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Sci/Tech
 

Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease

Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.

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Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.

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New study draws links between wildlife loss and social conflicts

Citing many sobering examples of how wildlife loss leads to conflict among people around the world, a new article co-authored by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL) Program Director Dr. Christopher Golden, calls for an interdisciplinary approach to tackle global biodiversity decline.

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Climate data shows clear signs of warming

However you view the evidence, whatever set of measurements you examine, the picture that emerges is consistent: the Earth is heating up.

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Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

A new study finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought.A new study finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought.

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A New Approach to SETI: Targeting Alien Polluters

Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs?

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Crows: Smarter Than a First-Grader?

In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it — one at a time — until the water level rises enough for him to drink his fill.

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Newly discovered gut virus lives in half the world's population

Odds are, there's a virus living inside your gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. A new study led by researchers at San Diego State University has found that more than half the world's population is host to a newly described virus, named crAssphage, which infects one of the most common types of gut bacteria, Bacteroidetes. This phylum of bacteria is thought to be connected with obesity, diabetes and other gut-related diseases. The research appears today in Nature Communications.

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Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012

If an asteroid big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century appeared out of deep space and buzzed the Earth-Moon system, the near-miss would be instant worldwide headline news.

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Voyager spacecraft might not have reached interstellar space

In 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed into interstellar space, traveling further from Earth than any other manmade object.

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Bats use polarised light to navigate

Scientists have discovered that greater mouse-eared bats use polarisation patterns in the sky to navigate – the first mammal that's known to do this.

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Lives and deaths of sibling stars

This beautiful star cluster, NGC 3293, is found 8000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). This cluster was first spotted by the French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in 1751, during his stay in what is now South Africa, using a tiny telescope with an aperture of just 12 millimetres. It is one of the brightest clusters in the southern sky and can be easily seen with the naked eye on a dark clear night.

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To celebrate Chandra's 15th anniversary, four newly processed images of supernova remnants released

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.

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Mysterious dance of dwarfs may force a cosmic rethink

The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not 'swarm' around larger ones like bees do but 'dance' in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of how the universe formed and evolved.

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Nearsightedness increases with level of education and longer schooling

Education and behavior have a greater impact on the development of nearsightedness than do genetic factors: With each school year completed, a person becomes more nearsighted. The higher the level of education completed, the more severe is the impairment of vision. These are the conclusions drawn by researchers at the Department of Ophthalmology at the Mainz University Medical Center from the results of the first population-based cohort study of this condition. A nearsighted eye is one in which the eyeball is too long in relation to the refractive power of the cornea and lens. As a result, distant objects are displayed on the retina out of focus. The eyeball continues to grow in humans until they reach adulthood and this means that myopia can also continue to progress in persons who have reached their 30s. It has been shown that both genetic predisposition as well as environmental stimuli play a role in the development of nearsightedness.

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New View of Mount Rainier's Volcanic Plumbing

By measuring how fast Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, a University of Utah researcher and colleagues made a detailed picture of Mount Rainier's deep volcanic plumbing and partly molten rock that will erupt again someday.

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Dozens of Fires Plague Oregon (SATELLITE PHOTO)

Fires are a way of life during the hot, dry summer days, but that does not mean they are ever taken for granted. Thousands of lightning strikes Sunday (7/13) and early Monday (7/14) probably started most of the wildfires, which are burning on private, public and reservation land. Dozens of fires are plaguing the forest areas in the state of Oregon. In this image, are shown the Buzzard Fire, the Shaniko Butte fire, the Bridge 99 Complex fire, and the Saddle Draw Fire.

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The rate at which groundwater reservoirs are being depleted is increasing

In what parts of the world and to what degree have groundwater reservoirs been depleted over the past 50 years? The Frankfurt hydrologist Prof. Petra Döll has been researching this using the global water model WaterGAP. She has arrived at the most reliable estimate to date by taking into consideration processes which are important in dry regions of the world. The values calculated were compared with monitoring data from many different wells and data from the GRACE satellites. These satellites measure changes in the Earth's gravity field. Döll has come to the conclusion that the rate at which groundwater reservoirs are being depleted is increasing, but that the rate is not as high as previously estimated.

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Why Your Brain Is In Your Head

Part 1 of 3 in my series about why our bodies are shaped the way they are. Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 later this week! Make sure you head over BrainCraft and check out the rest of our collaboration!

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Frozen debris blob creeps closer to Alaska's Dalton Highway threatening trans-Alaska pipeline

The leading edge of a frozen debris lobe in the central Brooks Range has crept to within 142 feet of the Dalton Highway, according to a measurement taken in June by university and state researchers.

If the massive blob of frozen rock and soil, known as Frozen Debris Lobe A, continues to slide at the average rate recorded on its surface, it could plow into the highway's embankment in less than a decade. The Dalton Highway is the state's only road to the North Slope and its oil fields.

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Best for Bees To Be Stay-At-Homes

A world without bees would be a whole lot poorer – literally. In Denmark alone an additional 600 million to 1 billion Danish kroner are earned annually due to the work done by bees making honey and pollinating a wide range of crops from apples to cherries and clover.

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New study finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food

In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops.

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DRI researchers discover new type of soot particle from wildfire emissions

Every year, wildfires clear millions of hectares of land and emit around 34-percent of global soot mass into the atmosphere. In certain regions, such as Southeast Asia and Russia, these fires can contribute as much as 63-percent of regional soot mass.

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Oklahoma has had more earthquakes over magnitude 3 in 2014 than California

"Seismic swarms" of earthquake activity have been recorded in Oklahoma, according to just-released research led by Dr. Katie Keranen at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

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Rewriting the history of volcanic forcing during the past 2000 years

A team of scientists led by Michael Sigl and Joe McConnell of Nevada's Desert Research Institute (DRI) have completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Smithsonian Scientist and Collaborators Revise Timeline of Human Origins

Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. Although scientists have recognized these characteristics for decades, they are reconsidering the true evolutionary factors that drove them.

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NASA Launches New Carbon Observatory

NASA has successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide.

On Wednesday, July 2nd, at 2:56 a.m. PDT, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) raced skyward from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Approximately 56 minutes after the launch, the observatory separated from the rocket's second stage into an initial 429-mile (690-kilometer) orbit. Initial telemetry shows the spacecraft is in excellent condition.

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A Stellar Womb Shaped and Destroyed by its Ungrateful Offspring

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.

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WSU researchers chart an ancient baby boom; Southwest US experience holds a lesson in over-population

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

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Traffic noise is dangerous for your health - solutions exist for dense cities

Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem in the EU, according to WHO. After air pollution, noise is affecting health the most. But legislation regarding noise pollution is insufficient. A new report shows how negative health effects of noise can be reduced. Several means are easiest to apply in dense cities.

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