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July 29 2014

If you can run for 5 minutes a day, you may add years to your life


People who jogged or ran for as little as five minutes a day reduced their risk of premature death by nearly one-third and extended their lives by about three years, according to a new study.

Researchers examined the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults in the Dallas area who were monitored for six to 22 years. About 24% of the adults described themselves as runners.

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July 29 2014

How facial features drive our first impressions


Whether it's a curled lip or a keen cheekbone, we all make quick social judgements based on strangers' faces.

Now scientists have modelled the specific physical attributes that underpin our first impressions.

Small changes in the dimensions of a face can make it appear more trustworthy, dominant or attractive.

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July 29 2014

Fist bumps, high-fives spread fewer germs than handshakes, study says


To fight the spread of germs, doctors should ditch the handshake and greet their patients with a fist bump instead, a new study says.

Through a series of tests, researchers at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in Wales documented that fist bumps are 20 times more hygienic than handshakes. They are also 10 times cleaner than high-fives.

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July 29 2014

Ketamine can be a wonder drug for ER patients, physicians


For critically ill patients arriving at the emergency department, the drug ketamine can safely provide analgesia, sedation and amnesia for rapid, life-saving intubation, despite decades-old studies that suggested it raised intracranial pressure. A systematic review of 10 recent studies of what many emergency physicians regard as a 'wonder drug' has been recently published for review.

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July 29 2014

Elephants Might Be Able To Self-Medicate To Induce Labor


We know that animals have found ways to get themselves drunk or high by eating certain plants or fermented fruit, but recently, scientists have started studying the self-medication of animals — a branch of science dubbed zoopharmacognosy. This is how we discovered elephants might have a way to bring on labor.

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July 29 2014

Eggshells act like 'sunblock', study suggests


The eggshells of wild birds may act like "sunblock", scientists have said.

A range of UK birds' eggs showed adaptations in pigment concentration and thickness to allow the right amount of sun to reach the embryos inside.

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July 29 2014

Social Octopus Species Shatters Beliefs About Ocean Dwellers


If recent octopus discoveries have taught us anything, it's that these eight-armed ocean dwellers are smart. They can use tools, change color in an instant, and commission their arms to solve problems. But they generally do all this as loners.

Now, new research into a surprisingly social octopus is shattering even the most expansive ideas of known octopus behavior.

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July 29 2014

A Tentacled, Flexible Breakthrough


LIVORNO, Italy — For years, roboticists have yearned to develop a flexible machine that can explore tight spaces, repair dangerous equipment and potentially even conform to the human body.

Now one of the first members of this new breed of robots is almost here. It has sinewy arms, a powerful grip and the ability to work underwater without coming up for air.

Yes, it is an octopus.

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July 29 2014

Japan Wants 2020 Robot Olympics Alongside Human Olympics


"In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills," said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week.

It's about time!

There have been, and are, all kinds of competitive robotics events that take place all over the world.

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July 29 2014

Building 'invisible' materials with light


A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility cloaks and cloaking devices.

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July 29 2014

'Holy grail' of battery design achieved: Stable lithium anode


Researchers report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades -- design a pure lithium anode. All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them.

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July 29 2014

World's largest solar boat on odyssey to find ancient inhabited site in Greece


The world's largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, is to embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, an organiser said on Monday.

Starting on 11 August, a team of Swiss and Greek scientists will seek a "prehistoric countryside" in the south-eastern Peloponnese peninsula, University of Geneva researcher Julien Beck told AFP. The month-long mission, jointly organised with the Swiss school of archaeology and the Greek culture ministry, will search around the Franchthi cave in the Argolic gulf, where early Europeans lived between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods.

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July 29 2014

Tree Rings Solve Mystery of World Trade Center Ship


In July 2010, amid the gargantuan rebuilding effort at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, construction workers halted the backhoes when they uncovered something unexpected just south of where the Twin Towers once stood.

At 22 feet (6.7 meters) below today's street level, in a pit that would become an underground security and parking complex, excavators found the mangled skeleton of a long-forgotten wooden ship.

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July 28 2014

Egyptian Carving Defaced by King Tut's Possible Father Discovered


A newly discovered Egyptian carving, which dates back more than 3,300 years, bears the scars of a religious revolution that upended the ancient civilization.

The panel, carved in Nubian Sandstone, was found recently in a tomb at the site of Sedeinga, in modern-day Sudan. It is about 5.8 feet (1.8 meters) tall by 1.3 feet (0.4 m) wide, and was found in two pieces.

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July 28 2014

Peru: Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Astronomy Lab In Peruvian Ruins


Archeologists have stumbled upon a site where ancient people observed the stars thousands of years ago in Peru, a country famous for using drones to help uncover and map archeological treasures, as Reuters reported.

Excavators working on a complex at Licurnique, in the country’s northern region, have uncovered evidence of an “astronomical laboratory,” that dates back between 3,500 and 4,000 years.

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July 28 2014

Extinction of dinosaurs was 'colossal bad luck'


If the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs had taken place just a few million years earlier or later then the Earth might have ended up as dino-only zone, according to new research.

A study of the events leading up to the prehistoric creatures’ demise suggests that the timing of the impact was “colossal bad luck”, hitting the dinosaurs just when their food chain had been seriously weakened by environmental upheaval.

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July 28 2014

Microbe's Innovation May Have Started Largest Extinction Event on Earth


The environment can produce sudden shocks to the life of our planet through impacting space rocks, erupting volcanoes and other events.

But sometimes life itself turns the tables and strikes a swift blow back to the environment. New research suggests that the biggest extinction event on record may have been initiated by a small, but significant change to a tiny microbe.

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