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February 15 2015

New Particles Found at Large Hadron Collider


Two new particles made of exotic types of quarks have appeared inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland. The particles are never-before-seen species of baryons—a category of particles that also includes the familiar protons and neutrons inside atoms. The new baryons had been long predicted to exist, but their specific characteristics, such as their mass, were unknown until they were discovered in the flesh. The new measurements serve to confirm and refine the existing theory of subatomic particles and help pave the way for a deeper theory that could include even more exotic particles.

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February 15 2015

Heart of darkness: Scientists probe dark matter near Milky Way's core


Even though scientists have managed to quantify how much dark matter lurks in distant galaxies, astronomers have been hard-pressed to figure out how much of the mysterious stuff lies within our own.

But in a paper published in the journal Nature Physics, a team of researchers has managed to measure the amount of dark matter in the inner Milky Way, which could shed light on the structure and evolution of our galaxy, and perhaps of others as well.


Related: Camera seeks dark energy clues

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February 15 2015

What Would It Be Like to Live on the Moon?


The idea of building a lunar outpost has long captured people's imaginations. But what would it really be like to live on the moon?

Space exploration has long focused on the moon, with Earth's satellite the setting for a number of significant missions. A 1959 Soviet spacecraft photographed the moon's far side for the first time, and in 1969, NASA landed people on the lunar surface for the first time.

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February 15 2015

The sun won't die for 5 billion years, so why do humans have only 1 billion years left on Earth?


In a few billion years, the sun will become a red giant so large that it will engulf our planet. But the Earth will become uninhabitable much sooner than that. After about a billion years the sun will become hot enough to boil our oceans.

The sun is currently classified as a "main sequence" star. This means that it is in the most stable part of its life, converting the hydrogen present in its core into helium.

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February 15 2015

Multiple-Star Birth Revealed in Stellar Nursery


Astronomers have have gotten their first good look at the beginnings of a quadruple-star system.

The discovery could lead to a better understanding of why some stars, such as our sun, are loners, while many others are born into systems with two, three, or more stars.

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February 15 2015

'Mirage Planets' May Complicate Search for Extraterrestrial Life


Some alien worlds might look like they're capable of hosting life as we know it on Earth, but in reality, these "mirage planets" might have burned away those chances for life, scientists think.

Thus, these mirage planets may make it more difficult for scientists to find genuine signs of extraterrestrial life if it exists elsewhere in the universe, new research shows.

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February 14 2015

UK Scientists: Aliens May Have Sent Space Seeds To Create Life On Earth


Scientists in the U.K. have examined a tiny metal circular object, and are suggesting it might be a micro-organism deliberately sent by extraterrestrials to create life on Earth.

The University of Buckingham reports that the minuscule metal globe was discovered by astrobiologist Milton Wainwright and a team of researchers who examined dust and minute matter gathered by a high-flying balloon in Earth's stratosphere.


Alt: Is this picture a 'seed' sent to Earth by aliens? Scientists discover mysterious organism

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February 14 2015

We’re Closer Than Ever to a Birth Control Pill for Men


For dudes who like to notch their belts or track miscellaneous pants-related data, the fact that men produce 1,500 sperm every second seems impressive. But that comes at a cost: babies. Women can choose among a wide variety of birth control methods, but options for men are limited to slip-ons or snips. For now.

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February 14 2015

Schizophrenia, Depression and Addiction All Linked to Similar Loss of Brain Matter


Diagnoses as different as depression, addictions and schizophrenia are all linked to a similar pattern of gray-matter loss in the brain, a new study finds.

The results hint at an underlying biological cause for these mental illnesses.

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February 14 2015

In the Brain, Romantic Love Is Basically an Addiction


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it,” Albert Einstein reportedly said. I’d like to broaden the definition of addiction—and also retire the scientific idea that all addictions are pathological and harmful.


Related: How Math Can Help You Find True Love

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February 14 2015

Is recess the most important class of the day?


Recess is more than just a chance for kids to burn off some pent up energy.

“Recess isn’t normally considered part of school climate, and often is shortchanged in tight fiscal times, but our research shows that it can be a critical contributor to positive school climate in low-income elementary schools”.

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February 14 2015

Synaesthesia: How people can taste colours, feel sounds and overwhelmingly make music


When Lowell, a Canadian electro-pop musician, listens to “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, she sees a wave of blue water crashing over her.

When she hears the experimental group Animal Collective, the layered synths, clicks and vocals in the music create multiple textures and colours, so listening becomes like looking through a kaleidoscope.

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February 14 2015

Scientists Propose a Sixth Basic Taste: Fat


Humans are thought to be able to taste five qualities but technological advances combined with sophisticated research means we can now test for more subtle tastes we haven’t known about. In a paper we published this week, we show there’s now enough evidence to consider fat a taste quality.

Taste acts as the gatekeeper of ingestion – if a potential food is deemed suitable for consumption it may be swallowed, if not rejected. To guide this decision, we have five taste qualities: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.

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February 14 2015

Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It's Easy To Pick Up


Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. The same goes for soda. So we were intrigued to learn that soda plays a part in a new book called How the Body Knows Its Mind by Sian Beilock, a psychologist at the University of Chicago.

Her book is about the ways in which our bodies affect our brains. To show how, Beilock did a study that sought to answer the question: When you decide whether or not you like an object, might you be making that decision based on how easy it is to pick the object up?

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February 14 2015

Plastic waste heading for oceans quantified


About eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world's oceans each year, say scientists.

The new study is said to be the best effort yet to quantify just how much of this debris is being dumped, blown or simply washed out to sea.


Alt: Ocean plastic is likely disappearing into the food chain, new study indicates

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February 14 2015

Scientific Pros Weigh The Cons Of Messing With Earth's Thermostat


Before anyone tries to cool the Earth with technologies that could counteract global warming, there needs to be a lot more research into the benefits and risks. That's the conclusion announced Tuesday by a scientific panel convened by the prestigious National Research Council to assess "climate geoengineering" — deliberate attempts to alter the global climate.


Related: US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists

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February 14 2015

Will Pacific Island Nations Disappear as Seas Rise? Maybe Not


Reef islands can grow and change shape as sediments shift, studies show.

"If you were faced with the threat of the disappearance of your nation, what would you do?"

That's the question Enele Sopoaga, the prime minister of the tiny Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu, asked fellow world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru, in December.

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