Saturday, 19 August 2017

Sex redefined

Sex redefined

The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.

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Friday, 18 August 2017

One of the largest near-Earth asteroids will sweep past us in September

One of the largest near-Earth asteroids will sweep past us in September

Asteroid Florence will fly by Earth on 1 September at a safe distance of seven million km or "18 Earth-Moon" distances. Florence is about 4.4km wide and is known to be one of the largest near-Earth asteroids according to Nasa. Near-Earth objects are heavenly bodies that enter the Earth's neighbourhood influenced by the gravity of nearby planets.

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How Exercise Could Help You Learn a New Language

How Exercise Could Help You Learn a New Language

Working out during a language class amplifies an adult’s ability to memorize, retain and understand new vocabulary.

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Physicists Detect Radio Waves With Light

Physicists Detect Radio Waves With Light

he detection of weak radio signals is a ubiquitous problem in the modern world. Everything from NMR imaging and radio astronomy to navigation and communication depends on picking up faint radio signals that would have been undetectable just a few decades ago. That’s why many groups are racing to find better ways to spot these signals and to process them using state-of-the-art techniques.

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Rock Art in Chaco Canyon May Depict Ancient Solar Eclipse, Experts Say

Rock Art in Chaco Canyon May Depict Ancient Solar Eclipse, Experts Say

Experts say a petroglyph in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon may depict a solar eclipse from 920 years ago.

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Scientists Have Developed a New Method to 3D-Print Living Tissue

Scientists Have Developed a New Method to 3D-Print Living Tissue

The technique could eliminate one of the biggest problems in bioprinting.

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Huge Blobs of Fat and Trash Are Filling the World’s Sewers

Huge Blobs of Fat and Trash Are Filling the World’s Sewers

First, someone might pour molten turkey fat down a drain. A few blocks away, someone else might flush a wet wipe down a toilet. When the two meet in a dank sewer pipe, a baby fatberg is born. Eventually, more fat, oil, and grease congeal onto the mess and build up into giant stinking globs. When they get big enough, fatbergs can clog sewers entirely, sending raw sewage gushing into streets. By the time a 15-ton monstrosity was pulled from the sewers of London’s Kingston borough in 2013...

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Australian researchers report breakthrough in treatment of peanut allergy

Australian researchers report breakthrough in treatment of peanut allergy

Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible. In clinical trials conducted by scientists at Melbourne's Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, children with peanut allergies were given a probiotic along with small doses of a peanut protein over an 18-month period.

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

California scientists push to create massive climate-research programme

California scientists push to create massive climate-research programme

California has a history of going it alone to protect the environment. Now, as US President Donald Trump pulls back on climate science and policy, scientists in the Golden State are sketching plans for a home-grown climate-research institute — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

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More intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes

More intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes

Smart people tend to perform better at work, earn more money, be physically healthier, and be less likely to subscribe to authoritarian beliefs. But a new paper reveals that a key aspect of intelligence – a strong “pattern-matching” ability, which helps someone readily learn a language, understand how another person is feeling or spot a stock market trend to exploit – has a darker side: it also makes that person more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes.

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Hyundai Plans Long-Range Premium Electric Car in Strategic Shift

Hyundai Plans Long-Range Premium Electric Car in Strategic Shift

Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it was placing electric vehicles at the center of its product strategy - one that includes plans for a premium long-distance electric car as it seeks to catch up to Tesla and other rivals.

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Living on Mars: the Stuff You Never Thought About

Living on Mars: the Stuff You Never Thought About

In The Martian we saw what kind of hacking was needed to stay alive for a relatively short while on Mars, but what if you were trying to live there permanently?

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Chemists Say You Should Add A Little Water To Your Whiskey. Here's Why

Chemists Say You Should Add A Little Water To Your Whiskey. Here's Why

It's a common refrain from whiskey enthusiasts: Adding a few drops of water to a glass opens up the flavors of the drink. Chemists in Sweden provide a molecular explanation for why this works.

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NASA will stream incredible 360-degree video of the eclipse — and you can watch it live on Facebook

NASA will stream incredible 360-degree video of the eclipse — and you can watch it live on Facebook

When you open Facebook on Monday, a special message about the 2017 total solar eclipse will promote NASA's live-streaming video feeds.

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“Alternative” medicine’s toll on cancer patients: Death rate up to 5X higher

“Alternative” medicine’s toll on cancer patients: Death rate up to 5X higher

Researchers hope the data will guide patients to effective treatments.

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'Jellyfish' Galaxies Reveal Feeding Habits of Monster Black Holes

'Jellyfish' Galaxies Reveal Feeding Habits of Monster Black Holes

Glowing "jellyfish" galaxies have revealed a new way to power some of the most powerful objects in the universe. The same process that feeds the most voracious black holes at the galactic centers may also create dangling "tentacles" of newborn stars, a new study found.

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Lost to Science for 60 Years, Táchira Antpitta Is Rediscovered in Venezuelan Andes

Lost to Science for 60 Years, Táchira Antpitta Is Rediscovered in Venezuelan Andes

Jhonathan Miranda never expected to be into birds. But when the Venezuelan biologist got a job at a bird lab as a university student, he set his mind to learning as much as he could about the class Aves. As he organized trips around the country, one particular species lodged in his mind: the Táchira Antpitta, a round, leggy brown bird a little longer than a pencil.

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You could use a banana to work your touch screen … if you wanted to

You could use a banana to work your touch screen … if you wanted to

How do touch screens work? And why do bananas work just as well as your finger but pens don't?

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400 million year old fish fossil reveals jaw structure linked to humans

400 million year old fish fossil reveals jaw structure linked to humans

A new study from ANU on a 400 million year old fish fossil has found a jaw structure that is part of the evolutionary lineage linked to humans. The fossil comes from ancient limestones around Lake Burrinjuck, 50 kilometres northwest of Canberra. The area is rich in fossil shells and corals, but also home to the rare skulls of extinct armoured fish called placoderms.

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Mythbusting Ancient Rome -- did all roads actually lead there?

Mythbusting Ancient Rome -- did all roads actually lead there?

Today the phrase 'all roads leads to Rome' means that there's more than one way to reach the same goal. But in Ancient Rome, all roads really did lead to the eternal city, which was at the centre of a vast road network.

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MH370: satellite images show 'probably man-made' objects floating in sea

MH370: satellite images show 'probably man-made' objects floating in sea

Drift analysis of debris reveals new coordinates for potential impact location

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Will AI Blur the Lines Between Physical and Virtual Reality?

Will AI Blur the Lines Between Physical and Virtual Reality?

These advances raise practical questions we have never had to address before.

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Archaeologists discover three ancient tombs in Egypt

Archaeologists discover three ancient tombs in Egypt

Archaeologists have discovered three tombs that date back around 2,000 years in southern Egypt. They were found in burial grounds in the Al-Kamin al-Sahrawi area in Minya province, south of Cairo. The tombs contained a collection of different sarcophagi, or stone coffins, as well as clay fragments.

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Harrowdown Hill

Harrowdown Hill

Thom Yorke

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Why expensive wine appears to taste better

Why expensive wine appears to taste better

Price labels influence our liking of wine: The same wine tastes better to participants when it is labeled with a higher price tag. Scientists from the INSEAD Business School and the University of Bonn have discovered that the decision-making and motivation center in the brain plays a pivotal role in such price biases. The medial prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum are particularly involved in this. The results have now been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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The Snopes Fight Is Even Way More Complicated Than We Originally Explained

The Snopes Fight Is Even Way More Complicated Than We Originally Explained

If you read our post a few weeks ago about the very messy legal fight between Snopes and Proper Media, you may recall that we spent many, many words explaining how the story was way, way, way more complicated than most in the media were portraying it...

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Popular Neonicotinoid Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs

Popular Neonicotinoid Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs

A new study is adding to evidence that a popular class of pesticides can harm wild bees, like bumblebees.

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The ocean is the answer to future food security but we’re not using it: scientists

The ocean is the answer to future food security but we’re not using it: scientists

The vast majority of coastal countries on Earth are missing out on a valuable resource to ensure future food security, according to newly published research. Published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the research has found that the world’s oceans contain numerous “hot spots” for marine aquaculture, or ocean-based fish farms, which could produce 15 billion tonnes of fish every year: over 100 times current seafood consumption globally.

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Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine - BBC News

Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine - BBC News

A breakthrough could lead to easier, faster and cheaper vaccines.

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The climate and air-quality benefits of wind and solar power in the United States

The climate and air-quality benefits of wind and solar power in the United States

Wind and solar energy reduce combustion-based electricity generation and provide air-quality and greenhouse gas emission benefits. These benefits vary dramatically by region and over time. From 2007 to 2015, solar and wind power deployment increased rapidly while regulatory changes and fossil fuel price changes led to steep cuts in overall power-sector emissions.

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'Fat but fit' are at increased risk of heart disease

'Fat but fit' are at increased risk of heart disease

Carrying extra weight could raise your risk of heart attack by more than a quarter, even if you are otherwise healthy. Researchers have found that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by up to 28 per cent compared to those with a healthy bodyweight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

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High-quality online video with less rebuffering

High-quality online video with less rebuffering

CSAIL’s machine-learning system enables smoother streaming that can better adapt to different network conditions.

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Poo transplants beyond the yuck factor: what works, what doesn't and what we still don't know

Poo transplants beyond the yuck factor: what works, what doesn't and what we still don't know

There's growing evidence poo transplants can work for some conditions, including a type of diarrhoea. But they're not for everyone.

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Data Shows China's Stunning Rise in Science and Technology Research

Data Shows China's Stunning Rise in Science and Technology Research

Data from the 2016 US National Science Foundation report [PDF] on global Science & Engineering Indicators shows the stunning ascendancy of China’s research and development funding and output. The report paints a sobering picture for the future of US leadership in science, showing that China is graduating more scientists, rapidly increasing the quality of its research and even more rapidly increasing its research and development funding.

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Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse

Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse

Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research. “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said study senior author Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

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The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This Bizarre, Completely White Moose

The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This Bizarre, Completely White Moose

Last Friday, Hans Nilsson in Sweden finally caught sight of an elusive creature he'd been trying to capture on film for three years straight.

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Monday, 14 August 2017

'Dying together was their deepest wish': Couple, 91, die in rare double euthanasia  

'Dying together was their deepest wish': Couple, 91, die in rare double euthanasia  

An elderly couple died holding hands surrounded by loved ones in a rare double euthanasia. Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, died in their hometown of Didam, in the Netherlands, after 65 years of marriage. The couple both suffered from deteriorating physical health over the past five years, with Mr Elderhorst left with reduced mobility after a stroke in 2012.

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How Big is the Biggest Possible Planet?

How Big is the Biggest Possible Planet?

Last week, a team of astronomers reported the first potential discovery of an exomoon–a satellite orbiting a planet around another star. Part of what is so striking about the report is the scale of this possible planet-moon system. In this case, the “moon” appears to be about the size of Neptune; the planet it orbits is some 10 times the mass of Jupiter, or about 3,000 times the mass of Earth!

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Men, Listen Up: Women Like The Smell Of Guys Who Eat A Certain Diet

Men, Listen Up: Women Like The Smell Of Guys Who Eat A Certain Diet

What we eat can influence more than our waistlines. It turns out, our diets also help determine what we smell like. A recent study found that women preferred the body odor of men who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables. Whereas men who ate a lot of refined carbohydrates (think: bread, pasta) gave off a smell that was less appealing.

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Paralyzed To Bmx Bike Riding In 10 Months!

Paralyzed To Bmx Bike Riding In 10 Months!

In honor of this milestone I said that I would get back on my BMX bike and ride at my skate park for the first time since my accident 10 months ago when I broke my neck, smashed my skull, had three brain bleeds, and was expected to be paralyzed from the neck down! I have been so lucky throughout my recovery but this video proves that there is light at the end of every dark tunnel you just need the will and determination to find it.

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Knee arthritis has doubled since 1950 for mysterious reasons

Knee arthritis has doubled since 1950 for mysterious reasons

The researchers don’t yet know the cause, but it likely involved fitness and diet.

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SpaceX successfully launches and recovers Falcon 9 for CRS-12

SpaceX successfully launches and recovers Falcon 9 for CRS-12

SpaceX has successfully launched yet another rocket, this one carrying a Dragon capsule loaded with over 6,400 pounds of cargo destined for the International..

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Un-bustable myths and stubborn minds: Pro-vaccine efforts backfire

Un-bustable myths and stubborn minds: Pro-vaccine efforts backfire

Striking at a myth with facts may only shore it up, a new study suggests. Researchers found that three main intervention strategies for combating anti-vaccine lies and falsehoods were ineffective at changing minds. But perhaps more concerning, they found that over-time exposure to the interventions strengthened participants’ belief in those lies and falsehoods, researchers recently reported in PLOS One. The researchers speculate that the mere repetition of a myth during the process of debunking may be enough to entrench the myth in a believer’s mind.

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A Molecule in Bees' Royal Jelly Promotes Wound Healing

A Molecule in Bees' Royal Jelly Promotes Wound Healing

Honey and other bee products have a life-giving, almost mystical quality according to alternative medicine practitioners and "back to nature" enthusiasts. In truth, they don't. Bee colonies aren't tiny pharmaceutical companies. Sure, honey tastes good, but from a chemistry standpoint, honey isn't all that different from high-fructose corn syrup.

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Poison once flowed in America's waters. With Trump, it might again | Peter Gleick

Poison once flowed in America's waters. With Trump, it might again | Peter Gleick

As a scientist working for decades on national and global water and climate challenges, I must speak out against what I see as an assault on America’s water resources. I grew up in New York in the 1960s hearing about massive Polychlorinated Biphenyl – a toxic chemical used as a coolant – contamination in the Hudson River and the threatened extinction of bald eagles and ospreys from eating contaminated fish.

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Antarctica declared world's most volcanic region as 91 new cones found beneath ice

Antarctica declared world's most volcanic region as 91 new cones found beneath ice

Awaken not the Elder Things, lest they and their shoggoths again battle foul Cthulhu

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Ancient ocean deoxygenation provides an urgent warning

Ancient ocean deoxygenation provides an urgent warning

A 94-million-year-old climate change event that severely imperiled marine organisms may provide some unnerving insights into long-term trends in our modern oceans, according to a Florida State University researcher. In a study published today in the journal Science Advances, Assistant Professor of Geology Jeremy Owens traces a 50,000-year period of ocean deoxygenation preceding an ancient climate event that dramatically disturbed global ocean chemistry and led to the extinction of many marine organisms. He also draws parallels to similar rates of oxygen depletion observed in our contemporary oceans.

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Researchers Enable Lab-Grade Medical Tests on Smartphones

Researchers Enable Lab-Grade Medical Tests on Smartphones

In a major step towards creating a tricorder, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have invented a device that allows smartphones to perform the kinds of lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that previously had to be done on large and expensive instruments. The device, called a spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer, plugs into a smartphone and is able to run tests on a patient’s blood, urine, or saliva as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars. The researchers say their TRI Analyzer costs only $550.

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Your Brain Really Can Form New Memories While You Sleep

Your Brain Really Can Form New Memories While You Sleep

A sleeping brain can form fresh memories, according to a team of neuroscientists. The researchers played complex sounds to people while they were sleeping, and afterward the sleepers could recognise those sounds when they were awake. The idea that humans can learn while asleep, a concept sometimes called hypnopaedia, has a long and odd history. It hit a particularly strange note in 1927, when New York inventor A. B. Saliger debuted the Psycho-phone. He billed the device as an "automatic suggestion machine."

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Kahneman's Mind-Clarifying System(s)

Kahneman's Mind-Clarifying System(s)

Feeling IS fast thinking. And emotions aren't always guilty of being irrational. Whenever pondering minds, always bear in mind Daniel Kahneman’s teachings on the brain.

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