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August 19 2014

Alien Contact in Puerto Rico?


An independent group of researchers in Puerto Rico believe they possibly made contact with ‘beings from elsewhere’ last Friday, August 15, 2014, 37th anniversary of the mysterious ‘WOW! Signal’ captured by SETI.”

The “Arecibo Project,” led by Joshua P. Warren, Director of the Bermuda Triangle Research Base, spent the day transmitting radio messages into outer space from Arecibo, Lajas, and other parts of the island, asking ET to appear around certain GPS coordinates as a live webcam streamed footage of the general location.

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August 19 2014

The real Men in Black, Hollywood and the great UFO cover-up


In a new documentary, US government agents claim they spent decades giving fake evidence of extraterrestrials to gullible ufologists. But why? And how can we trust them now?

Hidden among the avalanche of documents leaked by Edward Snowden were images from a Powerpoint presentation by GCHQ, entitled The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations.

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August 19 2014

Scientific Error Delayed the Search for Alien Life


In the 19th century, astronomers believed that solar systems formed in nebular clouds throughout the universe. But 20th century scientists rejected that idea, arguing that our solar system was an aberration. This mistake derailed the search for exoplanets, and extraterrestrials, for decades.

Scientists of the early 20th century argued that tidal forces had caused the sun to spit out the planets when a rogue star passed too close. It was a kind of drive-by shooting theory of planetary formation known as the "Planetesimal Hypothesis."

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August 19 2014

Wildfire Interrupts the Search for Intelligent Aliens


Nature sure has a knack for interrupting astronomy.

Yesterday, observatories atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island were shut down in advance of Hurricane Iselle making landfall. But just across the Pacific Ocean in Northern California, a wildfire forced the shutdown of the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) — a collection of radio antennae that are seeking out signals from intelligent alien civilizations.

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August 19 2014

Hairspray Chemical Could Aid Search for Alien Life


Chemicals once found in hairspray may serve as signs of alien life on faraway worlds, researchers say.

These compounds may reveal that extraterrestrials have disastrously altered their planets, scientists added.

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August 18 2014

Dust from beyond our solar system fell to Earth from space probe


It could be the most exotic material on the planet. Seven particles of dust brought back to Earth by a spacecraft nearly a decade ago appear to have come from beyond our solar system.

The specks have all the hallmarks of being created in interstellar space. If confirmed, it would make them the first material from outside the solar system to be brought to Earth for study.


Related: Exotic grains from cosmos identified

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August 18 2014

Tiny 'Nanoflares' May Solve Sun Mystery


Small "nanoflares" erupting from the sun might be the key to unlocking a cosmic mystery, according to a new study.

Scientists have found that the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, can reach temperatures 1,000 times higher than those at the surface of the star, but solar physicists previously had no explanation for why this temperature discrepancy is so great. Now, researchers think the relatively tiny flares may be the "smoking gun" that explains this mysterious cosmic occurrence.

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August 18 2014

Could tensions over Ukraine hit space?


With the downing of flight MH17, tensions between Russia and the United States over Ukraine have reached a new high. New tougher sanctions have been put in place, targeting Russia's finance, defence and energy sectors. But Russia may have found a way to hit back - and America's space industry is its target.

When Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface in 1969, it was the pivotal point in a space race that had lasted for more than a decade.

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August 18 2014

Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace


Sweden has not actively taken part in a war since 1814 - breaking even Switzerland's record for peace. One peace and conflict expert has told The Local that Swedes learned the hard way to take the non-confrontational stance.

Precisely 200 years ago, on August 15th, 1814, Sweden entered a new era of peace. The last battle took its final breath on August 14th after the signing of the Convention of Moss, ending a brief war with Norway sparked by the nation declaring its independence.

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August 18 2014

Health of Planet, People Linked


What does an endangered lemur have to do with a malnourished child in Madagascar? How does deforestation in Indonesia affect a Singapore businessman's cardiopulmonary system? Why could a marine conservation area improve a woman's health oceans away?

Christopher Golden researches and quantifies the often surprising connections between environmental trends and human health.


Related: Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger

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August 18 2014

Biological effects of Fukushima radiation on plants, insects, and animals


Following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown, biological samples were obtained only after extensive delays, limiting the information that could be gained about the impacts of that historic disaster. Determined not to repeat the shortcomings of the Chernobyl studies, scientists began gathering biological information only a few months after the disastrous meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan in 2011.

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August 18 2014

How Microscopic Ocean Life May Help Make It Rain


SAN FRANCISCO—Clouds can carry millions of pounds of water, but that doesn’t mean rain and snow just happen. Hundreds of thousands of water vapor molecules need to freeze together as ice before they are heavy enough to fall to the ground. But, the water molecules need a bit of dust or other microscopic matter to latch onto in order to get started, and some of the best bits for forming ice are pieces of once-living cells. Scientists now believe a lot of the organic matter in clouds is released into the air by breaking waves in the ocean.

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August 18 2014

Student's six-foot water and solar-powered lens purifies polluted water


Water may appear to be an abundant resource, but in some parts of the world clean water is hard to come by.

That could change through the work of Deshawn Henry, a University at Buffalo sophomore civil engineering major, who researched how to improve a 6-foot-tall, self-sustaining magnifying glass.

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August 18 2014

How DNA barcodes can beat the wildlife traffickers


Researchers in Wales are using cutting-edge techniques to catalogue species from tiny sections of genetic material. And these DNA 'barcodes' are now being used to catch plant and animal smugglers worldwide

As I rattle across the Welsh countryside in an early morning train, a verdant landscape bounces into view. A blurred jumble of grass, trees, brambles and bushes flies past the window.

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August 18 2014

Giant fish cannon shoots 40 salmon per minute, is actually saving the environment


Whether you are a sport fisherman, a conservationist, or simply like to eat good fish, the havoc wreaked by massive dams on river-spawning fish (like salmon) should concern you. Salmon are incredible athletes, able to propel themselves several feet vertically, but they can’t scale concrete walls by themselves. To get them over small dams, fish ladders or lifts are often constructed. Getting past major barriers, like the dams on the Columbia River, requires catching the fish and transporting them upstream — n process that is too expensive to be implemented everywhere it is needed.

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August 18 2014

Sharks Are Chomping Underwater Fiber-Optic Cables


Sharks have an undeserved reputation for being bloodthirsty killers that routinely make snacks out of tourists. Although the risk of getting eaten by a shark is extremely small, the same cannot be said for underwater fiber-optic cables that carry data around the world.

It seems sharks have a mighty hankering for these vital intercontinental communication links – a penchant which has set Google on a mission to reinforce its trans-Pacific cables by wrapping them in a Kevlar-like material.

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August 18 2014

World's oldest true dolphin species discovered


Waseda researchers have described the earliest example of a true dolphin in the known fossil record.

In an article published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Waseda Department of Earth Sciences researchers (lead author Mizuki Murakami) conclude that the specimen, which was originally categorized in 1977 as Stenella kabatensis, actually belongs to the Eodelphis kabatensis species. This means that true dolphins existed 2 to 7 million years earlier than had been previously suggested by fossil records, and aligns with the results of molecular studies.

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