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Published: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:54:25 -0500

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As Russia Targets Satellites, the Air Force Prepares for War in Space

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:57:00 -0500

(image) Space may be the final frontier, but it is also fast becoming another potential battlefield where America must be prepared to defend itself against any and all adversaries. As if on cue, the global military information site IHS Jane’s 360 reported late last week that Russia plans to arm some of its MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft with anti-satellite weapons.

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Humans' Hidden Ability to Navigate the World With Tongue Clicks

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:57:00 -0500

(image) Humans, when you train them, can be phenomenally good at pattern recognition. Our long history as the descendants of organisms who could spot a predator in dappled grass probably has something to do with it, but today, this ability makes all manner of things possible. For instance, people who have lost their vision, or never had any to begin with, can learn to echolocate, using the sound bouncing off of the world around them to navigate. This peculiar skill is of abiding interest to many scientists, who are curious as to how the brain spatially interprets information carried by sound. A group at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich has now published the results of a small study in which they trained a blind person and 11 sighted people to use sound to deduce the size of a room, scanning their brains in the process.

'Love Hormone' May Help Dads Bond with Toddlers

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:55:00 -0500

(image) Oxytocin — the "love hormone" perhaps best known for stimulating bonding between mothers and newborns, or between romantic partners — may also play a role in dads' empathy toward their toddlers, a new study suggests. Researchers found that fathers who were given a boost of oxytocin via a nasal spray, and then were shown a picture of their 1- or 2-year-old sons or daughters, showed higher levels of activity in regions of the brain linked with empathy and reward, compared with fathers who did not receive a dose of oxytocin. This increased activity in the men's brains may elicit greater feelings of empathy and reward processing, and may motivate fathers to become more involved in caring for their children, said study author James Rilling, a professor of anthropology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta.

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ISRO will now look for new bodies of water in India's Silicon Valley

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 02:45:26 -0500

(image) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently set a world record by launching 104 satellites at one go, but their next venture will be discovering new lakes in India's Silicon Valley, according to reports .   SEE ALSO: Lake catches fire in India's Silicon Valley yet again Bangalore is said to have had over 1,000 lakes once upon a time. But environmental pollution and urban development has reduced that number by half. Only 478 lakes remain currently, according to state records.  But there could be more. And the state wants to ascertain that, with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) bringing ISRO on board for the project. “When a water body gets dry, water has to find its own course and form new bodies elsewhere,“ KLCDA chief executive told The Economic Times. "We are cross-checking with ISRO through GIS [Geographic Information System] mapping to see if new lakes have been formed," he said. Bangalore lakes are inundated with sewage and toxic waste. Bellandur Lake, the city's largest body of water, was engulfed by fire and dense smoke earlier this month.  The same lake was filled with toxic foam in 2015. It even led to a petition on, with one citizen pleading to the state chief minister to order a clean-up of the lake. The petition gathered over 49,000 signatures. But not much action was taken. And just about a year ago, dead fishes surfaced in Ulsoor Lake, another popular water body in the city.  Bengaluru: Thousands of dead fish washed ashore on Ulsoor Lake due to rising water pollution levels — ANI (@ANI_news) March 7, 2016 At least 82 lakes have disappeared in the past decade, according to  Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) data. The lakes have been replaced by roads, parks, temples, residential layouts, graveyards or farmland. But the state isn't ruling out new formations. ISRO will be seen in action soon. BONUS: Scientists Find Thriving Ecosystem Under Antarctic Glacier

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Katherine Johnson, real-life subject of 'Hidden Figures' receives standing ovation at Oscars

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:33:04 -0500

(image) Katherine Johnson, one of the NASA research mathematicians portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures," received a standing ovation at the Academy Awards on Sunday. Appearing at the Dolby Theatre, Johnson, now 98 years old, thanked the crowd for their support.

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Bashful Tokyo pandas mate after four-year hiatus

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 04:44:39 -0500

(image) Two giant pandas at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo mated for the first time in four years Monday -- a 52-second effort that boosted hopes for a baby as well as shares in a nearby Chinese restaurant. Public viewing of pandas at the zoo has been halted since last week as the mating season got into full swing for the mammals, which are notoriously difficult to arouse. "We let the two be together at 8:06am (2306 GMT Sunday) and confirmed they mated for 52 seconds from 8:48am," Ueno Zoo announced in a statement.

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US Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise: Here Are the Numbers to Know

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:55:00 -0500

(image) The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States continues to rise, with a particularly sharp spike in heroin-related deaths in recent years, according to a new report. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of U.S. drug overdose deaths more than doubled over a 16-year period, increasing from about 6 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 16 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, according to the report. The drug overdose death rate increased by about 10 percent per year from 1999 to 2006, and then continued to increase but at a slower rate, rising 3 percent per year from 2006 to 2013.

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Is Open Source the Future of Wall Street?

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:51:00 -0500

(image) Nontraditional fund Numerai has generated a new digital currency. Could it point to an open source future for the industry?

The inventor behind the Maglev train is back with a Hyperloop for launching space vehicles

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:32:07 -0500

(image) James Powell, the inventor who inspired the maglev train, is back with a maglev rocket launcher concept for launching space vehicles. A new video from PatentYogi shows what it might look like.

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Storm chasers pay homage to late ‘Twister’ star Bill Paxton

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:57:07 -0500

(image) Members of the weather community celebrated the late Bill Paxton for his starring role in ‘Twister,’ by spelling out his initials on radar by using GPS coordinates. Paxton died from complications from surgery. He was 61

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Europeans Brought New, Deadly Ulcer Bacteria to Americas

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:02:00 -0500

(image) Europeans who came to the Americas inadvertently introduced germs — including smallpox and measles — that killed upward of 90 percent of the native people. The Europeans (and their African slaves) also brought new strains of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, known to cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer, according to an international team of researchers. The twist is that these "foreign" H. pylori strains didn't kill the local people quickly, like the smallpox virus did.

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10 Ways to Do Curls for Better Arm Workouts and Bigger Muscles

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:07:00 -0500

(image) Want to improve your lifting regimen for better arm workouts and bigger muscles? Here are a number of curls that should help.

Do you look like your name?

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:00:01 -0500

(image) The way you look may well reflect your name, a study has found. Scientists discovered people can match names to the faces of strangers with surprising accuracy.

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The brilliant way weather geeks paid tribute to 'Twister' star Bill Paxton

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:16:01 -0500

Hundreds of storm chasers and weather geeks mourned the death of U.S. actor Bill Paxton this weekend. Paxton, who was 61, starred alongside Helen Hunt in Twister, the 1996 film that helped inspire a new generation of storm chasers — those thrill-seekers who track down dangerous weather events for the sake of scientific data, a rush of adrenaline, or both.  SEE ALSO: Bill Paxton, star of '80s and '90s genre films and TV, dead at 61 In the movie, Paxton and Hunt play a struggling couple that teams up to create an advance weather alert system, putting them square in the path of violent tornadoes.  Paxton was so beloved in the weather community that his unexpected death on Saturday sparked a rare tribute tweet from the National Weather Service's official Twitter account.  Twister was an inspiration to many budding meteorologists over the last 20 years. Thank you, Bill Paxton, a.k.a. Bill "The Extreme" Harding. — NWS (@NWS) February 26, 2017 The actor also inspired nearly 200 storm chasers to spell out the initials "BP" using GPS coordinates on a map showing the heart of Tornado Alley, the Associated Press counted. "There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of meteorologists today — myself included — who were impacted by the movie Twister and the role Bill played in that," John Wetter, president of the nonprofit that tracks the positions of tornado chasers, told the AP.  "Twister was kind of the first time in a mass media place the meteorologist became cool, if only for a little while," he said. Live map shows storm spotters spelling out tribute to Bill Paxton - #RIPBillPaxton — Anica Padilla (@AnicaPadilla) February 26, 2017 Honorable tribute to Bill Paxton from Storm Chasers around the US. #RIPBillPaxton — The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) February 26, 2017 FYI: This GPS beacon tribute was coordinated through @spotternetwork led by @DanielShawAU — SevereStudios (@severestudios) February 26, 2017 Weather experts still cling to Twister memorabilia. Dorothy, the tornado-chasing contraption from the film, now sits in the lobby of the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, a major center of atmospheric research into tornadoes and the home of the Storm Prediction Center. Even before Twister, Paxton said he was fascinated by tornadoes, which strike fairly often in his home state of Texas. Shortly after the film's debut, he reached out to the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Kentucky, to ask about a twister in the region. Bill Paxton had a genuine interest in weather. Kind man. He called us not long after Twister asking about the Tri-State tornado. #BillPaxton — NWS Paducah (@NWSPaducah) February 26, 2017 Paxton remained in touch with the weather community throughout his career. In 2011, he followed up on Twister by narrating an IMAX documentary Tornado Alley, also about storm chasers. Along with GPS maps, meteorologists also shared more personal messages reflecting on the actor's impact on their own lives. Some people revived the nickname for Paxton's character in Twister: "The Extreme." I saw Twister premier in Atlanta and met Bill Paxton. He was honored to play the part and had a ball doing it!RIP Bill Paxton — Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) February 26, 2017 So sad about Bill Paxton. #Twister close to hearts of meteorologists everywhere including h[...]

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'Ring of fire' eclipse delights Africa, South America

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 16:34:09 -0500

(image) Stargazers applauded as they were plunged into darkness Sunday when the moon passed in front of the sun in a spectacular "ring of fire" eclipse. Astronomers and enthusiasts in Argentina were among the first to see the so-called annular eclipse as it crossed South America shortly after 1200 GMT, on course for Africa. The eclipse was most visible in a 100-kilometer (62-mile) band across Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Daily YouTube Views Have Reached A Truly Terrifying Milestone

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 05:50:11 -0500

(image) Congratulations world, we have now collectively reached the milestone of being able to say that we watch a billion hours of YouTube between us, every single day. This proof that mankind is destined to fail (and that we all need desperately need a new hobby) was announced in an official YouTube blog on Monday. Cristos Goodrow, VP of Engineering at YouTube, said: “Let’s put that in perspective.

Stanford’s dean of medicine says restricting immigration to the US is bad for our health

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:25:43 -0500

(image) A few weeks ago, I was moderating a panel discussion with some of my Stanford Medicine colleagues. I asked what we needed to do to make sure that 30 years from now, people would look back on this time as one of remarkable medical breakthroughs. Biologist Andrew Fire—a Nobel Prize laureate—answered with three simple words:…

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New Zealand: Underwater life in Kaikoura Canyon entirely wiped out after earthquake

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 07:19:46 -0500

(image) A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November at Kaikōura, on New Zealand's South Island, has destroyed all creatures living on the seabed in the Kaikōura Canyon marine nature reserve. On land the earthquake killed two people and caused massive damage to properties, roads and railways. It caused the sea-floor to leap up by two metres in some locations, exposing stretches of sea snails known as paua along the coast.

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Hospitals Should Learn About Copper's Unsuspected Health Properties

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:11:21 -0500

(image) Copper has been exploited for health purposes since ancient times. Egyptian and Babylonian soldiers would sharpen their bronze swords (an alloy of copper and tin) after a battle, and place the filings in their wounds to reduce infection and speed healing. Copper was also used to cure medical problems in ancient China and India and is an important component of Ayurveda medicine today.

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DIY Gene Editing: Fast, Cheap—and Worrisome

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:48:46 -0500

(image) The Crispr technique lets amateurs enter a world that has been the exclusive domain of scientists.