creation is available at chef David Chang's New York City restaurant Nishi.

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Scientists may have found a way to extend the shelf life of milk to two months

Scientists may have found a way to extend the shelf life of milk to two months

Milk, the first thing mammals consume after birth, is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. But it doesn’t keep very long. That’s because raw milk is also full of bacteria. How long it stays fresh depends on how it’s treated. Most supermarket milk has been pasteurized and if unopened can keep in the fridge for around a week. Milk that is heated to temperatures above 135ÂșC (275 °F) can keep as long as six months at room temperature if unopened. But ultra-high temperature milk doesn’t taste very good.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

English Bulldogs Have Reached a Genetic Dead End

English Bulldogs Have Reached a Genetic Dead End

An upsetting new analysis now shows that these stocky, wrinkly-faced dogs lack the genetic diversity required to improve the breed.

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Are We the Only Animals That Understand Ignorance?

Are We the Only Animals That Understand Ignorance?

Two psychologists argue that while apes and monkeys can think about the minds of others, they lack one crucial ability that only humans have. By Ed Yong.

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Tesla's entire future depends on the Gigafactory

Tesla's entire future depends on the Gigafactory

When you find yourself in the middle of the Nevada desert, on a 100-degree day, you wonder: who in the world would build something here? Elon Musk, of course. And so I’m here in the city of Sparks, outside of Reno, because of Musk’s dream — his "Master Plan" for Tesla, to be specific. He’s staked his entire company (and much of his net worth) on a single, enormous building here: the Gigafactory. Tesla's Gigafactory is perhaps the best example of the literal scale of Elon Musk's ambitions. When the factory is complete, it will be the largest building in the world by footprint and, if all goes according to plan, will eventually...

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E-cigarettes emit toxic vapors: Study

E-cigarettes emit toxic vapors: Study

All electronic cigarettes emit harmful chemicals, and levels of those toxic compounds are affected by factors such as temperature, type and age of the device, a new study finds. The findings could be important to both makers of e-cigarettes and regulators who want to reduce the health threat posed by the devices, according to researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. "Advocates of e-cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes, so you're better off using e-cigarettes,"...

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Warnings of imminent extinction crisis for largest wild animal species

Warnings of imminent extinction crisis for largest wild animal species

A team of conservation biologists is calling for a worldwide strategy to prevent the unthinkable: the extinction of the world's largest mammal species.

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They Promised Us Jet Packs. They Promised the Bosses Profit

They Promised Us Jet Packs. They Promised the Bosses Profit

Alphabet’s X research lab is still being asked to imagine the impossible. Only now, under pressure from investors, it has to imagine making money, too. By Conor Dougherty. (July 23, 2016)

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The unfolding water crisis at the Third Pole

The unfolding water crisis at the Third Pole

At the top of the world a climate disaster is unfolding that threatens the lives of more than a billion people. By Matthew Carney.

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What we learnt from reading people’s dreams

What we learnt from reading people’s dreams

Humans have been collecting records of dreams for years. But what do these archives of our nightly visions tell us about the human mind? And can modern technology help to unravel them? By Chris Baraniuk.

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Two new highly adorned spiky ant species discovered in New Guinea

Two new highly adorned spiky ant species discovered in New Guinea

The distinctive dorsal spines found on two new species of highly adorned Pheidole ants may help to support the ants' massive heads, according to a study published July 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Eli Sarnat, Georg Fischer and Evan Economo from the Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University, Japan.

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Scientists think they've found a hormone that reverses cell ageing in humans

Scientists think they've found a hormone that reverses cell ageing in humans

Scientists have identified a male hormone that reverses cell ageing, potentially setting up new treatments to counter diseases caused by cells getting old and worn out.

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Your Terrifying Dreams Could Be Rehearsal for Real Life

Your Terrifying Dreams Could Be Rehearsal for Real Life

Once, I dreamed I was at a man’s funeral. According to the deceased’s instructions, each of his toes were to be buried in tiny, individual coffins. When I woke up, I wondered, “What could it mean?”… By Jim Davies.

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A British artist spent 10 years teaching this robot how to draw, and it totally shows

A British artist spent 10 years teaching this robot how to draw, and it totally shows

Although Patrick Tresset still regards himself an artist, he no longer paints. He still produces portraits, but doesn’t draw them with his hands. Tresset instead has turned to robotics, creating a computational system that is “artistic, expressive, and obsessive” in its ability to draw, reports Make. More than just a copy machine, Tresset’s robots are designed with an “autonomous artistic creativity” that makes them capable of producing “objects that are considered as artworks.”

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Student creates glove that reduces Parkinson's tremors by 80%

Student creates glove that reduces Parkinson's tremors by 80%

According to GyroGear, a startup created to develop the product, bench tests show that the special glove, called GyroGlove, was able to reduce the amplitude of tremors by 80%. This degree of efficiency would allow victims of severe cases of the disease write, use cutlery and drink coffee using the invention.

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The Average Legal Pot User Spends $647 a Year on Weed

The Average Legal Pot User Spends $647 a Year on Weed

Increasingly lax marijuana legislation may be cheered loudest in college dorms, but it's the professor-aged ganja enthusiasts who are the average consumers of the legal stuff. Headset Inc., a cannabis intelligence firm, reviewed about 40,000 legal marijuana purchases made in Washington State from September 2014 to July 2016. The Seattle-based company determined that the average recreational weed consumer is a 37-year-old man who buys traditional marijuana buds.

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Leading insecticide cuts bee sperm by almost 40%, study shows

Leading insecticide cuts bee sperm by almost 40%, study shows

Discovery provides possible explanation for increasing deaths of honeybees in recent years, according to scientists. By Damian Carrington.

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Transgender Identity Is Not a Mental Health Disorder, Study Finds

Transgender Identity Is Not a Mental Health Disorder, Study Finds

A new study in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry finds that "distress and dysfunction" often reported by transgender people results from stigmatization. People who identify as transgender should not be considered to have a mental health disorder, according to a new study from Mexico. The World Health Organization currently lists transgender identity as a mental health disorder, and the new study is the first in a series of research aimed at finding out whether this categorization is apt. The study will be repeated in Brazil, France, India, Lebanon and South Africa, according to the researchers.

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Lockheed Martin’s ‘spider’ robot searches airships for tiny holes, then patches them

Lockheed Martin’s ‘spider’ robot searches airships for tiny holes, then patches them

The airship industry is not a huge one, but it could be far more lucrative for those involved if there was a cheap and easy way to patch holes in them. Fortunately Lockheed Martin is right on top of that, as it’s developed a new “spider” robot to clamber all over the airship’s envelope and discover tiny holes in it, before automatically patching them up itself. Repairs are a major problem for airship running. With even the tiniest of holes, much of the craft’s efficiency is lost, so keeping the envelope (the big air sack on top of the ship) air-tight is incredibly important.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

You're taking care of someone with Alzheimer's, but who is taking care of you?

You're taking care of someone with Alzheimer's, but who is taking care of you?

After Ronald Reagan became America's most recognizable Alzheimer's patient, well-meaning friends, relatives and even strangers would routinely stop his daughter, Patti Davis, to ask: "How is he doing?" Only occasionally would someone ask, "And how are you doing?"

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Earth 2100 with subtitles

Earth 2100 with subtitles

What could go wrong down the line if we don't tackle globe l warming right now.

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