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Sci/Tech
 

Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world. In spite of increasing efforts to stem the tide of invasion threats, the lakes remain vulnerable, according to scientists from McGill University and colleagues in Canada and the United States. If no new regulations are enforced, they predict new waves of invasions and identify some species that could invade the Lakes over the next 50 years.

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Mapping forest structure from space

Over the last 10 years a new method using satellite radar data has been maturing to provide 3D views of Earth’s natural resources and urban environments. Scientists from around the world gathered recently to share the latest advances in the exciting technique of ‘POLinSAR’.

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Smothered oceans: Extreme oxygen loss in oceans accompanied past global climate change

Seafloor sediment cores reveal abrupt, extensive loss of oxygen in the ocean when ice sheets melted roughly 10,000-17,000 years ago, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The findings provide insight into similar changes observed in the ocean today.

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Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Has Its Own Moon (VIDEO)

Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach on Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.

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Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally

Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas. Now, using international data, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, have determined that girls outperform boys in educational achievement in 70 percent of the countries they studied--regardless of the level of gender, political, economic or social equality.

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The origin of life: Labyrinths as crucibles of life

Water-filled micropores in hot rock may have acted as the nurseries in which life on Earth began. A team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich has now shown that temperature gradients in pore systems promote the cyclical replication and emergence of nucleic acids.

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'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time

Scientists led by University of Birmingham asteroseismologists have discovered a solar system with 5 Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy.

Thanks to the NASA Kepler mission, the scientists announced today (Tuesday 27 January 2015) in The Astrophysical Journal the observation of a Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting 5 planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus.

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Rosetta data reveals more surprises about comet 67P

As the Rosetta spacecraft orbits comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an international team of scientists have discovered that the comet's atmosphere, or coma, is much less homogenous than expected and comet outgassing varies significantly over time, as reported in a paper published in the Jan. 23, 2015, issue of Science.

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Why all-nighters don't work: How sleep and memory go hand-in-hand

Want to ace that test tomorrow? Here's a tip: Put down the coffee and hit the sack.

Scientists have long known that sleep, memory and learning are deeply connected. Most animals, from flies to humans, have trouble remembering when sleep deprived, and studies have shown that sleep is critical in converting short-term into long-term memory, a process known as memory consolidation.

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Satellites catch Austfonna shedding ice

Rapid ice loss in a remote Arctic ice cap has been detected by the Sentinel-1A and CryoSat satellites.

Located on Norway’s Nordaustlandet island in the Svalbard archipelago, parts of the Austfonna ice cap have thinned by more than 50 m since 2012 – about a sixth of the ice’s thickness.

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Only about half of teenage girls receive HPV vaccine at the CDC's recommended age

It’s a virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer but a new study by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers indicates that only about half of the girls receive the vaccine at the recommended age to best protect themselves.

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Snack Attack: Bears Munch on Ants and Help Plants Grow

Tiny ants may seem like an odd food source for black bears, but the protein-packed bugs are a major part of some bears’ diets and a crucial part of the food web that not only affects other bugs, but plants too.

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Study offers glimpse of what may happen to Earth's magnetic core billions of years from now

The dying moments of an asteroid's magnetic field have been successfully captured by researchers, in a study that offers a tantalising glimpse of what may happen to the Earth's magnetic core billions of years from now.

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Doubt cast on global firestorm generated by dino-killing asteroid

Pioneering new research has debunked the theory that the asteroid that is thought to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs also caused vast global firestorms that ravaged planet Earth.

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Stanford scientists team with indigenous people to produce detailed carbon calculations of Amazon rainforest

When it comes to measuring the carbon storage potential of the Amazon forest, indigenous people might outperform sophisticated satellites.

The results from a long-term collaboration between Stanford scientists and indigenous people in Guyana suggests that traditional remote sensing techniques might be undervaluing the region's carbon storage potential by as much as 40 percent. The work could influence how indigenous people in Guyana and elsewhere manage their forests and lead to greater opportunities for these communities to engage in carbon offset programs.

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Inside the big wormhole: In theory, the Milky Way could be a "galactic transport system"

Based on the latest evidence and theories our galaxy could be a huge wormhole (or space-time tunnel, have you seen “Interstellar?”) and, if that were true, it would be “stable and navigable”. This is the hypothesis put forward in a study published in Annals of Physics and conducted with the participation of SISSA in Trieste. The paper, the result of a collaboration between Indian, Italian and North American researchers, prompts scientists to re-think dark matter more accurately.

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BPA Exposure during Pregnancy Causes Oxidative Stress in Child, Mother

Exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy can cause oxidative damage that may put the baby at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

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Study finds a natural impediment to the long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide

Carbon sequestration promises to address greenhouse-gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and injecting it deep below the Earth's surface, where it would permanently solidify into rock. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that current carbon-sequestration technologies may eliminate up to 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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Geophysicists find the crusty culprits behind sudden tectonic plate movements

Yale-led research may have solved one of the biggest mysteries in geology -- namely, why do tectonic plates beneath the Earth's surface, which normally shift over the course of tens to hundreds of millions of years, sometimes move abruptly?

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Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves

Dogs are man’s best friend and partner. The origins of this dog-human relationship were subject of a study by behavioural scientists from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the Wolf Science Center. They showed that the ancestors of dogs, the wolves, are at least as attentive to members of their species and to humans as dogs are. This social skill did not emerge during domestication, as has been suggested previously, but was already present in wolves. The researchers have published a summary of their results and present their new theory in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

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Fossil ankles indicate Earth's earliest primates lived in trees

Earth's earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles.

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Caught in the act: Cosmic radio burst

Fast radio bursts are quick, bright flashes of radio waves from an unknown source in space. They are a mysterious phenomenon that last only a few milliseconds, and until now they have not been observed in real time. An international team of astronomers, including three from the Carnegie Observatories, has for the first time observed a fast radio burst happening live. Their work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Wild pollinators at risk from diseased commercial species of bee

A new study from the University of Exeter has found that viruses carried by commercial bees can jump to wild pollinator populations with potentially devastating effects. The researchers are calling for new measures to be introduced that will prevent the introduction of diseased pollinators into natural environments.

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2014 hottest year ever; 65% of people have never experienced below average year

2014 was the hottest year on record, according to multiple agencies that track global temperature, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

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Artificial intelligence helps Stanford physicists predict dangerous solar flares

Solar flares can release the energy equivalent of many atomic bombs, enough to cut out satellite communications and damage power grids on Earth, 93 million miles away. The flares arise from twisted magnetic fields that occur all over the sun's surface, and they increase in frequency every 11 years, a cycle that is now at its maximum.

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Surprise discovery off California exposes loggerhead 'lost years'

The discovery of numerous juvenile loggerhead turtles by a NOAA Fisheries research survey more than 200 miles off the Southern California Coast has revealed new details about a mysterious part of the endangered turtles' epic migration across the Pacific Ocean known as "the lost years."

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Sizing up giants under the sea

A team of scientists and undergraduate students have analyzed the body size for 25 marine species, including whales, sharks, squids, and other ocean giants. The project elucidates both the challenges of arriving at exact measurements and the human bias toward larger individuals.

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Rise in mass die-offs seen among birds, fish and marine invertebrates

An analysis of 727 mass die-offs of nearly 2,500 animal species from the past 70 years has found that such events are increasing among birds, fish and marine invertebrates. At the same time, the number of individuals killed appears to be decreasing for reptiles and amphibians, and unchanged for mammals.

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Study: Men who post more online selfies scored higher on anti-social traits

The picture isn’t pretty for guys who post a lot of selfies on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

A new study showed that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy.

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New research outlines global threat of smoldering peat fires

The natural disaster plays out like a movie script - ash falling from the sky, thick smoke shutting down airports and businesses across the globe, and uncontrollable fires burning for days and weeks. But this is not from a script; rather, it is a vivid description of a future climate change scenario in which the Earth's peat-rich regions become more susceptible to drying and burning.

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