Monday, 16 September 2019

Here’s what happened in the impact crater the day it did in the dinos

Here’s what happened in the impact crater the day it did in the dinos

Geology is a big science. The Earth is a large enough place today, but when you stretch the fourth dimension back across many millions of years, the largeness can get out of hand. Because we lose a lot of detail to the ravages of time, it's very difficult for geology to get small again—to tell us about what happened in individual locations or over short periods of time.

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How do you leave a warning that lasts as long as nuclear waste?

How do you leave a warning that lasts as long as nuclear waste?

In January 1997, the crew of a fishing vessel in the Baltic Sea found something unusual in their nets: a greasy yellowish-brown lump of clay-like material. They pulled it out, placed it on deck and returned to processing their catch. The next day, the crew fell ill with serious skin burns. Four were hospitalized. The greasy lump was a substance called yperite, better known as sulfur mustard or mustard gas, solidified by the temperature on the sea bed.

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Meet the “artificial embryos” being called uncanny and spectacular

Meet the “artificial embryos” being called uncanny and spectacular

Researchers are getting close to manufacturing viable human embryos from stem cells. They say there needs to be a law against turning them into people.

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Sunday, 15 September 2019

LA is going to get cheap nighttime power from a massive solar and battery array in the Mojave

LA is going to get cheap nighttime power from a massive solar and battery array in the Mojave

LA's next source of energy: a massive solar panel and lithium battery array in the Mojave, operated by 8minute Solar Energy, and capable of supplying 6-7% of the city's energy budget, with four hours of nighttime use. It will cost an eye-poppingly low $0.03.3/kWh, cheaper than natural gas.

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Not just the bees, first-of-its-kind study shows neonics may be killing birds too

Not just the bees, first-of-its-kind study shows neonics may be killing birds too

In addition to devastating effects on bee populations and the pollination needed to feed humans and other species, widely-used pesticides chemically related to nicotine may be deadly to birds and linked to some species' declines, according to a new study.

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Scientists detect tones in the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time

Scientists detect tones in the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time

If Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds true, then a black hole, born from the cosmically quaking collisions of two massive black holes, should itself “ring” in the aftermath, producing gravitational waves much like a struck bell reverbates sound waves. Einstein predicted that the particular pitch and decay of these gravitational waves should be a direct signature of the newly formed black hole’s mass and spin.

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Why Do Only Some People Get 'Skin Orgasms' From Listening to Music?

Why Do Only Some People Get 'Skin Orgasms' From Listening to Music?

Have you ever been listening to a great piece of music and felt a chill run up your spine? Or goosebumps tickle your arms and shoulders? The experience is called frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning “aesthetic chills,” and it feels like waves of pleasure running all over your skin. Some researchers have even dubbed it a “skin orgasm.”

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Decline of migrating birds could be partly due to pesticides

Decline of migrating birds could be partly due to pesticides

It’s not just bees that are being harmed by the pesticides called neonicotinoids, it’s birds too. A study in Canada has shown that migrating white-crowned sparrows lose weight just hours after eating seeds treated with the neocotinoid imidacloprid, delaying their onward migration by several days. Although the main manufacturer of the pesticide disputes the findings.

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Tampa Bay's Water Is Home to More Than 4 Billion Bits of Microplastic, Study Finds

Tampa Bay's Water Is Home to More Than 4 Billion Bits of Microplastic, Study Finds

There are at least 4 billion bits of microplastic floating in Tampa Bay, according to a new study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin. It can be hard to quantify just how much pollution there is in any given place, since it’s so omnipresent. But the study by Florida researchers appears to provide a horrifying, if round, figure for this specific harbor.

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Timely intervention: how Doctor Who shapes public attitudes to science

Timely intervention: how Doctor Who shapes public attitudes to science

The first peer-reviewed survey of Doctor Who fans' attitudes to science reveals it was literally life-changing TV for some. But the verdicts were surprisingly nuanced and sometimes contradictory.

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Saturday, 14 September 2019

'Time outs' don't do any harm, parents told

'Time outs' don't do any harm, parents told

Using "time outs" to discipline children is not going to harm them or your relationship with them, US research suggests. Despite criticism of the "naughty step" strategy, children's anxiety did not increase and neither did their aggressive behaviour, the eight-year study of families found. But a UK psychologist said the key was how the technique was used.

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Strong Student-Adult Relationships Lower Suicide Attempts in High Schools

Strong Student-Adult Relationships Lower Suicide Attempts in High Schools

High schools where students are more connected to peers and adult staff, and share strong relationships with the same adults, have lower rates of suicide attempts, according to a new study published by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Study says renewable energy power plants will overtake natural-gas plants by 2035

Study says renewable energy power plants will overtake natural-gas plants by 2035

Natural gas is a behemoth in Pennsylvania in terms of production, consumption, and electricity generation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas is the top form of energy consumption in the state, and about 40 percent of electricity in Pennsylvania is generated from natural gas, just behind nuclear energy. Nationwide, natural gas is the single largest share of electricity production.

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Rats love to play hide and seek, scientists find

Rats love to play hide and seek, scientists find

Rats can be taught to play hide and seek -- and they squeal with joy when they win, scientists have found.

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The Desert Soil that could Save Lives

The Desert Soil that could Save Lives

Chile’s desiccated Atacama Desert was once considered a dead zone, but it hides great riches that could help us tackle a major threat to human health.

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Scientists to test antibiotic cure for recurring miscarriages in major new trial

Scientists to test antibiotic cure for recurring miscarriages in major new trial

Recurring miscarriages may be caused by an underlying infection, scientists believe, as they launched a major trial to find if the problem can be cured with a simple course of antibiotics. Around 14,000 couples each year in England and Wales experience two or more consecutive miscarriages, yet the reason has proved elusive.

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This clean energy invention runs on nothing but cold, night air

This clean energy invention runs on nothing but cold, night air

A new thermoelectric generator could bring light to one billion people who live without power...if market forces will let it.

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Friday, 13 September 2019

Some cancer drugs miss their target. CRISPR could improve their aim

Some cancer drugs miss their target. CRISPR could improve their aim

Method that generated drug leads may be flawed

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An interstellar comet looks to be heading our way

An interstellar comet looks to be heading our way

A comet first spotted by a Ukrainian amateur astronomer looks to be just the second known object to visit our cosmic neighborhood from beyond the solar system. What could be an even bigger deal is that this one was discovered as it's still approaching us. Before you freak out: No, there doesn't appear to be any risk that the comet will collide with Earth.

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Seven Positive Childhood Experiences with Adulthood Benefits

Seven Positive Childhood Experiences with Adulthood Benefits

Adults who self-report more positive childhood experiences (PCEs) tend to have a lower likelihood of clinical depression or poor adult mental health — and a higher probability of healthy adulthood interpersonal relationships — according to a new survey-based study from Johns Hopkins University.

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Scientist Suggests Smashing Asteroid Into Mars To Make It Habitable

Scientist Suggests Smashing Asteroid Into Mars To Make It Habitable

Taking inspiration from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson came up with a drastic plan to make Mars habitable for humans. According to Tyson, redirecting an asteroid or comet and intentionally crashing it into Mars could make the Red Planet more livable.

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Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

Worms fail to thrive in earth containing microplastics, new research has shown, adding to the growing body of evidence of impacts from the increasingly widespread contaminants on the natural world. The rosy-tipped earthworm, Aporrectodea rosea, is one of the most common found in farmland in temperate regions.

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Barcelona's car-free 'superblocks' could save hundreds of lives

Barcelona's car-free 'superblocks' could save hundreds of lives

Report predicts radical scheme could cut air pollution by a quarter as other cities including Seattle prepare to follow suit

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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Scientists Succeed in Creating Northern White Rhino Embryos

Scientists Succeed in Creating Northern White Rhino Embryos

The species is down to just two animals worldwide, both of them female.

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How Companies Benefit When Employees Work Remotely

How Companies Benefit When Employees Work Remotely

Companies that let their workers decide where and when to do their jobs—whether in another city or in the middle of the night—increase employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, new research suggests.

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A Boy Ate Only Chips And French Fries For 10 Years. This Is What Happened To His Eyes.

A Boy Ate Only Chips And French Fries For 10 Years. This Is What Happened To His Eyes.

This case is based on publication in literature by Harrison R, Warburton V, Lux A, Atan D. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Sep 3.

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Cyberloafing can buffer some of the negative effects of workplace aggression

Cyberloafing can buffer some of the negative effects of workplace aggression

New research suggests that employees use cyberloafing to cope with abusive and stressful workplace conditions, such as being treated in a disrespectful manner or facing unreasonable deadlines. The findings appear in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

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Footprints left in sand dune by Neanderthal family, including toddler

Footprints left in sand dune by Neanderthal family, including toddler

Hundreds of footprints, left on a sand dune in France by Neanderthal children 80,000 years ago, reveal a snapshot of Stone Age family life.

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Scientists extract oldest ever genetic information from 1.7 million-year-old rhino tooth

Scientists extract oldest ever genetic information from 1.7 million-year-old rhino tooth

‘We have a solution that allows us to generate information beyond the limit of ancient DNA and can be applied to any large mammal species’

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Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity’s Ancestor, on a Computer

Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity’s Ancestor, on a Computer

By comparing fossils and CT scans, researchers say they have reconstructed the skull of the last common forebear of modern humans.

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Sleeping too much—or too little—boosts heart attack risk

Sleeping too much—or too little—boosts heart attack risk

Even if you are a non-smoker who exercises and has no genetic predisposition to cardiovascular disease, skimping on sleep—or getting too much of it—can boost your risk of heart attack, according to a new CU Boulder study of nearly a half-million people.

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Water found for first time on potentially habitable planet

Water found for first time on potentially habitable planet

Astronomers discover water in the atmosphere of a "habitable" planet orbiting a distant star.

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Scientists Find Evidence The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions

Scientists Find Evidence The Human Brain Can Create Structures in Up to 11 Dimensions

Back in 2017, neuroscientists used a classic branch of maths in a totally new way to peer into the structure of our brains.

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Explosions may have formed lakes on Saturn's moon Titan

Explosions may have formed lakes on Saturn's moon Titan

Climate change on Saturn's moon Titan may have caused liquid nitrogen pockets to explode, forming craters that filled with liquid hydrocarbons.

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Male bees blind their queen with their semen

Male bees blind their queen with their semen

New findings presented by the University of California, Riverside, demonstrate how male honeybees inject toxins during sex that cause temporary blindness in their mate. It is not a foreign concept that male insects have proteins in their seminal fluid that causes the death of other insect’s sperm. However, the function of blinding one’s mate is highly unusual.

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The World's Most Important Electric Car Is Launching Now, And It's Not A Porsche Or Tesla

The World's Most Important Electric Car Is Launching Now, And It's Not A Porsche Or Tesla

The electric version of Renault's low-cost Kwid is exactly the kind of car needed to drive global EV adoption, and it couldn't be more different from a Tesla.

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Alzheimer’s and Dementia Could Be Illnesses of the Past

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Could Be Illnesses of the Past

When researchers at the University of Kentucky compare brains donated from people who died with dementia, very rarely do they find one that bears only Alzheimer’s trademark plaques and tangles no other damage. If they do, “we call it a unicorn,” said Donna Wilcock, an Alzheimer’s specialist at the university’s aging center.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Over 250 Neanderthal Footprints Reveal Clues to the Ancient Humans' Social Lives

Over 250 Neanderthal Footprints Reveal Clues to the Ancient Humans' Social Lives

A group of preserved footprints in Normandy, France, are revealing new insights into the dynamics of Neanderthal social groups.

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A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked

A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked

For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake.

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The Silent Arrow is a massive glider delivery drone

The Silent Arrow is a massive glider delivery drone

It can carry up to 1,631 pounds of supplies to the battlefield.

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The Genetic Program That Governs the Birth of Vision

The Genetic Program That Governs the Birth of Vision

How is the retina formed? And how do neurons differentiate to become individual components of the visual system? By focusing on the early stages of this complex process, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, in collaboration with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), have identified the genetic programmes governing the birth of different types of retinal cells and their capacity to wire to the correct part of the brain, where they transmit visual information.

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The fall of coal and its pollution-linked deaths is boosting the economy

The fall of coal and its pollution-linked deaths is boosting the economy

Farming now produces more particulate pollution than electricity generation.

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Transplant organs can be supercooled to below zero for longer storage

Transplant organs can be supercooled to below zero for longer storage

A new technique cools human tissues to -4°C without forming ice crystals that damage cells, and could boost the number of organs available for transplant

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California passes law that prevents cities from taxing energy generated by solar rooftop projects

California passes law that prevents cities from taxing energy generated by solar rooftop projects

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law last week financial protections for consumer investments in rooftop solar energy. The law, AB 1208 authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), extends a prohibition on cities and counties taxing the energy generated by rooftop solar panels for use by homeowners and businesses.

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Doctors have put human livers in suspended animation

Doctors have put human livers in suspended animation

Researchers say they’ve successfully plunged human livers to subzero temperatures and then warmed them back up. The “supercooled” organs were still in good shape after 27 hours, adding nearly a day to how long livers can last outside the body. The research is part of a wider effort to learn how to keep organs operational outside the body for longer periods of time.

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Feeding the 11 billion: the small Dutch town ending our food crisis

Feeding the 11 billion: the small Dutch town ending our food crisis

Population growth and environmental catastrophe mean that the very future of humankind is threatened. In the Netherlands, a group of scientists is working on an urgent challenge: feeding the 11 billion

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Volocopter raises $55M led by Volvo owner Geely, sets 3-year timeline for its flying taxi service

Volocopter raises $55M led by Volvo owner Geely, sets 3-year timeline for its flying taxi service

The promise of flying cars has become an idea more synonymous with the tech world’s shortcomings than its exciting potential, but today one of the startups that has been focused on actually trying to make small, airborne vehicles a reality is announcing a fundraise and says it’s on track for a commercial launch in two to three years.

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Brain implants could allow companies and politicians to access thoughts and mood, Royal Society warns

Brain implants could allow companies and politicians to access thoughts and mood, Royal Society warns

Brain reading implants could allow companies, politicians or marketeers to access people’s thoughts and moods, the Royal Society has warned, as it called on the government to launch an urgent inquiry into the new technology to protect human rights. Several companies and labs are developing neural interface software, including Elon Musk who is planning human trials next year to insert electrodes into the brains of people with locked-in syndrome to help them communicate.

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Chinese scientists develop Alzheimer's drug that regulates gut bacteria

Chinese scientists develop Alzheimer's drug that regulates gut bacteria

Scientists in eastern China have discovered that a drug derived from seaweed can regulate bacteria in the human gut and could bring relief to patients suffering from mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

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Rare 'Micromoon' Is Gracing Us With Its Presence On Friday The 13th

Rare 'Micromoon' Is Gracing Us With Its Presence On Friday The 13th

Americans haven't seen a full harvest moon on the supposedly unlucky day since 2000. This one will be teeny.

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