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September 5 2014

The Rains Of Titan Change When They Hit Underground Reservoirs: Study


Titan — that moon of Saturn that has what some scientists consider precursors to elements for life — is a neat place to study because it also has a liquid cycle. But how the hydrocarbons move from the moon’s hundreds of lakes and seas into the atmosphere and the crust is still being examined.

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September 5 2014

'Soccer-ball' robots to patrol space for deadly junk


IN SPACE, junk can make you scream. The International Space Station (ISS)regularly changes orbit to avoid colliding with derelict satellites, rocket stages and other objects whizzing around Earth at thousands of kilometres per hour. Soon robots may fly out to assess the danger presented by the vast array of objects not already tracked by radar.

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September 5 2014

Hayabusa 2: Japan's New Asteroid Mining Plans Could Hold Answer to Life on Earth


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to launch a new probe into space to mine the asteroid 1999 JU3. This is the second attempt at mining an asteroid after the last spacecraft, Hayabusa, failed in its core mission.

The new spacecraft, named Hayabusa 2, has been completed and is ready and waiting to ship to its launch site.

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September 5 2014

NASA Wants Your Future Predictions for Asteroid-bound Time Capsule


If you have any predictions about the state of space exploration a decade from now, NASA would like to hear them.

The space agency is inviting the public to contribute messages and pictures to a "time capsule" aboard the Osiris-Rex spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in 2016. The probe will collect samples from an asteroid and return the material to Earth in 2023.

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September 5 2014

The First Successful Demonstration Of Brain-To-Brain Communication In Humans


For the first time ever, neuroscientists have demonstrated the viability of direct — and completely non-invasive — brain-to-brain communication in humans. Remarkably, the experiment allowed subjects to exchange mentally-conjured words despite being 5,000 miles apart.

It's the neuroscientific equivalent of instant messaging.

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September 5 2014

'Smart' chopsticks unveiled in China


Electronic chopsticks that can detect whether food is unsafe to eat have been unveiled by Chinese tech company Baidu.

The search giant said the utensils could detect unsanitary cooking oil - a common concern in the country.

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September 5 2014

Wrecked knees? Nose cartilage can fix them


IF YOU need a new knee, look no further than the end of your nose. It turns out that nasal cartilage is a good substitute for the knee's natural shock-absorbing tissue – so much so that nine people have undergone the first nose-to-knee cartilage transplant.

Unlike many tissues in the body, cartilage, which covers and cushions the surface of joints, has little capacity to regenerate once damaged. Sports injuries or falls can lead to loss of cartilage, but it also degenerates in diseases like osteoarthritis. Treatment options are limited and people often need to have the entire joint replaced with an artificial one.

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September 5 2014

When Peace Officers Dress for War


Unrest in Missouri may stem, in part, from changes to police culture centuries ago

Much has been written about how the militarized response of local police made matters worse in Ferguson, Mo., following the Michael Brown shooting on August 9. Many point to the antiterrorism push to arm cops with military-grade weapons and gear following 9/11. But critical changes in community–police interactions—changes made as early as the 1800s—may have contributed to the tragedy with the creation of a permanent "siege mentality" on the part of police officers.


Related: The angry face makes people look stronger

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September 5 2014

Famous Milgram 'electric shocks' experiment drew wrong conclusions about evil, say psychologists


For more than 50 years, anyone seeking proof that humans are capable of evil need only refer to the electric shocks administered by volunteers in the famous Milgram Experiment.

Now psychologists have found that the study, which showed how ordinary people will inflict extraordinary harm upon others, if someone in authority gives the orders, may have been completely misunderstood.

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September 5 2014

Try Again: Why Some People Persist in the Face of Setbacks


Whether people continue to pursue their goals in the face of setbacks, or give up, may depend on how much control they feel they have over a situation, a new study suggests.

The study also found that changes in certain brain areas were related to persisting with goals after encountering setbacks.

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September 5 2014

Air cabin crews have a greater risk of skin cancer


Pilots and flight crews on airliners are twice as likely as the general population to develop life-threatening melanoma skin cancer. The extra risk most likely comes from aircrew's increased exposure to sunlight penetrating the aircraft windows and windshields.

Total UV radiation is twice as intense at altitudes of 9000 to 10,000 metres – the cruising height of passenger planes – than at ground level.

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September 5 2014

How Caffeine Evolved to Help Plants Survive and Help People Wake Up


Every second, people around the world drink more than 26,000 cups of coffee. And while some of them may care only about the taste, most use it as a way to deliver caffeine into their bloodstream. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Many of us get our caffeine fix in tea, and still others drink mate, brewed from the South American yerba mate plant. Cacao plants produce caffeine, too, meaning that you can get a mild dose from eating chocolate.

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September 5 2014

Archerfish target shoot with 'skillfully thrown' water


Archerfish hunt by shooting jets of water at unsuspecting insects, spiders, or even small lizards on leaves or twigs above, knocking them into the water below before gobbling them up. Now, a study in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 4 finds that those fish are much more adaptable and skillful target-shooters than anyone had given them credit for. The fish really do use water as a tool, the researchers say, making them the first known tool-using animal to adaptively change the hydrodynamic properties of a free jet of water.

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September 4 2014

Deep sea 'mushroom' may be new branch of life


A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification in the tree of life.

A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom.

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September 4 2014

Egypt’s oldest pyramid being destroyed by company hired to restore it, claim activists


IT’S an invaluable piece of history, yet the oldest pyramid in Egypt is being destroyed by the company hired to restore it, say activists.

According to the Non-stop Robberies movement, the company hired by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities to restore the Pyramid of Djoser, in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, has broken preservation laws requiring that any new construction be less than 5 per cent of the preserved structure.

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September 4 2014

Archaeologists Train "Monuments Men" to Save Syria's Past


The ancient city of Dura-Europos sits on a bluff above the Tigris River a few miles from Syria's border with Iraq, its mud-brick walls facing a bleak expanse of desert. Just a year ago the city's precise grid of streets—laid down by Greek and Roman residents 2,000 years ago—was largely intact. Temples, houses, and a substantial Roman outpost were preserved for centuries by the desert sands.

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September 4 2014

Why Do We Build Walls Around Our Cities?


At almost the instant when humans started building cities, we figured out ways to put walls around them. The often violent history behind those walls is still affecting urban life today, in ways you may not realize.

In the early 1960s, eminent scholar Lewis Mumford published a massive tome called The City in History. He argued that cities evolved largely as military entities, and their walls were the most obvious sign of their profoundly warlike character.

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