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June 15 2014

Earth's Oldest Rocks Hold Essential Ingredient for Life


A critical building block for creating the first life on Earth was found in 3.8-billion-year-old rocks from Isua, Greenland, researchers reported this week here at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference.

For the first time, rich concentrations of the element boron have been found in Isua's ancient marine rocks, study author Takeshi Kakegawa, a professor at Tohoku University in Japan, said Monday (June 9). The discovery signals that boron was circulating in seawater and was absorbed by marine clays, which eventually became tourmaline, he said.

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June 15 2014

Did Super-Sized Animals Live Long Before Dinosaurs?


It's generally believed that Earth's earliest animals were not very big, but discovery of a huge new fish that lived around 423 million years ago has scientists rethinking what life was like close to 200 million years before the first dinosaurs emerged.

The fish, named Big Mouth Blunt Tooth (Megamastax amblyodus), is described in the latest issue of Scientific Reports. For its time, the toothy and lobe-finned fish was in the number one spot on the food chain.

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June 15 2014

What Ate a 9-Foot Great White Shark? Another Great White?


Speculation that a great white shark that went missing off Australia may have been devoured by another great white is making the Internet rounds this week, raising the question of whether it was an instance of shark cannibalism.

The shark that disappeared was wearing a research tag, which a beachcomber found 2.5 miles (four kilometers) away from where it had been affixed to the shark.

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June 15 2014

Amazon tribal chief’s SOS: the white man is destroying everything


The Brazilian tribal leader who enlisted Sting to help save the Amazon rainforest has accused the developed world of being intent on “destroying everything” and urged its citizens to fundamentally change the way they think.

With the help of Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, Chief Raoni generated so much publicity he was able to defeat a series of proposed dams along the Xingu, a major tributary of the Amazon where this tribe lives, in the early 1990s.

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June 15 2014

Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs


Researchers find that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs. When people get together in groups, unusual things can happen -- both good and bad. Groups create important social institutions that an individual could not achieve alone, but there can be a darker side to such alliances: Belonging to a group makes people more likely to harm others outside the group.

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June 15 2014

Emotional contagion sweeps Facebook, finds new study


When it hasn't been your day – your week, your month, or even your year – it might be time to turn to Facebook friends for a little positive reinforcement. Emotions can spread contagiously among users of online social networks, both positive and negative, researchers report. The experiment is the first to suggest that emotions expressed via online social networks influence the moods of others, they say.

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June 15 2014

Could your fingerprint reveal your perfect job?


Russian scientists are claiming palm readers may have been onto something when trying to predict the future.

A group of university professors recently unveiled a scanner they believe can detect the perfect job for anyone - simply by looking at their fingerprints.

The device bases its results on a database of how fingerprint shapes correlate to job selection.

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June 15 2014

Are meetings more creative without chairs?


Standing meetings can get employees excited about creative group processes and can reduce their tendencies to get territorial, new research shows.

“Organizations should design office spaces that facilitate non-sedentary work,” says Andrew Knight, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Olin Business School of the Washington University in St. Louis.

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June 15 2014

You'll Be Able To Text Your Friend A Smell In A Few Days


Soon you'll be able to send a friend not just a picture of a pizza, but the scent of a pizza, using your phone. Yes, really.

Harvard engineering professor David Edwards has invented a device called an oPhone that sends and receives photos and scents. You can mix-and-match 32 basic scents to create more than 300,000 unique aromas, according to the oPhone website.

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June 15 2014

NASA Experiments Recreate Aromatic Flavors of Titan


NASA scientists have created a new recipe that captures key flavors of the brownish-orange atmosphere around Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

The recipe is used for lab experiments designed to simulate Titan’s chemistry. With this approach, the team was able to classify a previously unidentified material discovered by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in the moon’s smoggy haze.

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June 15 2014

Ice and fire forge a reservoir for life on Mars


Where volcanoes meet glaciers, lakes often form. This happens in many places on Earth and in at least one place off it: Arsia Mons, Mars.

Arsia Monsis one of the largest mountains in the solar system. Wispy water-ice clouds gather near its peak during the Martian afternoon. While it is only the third tallest volcano on Mars, Arsia Mons is 300 km (186 miles) wide and twice as tall as Mount Everest.

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June 15 2014

Extroverts Could Cause Problems on a Mission to Mars


As NASA focuses considerable effort on a mission to send humans to Mars in the coming decades, psychology researchers are looking at what types of personalities would work the best together on such a long trip.

Now, a new study finds that on long-term space missions — such as missions to Mars, which could take as long as three years to complete a round trip — having an extrovert on board could have several disadvantages.

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June 15 2014

3D printer to fly to space in august, sooner than planned


A 3-D printer intended for the International Space Station has passed its NASA certifications with flying colors—earning the device a trip to space sooner than expected. The next Dragon spacecraft, scheduled to launch in August, will carry the Made In Space printer on board.

"Passing the final tests and shipping the hardware are significant milestones, but they ultimately lead to an even more meaningful one – the capability for anyone on Earth to have the option of printing objects on the ISS.

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June 14 2014

Two giant planets may cruise unseen beyond Pluto


The monsters are multiplying. Just months after astronomers announced hints of a giant "Planet X" lurking beyond Pluto, a team in Spain says there may actually be two supersized planets hiding in the outer reaches of our solar system.

When potential dwarf planet 2012 VP113 was discovered in March, it joined a handful of unusual rocky objects known to reside beyond the orbit of Pluto.

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June 14 2014

"Scan Europa's Ocean for Signs of Life with Jupiter's Radio Waves" --NASA Astrobiologists


In Arthur C Clarke's 2010 A Space Odyssey, the supercomputer HAL issues a last instruction to the Discovery crew ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE. Now, NASA scientists have a better idea.


Related: Radio signals from Jupiter could aid search for life

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June 14 2014

And Another One! Third Intense Solar Flare in 24 Hours


Following two very powerful explosions of radiation yesterday, the sun this morning let loose with yet another X-class solar flare.

Scientists say more may be coming in the days ahead — just as the region of the sun that’s all hot and bothered rotates into a more Earth-directed position.

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June 14 2014

Map of universe questioned: Dwarf galaxies don't fit standard model


Dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies defy the accepted model of galaxy formation, and recent attempts to wedge them into the model are flawed, reports an international team of astrophysicists. A new study pokes holes in the current understanding of galaxy formation and questions the accepted model of the origin and evolution of the universe.

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