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Get the latest Science news headlines from Yahoo News. Find breaking Science news, including analysis and opinion on top Science stories.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:39:04 -0400

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European Mars probe destroyed after plunging to surface

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:39:04 -0400

(image) Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that a missing European space probe fell to the Red Planet's surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles) and was destroyed on impact, the European Space Agency said on Friday. The disc-shaped 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of the Russian-European ExoMars program to search for evidence of life on Mars, descended on Wednesday to test technologies for a rover that scientists hope to send to the surface of the planet in 2020. The U.S. space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars for about 10 years, took low-resolution pictures that show a bright spot that ESA believes is the 12-metre parachute that Schiaparelli used to slow down.

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Spaceship carrying three-man crew docks with ISS, NASA TV reports

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:44:56 -0400

(image) (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts docked with the International Space Station on Friday, NASA TV reported, two days after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spaceship with NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko on board completed the docking maneuver at 0952 GMT. ...

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Smart mouth: Chinese fish fossil sheds light on jaw evolution

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:03:05 -0400

(image) By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bottom-dwelling, mud-grubbing, armored fish that swam in tropical seas 423 million years ago is fundamentally changing the understanding of the evolution of an indisputably indispensable anatomical feature: the jaw. "Now we know that one branch of placoderms evolved into modern jawed vertebrates," said study co-leader Zhu Min, a paleontologist at Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

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Spiders can 'tune' webs for good vibrations, researchers say

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:45:23 -0400

(image) Spiders can control the tension and stiffness of their webs to optimize their sensory powers, helping them locate and identify prey as well as partners, according to researchers at Oxford University. "Spiders use vibrations not only from prey which is caught in their web, where obviously it's important that they know ...where it is and what it might be," researcher Beth Mortimer told Reuters. "But vibrations are also important in courtship ... A lot of males will actually generate a very specific kind of musical pattern which the females can use to determine not only that they're a male but they're the right species and whether she might want to mate with them as well." Spiders can also use the information to assess their web's condition, she said.

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NASA spacecraft loses computer before close encounter with Jupiter

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:09:26 -0400

(image) By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA's Juno spacecraft lost its main computer and science instruments shortly before it was due to make an orbital pass near Jupiter on Wednesday, scuttling highly anticipated close-up observations of the largest planet in the solar system. The U.S. space agency said the glitch followed an unrelated problem last week that prompted it to skip firing Juno’s braking engine, to steer the probe into a tighter regular orbit around Jupiter. Juno's computer restarted after Wednesday's shutdown and the spacecraft was "healthy," NASA said in a statement.

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Fact-Checking Trump: Can Abortions Really Happen on the 'Final Day' of Pregnancy?

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:06:00 -0400

(image) At last night's presidential debate, Donald Trump said abortions could happen "on the final day" of a pregnancy if Hillary Clinton becomes president, but experts say this is very unlikely and does not accurately reflect the reality of abortions in the United States. However, an abortion so late in pregnancy is "incredibly unlikely," said Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. "That just isn't the experience around abortion that women have" in the United States, Nash said.

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Rich People Really Do Ignore You When They Walk By

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:05:00 -0400

(image) Wealthy people appear to spend less time looking at other human beings, compared with how much time people in lower social classes look at others, according to a new study that used Google Glass headsets to track people's gazes. Because the time people spend looking at something may be related to how much motivational relevance the object or person holds, the "findings make a compelling case that social classes differ in their judgments of other people's significance," the researchers wrote in their paper, published Oct. 3 in the journal Psychological Science. In the study, the researchers asked 61 people to wear a Google Glass headset while walking around in New York City.

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Heavy Marijuana Use May Be Bad for Your Bones

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:05:00 -0400

(image) People who regularly smoke large amounts of marijuana may be more susceptible to bone fractures than people who don't use the drug, according to a new study conducted in the United Kingdom. Researchers also found that the people in the study who used marijuana regularly tended to have thinner bones than the people who did not use pot. Having thinner bones might put people at higher risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which a person's bones become brittle and fragile, the researchers said.

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Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:42 -0500

(image) Early Monday (Nov. 23), the private spaceflight company Blue Origin made a major stride in the pursuit of fully reusable rockets, when it launched an uncrewed vehicle into space and then soft-landed the rocket booster on the ground. "It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, speaking about the landing in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way.

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Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:32 -0500

(image) Thanksgiving in space will be a lot like the holiday down here on the ground — minus the gravity, of course. Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Thanksgiving video this week, breaking out bags of smoked turkey, rehydratable corn, candied yams and potatoes au gratin.

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At Mars, ExoMars Science Mission Goes on Despite Missing Lander

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:00 -0400

(image) The ExoMars 2016 mission is in business despite the apparent failure of its lander to touch down softly on the Red Planet Wednesday (Oct. 19), European Space Agency (ESA) officials stressed. The lander, known as Schiaparelli, seems to have deployed its parachute too early and fired its thrusters for an insufficient amount of time as it streaked through the Martian atmosphere Wednesday, ESA officials said. As Schiaparelli was experiencing its "six minutes of terror" descent, the second part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), was firing its main engine for more than two hours in a crucial orbit-insertion burn.

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Scientists in Europe downplay likely loss of Mars lander

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:30:58 -0400

(image) BERLIN (AP) — Scientists at the European Space Agency downplayed the likely loss of its Mars lander, saying Thursday that a wealth of data sent back by the experimental probe would help them prepare for a future mission to the red planet.

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'Planet Nine' Can't Hide Much Longer, Scientists Say

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:55:00 -0400

(image) Planet Nine's days of lurking unseen in the dark depths of the outer solar system may be numbered. The hypothetical giant planet, which is thought to be about 10 times more massive than Earth, will be discovered within 16 months or so, astronomer Mike Brown predicted. "I'm pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter — not this winter, next winter — I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that … somebody's actually going to track this down," Brown said during a news conference Wednesday (Oct. 19) at a joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Pasadena, California.

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Scientists find 500 U.S. seabed vents of powerful greenhouse gas

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:33:48 -0400

Scientists have found 500 seabed vents bubbling methane into the Pacific Ocean off the United States, roughly doubling the number of known U.S. seeps of the powerful greenhouse gas, a study showed on Wednesday. "It appears that the entire coast off Washington, Oregon and California is a giant methane seep," Robert Ballard, who is famed for finding the wreck of the Titanic and has now discovered the 500 new seeps, said in a statement. Nicole Raineault, Director of Science Operations with Ballard's Ocean Exploration Trust, said it was unknown how long the seeps had been active, what triggered them and how much, if any, of the gas reached the atmosphere.

Chambers Hidden in Great Pyramid? Scientists Cast Doubt

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:10:00 -0400

(image) A group of scientists has just claimed to have discovered two unknown voids or cavities within the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest pyramid ever constructed in Egypt. Such cavities can be signs of hidden burials or rooms and as such, media outlets across the world immediately ran headlines touting this "discovery." One outlet even went so far as to proclaim that "secret rooms" had been found in the Great Pyramid. However, Live Science has learned that the results are more ambiguous.

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UNICEF clinches vaccine deal to protect children from five diseases

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:17:26 -0400

(image) The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with six vaccine suppliers to provide a combined vaccine against five deadly childhood diseases for half the price it currently pays. "We will be able to procure pentavalent vaccine to protect children ... for less than $1 a dose," Shanelle Hall, director of UNICEF's supply and procurement division, told a news briefing. The six suppliers were named as: Biology E, Jenssen, LG Life Sciences , Panacea Biotec Ltd , Serum Institute of India, and Shantha Biotechs.

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Bloomberg to make $50M gift to Boston science museum

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:51:48 -0400

BOSTON (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charitable foundation has made the largest gift ever to Boston's Museum of Science.

The New Science of Willpower: Can Self-Control Really Get Used Up?

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:33:00 -0400

(image) Does willpower have a limit? Indeed, a whole line of research, based on a seminal study published in 1998, suggested that not only is human willpower a depletable resource, but it's also drawn from a singular source in the brain. Many psychologists now think this phenomenon, dubbed "ego depletion," doesn't exist at all.

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Birthplace of Rosetta Probe's Comet Pinned Down

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

(image) The comet that Europe's Rosetta spacecraft orbited for more than two years was probably born in the realm of icy bodies beyond Neptune, a new study suggests. New analyses of the orbit of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — on which Rosetta intentionally crash-landed on Sept. 30, ending the probe's historic mission — trace the object's origins back to the Kuiper Belt, whose most famous denizen is Pluto. "These results come from computations of the comet's orbit from the present to the past, which is computationally difficult due to the chaosity of the orbit caused by close encounters with Jupiter," Mattia Galiazzo, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement.

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The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 09:41:00 -0400

(image) 25 New 'Dead Sea Scrolls’ Revealed: More than 25 previously unpublished "Dead Sea Scroll" fragments, dating back 2,000 years and holding text from the Hebrew Bible, have been brought to light, their contents detailed in two new books. Brain-Implanted Device Restores Sense of Touch in Man with Spinal Cord Injury: For the first time, a device implanted into the brain of a person with a spinal cord injury has been used to restore the patient's sense of touch. How Did a Chunk of India and Eurasia Just Disappear?

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How One Scientist Decoded the Mysterious Sounds of the Northern Lights

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:38:00 -0400

(image) For more than 15 years, a lone scientist in southern Finland has spent countless winter nights among the snowy fields and frozen lakes around his village, in pursuit of one of the most ephemeral mysteries of the heavens: the faint, almost phantasmagorical sounds heard during intense displays of the aurora borealis, or northern lights. The epic study by acoustician Unto K. Laine includes the first audio recordings of the muffled crackling or popping sometimes heard overhead during spectacular aurora displays. Over the years, the sounds of the northern lights have been explained as illusions, imagination, inebriation or even voices from the spiritual world.

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Scientists seek to map all human cells in vast atlas

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:05:36 -0400

By Kate Kelland LONDON, (Reuters) - Scientists launched a global initiative on Friday to map out and describe every cell in the human body in a vast atlas that could transform researchers' understanding of human development and disease. The atlas, which is likely to take more than a decade to complete, aims to chart the types and properties of all human cells across all tissues and organs and build a reference map of the healthy human body, the scientists said. Cells are fundamental to understanding the biology of all health and disease, but scientists cannot yet say how many we have, how many different types there are, or how they differ from one organ to another, one project leader said.

The Universe Has 10 Times More Galaxies Than Scientists Thought

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:30:00 -0400

(image) More than a trillion galaxies are lurking in the depths of space, a new census of galaxies in the observable universe has found — 10 times more galaxies than were previously thought to exist. An international team of astronomers used deep-space images and other data from the Hubble Space Telescope   to create a 3D map of the known universe, which contains about 100 to 200 billion galaxies. In particular, they relied on Hubble's Deep Field images, which revealed the most distant galaxies ever seen with a telescope.

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Deadly Mixture: Scientists Uncover Harmful Drug Interactions

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:34:00 -0400

(image) Millions of Americans take more than one prescription drug, and often times doctors don't know which drugs, when combined, can cause serious illness or death. Sadly, such warnings come only after the damage is done, when enough clear reports of adverse reactions begin to emerge. Now, scientists at Columbia University in New York have harnessed the power of data science to identify two common prescription drugs that, if mixed, can have deadly consequences.

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'Martian Gardens' Help Scientists Find the Best Veggies to Grow on Mars

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

(image) A human round-trip journey to Mars may take as long as two and a half years, and one major challenge for these kinds of extended missions is determining how to pack enough food for those astronauts. Simulated "Martian gardens," developed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Tech Buzz Aldrin Space Institute, are helping researchers overcome food production challenges associated with Mars' barren landscape.

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Do Interruptions Hurt Presidential Candidates? What the Science Says

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 16:12:00 -0400

(image) With the second presidential debate coming up this Sunday, one particular statistic from the first debate stands out: the number of times Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton interrupted each other. The counts from that Sept. 26 debate varied, depending on how the listener classified interruptions. Vox tallied that Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times and that Clinton butted in on Trump 17 times.

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Scientists announce discovery of Brazil's largest dinosaur

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 18:37:10 -0400

(image) SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of what they say is the largest dinosaur ever found in South America's biggest country.

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Are the Nobel Prizes Missing Female Scientists?

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 14:45:00 -0400

(image) The Nobel Prize has a woman problem. A total of 203 people have won the Nobel Prize in physics, but only two were women (Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963). Science writer and physicist Matthew Francis wrote on his blog, Galileo's Pendulum, that the prize favors men of European descent, and European and American researchers in general.

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Science of Disbelief: When Did Climate Change Become All About Politics?

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:07:00 -0400

(image) Barely over a quarter of Americans know that almost all climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and that humans are to blame, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. While 55 percent of liberal Democrats say climate scientists are trustworthy, only 15 percent of conservative Republicans say the same. The findings are in line with the results of other surveys of the politics of climate change, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

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What's Out There? 'Star Men' Doc Tackles Life Questions Through Science

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:00:00 -0400

(image) Instead, he was surprised to see that the film is actually centered on the 50-year friendship among himself and three colleagues — Roger Griffin, Donald Lynden-Bell and Wallace (Wal) Sargent — who worked together at Caltech in the early 1960s.

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Humans May Have Reached Maximum Life Span

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0400

(image) The oldest known person was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at age 122. However, the new findings don't mean that researchers know for sure that humans will never live longer than 122 years, said Steven Austad, a professor of biology and aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not involved in the study. In the new study, the researchers looked at the Human Mortality Database, an international database with detailed mortality data that's maintained by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Plank Institutes in Germany.

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'The Moon and More': Lunar Science Stars in Inspiring Music Video

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 07:30:00 -0400

(image) Musicians Javier Colon and Matt Cusson have released an earnest new music video highlighting NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the inspiration derived from studying the moon. 

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Scottish, French and Dutch-born scientists win Nobel chemistry prize

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 06:03:51 -0400

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on the design and synthesis of molecular machines, the award-giving body said on Wednesday. Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobel prizes after the medicine and physics laureates were announced on Monday and Tuesday. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

Bagel, pretzel show twists of Nobel Prize-winning work in physics

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 16:20:39 -0400

(image) By Niklas Pollard and Ben Hirschler STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Three British-born scientists won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for revealing unusual states of matter, leading to advances in electronics that could aid researchers trying to develop quantum computers. David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz, who all work at U.S. universities, share the prize for their discoveries on abrupt changes in the properties, or phases, of ultra-thin materials. The difficult-to-grasp concept was illustrated by Nobel Committee member Thors Hans Hansson at a news conference using a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a Swedish style of pretzel with two holes.

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Ginger and Acupressure for Morning Sickness? Science Says Maybe

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 13:06:00 -0400

(image) For women with morning sickness, a range of remedies may be effective at alleviating mild to severe symptoms, but the evidence on how well they work is lacking, a new review from the United Kingdom finds. Up to 85 percent of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, and the symptoms can affect their day-to-day lives, according to the review, published today (Oct. 4) in the journal JAMA. Of the 78 studies, 67 were randomized clinical trials, meaning that the people in the study were randomly assigned to receive either the treatment or a placebo.

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Scientists: Endangered frog rebounding in Yosemite park

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:12:31 -0400

(image) FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A native California frog once on the brink of extinction is making an encouraging comeback in Yosemite National Park, raising hopes for amphibians like it worldwide that are dying off at an alarming rate, researchers said Monday.

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Japanese scientist wins Nobel for study of cell recycling

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:12:43 -0400

(image) NEW YORK (AP) — Like a busy city, a cell works better if it can dispose of and recycle its garbage. Now a Japanese scientist has won the Nobel Prize in medicine for showing how that happens.

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Japanese scientist wins Nobel medicine prize for work on "self-eating" cell mechanism

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 10:12:55 -0400

(image) By Niklas Pollard and Kate Kelland STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine for ground-breaking experiments with yeast which exposed a key mechanism in the body's defences where cells degrade and recycle their components. Understanding the science behind the process, called "autophagy" or "self-eating", has led to a better understanding of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes, the prize committee said in its statement on Monday. The Physiology or Medicine prize, the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year, is worth 8 million Swedish crowns ($933,000).

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