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Sci/Tech
 

Space... the final frontier

Fifty years ago Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise began their journey into space -- the final frontier. Now, as the newest Star Trek film hits cinemas, the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope is also exploring new frontiers, observing distant galaxies in the galaxy cluster Abell S1063 as part of the Frontier Fields programme.

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NASA: 2016 climate trends continue to break records

Two key climate change indicators -- global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent -- have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data.

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USGS Landsat --The Watchman that Never Sleeps -- Reveals Pine Beetle Assault

In western North America, mountain pine beetles infest and ravage thousands of acres of forest lands. Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can.

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What lies beneath: Venus' surface revealed through the clouds

Venus is famously hot, due to an extreme greenhouse effect which heats its surface to temperatures as high as 450 degrees Celsius. The climate at the surface is oppressive; as well as being hot, the surface environment is dimly lit, due to a thick blanket of cloud which completely envelops the planet. Ground-level winds are slow, pushing their way across the planet at painstaking speeds of about 1 metre per second – no faster than a gentle stroll.

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Mathematics to help diagnose cancer

Personalized medicine is a healthcare approach in which medical procedures are tailored to the individual patient's genetic, physiological, and biochemical type along with other characteristics. Cancer treatment is one type of care where a personalized approach is most needed and often applied.

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Is artificial lighting making us sick? New evidence in mice

Along with eating right and exercising, people should consider adding another healthy habit to their list: turning out the lights. That's according to a new study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 14 showing many negative health consequences for mice kept under conditions of constant light for a period of months.

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Sen. Franken Presses Makers of "Pokemon GO" Smartphone App Over Privacy Concerns

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) raised the alarm over potentially serious privacy concerns with "Pokémon GO," a new smartphone game that millions of users around the country have downloaded over the past week.

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'Frankenstein' Galaxy Surprises Astronomers

About 250 million light-years away, there's a neighborhood of our universe that astronomers had considered quiet and unremarkable. But now, scientists have uncovered an enormous, bizarre galaxy possibly formed from the parts of other galaxies.

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Flying insects defy aerodynamic laws of airplanes, NYU researchers find

The maneuvers of flying insects are unmatched by even the best pilots, and this might be due to the fact that these critters don't obey the same aerodynamic laws as airplanes, a team of New York University researchers has found.

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Bird research suggests calling dinosaurs may have been tight-lipped

Dinosaurs are often depicted in movies as roaring ferociously, but it is likely that some dinosaurs mumbled or cooed with closed mouths, according to a study published online in the journal Evolution that will be in the August print edition.

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Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego-led research team analyzing satellite cloud records has found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere.

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Powerful processes at work: The Crab Nebula as never seen before

The Crab Nebula, which lies 6500 light-years away in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull), is the result of a supernova — a colossal explosion that was the dying act of a massive star. During this explosion most of the material that made up the star was blown into space at immense speeds, forming an expanding cloud of gas known as a supernova remnant.

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Warming pulses in ancient climate record link volcanoes, asteroid impact and dinosaur-killing mass

A new reconstruction of Antarctic ocean temperatures around the time the dinosaurs disappeared 66 million years ago supports the idea that one of the planet's biggest mass extinctions was due to the combined effects of volcanic eruptions and an asteroid impact.

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On thin ice: Enceladus

Of all the icy moons in the Solar System, Saturn’s moon Enceladus is probably the ‘hottest’ when measured for its potential to host life. Despite its distance from Earth, it may also be the easiest to investigate.

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NASA's Juno Spacecraft in Orbit Around Mighty Jupiter

After an almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53 p.m. PDT (11:53 p.m. EDT) Monday, July 4.

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Scientists observe first signs of healing in the Antarctic ozone layer

New research has identified clear signs that the hole in the Antarctic ozone layer is beginning to close.

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Astronomers release spectacular survey of the distant universe

Astronomers at The University of Nottingham have released spectacular new infrared images of the distant Universe, providing the deepest view ever obtained over a large area of sky. The team, led by Omar Almaini, Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, is presenting their results at the National Astronomy Meeting taking place this week at the University's Jubilee Campus.

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Warning from the past: Future global warming could be even warmer

Future global warming will not only depend on the amount of emissions from man-made greenhouse gasses, but will also depend on the sensitivity of the climate system and response to feedback mechanisms. By reconstructing past global warming and the carbon cycle on Earth 56 million years ago, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute among others have used computer modelling to estimate the potential perspective for future global warming, which could be even warmer than previously thought. The results are published in the scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters.

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Australia 20 years after gun reform -- no mass shootings, declining firearm deaths

Since gun law reform and the Firearms Buyback program 20 years ago, Australia has seen an accelerating decline in intentional firearm deaths and an absence of fatal mass shootings, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports today in a landmark study.


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Changing the federal legal status of marijuana could boost research, ease confusion

Marijuana has never been highly regarded by the federal government, which considers it a dangerous and addictive drug. But many states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and four states allow its recreational use. Now, activists are calling for the drug to be reclassified to make it easier to study its health benefits and untangle regulations, according to the cover story of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

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“Electric Wind” can strip Earth-like planets of oceans and atmospheres

Venus has an "electric wind" strong enough to remove the components of water from its upper atmosphere, which may have played a significant role in stripping Earth's twin planet of its oceans, according to new results from the European Space Agency's Venus Express mission by NASA-funded researchers.

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A First: NASA Spots a Single Methane Leak -- the Aliso Canyon Leak -- from Space

For the first time, an instrument onboard an orbiting spacecraft has measured the methane emissions from a single, specific leaking facility on Earth's surface. The observation -- by the Hyperion spectrometer on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) -- is an important breakthrough in our ability to eventually measure and monitor emissions of this potent greenhouse gas from space.

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Small Asteroid Is Earth's Constant Companion

A small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.

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Study gives new meaning to the term 'bird brain'

The macaw has a brain the size of an unshelled walnut, while the macaque monkey has a brain about the size of a lemon. Nevertheless, the macaw has more neurons in its forebrain - the portion of the brain associated with intelligent behavior - than the macaque.

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Future summers could be hotter than any on record

In 50 years, summers across most of the globe could be hotter than any summer experienced by people to date, according to a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

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Milky Way now hidden by light pollution from one-third of humanity

The Milky Way, the brilliant river of stars that has dominated the night sky and human imaginations since time immemorial, is but a faded memory to one third of humanity and 80 percent of Americans, according to a new global atlas of light pollution produced by Italian and American scientists.

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Who's the best-equipped superhero? Student research settles 'superpower showdown'

Seven years of student-led research into superheroes between 2009-2016 suggests Superman could be the best-equipped superhero of all, with a number of abilities including the 'Super Flare' attack and possession of high density muscle tissue.

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Generating unclonable patterns to fight counterfeiting

In a multinational collaboration, researchers from the Universities of Luxembourg, Ljubljana and Vienna have developed a new method to produce unique reflecting patterns that can be applied on valuable objects. As these patterns can't be cloned or copied, they could be used to identify products unambiguously in order to avoid counterfeiting.

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Birds have a light-dependent compass in their eyes

Birds have a light-dependent compass in their eyes. This compass gives them information about the direction of the Earth's magnetic field. Prof. Roswitha Wiltschko's research group at Goethe University Frankfurt, together with French colleagues, has elucidated how this compass works at the molecular level.

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Survey describes values, challenges of largest shareholder in US forests: Families

New research by the USDA Forest Service reveals the motivations, management activities, future plans, and challenges faced by the nearly 11 million families, individuals, trusts, and estates, referred to as family forest owners. Collectively, family forest ownerships control 290 million acres of forestland, or 36 percent of the nation’s forestland. The federal government is the nation’s second largest forestland owner with 31 percent.

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