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June 2 2014

Sleepy brains neglect half the world


A new study shows that drowsiness alters awareness in much the same way as a common form of brain damage

Damage to certain parts of the brain can lead to a bizarre syndrome called hemispatial neglect, in which one loses awareness of one side of their body and the space around it. In extreme cases, a patient with hemispatial neglect might eat food from only one side of their plate, dress on only one side of their body, or shave or apply make-up to half of their face, apparently because they cannot pay attention to anything on that the other side.

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June 2 2014

Rainy days make us just as happy as sunshine


Rainy days don’t have to get you down, a happiness expert has claimed.

Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics, said that people only feel miserable in bad weather because they dwell on it too much.

Studies have shown that people who live in warm, sunny climates are no happier that those in chilly, wet climes.

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June 2 2014

Can Drones Offer New Ways to Predict Storms, Save Lives?


While Amazon may deliver your new book via drone, the continued study of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) could increase the amount of weather data collected to better predict storm intensities and save lives in the path of severe weather.

According to experts, warnings for violent storms such as tornadoes could increase from 20 minutes to 60 minutes, an increase that could save thousands of lives and give people more time to protect their property.

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June 2 2014

Curved screens make our brains light up with pleasure


THE future looks curvy. A spate of gadgets sporting concave displays has already been launched, and the big manufacturers will soon be hurling yet more TVs and smartphones with curved screens on to the shelves. Rumours continue to swirl that even Apple's forthcoming iPhone 6 will bend to the craze later this year.

There's more to the trend than just a novel shape, though.

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June 2 2014

MoD creates 'coldest object in the universe' to trump GPS


The MoD is pouring millions of pounds into research on a “quantum compass” that will be far more accurate than GPS and immune to jammers or hackers, with potential applications in everything from nuclear submarines to your next smartphone.

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June 2 2014

Solar plane set for inaugural flight


A solar-powered plane that will be taken on a round-the-world journey in 2015 is set to make its inaugural flight on Monday.

The Solar Impulse 2 will take off from Payerne airfield in Switzerland.

It is a larger, upgraded version of the aircraft that flew across America last year with adventurers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg at the controls.

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June 2 2014

Middle-Class Americans Leading The Solar Rooftop Revolution


According to recent Center for American Progress (CAP) studies, middle-class America is buying into the solar market. This is great news — rooftop solar isn’t just for mansions and millionaires anymore; it is accessible to suburban households across the country. How will the power industry and legislators react to this power being in the hands of the people?.

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June 2 2014

How To Prove That Light Can Be Converted Into Matter


In 1934, two American physicists theorized that if one could make two photons collide, the collision would produce two positron-electron pairs—and thus convert light into matter. If proven in a lab, the process would be a pure demonstration of Einstein's theory of relativity, E=mc2, which states that the mass of an object is also a measure of its stored energy.

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June 2 2014

NSA Collects Millions of Facial Photos Daily, Snowden Documents Say


The National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting millions of images a day for facial-recognition purposes.

The documents reveal that the NSA is using new software to mine social media, emails, text messages and other digital communications for images. They also show the agency is capable of and interested in intercepting forms of communication beyond text and audio.

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June 2 2014

Quantum phenomenon shown in $15m D-Wave computer


Scientists says they have obtained the best evidence yet for an important quantum physics phenomenon inside a $15m computer built by a Canadian firm.

D-Wave claims it has built the first practical quantum computer, a type of machine that could solve complex problems faster than is possible today.

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June 1 2014

Big Bang 'echoes' that proved Einstein correct might just have been space dust, admit scientists


An experiment at the South Pole that was supposed to have captured indirect images of the primordial ripples in space-time created in the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang may have confused the signals from deep space with interference caused by galactic dust, scientists said.

The findings from the BICEP2 telescope in Antarctica last March created intense excitement among physicists because the results appeared to confirm the events that took place when the Universe expanded rapidly immediately after the Big Bang, during a period known as “inflation”, when the primordial ripples called gravitational waves were formed.

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June 1 2014

Biologists Find New Rules for Life at the Edge of Chaos


In the space between order and chaos, a zone usually described with the mathematics of impending avalanches and crystallizing liquids, scientists are finding new rules for life.

They’re researching the dynamics of criticality, where one system transforms rapidly into another. Scientists have studied such behavior in physical systems for decades; some have theorized that it might be found in living systems too, perhaps underlying some of biology’s fundamental and largely unexplained phenomena: how a few interacting genes shape an organism’s development, and how networked neurons give rise to complex cognitive functions.

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June 1 2014

MIT researchers want to develop robots that you bake to build


MIT researchers are currently working what they see as the next phase of robotics: bakable robots. In two recently released papers, the scientists outline how specially designed, self-folding components could be produced using 3D printers, which could then be baked in order to form working robot parts.

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June 1 2014

Four-billion-year-old rocks yield clues about Earth's earliest crust


It looks like just another rock, but what researchers are examining is a four-billion-year-old chunk of an ancient protocontinent that holds clues about how Earth's first continents formed. Continents today form when one tectonic plate shifts beneath another into Earth's mantle and cause magma to rise to the surface, a process called subduction.

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June 1 2014

'Aquanauts' to Begin Month-Long Underwater Mission


A month-long research mission on the ocean floor, led by Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, is slated to begin this weekend. Fabien Cousteau and a team of "aquanauts" will spend a record 31 days living and working underwater as part of the expedition, dubbed Mission 31.

Cousteau and his team are expected to splash down on Sunday (June 1), at around 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). The researchers will live aboard Aquarius Reef Base, a seafloor habitat located roughly 63 feet (19 meters) underwater in the Florida Keys.

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June 1 2014

Amazing NASA video shows the sun erupting in unprecedented detail


You've never seen a solar eruption video quite like this before.

After 11 months in space, NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has captured video of a coronal mass ejection in unprecedented detail, and the results are spectacular.

And while you watch the video, keep this dazzling detail in mind: The field of view for this imagery is five Earths wide and about seven and a half Earths tall, according to a NASA release.

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June 1 2014

Pluto Bids to Get Back Planetary Status


Poor little Pluto. In 2006 astronomers ganged up on it and voted to strip it of its planethood—but other astronomers signed a petition saying they'd ignore that vote.

Now Pluto itself seems to be fighting back. Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, we’ve learned that Pluto has at least five moons—pretty impressive for something that's supposedly not a planet.

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