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March 18 2015

Life came to Earth on a meteorite, say scientists


Life on earth has long been a mystery, since the building blocks appear to have landed on the planet with no real explanation of how they got there. But a scientist has proposed one — those mysterious building blocks arrived here by crashing down with a meteorite.


Alt: Scientists solve the 'chicken and the egg' conundrum for life’s beginnings

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March 18 2015

Rosetta: Comet's wind mystery may be solved


Scientists from the Rosetta mission may have solved the puzzle of features on Comet 67P that look like they were produced by wind.

Dust appears to be getting blown along the surface - a surprise finding on an "airless" body like a comet.

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March 18 2015

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers


Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star. By analysing these planetary systems, researchers from the Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have calculated the probability for the number of stars in the Milky Way that might have planets in the habitable zone. The calculations show that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist.

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March 18 2015

Race to find the first exomoon heats up


The galaxy could be stuffed with large moons that orbit alien worlds, according to an analysis of data from NASA's Kepler space telescope. Such moons are thought to be the most likely places to find alien life, so groups are clamouring to find the first.

Astronomers have raked in thousands of exoplanets, but their smaller moons have proved harder to come by.

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March 18 2015

Real-time holographic displays one step closer to reality


Researchers from the University of Cambridge have designed a new type of pixel element and demonstrated its unique switching capability, which could make three-dimensional holographic displays possible.

Real-time dynamic holographic displays, long the realm of science fiction, could be one step closer to reality, after researchers from the University of Cambridge developed a new type of pixel element that enables far greater control over displays at the level of individual pixels.

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March 18 2015

Terminator-inspired 3D printer 'grows' objects


A 3D printing process that harnesses light and oxygen has been demonstrated at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

Carbon3D said its "game-changing" process could make objects such as car parts, medical devices or shoes.

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March 18 2015

Scientists discover how to change human leukemia cells into harmless immune cells


After a chance observation in the lab, researchers found a method that can force dangerous leukemia cells in the lab to mature into harmless immune cells called macrophages.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that when a certain aggressive leukemia is causing havoc in the body, the solution may be to force the cancer cells to grow up and behave.

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March 18 2015

Older Really Can Mean Wiser


Behind all those canned compliments for older adults — spry! wily! wise! — is an appreciation for something that scientists have had a hard time characterizing: mental faculties that improve with age.

Knowledge is a large part of the equation, of course. People who are middle-aged and older tend to know more than young adults, by virtue of having been around longer, and score higher on vocabulary tests, crossword puzzles and other measures of so-called crystallized intelligence.

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March 18 2015

Repeated remembering 'wipes similar memories'


Recalling a particular memory can cause us to forget another, similar memory - and neuroscientists have now watched this process happen using brain scans.

Inside the brains of human subjects, they pinpointed the unique imprints of two visual memories that were triggered by the same word.


Alt: Memories Weaken Without Reinforcement, Study Finds

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March 18 2015

Breast-Feeding Boosts Chances Of Success, Study In Brazil Finds


Babies who are breast-fed may be more likely to be successful in life, a provocative study published Tuesday suggests.

The study followed more than 3,000 babies into adulthood in Brazil. The researchers found those who were breast-fed scored slightly higher in intelligence tests in their 30s, stayed in school longer and earned more money than those who were given formula.

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March 18 2015

A Hug a Day Keeps the Doctor Away


During my final semester of undergrad, I made two signs that read, “Feeling stressed about exams? Have a free hug!” Then I recruited a friend and we stood in the entrance of the campus library, held up the signs, and waited. Passerbys had one of two reactions: Either they quickly looked down at their phones and awkwardly shuffled by, or their faces lit up as they embraced us. Most people were enthusiastic. Some exclaimed, “You made my day!” or “Thank you. I needed this.” One leapt into my arms, nearly toppling me over. After two hours of warm interactions, my friend and I couldn’t believe how energized and happy we felt.

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March 18 2015

Severe Solar Storm Paints the Sky Green on St. Patrick's Day


Green beer and emerald rivers? Pah. How about a vibrant light show of green and red auroras dancing across the night sky. Earth is currently experiencing a "severe" solar storm, probably due to clouds of charged particles that came racing off the sun on March 15. When high-speed particles from such coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, hit our atmosphere, they excite molecules of gas in the air and trigger brilliant displays of lights, most commonly around the Poles.

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March 18 2015

A second minor planet may possess Saturn-like rings


There are only five bodies in our solar system that are known to bear rings. The most obvious is the planet Saturn; to a lesser extent, rings of gas and dust also encircle Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The fifth member of this haloed group is Chariklo, one of a class of minor planets called centaurs: small, rocky bodies that possess qualities of both asteroids and comets.

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March 18 2015

Superconductors Could Help Physicists Find 'Gravity Particles'


It may be possible to draw energy from a vacuum using gravity, a theoretical physicist says.

If researchers succeed in showing that this can happen, it could prove the long-postulated existence of the graviton, the particle of gravity, and perhaps bring scientists one step closer to developing a "theory of everything" that can explain how the universe works from its smallest to largest scales.

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March 18 2015

Ice makes unlikely rocket fuel for CubeSats


Ice would make a fine rocket fuel, if you're a CubeSat.

These lightweight, low-cost satellites are made up of 1 litre modules, making them popular for student projects. Once they have hitched a ride into Earth orbit, they can do real science, such as monitoring the atmosphere or searching for extrasolar planets.

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March 17 2015

Flying car will go on sale in 2017, Aeromobil says


Ever wanted to buy a flying car? You only have a couple more years to wait, says a company that has built prototypes that can both drive and fly.

The flying roadster, a sporty two seater that transforms into a light sports aircraft, aims to go on sale in just two years from Slovakia-based Aeromobil.

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March 17 2015

Robot capable of sorting through and folding piles of rumpled clothes


Advancements in robotics have enabled humankind to automate a whole range of industrial processes, leading to more efficient and safer production and helping to expand our knowledge through scientific discovery. Why is it, however, that we can send a robot into space to take samples of Martian rocks, but still can't delegate the ironing to a household robot?

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