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Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

Protestors mock Trump official promoting fossil fuels at climate conference

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 18:11

At a UN climate summit in Poland, a Trump administration representative spoke in front of a room about the value of expanding fossil fuel production. Wells Griffith is the senior director for energy at the National Security Council. At the panel, Mr Griffith talked about the value of economic growth and harvesting coal in the United States.


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The NIH Is MRI-ing Kid's Brains While They Instagram to Study the Effects of Screen Time

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:35

The NIH Is MRI-ing Kid's Brains While They Instagram to Study the Effects of Screen Time


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Joe Manchin Named To Key Senate Energy Post Despite Opposition From Left

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:33

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will be the new top Democrat on the chamber's


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Cosmonauts on Spacewalk Cut Into Soyuz Spacecraft to Inspect Patched Hole

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:19

Two Russian cosmonauts ventured outside the International Space Station today (Dec. 11) to cut into a spacecraft and inspect the source of a pressurization leak that briefly plagued the outpost earlier this year. Expedition 57 flight engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos conducted the 7-hour and 45-minute spacewalk. The two cosmonauts worked on the exterior of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, where the space station’s crew had earlier found and repaired the leak from the inside.


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Google's Digital Dragnet Is Exposed in Congressional Hearing

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:04

(Bloomberg) -- Midway through Tuesday’s congressional hearing on Google, Representative Ted Poe, a Texas Republican, held up his iPhone. He asked Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai what would happen if Poe walked over to the Democrats sitting across the aisle.


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U.S. Planning Actions Targeting Chinese Hackers, Spies, Sources Say

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:02

The Justice Department is set to indict a number of alleged hackers it believes work for Chinese intelligence agencies and attacked U.S. technology companies, according to the people. The Justice Department had planned to make one or more announcements related to Chinese espionage, including the indictments, but the plans have been put on hold, according to one of the people. Some of the expected actions include declassifying some U.S. intelligence concerning Chinese espionage activities, according to one of the people.


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2000-year-old figurine of a horned Celtic fertility god found in Roman settlement 

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:01

A rare 2,000-year-old figurine of a horned Celtic fertility god has been discovered in a Roman settlement in Cambridgeshire showing how the continental invaders allowed the ancient British beliefs to continue during their occupation. The two inch metal charm, dating from the second century AD, depicts a faceless individual, holding a ‘torc’ or neck ring, and is thought to represent ‘Cernunnos’, the Celtic god of nature, life and the underworld. It was found by archaeologists in farmland at the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate in a field which is to be turned into a car park. The site was once a rural settlement dating from the Late Iron Age to the Early Roman period, between (100BC to 150AD), lying near the major Roman road of Ermine Street, which ran from London to Lincoln and York on the current route of the A1. Similar images have been found in stone but never in metal Credit: National Trust Images, James Fairbairn, Oxford Archaeology East Similar figures of Cernunnos have been found carved in stone, but it is the first metal version to be discovered in Britain and shows strong links between the ancient people of Britain and the Roman legionnaires. Stephen Macaulay, Deputy Regional Manager at Oxford Archaeology East, which carried out the excavation, said: “The face of the figurine has been rubbed away, but we see similar figures of Cernunnos, so it’s like finding a worn version of Jesus on a crucifix, it’s the shape you expect to see.   “He was an important God to the Celts, but this shows how accepting the Romans were of other religions, they often just merged the Gods with their own. The Romans really ran their empire like the British did, they would conquer and then reinstate the people who had already been in charge. “The Wimpole story is interesting as it gives us a snapshot of local people living alongside the legionnaires as they travelled up and down the country along Ermine Street.” Around 300 metal objects have been uncovered during the dig include coins, cosmetic implements, horse harness fittings, Roman military uniform fittings, a spearhead, an axe head, key handles, brooches, a ring as well as scrap lead and a number of iron nails and other utilitarian objects. A coin depicting Marc Antony was also discovered  Credit:  National Trust Images, James Fairbairn, Oxford Archaeology Eas The finds from Wimpole are being cleaned, catalogued and analysed and will form the basis of future exhibitions at Wimpole. Speaking about the figurine, Shannon Hogan, National Trust Archaeologist for the East of England, said: “This is an incredibly exciting discovery, which to me represents more than just the deity, Cernunnos. “It almost seems like the enigmatic ‘face’ of the people living in the landscape some 2,000 years ago. “The artefact is Roman in origin but symbolises a Celtic deity and therefore exemplifies the continuation of indigenous religious and cultural symbolism in Romanised societies.”


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Age of the chicken: why the Anthropocene will be geologically egg-ceptional

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:01

The age of man will not be defined by space flight, medical innovation or the rise of the internet but instead by the humble chicken, according to scientists. Broiler chickens are now so ubiquitous on the planet that their bones will be written into the fossil record as a delineating species marking out the Anthropocene - the proposed new period in which humans started to have a lasting impact on the planet dating from around the 1950s. Previous epochs, such as the Pleistocene, Jurassic or Devonian have been defined by animals such as dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and ancient armoured fish called placoderms. But there are now 21 billion chickens living worldwide, and 62 billion are consumed each year, creating a combined mass three times that of all other birds on Earth combined. And unlike most other birds or animals, their bones frequently end up in landfill, which provides a perfect environment for fossilisation, according to researchers at the University of Leicester. Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Dr Carys Bennett, said: “Bird carcasses in the wild are scavenger, and decay prone, and so do not commonly fossilize. “Chicken bones, by contrast, are often sold intact within products for human consumption, such as chicken wings, drumsticks and whole birds, and the discarded bones form a common component of ordinary landfill sites as part of domestic garbage. “The low skeletal density of chicken bones would normally mitigate against long-term preservation potential. “However, organic materials are often well preserved within landfill deposits, where anaerobic conditions mean that bones do not so much degrade as mummify.” Defining an era: the animals behind the ages Dr Bennett said the abundance of just one kind of bird is ‘unprecedented in Earth’s history.’ And the animals also make a good marker, the authors argue, because they have changed dramatically through domestication. Breeding, diet and farming practices have caused body size to double since the late medieval period and there has been an up to five-fold increase in body mass since the mid twentieth century, when the 1948 ‘Chicken of Tomorrow’ contest in the US encouraged farmers to create a bird with the breast more like a turkey. Until then birds were pretty scrawny, but competition entrants were asked to breed ‘one bird chunky enough for the whole family - a chicken with breast meat so thick you can carve it into steaks, costing less instead of more.’ The competition created a revolution in chicken welfare, and such huge change has affected the skeleton, genetics and bone chemistry of chickens making them easy to identify from their bones, compared to their ancestors. “Given this global distribution, together with its huge population size and distinctive biology, genetics and bone geochemistry, the broiler chicken may be viewed as a key species indicator of the proposed Anthropocene Epoch,” added Dr Bennett.  


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Men at risk of prostate cancer could be spared needless surgery 

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:01

Men at risk of prostate cancer will be spared needless biopsies and surgery under new guidance for the NHS. Instead, those with suspected disease will be asked to undergo MRI scans, which could allow one quarter of cases to be given the all-clear without further tests. Research suggests that the technique could be twice as effective at spotting the most deadly tumours, ensuring treatment is better targeted, boosting survival. The new guidance also says men whose disease is classed as “low risk” should be given clear options about whether to undergo surgery, radiotherapy or remain under active surveillance” - otherwise known as “watchful waiting”. In such situations, men should be given detailed information about the risks and benefits of treatments which can cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction, it says. Every year, around 100,000 men with suspected prostate cancer undergo biopsies in an attempt to detect the disease. Now the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has said MRI scans should be offered as the “first line investigation” for all those with suspected localised prostate cancer. Research suggests that as a result, around 28 per cent of such cases could be spared gruelling and invasive biopsies. For the remainder, the combination of MRI with biopsy was far more likely to lead to detection of the most invasive cancers. Research in the Lancet last year found that among those with cancer, the new technique picked up 93 per cent of aggressive cases, compared with 48 per cent caught by traditional biopsy. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 47,000 cases annually, leading to 11,000 deaths. But it is notoriously difficult to diagnose, as many possible symptoms - such as needing to urinate more frequently at night - become more common among men with age. GPs use examinations and blood tests which check prostate-specific antigens to check for heightened risk of disease, but these too can be unreliable indicators. And some cases of prostate disease grow very slowly, meaning many men end up being treated for cancer which would never have killed them. Actor Ben Stiller has spoken about his experiences with prostate cancer  Credit: Joel Ryan  Experts said the technique could save thousands of men from needless treatment, as well as sparing them from biopsies which can be painful and lead to urinary problems and infections. Scanning the patient first meant that medics were able to target any resulting biopsy on particular areas of concern. Paul Chrisp, director for the NICE Centre for guidelines said: “This diagnostic pathway will hopefully improve survival, reduce unnecessary surgery and benefit both patients and the NHS in the long term.” Heather Blake, from Prostate Cancer UK said the charity’s own research found just 50 per cent of men with suspected disease were being offered the MRI checks. She urged the NHS to hasten the rollout of the technique. “Now that NICE has endorsed this breakthrough diagnostic technique as being both clinically and cost-effective there should be no further delay in making sure all men can benefit from the increased accuracy of diagnosis it can provide,” she said.   “We’re also pleased to see that active surveillance has been recognised as having equal survival benefit as surgery and radiotherapy for men with low risk localised prostate cancer, which should give more men confidence to avoid or delay these more radical treatments and their potential side effects,” she said.  


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Cosmonauts brought a knife to a spacewalk

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:51

Let's be honest, spacewalks, as a whole, can be pretty boring to watch.  Yes, it's one of the most dangerous things an astronaut or cosmonaut can do in space: floating out into the void with just a relatively thin spacesuit to protect them. But at the end of the day, these spacewalks usually amount to some pretty tedious tasks performed in the name of routine maintenance on the International Space Station. However, this week, things got a little more interesting. On Tuesday, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev ventured outside of the station to perform a little rocket surgery.  The cosmonauts headed out on the spacewalk to inspect a Soyuz capsule — used by the astronauts and cosmonauts to fly to and from the space station — to make sure it was well-fixed after an earlier repair.  Sounds pretty easy right? Wrong. At various times Kononenko and Prokopyev had to use what looked like garden shears and knives to actually cut through the tough insulation on the outside of the Soyuz.  It looked pretty dang dramatic.  STABBY STAB pic.twitter.com/DUvpumTvNF — Loren Grush (@lorengrush) December 11, 2018 All that cutting and chopping — which is pretty intense considering the only thing protecting the crewmembers from the vacuum of space was a pressurized suit — created a whole bunch of debris.  NASA expects that this won't be a problem, however, and most of it should fall harmlessly through the Earth's atmosphere, burning up in the process, in the next few days. The cosmonauts were so focused on their tasks that they all but refused to take even a 2 minute break as they were working in tough conditions for more than 7 hours. Mission control repeatedly asking the cosmonauts to take a break, even for a few minutes. Nearly five hours into the spacewalk now — Marina Koren (@marinakoren) December 11, 2018 While the spacewalk made for some entertaining NASA TV, it was all in the name of safety.  Russia felt that the cosmonauts needed to cut through the tough insulation on the Soyuz to figure out more about what caused the air leak before the ship brings a crew back home to Earth on December 19.  The actual leak was discovered in August when mission managers noticed a dip in pressure on the station that was traced to the Soyuz, NASA said.  Crewmembers patched the leak and since then, pressure hasn't been a problem on the station.  Kononenko and Prokopyev took photos and inspected the problem part of the Soyuz, so hopefully now mission managers will have enough information to get to the bottom of what actually caused the craft to spring a leak. Initially, managers thought that the Soyuz could have been hit by a meteor, but further inspection caused some speculation that a drilling mishap on the ground could have punched the hole. Hopefully this spacewalk will get to the bottom of exactly what happened. WATCH: Take a look at the first space suit that let Americans walk in space


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NOAA’s 2018 Arctic Report Card: Climate Change Effects Go Far Beyond Ice and Polar Bears

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:35

NOAA’s 2018 Arctic Report Card: Climate Change Effects Go Far Beyond Ice and Polar Bears


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NASA's Mars lander takes selfie from above with robotic arm

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:26

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Mars lander has taken a selfie from above, using a camera on its long robotic arm.


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China, U.S. discuss road map for next stage of trade talks

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:53

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - China has agreed to cut tariffs on U.S.-built cars and auto parts to 15 percent from the current 40 percent, a Trump administration official said on Tuesday, setting the stage for a new talks aimed at easing the bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies. China's plan was communicated during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday morning Beijing time, the official said. Meanwhile, U.S.-China tensions over the Canadian arrest of a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] appeared to rise, as Canada confirmed that one of its citizens had been detained in China.


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Siemens to shut Texas turbines service facility, dismiss workers

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:44

HOUSTON (Reuters) - German engineering firm Siemens plans to dismiss about 200 workers at a gas turbines parts and components service center in Houston, Texas, next year due to weaker global demand, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.


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Many older adults don't take prescribed antidepressants

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:39

While people with severe and chronic mental illness may see a psychiatrist for medications, many patients with depression may not see a mental health professional and instead get care from a primary care provider. The new study findings are drawn from data on roughly 1,500 people who were at least 60 years old and diagnosed with depression in 2012 by primary care providers. Overall, about 14 percent of the patients with depression who were prescribed antidepressants failed to start taking the drugs within two weeks, researchers report in Family Practice.


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What Is Herpes and How Do I Know if I Have It?

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:38

Everything you need to know about this ~mysterious~ STD.


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Scary warming at poles showing up at weird times, places

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:36

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are seeing surprising melting in Earth's polar regions at times they don't expect, like winter, and in places they don't expect, like eastern Antarctica.


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Climate Change Could Pummel Alaskan Infrastructure

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:24

A new study shows millions will be affected.


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Sorry, But The Keto Diet Might Give You A Really Funky Rash

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:08

Honestly, isn't the keto flu enough?


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Spacewalking astronauts check site of capsule leak

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts ripped through thick insulation on a capsule docked to the International Space Station on Tuesday, looking for clues to a mysterious drilled hole that leaked precious cabin air four months ago.


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