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Venezuela streets empty after second blackout in a month

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 11:10

President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist government, which blamed the United States and the opposition for the previous power cut, said an "attack" on its electrical system caused the blackout that first hit on Monday. In eastern Caracas, several dozen people unable to work in stores and offices were boarding a bus toward the poor hillside community of Filas de Mariche, where residents said services were worse than in the city center. "If the blackout lasts two days down here, it'll last five up there," said Maria Ojeda, 20, who works at a piñata shop in Caracas.


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Here's How PLL's Sasha Pieterse Found Out She Had PCOS - and Why She Shared Her Story

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:56

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a complicated hormonal condition that's notoriously difficult to diagnose. A lot of that has to do with the wide range of symptoms that come with it, which include irregular periods, hormonal acne, abnormal hair growth, thinning hair, and unwanted weight gain or an inability to lose weight.


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EU Passes New Copyright Rules That Could Have a Disasterous Effect

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:56

Restrictive copyright rules under consideration could have a huge, negative effect on the freedom and openness of the internet.


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Coal still king as global carbon emissions soar

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:50

As the world's economy boomed last year, power plants fueled by coal emitted their highest level of carbon dioxide on record.


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EU Sidesteps U.S. Calls to Ban Huawei as It Lays Out 5G Strategy

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:05

The U.S. has been pressuring European allies to bar Huawei equipment from telecommunications networks amid concerns Chinese companies could be forced to facilitate espionage by Beijing -- accusations both Huawei and the Chinese embassy in the EU have denied. In the recommendation published Tuesday, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, left the decision in the hands of the member states.


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Temperatures in Alaska are toppling records

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:39

It's unusually warm in The Last Frontier.  Large swaths of Alaska have seen record or near-record warmth this March said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. And the trend isn't quitting.  Well above-average temperatures are expected to continue this week. Daily temperature records have broken around the state, and toppled all-time March records in the greater Arctic region. Last week, Alaska saw its earliest ever 70-degree Fahrenheit temperature. This exceptional warmth has been stoked by a mix of weather events and a rapidly warming climate.  "The magnitude and persistence of the warmth is particularly striking to me this winter in parts of Alaska," Zack Labe, a climate scientist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Irvine, said over email. Amplified weather pattern will bring pulses of well above average temperatures (>20°C departures) to the #Arctic once again, especially near Alaska and northwestern Canada.Maps from https://t.co/8IAIT96D9C pic.twitter.com/NjrAIWTD3v — Zack Labe (@ZLabe) March 26, 2019 On the weather side of things, there's a dominant mass of high pressure in the atmosphere — known as an upper-level ridge — that has kept a region of warm air stuck under that ridge which has warmed Southeast Alaska and the Yukon, explained Thoman.  But this transient weather isn't acting alone.  "While this type of weather pattern favors warmer temperatures in Alaska, the region is also undergoing rising temperatures due to Arctic climate change," noted Labe. "The rapid warming of the Arctic has reduced the extent of sea ice and increased ocean temperatures, which can further contribute to the warming trend." SEE ALSO: Greenland’s fastest-melting glacier has stalled. But that’s bad news. "It's warming so rapidly in the Arctic," added Thoman, noting that the recent warming spate in even more frigid north Alaska is partially due to less sea ice. When it's there, sea ice both cools the region and also reflects sunlight. Without ice, the open ocean is dark and absorbent, soaking up even more heat. It's a well-understood, vicious feedback cycle unfolding all over the Arctic.  In interior Alaska, where Thoman lives, the unusually warm temperatures are making for a noticeably disappointing March. That's because March — when daylight is finally increasing but temperatures are usually cold enough to preserve quality snow and ice — is when Alaskans can get outside and embrace the joys of winter.  "That's the time to get out," said Thoman.  There is something significant going on in the Bering Sea: a very low ice extent for the second year in a row. pic.twitter.com/mrSlrT398Z — Lars Kaleschke (@seaice_de) March 3, 2019 But not in interior Fairbanks this March, where temperatures have hit 50 degrees or higher for four days in a row. "It's melting. The snow is crappy," said Thoman. "In a large part of urban Alaska people talk about how they've been robbed of March," he added. The enduring warming trend will likely bring more profound warmth, melting, and changes to Alaskan sea ice and snowmelt in the coming months.  "We're going to have more stories to talk about," said Thoman.  WATCH: This strange-looking tube is actually a giant sea worm — Sharp Science


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NASA nixes 1st all-female spacewalk due to suit-sizing issue

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:36

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has nixed the first all-female spacewalk over a spacesuit size issue.


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Not enough spacesuits in women's sizes?! Twitter reacts to NASA canceling all-female spacewalk

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:03

Two female astronauts were scheduled to perform the first all-female spacewalk March 29, but there weren't enough spacesuits in women's sizes.


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Theranos’s Empty Promise to Cure a Fake Problem

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 09:00

It was hard to know if the proprietary technology worked, but not so hard to ask whether there’s any evidence that more blood testing was what the world really needed. In the new HBO documentary “The Inventor,” the notion of blood testing as panacea is presented as a given. This assumption underlies the filmmaker’s attempt to convince us that Holmes is not really such a bad person.


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Wirecard Surges After Law Firm Finds Only Minor Irregularities

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:37

While the company -- which had previously rejected wrongdoing -- acknowledged a number of accounting oversights and potential criminal liability for some employees in Singapore, the sums involved were not significant for a company with more than 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in annual sales, according to a Wirecard statement. The selected findings of the external report from Singapore-based law firm Rajah & Tann was limited to specific transactions and based on documents provided by the company. Rajah & Tann couldn’t resolve all the issues, saying it “could not correlate certain payments made between business partners and Wirecard entities with agreements between them.” The firm also found evidence of contracts being created for audit purposes.


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Extinct 'Pig-Footed Bandicoot' Galloped Around Australia Like a Wonky Little Horse

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:28

Scientists have discovered a new species of pig-footed bandicoot -- an extinct Australian marsupial that looks like a kangaroo, an opossum and a deer got a bit too friendly at the local watering hole -- and it's about as strange as you'd hope.Pig-footed bandicoots are long-eared, long-tailed herbivores that once scurried about the sandy, arid stretches of central and western Australia for tens of thousands of years before going extinct in the 1950s. Maxing out with a body mass of about 1.3 pounds (600 grams; roughly the weight of a basketball) and a length of about 10 inches (26 centimeters), these mammals are considered to be among the smallest grazing animals that ever lived, according to the authors of a new study published March 13 in the journal Zootaxa.With two functional toes on their front legs and only one on each hind leg, the bandicoots have a bit of an assembled-by-committee look. However, according to interviews conducted with aboriginal tribe members in the 1980s, the tripod toe arrangement did not hinder the little beasts from "galloping" at surprisingly high speeds when distressed. [Marsupial Gallery: A Pouchful of Cute]The aboriginal interviews have been crucial to researchers as there are no pig-footed bandicoots left to study in the wild; only 29 fossilized specimens remain in the world's museums. In the new study, researchers from the Natural History Museum in London and the Western Australian Museum analyzed all 29 of those specimens, taking meticulous bone measurements and comparing DNA samples collected in the 1940s.The results showed that these pig-footed bandicoot fossils represented two distinct species; previously, researchers thought there was only one type.The newly described species, named Chaeropus yirratji after a local aboriginal name for the creature, has larger hind feet and a longer tail than its better-studied cousin (Chaeropus ecaudatus), and may have had different grazing behavior, the researchers wrote. Future understanding of the differences between the two species hinges on researchers being able to find more fossils, which tend to be buried in owl droppings on cave floors. * Photos: World's Cutest Baby Wild Animals * The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries * Image Gallery: Evolution's Most Extreme MammalsOriginally published on Live Science.


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Ancient Garbage Heaps Show Fading Byzantine Empire Was 'Plagued' By Disease and Climate Change

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:27

About a century before the fall of the Byzantine Empire -- the eastern portion of the vast Roman Empire -- signs of its impending doom were written in garbage.Archaeologists recently investigated accumulated refuse in trash mounds at a Byzantine settlement called Elusa in Israel's Negev Desert. They found that the age of the trash introduced an intriguing new timeline for the Byzantine decline, scientists reported in a new study. [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]The researchers discovered that trash disposal -- once a well-organized and reliable service in outpost cities like Elusa -- ceased around the middle of the sixth century, about 100 years prior to the empire's collapse. At that time, a climate event known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age was taking hold in the Northern Hemisphere, and an epidemic known as the Justinian plague raged through the Roman Empire, eventually killing over 100 million people.Together, disease and climate change took a devastating economic toll and loosened Rome's grip on its lands to the east a century earlier than once thought, according to the study. Seeds recovered from the Elusa trash mound. Image courtesy of Guy Bar-Oz Finding treasure in trashElusa was already partly excavated, but the new investigation was the first to explore the site's long-ignored trash heaps, lead study author Guy Bar-Oz, a professor of archaeology at the University of Haifa in Israel, told Live Science in an email.Unlike the architecture of an ancient city, which could be repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, landfills steadily accumulated over time, creating continuous records of human activity. Clues found in preserved garbage dumps could thereby reveal if a city was thriving or in trouble."For me, it was clear that the true gold mine of data about daily life and what urban existence in the past really looked like was in the garbage," Bar-Oz said.In the dump sites, the scientists found a variety of objects: ceramic pot sherds, seeds, olive pits, charcoal from burned wood and even evidence of discarded "gourmet foods" imported from the Red Sea and the Nile, the study authors reported.Ground surveys, drone photos and excavations revealed mountains of trash spanning 150 years. Image courtesy of Guy Bar-OzThe scientists carbon-dated organic material such as seeds and charcoal in layers of trash mounds located near the city. They found that trash had built up in that location over a period of about 150 years and that the accumulation terminated in the middle of the sixth century. This suggested there was a failure of infrastructure, which happens when a city is about to collapse, the researchers noted.Based on the new evidence, researchers concluded that Elusa's decline began at least a century before Islamic rule wrested control of the region from the Romans. In fact, Elusa was struggling during a period that was relatively peaceful and stable; it was during this time that the Roman Emperor Justinian was expanding the empire's boundaries across Europe, Africa and Asia, Bar-Oz said.With the empire enjoying "a period of glorious success," it would seem logical to expect that its outposts would be financially secure, Bar-Oz said. Yet the data the researchers collected suggested the opposite."Instead, we are seeing a signal for what was really going on at that time and which has long been nearly invisible to most archaeologists -- that the empire was being plagued by climatic disaster and disease," Bar-Oz explained.The findings were published online today (March 25) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. * History of the Byzantine Empire (Byzantium) * Hagia Sophia: Facts, History & Architecture * In Photos: 8 Byzantine Empire Era Shipwrecks Excavated in TurkeyOriginally published on Live Science.


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Best USB Flash Drives for Storage on the Go

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:17

If you need pocket-sized data storage, you can't go wrong with a flash drive.


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Utah Legalizes Lanesplitting

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:14

New law allows riders to filter through stopped traffic.


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McDonald's $300 Million Tech Deal Will Revolutionize Menus

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:13

The world’s biggest restaurant chain is spending more than $300 million on Dynamic Yield Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter. With the new technology, McDonald’s restaurants can vary their electronic menu boards’ display of items, depending on factors such as the weather -- more coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days, for example -- and the time of day or regional preferences. Since taking the helm in 2015, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook has pushed technology -- including self-order kiosks, digital menus boards and delivery -- to boost sales and help McDonald’s stand out among rivals.


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U.S. issues new Iran-related sanctions: Treasury website

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:09

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury issued Iran-related sanctions on Tuesday targeting 25 individuals and businesses based in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, according to the department's website. The targeted institutions include banks and other financial institutions, including Ansar Bank, Atlas Exchange, Iranian Atlas Company. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by)


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U.S. to expand abortion 'gag rule,' won't fund certain groups: Pompeo

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:07

The Trump administration on Tuesday expanded its anti-abortion policies, prohibiting U.S.-funded organizations from supporting other groups that support abortion and forbidding the use of U.S. tax dollars to lobby for or against abortion. In 2017, Trump reinstated a policy known by critics as the "global gag rule," which requires foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. family planning funds to certify they do not provide abortions or give abortion advice. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the United States will expand the policy by cracking down on NGOs that fund other groups that support abortion.


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GoFly Prize puts five personal flying machines in spotlight, with fly-off ahead

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:00

Five teams from around the world have risen to new heights in the GoFly Prize competition, a $2 million-plus contest backed by Boeing to encourage the development of personal flying machines. The Phase II contest winners, unveiled today in connection with the SAE AeroTech Americas conference in Charleston, S.C., will receive $50,000 prizes and the chance to compete for the $1 million grand prize in a future fly-off. "Now we can unequivocally say we will be able to make people fly within the next one to two years," Gwen Lighter, GoFly's CEO and founder, told GeekWire in advance of the… Read More


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