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Tuesday, May 3 2016

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Sci/Tech
 

Unique fragment from Earth's formation returns after billions of years in cold storage

In a paper to be published today in the journal Science Advances, lead author Karen Meech of the University of Hawai`i's Institute for Astronomy and her colleagues conclude that C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS) formed in the inner Solar System at the same time as the Earth itself, but was ejected at a very early stage.

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Bacteria beneficial to plants have spread across California

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have discovered that a strain of beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria has spread across California, demonstrating that beneficial bacteria can share some of the same features that are characteristic of pathogens.

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Rio is a California sea lion who can solve IQ tests that many people have trouble passing

Rio is a California sea lion who can solve IQ tests that many people have trouble passing. In fact, she is so smart that scientists at the Long Marine Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz designed a series of tests that prove she is the first animal besides humans that can use basic logic (If A=B and B=C then A=C).

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Young gay and bisexual men 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than older counterparts

Young gay and bisexual men are at significantly greater risk of poor mental health than older men in that group, according to new research published in the Journal of Public Health.

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Heat Trumps Cold in the Treatment of Jellyfish Stings

A recent study by researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, published this month in the journal Toxins, may finally put to rest the ongoing debate about whether to use cold or heat to treat jellyfish stings. Their systematic and critical review provides overwhelming evidence that clinical outcomes from all kinds of jellyfish stings are improved following treatment with hot packs or hot-water immersion.

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New Maps Chart Greenland Glaciers' Melting Risk

Many large glaciers in Greenland are at greater risk of melting from below than previously thought, according to new maps of the seafloor around Greenland created by an international research team. Like other recent research findings, the maps highlight the critical importance of studying the seascape under Greenland's coastal waters to better understand and predict global sea level rise.

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Ocean Currents Push Phytoplankton -- and Pollution -- Around the Globe Faster Than Thought

The billions of single-celled marine organisms known as phytoplankton can drift from one region of the world's oceans to almost any other place on the globe in less than a decade, Princeton University researchers have found.

Unfortunately, the same principle can apply to plastic debris, radioactive particles and virtually any other man-made flotsam and jetsam that litter our seas, the researchers found. Pollution can thus become a problem far from where it originated within just a few years.

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Study indicates polar bears are swimming more as sea ice retreats

A study undertaken by scientists from the University of Alberta and Environment and Climate Change Canada to understand swimming behavior in polar bears is showing an increase in this behavior related to changes in the amount and location of summer sea ice. Lead author Nicholas Pilfold, now a postdoctoral fellow at San Diego Zoo Global, said "the pattern of long-distance swimming by polar bears in the Beaufort Sea shows the fingerprint of climate change. Swims are occurring more often, in association with sea ice melting faster and moving farther from shore in the summer."

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The chem-hiss-try of snake venom (video)

We know poisonous snakes are dangerous, but what exactly makes venom so powerful? Evolutionary biology tells us why venom is useful for snakes, but chemistry tells us how venom works. This week, Reactions sheds some light on the proteins in venom, as well as its potential medical uses.

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Dinosaurs already in decline before asteroid apocalypse

Dinosaurs were already in an evolutionary decline tens of millions of years before the meteorite impact that finally finished them off, new research has found.

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'Like a heart attack for a tree': Trees' internal water pipes predict which species survive drought

Massive tree die-offs due to drought have ravaged forests across the American West and left ecologists struggling to predict how and when tree deaths will happen, and how rising temperatures due to climate change might affect the health of forests.

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Interstellar dust intercepted at Saturn

The international Cassini spacecraft has detected the faint but distinct signature of dust coming from outside our Solar System.

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How LSD can make us lose our sense of self

When people take the psychedelic drug LSD, they sometimes feel as though the boundary that separates them from the rest of the world has dissolved. Now, the first functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) of people's brains while on LSD help to explain this phenomenon known as "ego dissolution."

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Scans confirm brain damage in babies born with microcephaly associated with Zika

Brain abnormalities in babies born with microcephaly and associated with the current Zika virus epidemic in Brazil are described by a team of doctors in a new study published in The BMJ today.

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El Niño weakens, but his sister might be coming

Weather and climate patterns around the globe will see some changes as the 2015–16 strong El Niño is on the decline and predicted to end by early summer. On its heels, potentially, is La Niña.

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What happens when one of the popular small hobby drones hit objects or people? (VIDEO)

At Aalborg University’s Drone Research Lab, a new experimental setup with a motorized catapult and high-speed camera now documents in detail what happens when one of the popular small hobby drones hit objects or people. In the first film from the lab, drones are sent on a collision course with a pork roast.

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What Causes Déjà Vu?

You walk into a room and suddenly your brain goes fuzzy with an overwhelming wave of familiarity—although this is a totally new experience. Like something out of a sci-fi plot, it almost seems as if you’ve walked into the future.

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Study Says Alaska Could Lose Massive Icefield that Feeds Mendenhall Glacier by 2200

The massive icefield that feeds Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier may be gone by 2200 if warming trend predictions hold true, according to University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers.

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The Lancet: Number of adults with diabetes reaches 422 million worldwide

Since 1980, the number of adults with diabetes worldwide has quadrupled from 108 million to 422 million in 2014, according to a new study published in The Lancet. The findings provide the most comprehensive estimates of worldwide diabetes trends to date and show that diabetes is fast becoming a major problem in low and middle income countries.

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Bilingual baby brains show increased activity in executive function regions

Many brain studies show that bilingual adults have more activity in areas associated with executive function, a set of mental abilities that includes problem-solving, shifting attention and other desirable cognitive traits.

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Common Flame Retardant Chemical Disrupts a Hormone That Is Essential to Life

Brominated fire retardants, used in many consumer products and known to cause hormonal irregularities, overstimulates an adrenal gland hormone in a way that may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, new research in human cells finds. Researchers will present their study results Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting in Boston.

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The Lancet: We now live in a world in which more people are obese than underweight, major global analysis reveals

In the past 40 years, there has been a startling increase in the number of obese people worldwide--rising from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, according to the most comprehensive analysis of trends in body mass index (BMI) to date, published in The Lancet.

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BPA changes fetal development of the mammary gland, can raise breast cancer risk

A new culture system that tests the role of chemical exposure on the developing mammary gland has found that bisphenol A (BPA) directly affects the mammary gland of mouse embryos. The study results, to be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 98th annual meeting in Boston, show that these changes to embryonic mammary tissue occur at a dose comparable to that of humans' environmental exposure to BPA.

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Stanford researchers show fracking's impact to drinking water sources in Wyoming

Only one industry is allowed to inject toxic chemicals into underground sources of drinking water – hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Concerns about this practice have riled the U.S. political landscape and communities around the country, perhaps nowhere more so than in Pavillion, Wyoming, population 231.

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Human-Induced Earthquakes Raise Chances of Damaging Shaking in 2016

For the first time, new USGS maps identify potential ground-shaking hazards from both human-induced and natural earthquakes. In the past, USGS maps only identified natural earthquake hazards.

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Same symptoms, different care for women and men with heart disease

Despite messages to the contrary, most women being seen by a doctor for the first time with suspected heart disease actually experience the same classic symptoms as men, notably chest pain and shortness of breath, according to a study led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

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Deadly stars: Our sun could also be a superflare star

The Earth is often struck by solar eruptions. These eruptions consist of energetic particles that are hurled away from the Sun into space, where those directed towards Earth encounter the magnetic field around our planet. When these eruptions interact with Earth's magnetic field they cause beautiful auroras. A poetic phenomenon that reminds us, that our closest star is an unpredictable neighbor.

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Antarctic birds recognize individual humans

You may have heard of crows, magpies, and mockingbirds recognizing individual people. These birds live among people, so it may be natural that they learn to differentiate people. But what about the animals that live in remote areas?

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Wildfire map reveals countries in Europe most at risk of catastrophic fire damage

A map of wildland areas close to cities (so-called 'Wildland-Urban Interface' (WUI) areas) across Europe has been released by a team of researchers led by the University of Leicester

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Many species now going extinct may vanish without a fossil trace

Scientists struggle to compare the magnitude of Earth's ongoing sixth mass-extinction event with the five great die-offs of prehistory. A new study by three paleontologists shows that the species now perishing may vanish without a permanent trace - and earlier extinctions may be underestimated as well.

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