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November 19 2014

Spice up your memory: Just one gram of turmeric a day could boost memory


Adding just one gram of turmeric to breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and at risk of cognitive impairment. The finding has particular significance given that the world's ageing population means a rising incidence of conditions that predispose people to diabetes, which in turn is connected to dementia.

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November 19 2014

Training can lead to synesthetic experiences: Does learning the 'color of' specific letters boost IQ


A new study has shown for the first time that people can be trained to "see" letters of the alphabet as colors in a way that simulates how those with synesthesia experience their world.

The University of Sussex research, published today (18 November 2014) in Scientific Reports, also found that the training might potentially boost IQ.

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November 19 2014

Could magnets in helmets reduce football concussions?


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Football has always been a violent sport. In the 1950s, when hard, polycarbonate shells replaced leather football helmets, the number of game-related fatalities plummeted. But hundreds of thousands of football-related concussions still occur every year. Now, one researcher is trying to harness the repulsive forces of magnets to reduce the impact of head-to-head collisions before they occur.

The idea is far from ready for the football field. It’s being tested in the lab, using machines for now. But one helmet expert says the strategy is worth pursuing given the seriousness of the problem.

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November 19 2014

Monkeys Steer Wheelchairs With Their Brains, Raising Hope for Paralyzed People


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Experimental wheelchairs and exoskeletons controlled by thought alone offer surprising insights into the brain, neuroscientists reported on Monday.

Best known for his experimental exoskeleton that helped a paralyzed man kick the opening ball for June's World Cup in Brazil, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis presented the latest "brain-machine interface" findings from his team's "Walk Again Project" at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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November 19 2014

Fur Seal Sex With Penguin: Why Does It Happen?


Antarctic fur seal males have been seen forcing themselves on king penguins multiple times in shocking sexual acts that are radically changing the way animal experts attempt to explain such seemingly bizarre behavior.

At first it was thought that sex between animals of different species was a colossal error -- a result, maybe, of mistaken identity. The occurrences of male seals raping penguins, documented in the latest issue of the journal Polar Biology, suggest otherwise. Instead it may be a learned behavior by hormone-fueled males, which could weaken the overall reproductive fitness of both animals if it gets out of hand.


Alt: Seals Accused Of Sexually Attacking Penguins (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

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November 19 2014

How Genetically Engineered Gardens Could Replace Airport Security Checkpoints


The excruciating irritation of going through airport security could one day be as pleasant as walking through a garden. A genetically engineered garden, perhaps, but a garden nonetheless.

Plants are being increasingly seen as having the potential to replace sensors and electronic devices, which sounds completely insane at first brush.


Related: These Scientists Are Training Computers to Help Farmers Save Their Crops

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November 19 2014

Magic tricks created using artificial intelligence for the first time


Researchers working on artificial intelligence at Queen Mary University of London have taught a computer to create magic tricks.

The researchers gave a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and the system created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician.

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November 19 2014

Using 3D printers to print out self-learning robots


When the robots of the future are set to extract minerals from other planets, they need to be both self-learning and self-repairing. Researchers at Oslo University have already succeeded in producing self-instructing robots on 3D printers.

On the third floor of the Department of Informatics there is a robotics laboratory which looks like a playroom This is where researchers are testing how their robots can figure out how to move past barriers and other obstacles.

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November 19 2014

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


It may not be a "Star Trek" replicator, but the first zero-gravity 3D printer is set up and ready for action on the International Space Station.

Station commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore of NASA installed the space 3D printer inside the orbiting lab's Microgravity Science Glovebox on Monday morning (Nov. 17). The machine and its software are in good operating condition, and the first test items will likely be printed sometime Monday, NASA officials said.

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November 19 2014

Dark matter could be seen in GPS time glitches


GPS has a new job. It does a great job of telling us our location, but the network of hyper-accurate clocks in space could get a fix on something far more elusive: dark matter.

Dark matter makes up 80 per cent of the universe's matter but scarcely interacts with ordinary matter. A novel particle is the most popular candidate, but Andrei Derevianko at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Maxim Pospelov at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada propose that kinks or cracks in the quantum fields that permeate the universe could be the culprit.

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November 19 2014

Strong Magnetic Fields Recorded in Meteorite Provide Clues to How Early Solar System Evolved


Scientists working on a primitive meteorite known as Semarkona have found evidence that the protoplanetary disk of the early Solar System was shaped by extremely strong magnetic fields that drove a massive amount of gas into the Sun within just a few million years.


Related: Gravity may have saved the universe after the Big Bang, say researchers - "New research by a team of European physicists could explain why the universe did not collapse immediately after the Big Bang."

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November 19 2014

Crowdfunded lunar mission will put donors’ hair on the moon


A crowdfunded moon lander that will drill deep into the lunar surface to study rocks that formed soon after the birth of the solar system has been announced by a British organisation.

Lunar Mission One aims to transform how space exploration is done by covering the costs of expeditions with millions of small payments from the public instead a major investment from national space agencies.

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November 19 2014

NASA Pluto Probe to Wake From Hibernation Next Month


NASA's New Horizons probe is about to wake up from a long slumber and get ready for its highly anticipated Pluto flyby next summer.

New Horizons is scheduled to emerge from a 99-day hibernation on Dec. 6, then gear up for a six-month Pluto encounter that peaks with the first-ever close flyby of the mysterious dwarf planet on July 14, 2015.

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November 18 2014

Rosetta Probe Discovers Organic Molecules on Comet


The probe that landed on the surface of a comet has discovered organic molecules, the most rudimentary building blocks of life, according to the German agency involved in the mission.

An instrument aboard the Philae lander detected the molecules after “sniffing” the comet’s atmosphere. An organic compound is one whose molecules contain the carbon atom, the basis of life on earth.


Alt: Comet lander 'sniffs' the atmosphere, finds organic molecules

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November 18 2014

Liquid water once flowed on Mars – but only episodically, study suggests


Volcanic eruptions on Mars could have triggered the climate conditions that allowed liquid water to flow and pool on the Red Planet early in its history, according to a new study.

The presence of water would have been episodic, the study indicates. But those episodes would have been frequent enough over a span of 100 million to 200 million years to sculpt channels and valleys on the surface, particularly at low latitudes.


Alt: Volcanism may have triggered water flow on early Mars

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November 18 2014

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis


Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists led by a University of South Florida professor have found that subtle shifts in the earth's offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

In a new paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USF geologist Tim Dixon and the team report that a geological phenomenon called "slow slip events" identified just 15 years ago is a useful tool in identifying the precursors to major earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis.

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November 18 2014

Could a Carbon-Scrubbing Rock Slow Climate Change?


The big climate news this week has been a surprise agreement between the Obama Administration and China to work together in curbing carbon emissions, but some think it’s already too late for such measures to make a dent in global warming. That’s led to a revival of interest in a more radical solution: Geoengineering, in which massive measures would be used to alter the planet and mitigate the effects of human burning of fossil fuels.


Related: As temperatures rise, soil will relinquish less carbon to the atmosphere than predicted

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