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Readers Respond to the November 2016 Issue  

Letters to the editor from the November 2016 issue of Scientific American -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 21:33:46
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Kacific places order with Boeing for a high throughput satellite  

Singapore (SPX) Feb 22, 2017 Kacific Broadband Satellites Pte Ltd (Kacific) has ordered its Kacific-1 satellite from The Boeing Company (Boeing) based on the 702 satellite platform. This condominium satellite will be shared with JCSAT-18, ordered by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Kacific closed a US$147 million financing round in late 2016 with a mix of equity, debt and customer prepayments which covers the purchase of

2017-02-26 19:33:23
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NASA team develops modular avionics systems for small missions  

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Feb 27, 2017 In just two years' time, a team of NASA engineers accomplished what some thought impossible: the group created a smaller, more capable "brain" for smaller spacecraft. Led by Project Manager and Chief Engineer Noosha Haghani, who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the team leveraged years of knowledge gained during the development of NASA's Magnetospheric Mu

2017-02-26 18:44:21
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Towards more sustainable control of insect and mite pests  

Anisoplin, a new protein produced by a pathogenic fungus of insects and mites that provides new possibilities for the design of biotechnological tools to control pests, researchers have discovered.

2017-02-26 17:55:10
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Simple rule predicts when an ice age ends  

London, UK (SPX) Feb 24, 2017 A simple rule can accurately predict when Earth's climate warms out of an ice age, according to new research led by UCL. In a new study published in Nature, researchers from UCL (University College London), University of Cambridge and University of Louvain have combined existing ideas to solve the problem of which solar energy peaks in the last 2.6 million years led to the melting of the ice she

2017-02-26 17:06:20
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Rare 'Ring of Fire' eclipse to cross Southern Hemisphere  

Washington (UPI) Feb 25, 2017 The sky above parts of Earth's Southern Hemisphere will be illuminated Sunday in a "ring of fire" during the first solar eclipse of 2017, NASA said. The annular eclipse will be mainly visible near parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Chile, Argentina and Angola. Unlike a total solar eclipse, an annular eclipse happens when the moon is too far from the Earth to obscure the sun com

2017-02-26 16:30:32
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Mars More Earth-like than moon-like  

Mars' mantle may be more complicated than previously thought, report researchers. Their report documents geochemical changes over time in the lava flows of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province.

2017-02-26 16:11:32
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NASA to launch sequel to successful Lightning Study Mission  

Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 17, 2017 A hit Hollywood film often leads to a sequel. Sometimes those movies do well, but rarely will they eclipse the original. Undaunted by those odds, NASA is set to reboot a successful study of Earth's lightning from space - this time from the unique vantage point of the International Space Station (ISS). A team of Earth scientists at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama,

2017-02-26 15:52:29
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Novel amyloid structure could lead to new types of antibiotics  

Researchers have discovered unique amyloid fibers used by the highly drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterium (which causes MRSA). The findings could lead to new types of antibiotics with a novel mechanism of action for attacking bacterial toxins, they say.

2017-02-26 15:48:44
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U.K., France to upgrade long-range Storm Shadow missiles  

London (UPI) Feb 23, 2017 Defense ministers from Britain and France inked a $183 million deal with MBDA Missile Systems to upgrade existing air-launched, long-range missiles. Under the contract, MBDA will update the Storm Shadow missiles used by the U.K. Royal Air Force, and French armed forces. The agreement was signed by U.K. Defense Minister Harriett Baldwin and French counterpart Laurent Collet-Billon.

2017-02-26 15:23:04
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Trump's Departing NASA Liaison Urges Careful Vetting of Crewed Test Flight Idea  

The Trump administration's liaison to NASA, Greg Autry, is leaving his post. He urges careful study of an idea to launch astronauts on the first test flight of agency's Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule.

2017-02-26 14:35:59
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Exploding ice droplets  

A droplet of water freezing from the outside in shows an exciting series of rapid changes until it violently explodes, a new study demonstrates.

2017-02-26 14:03:09
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Unfortunately Game Over for Actor Bill Paxton who played Hudson in Aliens  

Actor Bill Paxton, age 61, has died due to complications from surgery.Bill Paxton had important roles in several of the best moviesHudson in AliensMorgan Earp in Tombstone (1993)Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995)the lead role in the 1996 hit Twister and Treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic (1997)John Garrett in the Shield TV showRead more »

2017-02-26 13:31:50
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Why Is It Significant That the White House Tours Resume?  

The tradition of an open house at the White House dates back to the administration of Thomas Jefferson. Why is this an important aspect of the American democratic process? -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 13:27:28
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MDA to Acquire DigitalGlobe  

San Francisco CA (SPX) Feb 27, 2017 MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd and DigitalGlobe, have announced a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe for US$35.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock. The transaction values DigitalGlobe at an equity value of approximately C$3.1 billion (US$2.4 billion), and an enterprise value of C$4.7 billion (US$3.6 billion), including assumption of

2017-02-26 12:40:51
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Vega flight opportunity for multiple small satellites  

Paris (ESA) Feb 27, 2017 Europe's Vega small launcher is set to demonstrate its extended capability to deploy multiple light satellites using its new versatile Small Satellites Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser, in the second half of 2018. This demonstration provides the first of the launch opportunities under the new Light satellite, Low-cost Launch opportunity (LLLor L3) Initiative initiated at the ESA Council Me

2017-02-26 12:34:17
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Broad cancer vaccine may be out of reach  

The high level of genetic diversity between individual tumors suggests that if it were to be developed, a broad cancer vaccine would be unlikely to work for more than 0.3 percent of the population, according to new research.

2017-02-26 12:03:12
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Using Twitter may increase food-poisoning reporting  

Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. citizens gets food poisoning every year, but very few report it. Twitter communications between the public and the proper government authorities could improve foodborne illness reporting as well as the steps that follow, according to a new study.

2017-02-26 11:57:04
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Kidney damage diagnosis may be inaccurate for many, suggests study  

An analysis of patient records reveals that, for many, an initial diagnosis of 'acute kidney injury' using current clinical diagnostic methods may have been inaccurate.

2017-02-26 11:22:09
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Does child survival make for smaller family sizes?  

Hans Rosling (1948-2017), physician and epidemiologist, famously upturned assumptions widely held by the public and by the development community — assumptions that, thanks to US President Donald Trump, are back in the spotlight. A recurring theme of Rosling's was that family sizes have been shrinking even though child survival rates have improved.Rosling's global statistics on total fertility rate and infant mortality rate do not indicate causality, neither are they necessarily corre...

2017-02-26 10:45:49
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Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health  

People living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to new research.

2017-02-26 10:19:08
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Can staying active help to prevent chronic pain? Physical activity affects pain modulation in older adults  

Older adults with higher levels of physical activity have pain modulation patterns that might help lower their risk of developing chronic pain, reports a study.

2017-02-26 10:11:23
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Sounding Rocket Flies in Alaska to Study Auroras  

Poker Flat Research Range AK (SPX) Feb 24, 2017 The first of four sounding rockets scheduled for launch from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska to examine the structure of auroras was launched at 5:14 a.m. EST, Feb. 22, 2017. The Black Brant IX sounding rocket carried instruments to an altitude of 225 miles as part of the Ionospheric Structuring: In Situ and Groundbased Low Altitude StudieS or ISINGLASS mission. ISINGLASS, includes

2017-02-26 10:09:25
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An Educator's Plea To Betsy DeVos  

A recently retired public school educator has some reasonable requests to make of our new Secretary Of Education. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 09:26:14
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Multidrug resistant bacteria found in hospital sinks  

Many recent reports have found multidrug resistant bacteria living in hospital sink drainpipes, putting them in close proximity to vulnerable patients. But how the bacteria find their way out of the drains, and into patients has been unclear. Now a team of scientists has charted their pathways.

2017-02-26 09:15:58
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Novel DNA vaccine design improves chances of inducing anti-tumor immunity  

Scientists have devised a novel DNA vaccine approach through molecular design to improve the immune responses elicited against one of the most important cancer antigen targets.

2017-02-26 09:13:58
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Diving deep into the dolphin genome could benefit human health  

A new database of bottlenose dolphin DNA and associated proteins just completed could possibly aid in dolphin care and research of human medical problems such as stroke and kidney failure.

2017-02-26 09:06:23
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Deep brain stimulation for patients with chronic anorexia is safe and might improve symptoms  

A small study in 16 people suggests that deep brain stimulation is safe and might help improve mood, anxiety and well-being, while increasing weight.

2017-02-26 08:36:14
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Researchers find new clues for nuclear waste cleanup  

A new study of the chemistry of technetium-99 has improved understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and could lead to better cleanup methods.

2017-02-26 08:35:45
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Big permanent moonbase by 2021 using Spacex and Bigelow has been the obvious non-corrupt choice for years  

Howard Bloom makes the obvious case that if NASA wants to return to the moon they need to ditch the Space Launch System and go with Spacex and the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 launchers.Nextbigfuture and any other honest source have pointed out that the Space Launch system is a massive waste of money.The combined development cost of the SLS and Orion will be at least $30 billion -- or about $3 billion a year spread out over at least 10 years. If you consider the operational life cycle of the progra

2017-02-26 08:19:32
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Never too late: Reaping the benefits of exercise in early postmenopause  

Women recently postmenopause have similar or improved benefits from physical activity, in terms of muscle and blood vessel function, as those premenopause. Therefore, early postmenopause might be a time when women can gain increased benefit from physical activity to oppose negative effects of oestrogen loss and aging.

2017-02-26 08:03:18
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NASA to Turn Over Apollo 11 Moon Rock Bag to Auction Winner, Per Court Order  

NASA, following a court order, will hand over a lunar sample bag to an Illinois woman who purchased the artifact at auction. The court's finding brings to an end an almost two-year dispute.

2017-02-26 07:56:13
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SpaceX delivers BAM-FX to ISS for Zero Gravity Solutions  

Boca Raton FL (SPX) Feb 27, 2017 Zero Gravity Solutions, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology public company commercializing its technology derived from and designed for Space with significant applications for agriculture on Earth, announced that its research experiment using its BAM-FXmicronutrient product was successfully delivered today to the International Space Station (ISS) on the SpaceXCRS-10 Dragon cargo resupply mission

2017-02-26 07:55:42
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These Fins Are Made For Walking  

The sea robin looks nothing like a robin -- or anything else, really. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 07:32:15
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New assay may lead to a cure for debilitating inflammatory joint disease  

Current treatments for rheumatoid arthritis relieve the inflammation that leads to joint destruction, but the immunologic defect that triggers the inflammation persists to cause relapses. Known as autoantibodies and produced by the immune system's B cells, these defective molecules mistakenly attack the body's own proteins in an example of autoimmune disease.

2017-02-26 07:25:06
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Paleo Profile: Mauricio Fernández's Plesiosaur  

An exceptionally complete skeleton offers a stunning look at this new marine reptile -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 06:53:41
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Diamonds that deliver  

Cutting-edge research and development can help solve some of the challenges associated with drug delivery, say researchers.

2017-02-26 06:07:13
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Melting polar ice, rising sea levels not only climate change dangers  

Climate change from political and ecological standpoints is a constant in the media and with good reason, suggests a new study, but proof of its impact is sometimes found in unlikely places.

2017-02-26 05:47:19
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New therapeutic targets identified for tropical disease leishmaniasis  

Each year, about 2 million people contract leishmaniasis, which results in disfiguring skin ulcers that may take months or years to heal and in rare cases can become metastatic, causing major tissue damage. Now a team of researchers has a promising target for treatment.

2017-02-26 05:45:09
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Effects of a poor diet during pregnancy may be reversed in female adolescent offspring  

Here's some good news if you are female: Research shows that in mice, what is eaten during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behavior and learning, and can even 'rescue' females from the negative effects on behavior resulting from a poor maternal diet during pregnancy.

2017-02-26 05:43:31
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Surprising Dunes on Comet Chury  

Paris, France (SPX) Feb 24, 2017 Surprising images from the Rosetta spacecraft show the presence of dune-like patterns on the surface of comet Chury. Researchers at the Laboratoire de Physique et Mecanique des Milieux Heterogenes (CNRS/ESPCI Paris/UPMC/Universite Paris Diderot) studied the available images and modeled the outgassing of vapor to try to explain the phenomenon. They show that the strong pressure difference b

2017-02-26 05:19:01
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Moon Blocks (Most of) the Sun in 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse  

A "ring of fire" appeared in the sky over parts of South America and Africa today (Feb. 26), during an annular solar eclipse.

2017-02-26 05:01:29
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NASA wind tunnel tests Lockheed Martin X-Plane concept  

Cleveland OH (SPX) Feb 27, 2017 Supersonic passenger airplanes are another step closer to reality as NASA and Lockheed Martin begin the first high-speed wind tunnel tests for the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane preliminary design at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The agency is testing a nine percent scale model of Lockheed Martin's X-plane design in Glenn's 8' x 6' Supersonic Wind Tunnel. During

2017-02-26 04:56:16
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United Arab Emirates Wants to Build a City on Mars  

The United Arab Emirates has the Red Planet in its sights, not only moving forward on a Mars orbiter but also establishing the first inhabitable human settlement on the planet by 2117.

2017-02-26 04:31:53
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Drugs similar to aspirin, ibuprofen could help treat sepsis, study suggests  

A potentially life-saving treatment for sepsis has been under our noses for decades in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) most people have in their medicine cabinets, a new study suggests.

2017-02-26 04:27:20
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Human neurons in mouse brains are more susceptible to Alzheimer's pathology  

Cells behave differently when removed from their environments, just as cells that develop in cultures do not behave like cells in living creatures. To study the effects of Alzheimer's disease in a more natural environment, scientists have successfully circumscribed this challenge by transplanting human neural cells into mouse brains containing amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. The results of their research showed that, unlike mouse neurons, human neurons that deve...

2017-02-26 04:19:01
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Bioprinter makes fully functional human skin  

Scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in collaboration with the firm BioDan Group, have presented a prototype for a 3D bioprinter that can create totally functional human skin. This skin is adequate for transplanting to patients or for use in research or the testing of cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical products. This research has recently been publi...

2017-02-26 04:07:09
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High levels of chemicals found in indoor cats  

A study has now established what was previously suspected, that the high levels of brominated flame retardants measured in cats are from the dust in our homes.

2017-02-26 03:56:23
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Clues to relationship between schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis  

A bioinformatics study identifies genetic variants with differing effects on risk of rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia.

2017-02-26 03:55:06
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CubeSats: Shaping Possibilities in Space  

Houston TX (SPX) Feb 24, 2017 For more than a decade, CubeSats, or small satellites, have paved the way to low-Earth orbit for commercial companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. These small satellites offer opportunities to conduct scientific investigations and technology demonstrations in space in such a way that is cost-effective, timely and relatively easy to accomplish. The cube-shaped sa

2017-02-26 03:30:12
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Space aggressors jam AF, allies' systems  

Schriever AFB CO (AFNS) Feb 24, 2017 The 26th Space Aggressor Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base is always gearing up for the next exercise in replicating enemy action against space-based and space-enabled systems. Teams of adversary subject matter experts regularly employ jamming techniques to train Air Force, joint and coalition personnel how to recognize, mitigate, counter and defeat threats. "Our mission is to train oth

2017-02-26 03:26:48
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In first, scientists forecast West Nile Virus outbreaks  

Scientists, for the first time, are reporting a method to accurately predict the timing and intensity of West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks.

2017-02-26 03:23:35
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Fossil Pigments Reveal the True Colors of Dinosaurs  

Long thought impossible, preservation of fossil pigments is allowing scientists to reconstruct extinct organisms with unprecedented accuracy—a feat that is yielding surprising insights into the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-26 03:06:57
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Elevated stress levels among Norway's youngest children in childcare  

Norwegian researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in 112 toddlers from 85 different childcare centers in six municipalities, approximately five months after they started attending. Children with the longest childcare days (8-9 hours) showed increases in cortisol during the day.

2017-02-26 02:43:24
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Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study  

New research suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters called prebiotics -- which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut -- can also have an impact, improving sleep and buffering the physiological impacts of stress.

2017-02-26 02:35:32
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Bored by physical therapy? Focus on citizen science instead  

Researchers have devised a method by which patients improved their repetitive rehabilitative exercises by contributing to scientific projects in which massive data collection and analysis is needed. The citizen science activity entailed the environmental mapping of a polluted body of water with a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled through physical gestures tracked by the Microsoft Kinect, a low-cost motion capture system.

2017-02-26 02:22:34
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Study supports change to FAST mnemonic for stroke  

A retrospective study indicates that missed stroke diagnoses can be significantly reduced by adding balance and vision problems to the list of presenting symptoms commonly known as FAST.

2017-02-26 02:10:39
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Men with superior higher cognitive ability better at taking heart medication  

After a heart attack, it is important for patients to take medication that lowers cholesterol levels. In a new study, researchers found that general cognitive ability (intelligence) has a bearing, in the first year and two years after the heart attack, on how well men take statins prescribed for them.

2017-02-26 01:37:03
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Carnival of Space 498  

The Carnival of Space 498 is up at Urban AstronomerUniverse Today - Juno Will Get No Closer To Jupiter Due To Engine TroublesJupiter's south pole. captured by the JunoCam on Feb. 2, 2017, from an altitude of about 62,800 miles (101,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/John LandinoOn July 4th, 2016, the Juno mission established orbit around Jupiter, becoming the second spacecraft in history to do so (after the Galileo probe). Since then, the probe has been i...

2017-02-26 01:31:32
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Antibiotics used to treat cystic fibrosis increases risk of permanent hearing loss  

A powerful class of antibiotics provides life-saving relief for people with cystic fibrosis; however, a new study for the first time reveals the levels at which high cumulative dosages over time significantly increases the risk of permanent hearing loss in these patients. The study suggests physicians who treat patients with cystic fibrosis may be able to consider alternative strategies for treating the symptoms of respiratory infections associated with CF.

2017-02-25 19:55:50
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Why a common bacterium can produce severe illness  

How can the same infection result in dramatically different levels of illness in two different people? A new study identifies two conditions -- a genetic immunodeficiency and delayed acquired immunity -- that explain why a patient developed a life-threatening disease in response to a common strain of bacterium.

2017-02-25 19:43:48
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Sugar's 'tipping point' link to Alzheimer's disease revealed  

For the first time a molecular 'tipping point' has been demonstrated in Alzheimer's, linking high blood sugar with this debilitating disease.

2017-02-25 19:18:39
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Timetree dating in the absence of a fossil record in Asian Horned Frogs  

New research has resolved a 195-year old confusion regarding relationships between the species of Asian Horned Frogs, an enigmatic group of frogs often with horn-like projections over their eyes. Using DNA sequences, they discovered many potentially new species in this group previously unknown to science.

2017-02-25 18:23:22
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Less nuclear energy has meant higher costs, less clean energy overall and more deaths  

Michael Shellenberger explains how less nuclear energy has meant higher costs and less clean energy overall.* USA has shutdown nuclear plants prematurely because of lower natural gas costs* this has increased emissions of CO2 and air pollution* Overall energy costs have increased in the USA which correlate with lower nuclear energy mix* Germany has 6 times more carbon intensive energy than France* Germany shutdown nuclear energy and now is even more reliant on coal and fossil fuel* France uses 8

2017-02-25 18:19:13
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Hitching a ride with a predator  

A new study is the first to comprehensively examine existing literature to identify broader patterns and suggest ways in which the phenomenon is important for plant populations and seed evolution. Predator-assisted seed dispersal is important to colonize and recolonize plant life in the wild, say researchers.

2017-02-25 17:47:27
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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Aces 3rd Glide Test Flight  

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo aced its third unpowered free flight Friday, a glide test that marked the first time at the new space plane's controls for one former NASA astronaut.

2017-02-25 16:02:52
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NASA Studies Whether to Add Crew to 1st SLS Megarocket Moon Launch in 2019  

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL - At the request of the new Trump Administration, NASA has initiated a month long study to determine the feasibility of converting the first integrated unmanned launch of the agency's new Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion capsule into a crewed mission that would propel two astronauts to the Moon and back by 2019 - 50 years after the first human lunar landing. The post NASA Studies Whether to Add Crew to 1st SLS Megarocket Moon Launch in 2019 appeared firs...

2017-02-25 15:09:42
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Annular vs. Total Solar Eclipse - What's The Difference? | Video   

A total solar eclipse occurs when the entire disk of the Sun is covered by the Moon, as seen from Earth. An annular eclipse occurs when the lunar disk does not completely block the Sun.

2017-02-25 14:50:16
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Alzheimer's drug prescribed off-label could pose risk for some  

Donepezil, a medication that is approved to treat people with Alzheimer's disease, should not be prescribed for people with mild cognitive impairment without a genetic test. Researchers discovered that for people who carry a specific genetic variation -- the K-variant of butyrylcholinesterase, or BChE-K -- donezpezil could accelerate cognitive decline.

2017-02-25 14:19:34
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Scientists Practice Total Eclipse Science During Annular Solar Eclipse Sunday   

Jay Pasachoff is involved in a slew of science investigations that will run during the 2017 total solar eclipse. Sunday's annular eclipse will provide a practice run for those experiments.

2017-02-25 13:27:20
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Antibiotic resistance: A burgeoning problem for kids too  

In a new, first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found a 700-percent surge in infections caused by bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family resistant to multiple kinds of antibiotics among children in the US. These antibiotic resistant infections are in turn linked to longer hospital stays and potentially greater risk of death.

2017-02-25 13:13:16
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Computing with biochemical circuits made easy  

A software tool and a systematic wet-lab procedure proven in practice are an advance in the design and construction of circuits made of DNA.

2017-02-25 13:08:43
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How to Support Renewable Energy (and Why You Really Should)  

How can you support renewable energy? Plus, why you should -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-25 12:35:11
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More day cares near by, more germs? Maybe not, according to whooping cough study  

Researchers looking into how a higher density of day care facilities may affect the prevalence of illness in a neighborhood and found that it doesn't really have much of an effect.

2017-02-25 11:15:42
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Why Scientists Shouldn't Replicate Their Own Work  

Last week, I wrote about a social psychology paper which was retracted after the data turned out to be fraudulent. The sole author on that paper, William Hart, blamed an unnamed graduate student for the misconduct. Now, more details have emerged about the case. On Tuesday, psychologist Rolf Zwaan blogged about how he was the one who first discovered a problem with Hart's data, in relation to a different paper. Back in 2015, Zwaan had co-authored a paper reporting a failure to replicate a 2011

2017-02-25 10:28:57
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Playing favorites: Brain cells prefer one parent's gene over the other's  

It has long been thought that each copy of our DNA instructions -- one inherited from mom and one from dad -- is treated the same. A new study shows that it is not uncommon for cells in the brain to preferentially activate one copy over the other. The finding breaks basic tenants of classic genetics and suggests new ways in which genetic mutations might cause brain disorders.

2017-02-25 10:16:54
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Where do flowers come from? Shedding light on Darwin's 'abominable mystery'  

The mystery that is the origin of flowering plants has been partially solved thanks to a team of scientists. Their discovery sheds light on a question that much intrigued Darwin: the appearance of a structure as complex as the flower over the course of evolution.

2017-02-25 10:01:42
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Novel 'barcode' tracking of T cells in immunotherapy patients identifies likely cancer-killers  

A new discovery makes an important step in identifying which specific T cells within the diverse army of a person's immune system are best suited to fight cancer.

2017-02-25 09:33:33
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New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered  

A study demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's.

2017-02-25 09:02:55
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580 ton Mobile high speed rail and bridge construction machine  

A Chinese company has built a machine that has a creative way of setting girders into place for high speed rail bridges.The SLJ900/32, made by the Beijing Wowjoint Machinery Company, is a 580 ton, 300 foot long and 24 foot wide mega machine that looks more like a train than a crane Instead of using a stationary or crawler crane to lift the girder of a bridge from the ground and drop it into its place, the SLJ900/32 drives the girder onto the previously placed girder, slowly extends its arms to

2017-02-25 07:58:23
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Deep ocean GPS would revolutionize submarine and naval warfare  

DARPA is creating a GPS-like technology that works in the deep ocean called Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation, or POSYDON.The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the predominant means of obtaining positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) information for both military and civilian systems and applications. However, the radio frequency basis for GPS also means that its signals cannot penetrate seawater, and thus undersea GPS is effectively denied. The Positioning System for Deep Ocean N

2017-02-25 07:56:47
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New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds  

Origami-inspired materials use folds in materials to embed powerful functionality. However, all that folding can be pretty labor intensive. Now, researchers are drawing material inspiration from another ancient Japanese paper craft -- kirigami.

2017-02-25 07:23:02
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Future US Navy plans are all about doubling or tripling the missiles they can shoot and how many missiles they can defend against  

In World War II, the U.S. Navy made extensive use of small aircraft carriers, ranging from very small carriers escorting convoys (CVEs) to light aircraft carriers (CVLs) that were essentially downsized models of the iconic big carriers (CVs).CVLs could handle post-WWII jets. However, the Navy concluded super carriers made more sense strategically and economically. Nuclear-powered super carriers (CVNs) could carry a wing of multi-mission, high-performance combat aircraft and pack an array of defe

2017-02-25 07:14:50
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NASA mulls putting astronauts on deep space test flight  

Miami (AFP) Feb 25, 2017 The US space agency said Friday it is considering putting astronauts on an upcoming test flight of the deep space capsule Orion as it aims to orbit the Moon. Orion is being built with an eye to one day ferrying astronauts to Earth's neighboring planet, Mars, perhaps by the 2030s. Until now, the Orion test flight known as Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) was scheduled for 2018 and was expecte

2017-02-25 06:35:44
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Receiving a clot-buster drug before reaching the hospital may reduce stroke disability  

A preliminary study shows that giving a clot-busting drug in a mobile stroke unit ambulance may lead to less disability after stroke, compared to when the clot-buster is given after reaching the hospital. The study suggests that ambulances with the personnel and equipment capable of diagnosing ischemic stroke may be worth the extra cost, due to the decrease in patient disability afterward.

2017-02-25 06:07:47
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3 

As thin as an atom: A revolutionary semiconductor for electronics  

Semiconductors that are as thin as an atom are no longer the stuff of science fiction. A new two-dimensional material could revolutionize electronics, say researchers.

2017-02-25 06:03:18
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2 

Liquid hydrogen may be way forward for sustainable air travel  

With sustainable solutions in mind, a new study looks at the energy efficiency of current modes of transportation.

2017-02-25 05:58:11
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3 

Neanderthal DNA contributes to human gene expression  

The last Neanderthal died 40,000 years ago, but much of their genome lives on, in bits and pieces, through modern humans. The impact of Neanderthals' genetic contribution has been uncertain. Researchers now report evidence that Neanderthal DNA sequences still influence how genes are turned on or off in modern humans. Neanderthal genes' effects on gene expression likely contribute to traits such as height and susceptibility to schizophrenia or lupus, the researchers found.

2017-02-25 05:37:29
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2 

Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?  

We are in the middle of a technological upheaval that will transform the way society is organized. We must make the right decisions now -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-25 05:36:04
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4 

Brown Dwarfs: Failed Stars Resembling Planets  

Brown dwarfs never burn fusion at their core, so scientists sometimes refer to them as "failed stars."

2017-02-25 04:12:34
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6 

Transatomic Power reduced their claims of nuclear fuel efficiency  

In a white paper published in March 2014, Transatomic Power proclaimed its molten salt reactor "can generate up to 75 times more electricity per ton of mined uranium than a light-water reactor."In a paper on its site dated November 2016, the company downgraded "75 times" to "more than twice." In addition, it now specifies that the design "does not reduce existing stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel," or use them as its fuel source. The promise of recycling nuclear waste,...

2017-02-25 03:54:13
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2 

See the 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse in Slooh Webcast Sunday!  

A Southern Hemisphere solar eclipse and its spectacular "ring of fire" will be broadcast live through Slooh's online observatory on Sunday at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT).

2017-02-25 03:53:56
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3 

Attitude Toward Legal Pot Mellows in Parts of Latin America  

A survey conducted in nine countries in the region shows attitudes toward the drug are changing in some countries -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

2017-02-25 02:59:39
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3 

Nano-sized hydrogen storage system increases efficiency  

An efficient hydrogen storage system has been developed that could be a boon for hydrogen powered vehicles.

2017-02-25 02:59:35
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2 

Decoding the genome's cryptic language  

Bioengineers have developed a new tool to identify RNA-DNA interactions. The tool can provide a full account of all the RNA molecules that interact with a segment of DNA, as well as the locations of all these interactions -- in just a single experiment. The research is a step toward identifying new functions and instructions encoded in the genome.

2017-02-25 02:47:29
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2 

SETI Has Already Tried Listening to TRAPPIST-1 for Aliens  

Ever since the presence of exoplanets was announced in the TRAPPIST-1 system, SETI has been monitoring the system for signs of alien life. The post SETI Has Already Tried Listening to TRAPPIST-1 for Aliens appeared first on Universe Today.

2017-02-25 02:10:41
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2 

The making of music  

A new study suggests that music -- and specifically infant-directed song -- evolved as a way for parents to signal to children that their needs are being met, while still freeing up parents to perform other tasks, like foraging for food, or caring for other offspring.

2017-02-25 02:05:06
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3 

Advancednano powered by feedburner  

China's J-20 stealth fighter has been seen with four auxiliary fuel tanks (aka, drop tanks or "bags") under its wings. Although cumbersome external fuel tanks sap the J-20's low observable (stealth) qualities and maneuvering performance, it is likely that they can be jettisoned along with their pylons in a similar manner as the F-22. This allows the aircraft to recapture a large degree of its low observability, and is clearly useful if increased kinematic performance is needed.

2017-02-25 01:49:49
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10 

Inmarsat & AVI's Satellite Data-Relay Service Exits Stealth Mode After Months of Secret, In-Space Tests  

Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat has been working with Addvalue Innovation (AVI), a communications technology company based in Singapore, to conduct secret tests of a service that lets operators maintain continuous contact with small satellites

2017-02-25 01:14:08
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3 

How proteins reshape cell membranes  

Small 'bubbles' frequently form on membranes of cells and are taken up into their interior. The process involves EHD proteins. Scientists have now shed light on how these proteins assemble on the surface of a cell and reshape its membrane.

2017-02-24 20:26:17
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12 




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