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October 12 2014

NASA Is Studying How to Mine the Moon for Water


There's a lot of water on the moon, and NASA wants to learn how to mine it.

Space agency scientists are developing two separate mission concepts to assess, and learn how to exploit, stores of water ice on the moon and other lunar resources. The projects — called Lunar Flashlight and the Resource Prospector Mission — are notionally targeted to blast off in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and aim to help humanity extend its footprint out into the solar system.

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October 12 2014

Alien planet has water vapor, is otherwise completely uninhabitable


A super-hot planet 260 light-years from Earth is showing signs of water vapor in its atmosphere, despite scorching temperatures that are hot enough to melt steel, according to the best weather map ever created of an alien world.

The Jupiter-size alien planet, called WASP-43b, is so hot that daytime temperatures reach 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 degrees Celsius). At night, it's a bit cooler — about 1,000 F (537 C) — still hot enough to melt silver.

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October 12 2014

Martian methane sniffer adapted for Earth


WHAT'S that gassy smell? The hypersensitive methane detector on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is being repurposed to ferret out gas leaks on Earth. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco, and global energy giant Chevron, are testing a handheld, earthbound version that is 1000 times as sensitive as existing methane sniffers.

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October 12 2014

Dark matter half what we thought, say scientists


A new measurement of dark matter in the Milky Way has revealed there is half as much of the mysterious substance as previously thought.

Australian astronomers used a method developed almost 100 years ago to discover that the weight of dark matter in our own galaxy is 800 000 000 000 (or 8 x 1011) times the mass of the Sun.

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October 12 2014

Discovery of new subatomic particle to 'transform' understanding of fundamental force of nature


The discovery of a new particle will "transform our understanding" of the fundamental force of nature that binds the nuclei of atoms, researchers argue. The discovery of the new particle will help provide greater understanding of the strong interaction, the fundamental force of nature found within the protons of an atom's nucleus.

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October 12 2014

Gargantuan $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope begins construction in Hawaii


After years of planning, construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has started in Hawaii. This gigantic next-generation telescope will provide astronomers with unparalleled power — about 10 times the resolution of Hubble — to observe the intricacies of the universe from the comfort of Earth. However, its location atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano has some local residents up in arms. It’s a case of the age-old clash of tradition with scientific progress.

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October 12 2014

A Brief History of Scientists Hunting for Time Travelers


Time travel is possible—or at least a lot of serious physicists say so. It's probably not possible to pull it off in a souped-up Delorean, but there are wormholes, Tipler cylinders, and other Einstein-inspired theories for how it could work. Which raises the question: Why haven't we met any visitors from another time?

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October 12 2014

Remains of Alexander the Great's Father Confirmed Found


A team of Greek researchers has confirmed that bones found in a two-chambered royal tomb at Vergina, a town some 100 miles away from Amphipolis's mysterious burial mound, indeed belong to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father.

The anthropological investigation examined 350 bones and fragments found in two larnakes, or caskets, of the tomb. It uncovered pathologies, activity markers and trauma that helped identify the tomb's occupants.

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October 12 2014

Drought exposes once-submerged Oregon town to archaeological dig


Record drought on the U.S. West Coast has exposed the ruins of an Oregon hamlet once submerged under the waters of a man-made reservoir, allowing a rare opportunity for an archaeological excavation, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation official said on Thursday.

The tiny community of Klamath Junction was once home to two gas stations and a cluster of homes and other buildings that date back to the 1920s, but its residents were relocated and the structures inundated as part of a 1960 irrigation project that extended a reservoir known as Emigrant Lake.

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October 12 2014

Mysterious shipwreck found in Cayuga Lake


Beneath Cayuga Lake's churning waves, a boat's planks and woodwork are shrouded in a green-hue of sunlight reflected through 70 feet of water.

The boat is a mostly intact, mid-1800s canal boat discovered in 2013. The hull and deck are identifiable, albeit covered in algae and mussels. Ports leading to the vessel's cargo holds are still defined, a huge rudder remains attached and the bow is uncompromised.

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October 12 2014

The Truth Behind The Malibu Underwater 'Alien Base'


A little more than 6 miles off the coast of Point Dume in Malibu, California, an unusual-looking structure sits on the sea bed floor. Based on images obtained on Google Earth, the oval-shaped object has a huge flat top and what appear to be pillars or columns that seem to reveal the entrance to a darker, inner place.

The anomaly -- for the moment, we'll call it that -- is approximately 2,000 feet below the surface of the water, measuring nearly 3 miles wide. What exactly is this thing?

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October 12 2014

Siberian exploding holes 'are the key to Bermuda Triangle' - scientists


Same phenomenon of discharge of gas hydrates 'led to crater formation in Russia and disappearance of ships in Atlantic'.

The craters - two in Yamal and one on the Taymyr peninsula - were revealed during the summer, leading to urgent analysis by scientists as well as a wave of speculation suggesting the cause was aliens from outer space, meteorites, or stray missiles.

Now respected Science in Siberia journal has come up with a coherent explanation for the northern craters.

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October 12 2014

Study: Frozen poop pills may make fecal transplants simpler and safer


Would you swallow frozen poop in a pill? What if you were infected by a stubborn strain of Clostridium difficile and suffering from diarrhea bad enough to send you to a hospital?

It may – OK, probably does – sound gross. But researchers are embracing the concept of treating repeat C. difficile infections with fecal transplants.

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October 12 2014

Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal


Attitudes towards the healing powers of psychedelics seem to be changing, says Tom Shroder, the author of a new book on the subject. And, according to some researchers, their incredible efficacy is due to their ability to unleash the mind’s own “innate healing intelligence”.


Related: The Legalization of Marijuana Could Reduce Alcoholism
Related: When DMT Equals Killing the Environment

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October 12 2014

Manipulating memory with light: Scientists erase specific memories in mice


Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories.

Optogenetics, pioneered by Karl Diesseroth at Stanford University, is a new technique for manipulating and studying nerve cells using light.

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October 12 2014

Google sending its Street View cameras to the desert... on camels


A friend of mine suffers from travel anxiety.

Her thoughts about how she’ll proceed from A to B are fraught with all manner of What Ifs, mainly prompted by not knowing what various stages of the journey will look like. Google Maps has proved to be a boon for her in this regard; its Street View facility, once restricted to urban thoroughfares, has since expanded to cover all kinds of places including, crucially, the interiors of major transit hubs such as airports and rail termini. Using Google Maps, my friend can visually preview the entirety of some of her trips, eliminating surprise and reducing her heart rate in one fell swoop. And if she happens to be planning a trip to the Liwa Desert on the Arabian peninsula any time soon, Google’s got that covered, too, thanks to a camel called Raffia.

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October 11 2014

Z machine makes progress toward nuclear fusion


Scientists are reporting a significant advance in the quest to develop an alternative approach to nuclear fusion. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, using the lab’s Z machine, a colossal electric pulse generator capable of producing currents of tens of millions of amperes, say they have detected significant numbers of neutrons—byproducts of fusion reactions—coming from the experiment.

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