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Are Fast Radio Bursts From Extraterrestrials?

11 March 2017 - 1:10am
Andrew Griffin, The Independent
Scientists might have found proof of alien life but misunderstood it, according to a professor at Harvard University. Strange radio waves that have been reaching Earth might actually be leakage from a huge, light-powered ship deep in space.
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NASA Planning for Orbital Spaceport

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Alison Klesman, Astronomy
NASA's goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s faces many challenges. Now, if all goes well, the American space agency is poised to take one of the first steps toward overcoming those challenges. Although the project is still speculative, NASA and other International Space Station (ISS) partners have begun making plans for a cis-lunar spaceport designed to provide a stepping-stone to the Red Planet.
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If You Think You're a Genius, You're Crazy

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Dean Keith Simonton, Nautilus
When John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, schizophrenic, and paranoid delusional, was asked how he could believe that space aliens had recruited him to save the world, he gave a simple response. Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.
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Star Trek Inspires Material-Recognizer

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Cathal O'Connell, Cosmos Magazine
Inspired by Dr Who's sonic screwdriver and the tricorder of Star Trek, Australian scientists are working on a device that can instantly tell what any material is made of.Physicist Marcus Doherty and his team designed the device based on quantum properties of flawed diamonds, and report their proof of concept in the journal Nano Letter.
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Search for MH370 Revealed Secrets of Deep Ocean

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Sarah Zhang, Atlantic
The ocean is vast, deep, and unexplored.When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared three years ago this week, the search brought the ocean's vastness into sharp relief. This is how deep and dark it is three miles down. This is how unlikely you are to spot a downed airliner in 120,000 square nautical miles of open ocean. This is how much we know about the ocean floorless than we know about the surface of Mars.
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How Organic Can Make America Less Healthy

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Deena Shanker, Bloomberg
Regardless of whether you're a parent, an environmentalist, or just a plain old shopper, chances are you've gazed out over the supermarket produce section and asked yourself, Should I buy organic?Everyone's heard of the scary chemicals used by agribusiness to keep your apples worm-freeit's what generates the fear that makes organic produce lucrative.
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A Strength Test for the Strong Force

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Sarah Charley, Symmetry
Much of the matter in the universe is made up of tiny particles called quarks. Normally it's impossible to see a quark on its own because they are always bound tightly together in groups. Quarks only separate in extreme conditions, such as immediately after the Big Bang or in the center of stars or during high-energy particle collisions generated in particle colliders.
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Social Science's War on Science

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Clay Routledge, Quillette
Many social scientists are excited about and poised to participate in the upcoming March for Science, which is being described by the organizers as a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. I realize that this will be a controversial position, but I believe the best way social scientists can contribute to the March for Science is to quietly sit this one out.
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Chow Chow Among Most Ancient Dog Breeds

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Davy Falkner, BioMed Central
The Chow Chow is an East Asian dog breed and one of the first to emerge after the domestication of the dog. It is believed that they were the models for the stone lion statues which guard Buddhist temples.Chow Chows have a sturdy build, straight hind legs and very dense fur, particularly in the neck area, giving the impression of a mane. The breed also possesses more unusual features such as an extra pair of teeth (44 instead of 42) and a distinctive blue/black tongue. The temperament of the breed is said to be fiercely protective of its owners whilst being discerning towards strangers.
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The Craziest Ways Animals Escape Predators

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
James Macdonald, JSTOR Daily
When attacked by a predator, most animals will go to any length to escape. Some animals, like lizards, crabs, or octopus, can autotomize, or intentionally drop off body parts, to escape. Few animals, however, take things quite as far as a type of fish scale gecko recently discovered in Madagascarwhen grabbed, these little lizards shed virtually all of their scales.
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Radioactive Boars Delay Fukushima Residents' Return

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Kimiko Tamura, NYT
They descend on towns and villages, plundering crops and rampaging through homes. They occasionally attack humans. But perhaps most dangerous of all, the marauders carry with them highly radioactive material.Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock. Some animals, like cattle, were left to rot in their pens.
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Ebola Vaccine Trial Stalled by Animal Testing Laws

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Anthea Batsakis, Cosmos

In what may be the last US biomedical research trial on captive chimpanzees, food laced with a new vaccine has been shown to be an effective way to protect chimpanzees from the Ebola virus, a new study reports.Estimates suggest that as many as one-third of Africa's wild great apes have been wiped out by Ebola in the past 30 years. With the aim of protecting the remaining populations, a team of scientists in the US and UK have concluded safety trials of a vaccine made from a modified rabies treatment. Their findings were published in Scientific Reports.
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Lost Lunar Spacecraft Detected by New Radar

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Phys.org
Finding derelict spacecraft and space debris in Earth's orbit can be a technological challenge. Detecting these objects in orbit around Earth's moon is even more difficult. Optical telescopes are unable to search for small objects hidden in the bright glare of the moon. However, a new technological application of interplanetary radar pioneered by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has successfully located spacecraft orbiting the moonone active, and one dormant. This new technique could assist planners of future moon missions.
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Possible New Antidote for Tylenol Overdose

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Alex B. Berezow, ACSH
Dr. Cox: Did you actually just page me to find out how much Tylenol to give to Mrs. Lendsner?J.D.: I was worried that it could exacerbate the patient's... Dr. Cox: It's regular strength Tylenol. Here's what-chya do: Get her to open her mouth, take a handful, and throw it at her. Whatever sticks, that's the correct dosage.Of Dr. Cox's many rants on the comedy show Scrubs, this is definitely one of the funnier and more memorable1. However, it isn't quite accurate.
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Milky Way's Mysterious Bulge Explained by Hubble

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Alison Klesman, Astro
The Milky Way appears as a relatively flat structure when viewed along its plane in visible light. Gamma-ray emission, however, paints a different picture: two huge structures billowing outward from the galaxy's bulge like an enormous hourglass. Named the Fermi Bubbles, these structures are the result of the Milky Way's supermassive black hole gorging itself on interstellar gas in the past. Using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers have now determined just when these structured formed.A team of astronomers led by Rongmon Bordoloi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has used...
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Artificial Yeast Genome One Step Closer

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
The Economist
BIOLOGY'S biggest division is not between plants and animals, nor even between multicellular and single-celled creatures. It is between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prokaryotesbacteria are the most familiar sortare simple. Their DNA is an unadorned circular molecule between 500,000 and 10m genetic letters long. As such, it is fairly easy to replicate from off-the-shelf chemicals.
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Is Planet Earth a Living Organism?

10 March 2017 - 12:32pm
David Grinspoon, Nautilus
Can a planet be alive? Lynn Margulis, a giant of late 20th-century biology, who had an incandescent intellect that veered toward the unorthodox, thought so. She and chemist James Lovelock together theorized that life must be a planet-altering phenomenon and the distinction between the living and nonliving parts of Earth is not as clear-cut as we think. Many members of the scientific community derided their theory, called the Gaia hypothesis, as pseudoscience, and questioned their scientific integrity. But now Margulis and Lovelock may have their revenge. Recent scientific...
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Hubble Finds Some of Universe's First Galaxies

12 February 2017 - 8:07pm
Irene Klotz, Seeker
By using a quirk of Einstein's general relativity and applying a new technique to remove obscuring light, astronomers have found an ancient population of the universe's first galaxies.
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Can We Stop Brain Cancer With Rabies?

12 February 2017 - 8:06pm
Matt Blois, Science News
A ruthless killer may soon help brain cancer patients. The rabies virus, which kills tens of thousands of people a year, has a rare ability to enter nerve cells and use them as a conduit to infect brain tissue. Now, scientists are trying to mimic this strategy to ferry tumor-killing nanoparticles into brain tumors. So far the approach has been shown to work only in mice. If successful in people, these nanoparticles could one day help doctors send treatment directly to tumors without harming healthy cells.
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3 Sites Where NASA Might Get Its First Mars Rock

12 February 2017 - 8:06pm
Alexandra Witze, Nature

The future of NASA's Mars programme just got a lot more focussed. The agency has narrowed from eight to three the list of potential landing sites for its 2020 rover, which will scoop up Martian rock and soil in the hopes of one day returning them to Earth.
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