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Is my child safe from the measles? Everything parents should know

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 04:00

Everything parents need to know about measles, including if a child needs a booster shot, how to identify it and can a child get it if vaccinated.


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This robot can sort recyclable materials without even so much as a peek at them

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 03:52

Developed by MIT CSAIL, RoCycle is a robotic system that can automatically identify and sort recyclable materials using pressure sensors.The robot can differentiate between paper, metal, and plastic with 85 percent accuracy just by touching them. Read more...More about Mashable Video, Robot, Robotics, Recycling, and Mit


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Jack Ma Draws Controversy by Lauding Overtime Work Culture

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 03:27

Ma told an internal meeting that Alibaba doesn’t need people who look forward to a typical eight-hour office lifestyle, according to a post on Alibaba’s official Weibo account. “To be able to work 996 is a huge bliss,” China’s richest man said. China’s tech industry is littered with tales of programmers and startup founders dying unexpectedly due to long hours and grueling stress.


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Exclusive: Arrival of Putin's judo partner squeezed Shell out of LNG project - sources

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 02:33

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of a project to build a Russian liquefied natural gas plant partly because Gazprom suddenly added another partner with links to an ally of President Vladimir Putin, according to five sources. After three years work on the Baltic Coast project, Shell discovered that Gazprom was bringing in a company linked to Arkady Rotenberg, who is on a U.S. sanctions blacklist. The sudden change in the line-up of partners was one of the key factors contributing to Shell's Wednesday announcement that it was pulling out of the project, according to three sources close to Shell and two other sources familiar with the project.


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Focused Technology Research and Development (R01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NIH Funding Opportunities - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 01:32
Funding Opportunity PAR-19-253 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This initiative will support projects that focus solely on development of technologies with the potential to enable acquisition of basic biomedical knowledge. Projects should be justified in terms of technical innovation, and utility for future biomedical impact. The products of this research will be functioning prototype instruments, methods, synthetic approaches, biological products, etc., characterized adequately to be ready for first application to the type of biomedical research questions that provide the rationale for their development, but application of the proposed technology to specific biomedical questions is considered beyond the scope of the program, should not be included, and would not be funded. Proof of principle for the technology will have already been shown, but there will still be significant fundamental technical challenges. Applications should include preliminary data. Projects that have significant remaining risk but are supported by early feasibility studies might be appropriate for a three year R01 proposal with reduced budget to better manage risk and investment. Projects that are well supported by feasibility studies and propose to develop fully functional prototypes might require higher budgets and a four year duration (five years for early stage investigators). Projects that primarily focus on optimization, hardening, or obvious extrapolations of established technology might be less competitive.
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Exploratory Research for Technology Development (R21 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NIH Funding Opportunities - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 01:32
Funding Opportunity PAR-19-254 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This initiative will support exploratory research leading to the development of innovative technologies for biomedical research. The program will recognize and reward high risk approaches with potential for significant impact. Projects should entail a high degree of risk or novelty, which will be offset by a correspondingly high potential impact. However, the possible impact is likely to be far off. Application of the proposed technology to specific biomedical questions is considered beyond the scope of the program, should not be included, and would not be funded. The goal of this FOA is to support proof of concept studies for feasibility and exploratory technology development. Feasibility must not have already been established in the literature or with preliminary data. Published data can be used to establish the current state of the art but cannot forecast or predict project outcomes. Preliminary data for any purpose might appear to forecast the likelihood of success. Therefore, no unpublished data is allowed. While unpublished data are not permitted, references and data from widely available preprints that have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) are acceptable.
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Ukrainian comedian gets serious with investors in bid for presidency

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 01:13

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the 41-year-old comedian who played the president, is now frontrunner to become Ukraine's real head of state and his campaign team is trying to assure investors he would be able to keep the country's IMF program on track. Petro Poroshenko, who has led Ukraine for the past five years and faces Zelenskiy in an election run-off on April 21, paints his rival as a lightweight. With no prior political experience, Zelenskiy is an unknown quantity to investors and the stakes are high.


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PG&E appoints Nora Mead as board chair

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:36

The company also appointed former U.S. ambassador Jeffrey Bleich as chair of the board of its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Bill Johnson, who was appointed as PG&E's chief executive earlier in April, will start his role from May 1, the company said.


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SpaceX landed three of its boosters for the first time, and yep, it was impressive

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:23

Three is certainly a magic number.SpaceX landed three of its Falcon Heavy rocket boosters for the first time on Thursday, as part of a mission which was delayed from the day before due to bad weather.SEE ALSO: The black hole photo you've seen everywhere is thanks to this MIT grad's algorithmThe Falcon Heavy launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 6:35 p.m. EDT, carrying the Arabsat-6A communications satellite in its payload.Eight minutes after takeoff, the spaceflight company landed the Falcon Heavy's side boosters at the company's two landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Then, at around nine minutes after takeoff, the core booster landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Last year, SpaceX was able to land two of the Falcon Heavy's boosters, with the third one crashing into the ocean at 300 miles per hour.> The Falcons have landed pic.twitter.com/BGQRNuYMVH> > -- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 11, 2019You can catch the moment the side boosters begin to land from the 26 minute mark in SpaceX's live stream video, while the core booster lands at the 29 minute mark. Make sure you don't miss the rapturous applause from SpaceX's mission control.Even cooler are the videos from spectators who watched the boosters land almost simultaneously at Cape Canaveral. We certainly wish we were there.> Rocket launches are impressive but watching the boosters land is just spectacular! FalconHeavy booster landings for Arabsat6 launch. Successfully launching and landing three boosters. Incredible!!! Huge achievement pic.twitter.com/lcToKad6lC> > -- Engin Bozkurt (@Engin_eerBzkrt) April 12, 2019> FalconHeavy booster landings for Arabsat6a launch; same perspective, but different commentary (mostly) and I love both the kids & camera's reaction at landing. > > Video credit: Alexandra Smith pic.twitter.com/1f5WPBaBkn> > -- Caley Burke (@RocketCaley) April 12, 2019At 34 minutes after takeoff, the Arabsat-6A satellite was deployed to orbit in what was the Falcon Heavy's first commercial mission. The satellite aims to provide communications to people in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. WATCH: This space harpoon could be a solution to our growing space junk problem


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Black hole named 'Powehi' by Hawaii university professor

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:09

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A language professor has given a Hawaiian name — Powehi — to the black hole depicted in an image produced in a landmark experiment.


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Toshiba shares fall after sale of U.S. LNG business canceled

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:06

Toshiba Corp shares fell on Friday after the collapse of an agreement to offload its U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) business, a new blow for the Japanese conglomerate which has been shedding assets to turn around its business. Toshiba said late on Thursday that China's ENN Ecological Holdings Co had scrapped an agreement to take over the LNG business due to a failure to get approvals from shareholders and a U.S. panel that monitors foreign investments. Toshiba shares fell as much as 5.4 percent to 3,485 yen and were trading at 3,685 yen by around 0030 GMT.


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It’s not quite Wall-E, but MIT’s recycling robot can detect paper, plastic, and metal by touch

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:05

Automating recycling seems like the smart thing to do when considering the incredible amount of waste we humans produce every year. But robots can't easily tell materials apart just by looking at them with the help of cameras. That's why sifting through piles of recycled material that can include paper, plastic, and metal is often a laborious task for machines.But MIT's RoCycle robot concept can tell paper from plastic and metal and dispose of the objects fed to it accordingly. The robot does all of this without cameras, but rather the help of sensors embedded in hands-like arms -- akin to human touch, one might say.Developed by scientists from MIT CSAIL and Yale, the robot detects whether an object is made of paper, metal, or plastic by touching it with a special type of hand.These hands are made of a material called auxetics, which gives the robot more dynamic moment than robots featuring "hands" powered by air pumps and compressors.A regular motor powers the hands, which touch each item that needs to be recycled. The sensors can distinguish between the hardness of paper, plastic, and metal, and they can also get a sense of how big the object is. For metal, electrical conductivity is used:> The team's gripper first uses its "strain sensor" to estimate an object's size, and then uses its two pressure sensors to measure the force needed to grasp an object. These metrics - along with calibration data on the size and stiffnesses of objects of different material types - is what gives the gripper a sense of what material the object is made of. (Since the tactile sensors are also conductive, they can detect metal by how much it changes the electrical signal.)RoCycle was found to be 85% accurate at detecting materials when stationary, and 63% accurate when using a simulated conveyor belt. That's without the use of cameras. The researchers hope to combine the tactile system with a camera system that would further improve the accuracy of recycling robots.The video below shows RoCycle in action, and you can read more about the tech behind MIT's recycle robot here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdzbDoEh44U


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U.S. EPA to revise proposed freeze of vehicle fuel economy rules

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 20:01

In August, the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed freezing requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026 but EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in an interview at the agency's headquarters "our final regulation is not going to be the same as our proposal." "We've taken constructive comments, criticisms, concerns from a whole host of different interest groups," Wheeler said. "I hope our final regulation is something that everybody can get behind and support." Two U.S. officials briefed on the matter said they expected the EPA to wind up requiring a small increase in the yearly fuel efficiency gains, likely around mid-June, but said the precise figure had not been finalized. Obama-era rules adopted in 2012 called for a fleetwide fuel efficiency average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026, with average annual increases of nearly 5 percent, compared with 37 mpg by 2026 under the Trump administration’s preferred option.


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This high-tech toilet seat can monitor your heart health, detect congestive heart failure

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 19:04

This toilet seat could eliminate all kinds of problems for people with heart disease.


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Why didn’t scientists photograph the black hole at the center of the Milky Way?

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 19:03

After years of work and a whole lot of hype, researchers working with the Event Horizon Telescope project finally unveiled the very first image ever captured of an actual black hole this week. The relatively low-res image was nonetheless fantastic, and the fact that scientists were able to capture an image of the black hole from a distance of approximately 55 million light-years away is absolutely mind-boggling.But wait, we live in the Milky Way galaxy, and at the center of it is what scientist believe is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. Our galaxy is only around 150,000 to 200,000 light years across, so wouldn't it have been a whole lot easier to just photograph our own black hole instead?That's a question I've seen a few times on social media since the first black hole photo began circulating, and it's a good one. It would make sense to capture a photo of the closest black hole to Earth, especially if we want to see it in great detail. Unfortunately, Earth -- and the vast majority of the planets in the galaxy -- just aren't in the right position to see our galaxy's black hole.The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with long arms filled with hundreds of billions of stars, and it's arranged like a flat disc. If you were to look at the entire galaxy from its face, you'd quickly see our dilemma:The dot labeled "Sun" is where our solar system resides in the galaxy, riding the edge of one of the Milky Way's long, curved arms. From out vantage point, gazing in the direction of the center of the galaxy looks something like this:Trying to see our galaxy's own black hole is like trying to see the center of a vast forest while standing along its fringe. There's just too much stuff in the way, including stars, planets, gas, and dust. To have any hope of seeing our own black hole we'd have to send a spacecraft tens, or even hundreds of thousands of light years away, allowing it view the Milky Way from its face rather than its side.So, the Event Horizon Telescope team did the next best thing, which was to hunt for a galaxy in the right orientation to be observed from Earth, and Messier 87 -- and its black hole known as M87 -- proved to be a perfect candidate.


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Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 19:03

The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload. "T plus 33 seconds into flight, under the power of 5.1 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy is headed to space," SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said on a livestream. Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company's Hawthorne, California headquarters.   The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned nearly 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX's seafaring drone ship 400 miles (645 km) off the Florida coast.


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Oil prices firm amid OPEC supply cuts, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 18:45

Oil prices were firm on Friday, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela. International Brent crude oil futures were at $71.01 per barrel at 0042 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.78 per barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous settlement.


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SpaceX carries out first commercial launch

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 17:18

SpaceX carried out its first commercial launch on Thursday with its Falcon Heavy rocket easing a Saudi telecoms satellite into orbit. The bright white rocket rose with a roar and spewed thick gray smoke on the ground as it made its way up into clear blue skies over Cape Canaveral, Florida, trailing a long plume of orange fire. About 34 minutes after liftoff, the shiny silver satellite was successfully deployed.


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U.S. EPA to revise proposed freeze of vehicle fuel economy rules

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 17:01

In August, the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed freezing requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026 but EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in an interview at the agency's headquarters "our final regulation is not going to be the same as our proposal." "We've taken constructive comments, criticisms, concerns from a whole host of different interest groups," Wheeler said. "I hope our final regulation is something that everybody can get behind and support." Two U.S. officials briefed on the matter said they expected the EPA to wind up requiring a small increase in the yearly fuel efficiency gains, likely around mid-June, but said the precise figure had not been finalized. Obama-era rules adopted in 2012 called for a fleetwide fuel efficiency average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026, with average annual increases of nearly 5 percent, compared with 37 mpg by 2026 under the Trump administration’s preferred option.


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Israeli spacecraft crashes in attempt to land on moon

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 16:57

YEHUD, Israel (AP) — An Israeli spacecraft crashed into the moon Thursday just moments before touchdown, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar landing.


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