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November 27 2014

Invisible shield found thousands of miles above Earth blocks 'killer electrons'


A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called "killer electrons," which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.

The barrier to the particle motion was discovered in the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped rings above Earth that are filled with high-energy electrons and protons.

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November 27 2014

Mirrors could replace air conditioning by beaming heat into space


A mirror that sends heat into the frigid expanse of space has been designed by scientists to replace air-conditioning units that keep buildings cool on Earth.

Researchers believe the mirror could slash the amount of energy used to control air temperatures in business premises and shopping centres by doing away with power-hungry cooling systems.

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November 27 2014

Cows with human chromosomes enlisted to fight hantavirus


Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

It’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins.

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November 27 2014

Christian Poincheval Invents Pill That Makes Farts Smell Like Chocolate


France has given the world fragrant perfume and very stinky cheeses, but the country's latest and greatest olfactory contribution may be a pill that makes farts smell like chocolate.

The sweet-smelling product is the creation of Christian Poincheval, a 65-year-old inventor who hails from the village of Gesvres and looks like Santa Claus' younger hippie brother.

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November 27 2014

Dogs hear our words and how we say them


When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said—those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences—but also to other features of that speech—the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance.


Alt: Dogs’ brains may process speech similar to humans’

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November 27 2014

The Sound of Status: People Know High-Power Voices When They Hear Them


Being in a position of power can fundamentally change the way you speak, altering basic acoustic properties of the voice, and other people are able to pick up on these vocal cues to know who is really in charge, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

We tend to focus on our words when we want to come across as powerful to others, but these findings suggest that basic acoustic cues also play an important role.

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November 27 2014

Deep-Sea Dwellers Make A Natural Antibiotic


On hot vents deep underneath the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there lives something unusual: a gene that fights bacteria. The gene belongs to a microscopic organism, scientifically named Aciduliprofundum boonei, that lives in the extreme environments atop undersea thermal vents all over the world.


Related: Strange Sounds of the Deep Dark Sea

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November 27 2014

Hundreds report mystery 'explosion' in Manchester


A mysterious explosion heard across parts of Manchester and Salford remains unexplained.

Hundreds of people took to social media to describe hearing a "loud bang" at about 22:30 GMT on Monday.

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November 26 2014

Converting Human-Generated Waste Into Fuel in Space


Who would've known human waste could be used to propel spacecraft from the moon back to Earth? Researchers responded to the call from NASA and came up with a process to convert waste to methane and propel spacecraft to Earth.

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November 26 2014

Open for Business: 3-D Printer Creates First Object in Space on International Space Station


The International Space Station’s 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions.

"This first print is the initial step toward providing an on-demand machine shop capability away from Earth,".


Related: World's First Zero-Gravity 3D Printer Installed on Space Station

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November 26 2014

Oxford team shed light on Philae obelisk


History was made this month as the robotic Philae lander completed the first controlled touchdown on a comet. The European Space Agency-led project was set up to obtain images of a comet’s surface and help scientists to understand what a comet is made of.

The lander and the Rosetta probe which transported it were named after two of the objects which were crucial in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs: the Rosetta stone and the Philae obelisk.

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November 26 2014

Mysterious Roman God Baffles Experts


A sculpture of a mysterious, never-before-seen Roman deity has been unearthed in an ancient temple in Turkey.

The 1st century B.C. relief, of an enigmatic bearded god rising up out of a flower or plant, was discovered at the site of a Roman temple near the Syrian border. The ancient relief was discovered in a supporting wall of a medieval Christian monastery.


Related: Archaeologists find fertility genius, godheads and oil lamps in Roman Cumbria

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November 26 2014

Golden Fleece myth was based on real events, geologists contend


Jason and the Argonauts’ mythic quest for the Golden Fleece took inspiration from an actual voyage sometime between 3,300 and 3,500 years ago, scientists say. Jason went from Greece to a kingdom near the Black Sea renowned for using sheepskins to collect gold grains and flakes from mountain streams.

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November 26 2014

Ancient avian bones found in China may be oldest example of chicken domestication


Humans in Africa already exploited domestic cereals 7,000 years ago and thus several centuries earlier than previously known.

A research team from Barcelona, Treviso, London and Kiel was successful in verifying ancient barley and wheat residues in grave goods and on teeth from two Neolithic cemeteries in Central Sudan and Nubia.


Related: Look How Much Bigger Thanksgiving Turkeys Are Today Than in the 1930s

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November 26 2014

Evidence of domestic cereals in Sudan as early as 7,000 years ago


Humans in Africa already exploited domestic cereals 7,000 years ago and thus several centuries earlier than previously known.

A research team from Barcelona, Treviso, London and Kiel was successful in verifying ancient barley and wheat residues in grave goods and on teeth from two Neolithic cemeteries in Central Sudan and Nubia.

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November 26 2014

Blind Scottish Centipede Reveals How Venomous Carnivores Evolved


Usually blind sages revealing the secrets of the universe are Asian. Scotland doesn't get enough respect that way but a centipede is defying the stereotype.

Arthropods are one of Earth's real success stories, with more species than any other animal phylum.


Alt: Genome of lowly centipede sequenced, adding a piece to puzzle of how life started on Earth

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November 26 2014

How Did Manatees Inspire Mermaid Legends?


It's that time of year when manatees, the slow-moving aquatic mammals of the southeast coast of North America, start to migrate south into warmer waters—and often run into trouble.

In Florida, many of the languid giants—also called sea cows—are killed each year in boating collisions.

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News desk archive...

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