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President Trump Is Expected to Release the GOP's Controversial Nunes Memo. Here's What You Need to Know

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:33

But what exactly does the Nunes memo release mean for both the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller's Russia investigation?

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Judge: US must reconsider Yellowstone bison protections

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:08

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered U.S. wildlife officials to reconsider a 2015 decision that blocked special protections for the iconic bison herds that roam Yellowstone National Park and are routinely subjected to hunting and slaughter.

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We saw this deadly 'Hong Kong' flu coming, but no one could prevent its spread

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 14:04

In 1968, scientists discovered a new strain of flu circulating around Hong Kong. The virus, though, didn't stay put. It soon left Asia and turned into a proper pandemic, traveling around the globe and killing one million people worldwide, including 100,000 in the United States that season. The deadly virus struck in the U.S. when it usually does, during winter. That year, "kids didn’t care about when Santa came," remembers Susan Donelan, who is now a medical director and assistant professor of infectious disease at Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine.  SEE ALSO: This year’s flu shot might not stop the virus, but it can fend off the worst symptoms Fifty years later, the Hong Kong flu, known more formally as H3N2, still exists, periodically popping up from year to year.  "Now it's considered one of our seasonal viruses," said Donelan, in an interview.  The Hong Kong flu influenza viruses, magnified 100,000 times.Image: wikimedia imagesBut the Hong Kong flu is an especially infectious strain of the virus. It has the ability to mutate both during and between flu seasons (more so than other strains), rendering our preventative vaccines less effective. "By the time we’re ready for the flu season, the strain has kind of changed itself," Neha Nanda, a hospital epidemiologist and medical director of infection prevention at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in an interview. "That’s why it’s a nasty strain." And like most years, scientists knew the Hong Kong flu would make an unwelcome appearance during the 2017-2018 flu season. Doctors predict what flu will hit the U.S., and accordingly, what vaccines to produce, based upon what influenza has been dominant in the Southern Hemisphere — places like Australia.  "Every year we look at the Southern Hemisphere," Shane Speights, dean and associate professor of Medicine at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, said in an interview. "The Southern Hemisphere dictates what goes into our vaccine."   So, by watching events unfold in Australia in 2017, where the Hong Kong flu was dominant, doctors knew what to expect and prepared as best as they could. But in this strain's typical fashion, it has likely mutated, rendering our vaccines less effective and resulting in the Hong Kong flu's remarkable 2018 spread. #Flu activity continues to increase nationally in the United States. CDC recommends flu vaccination, even if you've already been sick, and early antiviral treatment for people who are very ill OR those who have flu and are at high risk of complications. — CDC (@CDCgov) January 26, 2018 "The number of people impacted by it [the flu] has been huge," said Nanda. The CDC, as of January 20, reports "widespread" flu activity around the country, including the deaths of 37 children. Even though some of us may have been exposed to H3N2 in previous seasons (for example, the CDC identified six variants of H3N2 during the 2015-2016 season), the exterior of the virus — home to a variety of specific proteins — may have mutated too dramatically for us to have any substantive immunity from this earlier exposure. "The surface proteins change," said Nanda. "Our body may not remember what we experienced two seasons back."  While scientists seasonally do a pretty good job of predicting what will hit the U.S., much less is understood about why strains like the Hong Kong flu wreak havoc for a season or two and then become less dominant or disappear, only to return once again.  "We need a crystal ball," mused Nanda.  WATCH: Paris is flooding and rats are taking cover  

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President Trump Is 'OK' With Release of Controversial Nunes Memo

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 13:48

Donald Trump will clear the way for the publication of a controversial Republican-authored memo, White House officials said.

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Suspected Serial Killer and Mall Santa Looked ‘So Normal and Business-Like,’ Clients Say

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:37

Bruce McArthur was arrested Jan. 18 and charged with two counts of murder

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CRISPR Offers New Attack on Muscular Dystrophy

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:34

The technique could help up to 60 percent of those suffering from a specific type of dystrophy known as DMD.

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Oklahoma quakes tied to how deep wastewater is injected

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:22

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study finds that a major trigger of man-made earthquakes rattling Oklahoma is how deep — not just how much — fracking wastewater is injected into the ground.

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Metabolism study signals more trouble ahead for polar bears

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:08

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study of polar bear metabolism conducted near Alaska's Prudhoe Bay has provided more reason to worry about the future of these massive predators that prowl the Arctic. Scientists said on Thursday they examined activity levels, foraging behavior and blood biochemistry of a group of polar bears during their prime hunting season on the sea ice of the Beaufort Sea, determining that the metabolism of the species is about 60 percent greater than previously understood. The decline of Arctic sea ice amid global climate change is making polar bears travel farther to find prey such as ringed seals.

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Ancient Biblical Site Near Jerusalem Reveals Byzantine Pool and Rare Greek Coin

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:58

A wealth of archaeological relics found at an ancient Christian site in Israel includes a rare silver coin, the top of a column that likely belonged to a royal structure and a large pool that might have been used for anything from baptismal ceremonies to irrigation. The newly revealed finds span a number of different cultures and time periods, and the site itself corresponds to tales about Philip the Evangelist from the Bible. A group of archaeologists has spent the past five years excavating Ein Hanniya (sometimes spelled as Hanya), which sits in the Rephaim Valley National Park, not far from Jerusalem.

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The Pentagon Warned That Climate Change Threatens Half of America's Military Installations

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:48

Nearly 50% of U.S. military installations across the globe face increased risk of a slew of climate change-related threats

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12-Year-Old Female Student in Custody After Shooting at L.A. Middle School

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:16

One boy is in critical condition and a girl is in fair condition

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Nearly 1,000 South African Miners Are Trapped Underground

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:02

Almost 1,000 South African miners are trapped underground at the Beatrix gold mine after a power failure.

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Google CEO: A.I. is more important than fire or electricity

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:56

Sundar Pichai says it is “absolutely” important to be concerned about the future of artificial intelligence.

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Terrifying Parasitic Wasps Knife Their Way Out of Bug Corpses With Spikes on Their Backs

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:19

Scientists believe the parasitic wasp grows up in another animal's body and then, once it reaches adulthood, saws its way through the host's body to freedom, according to a recent paper published in Biodiversity Data Journal. The authors of the new paper studied four individual wasps—two males and two females—that had been collected from Costa Rica in 1985 and placed in the U.K.'s Natural History Museum in London and the Frost Entomological Museum in Pennsylvania.

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Sen. Hassan: Trump Has Been All Talk, Little Action on the Opioid Crisis

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:08

As the White House's own recommendations wait for funding, thousands of Americans are dying

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Russia to start offering spacewalks for tourists

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:08

Russia is planning to send paying tourists on the International Space Station out on spacewalks for the first time, an official from the country's space industry said Thursday. "We are discussing the possibility of sending tourists on spacewalks," Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russian space company Energia, told Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. "Market analysts have confirmed this: wealthy people are ready to pay money for this," Solntsev told the paper.

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Give Small Cities a Chance

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:00

These are today's best ideas

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'Slender Man' case: Moms on visiting daughters who tried to kill classmate

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:51

Though both Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser entered a guilty plea, they were then found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

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Insanely Stunning Photos of the Super Blue Blood Moon

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:29

The Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse was visible in North America on January 31. Here are some of the most gorgeous photos of the event.

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