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February 24 2014

Dutch scientists flap to the future with 'insect' drone


Dutch scientists have developed the world's smallest autonomous flapping drone, a dragonfly-like beast with 3-D vision that could revolutionise our experience of everything from pop concerts to farming.

"This is the DelFly Explorer, the world's smallest drone with flapping wings that's able to fly around by itself and avoid obstacles," its proud developer Guido de Croon of the Delft Technical University told AFP.

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February 24 2014

New Hyundai Vehicle Fueled By Poo


Poo power is ready to hit the streets. Hyundai recently announced plans to begin leasing a new vehicle this spring, and the fuel in the tank will come from processed sewage.

Last fall, Tesla’s Elon Musk was calling hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles “bullsh*t.” He meant that as an insult, saying it’s a dangerous gas more suitable for rockets than for cars. But it’s almost literally true. In several weeks Hyundai will begin leasing a new Tucson Fuel Cell crossover vehicle that runs on hydrogen gas derived from excrement.

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February 24 2014

Can we stop the lemur from going extinct?


From ecotourism to encouraging long-term research in critical lemur sites, researchers have proposed a three-year emergency action plan to prevent the wide-eyed prosimians from going extinct.

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February 24 2014

Axolotl found in Mexico City lake after scientists feared it only survived in captivity


A rare, salamander-like amphibian has been spotted in its only known natural habitat, after researchers feared the creature had disappeared from the wild.

Mexican biologists have seen, but not caught, two axolotls during a second attempt to find them in the Xochimilco network of lakes and canals of Mexico City.

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February 24 2014

How snails, clams survived the Great Dying


The most catastrophic mass extinction in the history of Earth had little effect on the lowliest of beasts living in the bottom-dwelling muck on the sea floor, according to a new study.

This could explain the puzzling fact that even after the worst extinction event of all time, very few new groups of benthic (bottom-dwelling) animals — like snails and clams — sprung from the wreckage.

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February 24 2014

Volcanic eruptions ‘contributed to global warming pause’, scientists claim


The impact of volcanic eruptions on global warming could provide a new explanation for the so-called “pause” used by sceptics to deny climate change is happening, scientists have said.

According to a study in the US, models for predicting the rate at which temperatures around the world would rise from 1998 onwards did not take into consideration the measurable impact volcanoes can have.

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February 24 2014

Gem found on Australian sheep ranch is the oldest known piece of Earth, scientists find


To put it mildly, this is one gem of a gem.

Scientists using two different age-determining techniques have shown that a tiny zircon crystal found on a sheep ranch in Western Australia is the oldest known piece of our planet, dating to 4.4 billion years ago.

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February 23 2014

Your Next Cooking Oil Could Come From Hemp


Agricultural hemp produces strong and decay-resistant fibers, a versatile oil, and requires little in the way of herbicides, since it outcompetes weeds. Hemp oil isn't widely used for cooking, though, partially because it turns rancid swiftly if not refrigerated.

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February 23 2014

Einstein's conversion from a static to an expanding universe


Albert Einstein accepted the modern cosmological view that the universe is expanding long after his contemporaries, new study shows.

Until 1931, physicist Albert Einstein believed that the universe was static.. An urban legend attributes this change of perspective to when American astronomer Edwin Hubble showed Einstein his observations of redshift in the light emitted by far away nebulae—today known as galaxies. But the reality is more complex.

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February 23 2014

An experiment that might let us control events millions of years ago


Most of us have heard of the famous double-slit experiment. Usually it's played out in a lab in seconds. But there's one version, dreamt up by physicist John Archibald Wheeler, that can be played out over much of the galaxy, over millions of years. His thought experiment suggests that we could retroactively determine the fate of ancient photons.

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February 23 2014

The Math That Predicted the Revolutions Sweeping the Globe Right Now


It's happening in Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, Bosnia, Syria, and beyond. Revolutions, unrest, and riots are sweeping the globe. The near-simultaneous eruption of violent protest can seem random and chaotic; inevitable symptoms of an unstable world. But there's at least one common thread between the disparate nations, cultures, and people in conflict, one element that has demonstrably proven to make these uprisings more likely: high global food prices.

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February 23 2014

How Connectedness—Not Distance—Predicts the Spread of a Pandemic


In our connected world, distance is a relative concept. It takes less time to cover the 800 miles between New York and Chicago by air than it does to reach Albany, 150 miles north, by land. And that is as true for the flu as it is for you.

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February 23 2014

More Evidence Shows Whooping Cough Evolving In Response To Its Vaccine


Whooping cough is evolving in response to its vaccine. Want proof? In a new study, researchers found 30 percent of whooping cough bacteria in Australia have evolved.

We've reported on the evolution of whooping cough before. Researchers have found evolved pertussis, as whooping cough is scientifically known, in Finland, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S.

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February 23 2014

Nothing so sweet as a voice like your own, study finds


Have you ever noticed that your best friends speak the same way? A new study finds we prefer voices that are similar to our own because they convey a soothing sense of community and social belongingness.

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February 23 2014

Dogs brain scans reveal vocal responses


Devoted dog owners often claim that their pets understand them. A new study suggests they could be right.

By placing dogs in an MRI scanner, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does.

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February 23 2014

Smellizing—imagining a product's smell—increases consumer desire, study finds


Seeing is believing, but smellizing – a new term for prompting consumers to imagine the smell of a product – could be the next step toward more effective advertising.

Researchers came to this conclusion through four studies of products most of us would like to smellize: cookies and cake.

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February 23 2014

Regardless of exercise, too much sedentary time is linked to major disability after 60


If you're 60 and older, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to doubling the risk of being disabled -- regardless of how much exercise you get, reports a new study. The study is the first to show sedentary behavior is its own risk factor for disability, separate from lack of moderate vigorous physical activity.

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February 23 2014

Dishonesty and creativity: 2 sides of the same coin?


New research shows that lying about performance on one task may increase creativity on a subsequent task by making people feel less bound by conventional rules.

The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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