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Updated: 2 hours 39 min ago

US cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:37

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. cancer death rate has hit a milestone: It's been falling for at least 25 years, according to a new report.


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The Mystery of the Wilshire 5000 Index

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:26

The reason for that disparity was part of our conversation with Jason Schwarz, president of Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Analytics, and this week’s guest on Masters in Business. The index was started with 5,000 stocks.


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You Might Think You Have a Food Allergy–But You're Probably Wrong

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:21

Most people incorrectly assume they have a food allergy, says new study.


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Here's Why Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates Are So High, According to STI Experts

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:17

There’s actually some good news.


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Meet Walker, the smart companion of the future

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:51

Walker is a robot that can manipulate objects, recognize faces, and open doors. Sounds scary, but it might be the future of smart homes. Check out the video to see it play the piano! Read more... More about Robots, Mashable Video, Smart Home, Ubtech, and Tech


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Gaze in Awe at Hubble's Most Detailed View of the Triangulum Galaxy

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:50

Usually when astronomers talk about our neighboring galaxy, they’re talking about Andromeda, which is a cozy 2.5 million light-years away. But just a little farther—okay, 500,000 light-years farther—is another spiral galaxy, the third largest in our local group. Hubble has just released its most detailed view yet of that galaxy, which is known as Triangulum (can you see why?).


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Carbon emissions spiked in 2018, research firm finds

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:34

United States carbon dioxide emissions rose sharply last year, following three years of decline. Researchers estimate that emissions increased by 3.4 percent in 2018, based on preliminary power generation, natural gas and oil consumption data.


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Tech companies target ageing baby boomers with robot pets and gadgets aimed at the elderly

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:31

A pet robot which coos when its owner strokes it and is designed as a loyal companion for lonely elderly people is among the hit products at CES, the world's biggest technology fair in Las Vegas. Japanese manufacturer Groove X says its robot Lovot, which comes complete with cartoon eyes and fuzzy teddy bear arms, has been built to “nurture people’s capacity to love” by demanding the affection of its owner. Packed with sensors to respond to human touch, when Lovot wants to be cuddled, it waves its arms in the air, and will trail around adoringly behind its owner on wheels.  It will even ‘fall asleep’ in their arms if offered a cuddle.    The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is where the world’s largest technology companies go to show off their latest hardware. This year, one of the biggest themes at the conference is technology to help ageing baby boomers. Lovot uses a video camera mounted on its head to recognise the face of its owner and to avoid collisions.  Groove X hopes that the robots, which cost $6000 (£4700) for a pair, can become companions for Japan’s aging population, but is also planning to release the devices in the US in the future. Another technology business, Intuition Robotics, used CES to announce its ElliQ robot, which is designed to befriend the elderly. The device features a light-up head which nods as the robot talks, as well as a detachable tablet screen and a camera which can be used to make video calls. The ElliQ device will sell for $1,499, but will require a monthly subscription between $35 to $50 to keep using its service. Hyundai also revealed a car with robot legs that can help individuals with reduced mobility, such as the elderly. The car legs that allow the “Elevate“ vehicle to walk like a dog were initially designed to be used by the emergency services, but its designers said it could have other applications. John Suh, who is leading the project at Hyundai, said: “This technology goes well beyond emergency situations. “People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in. The possibilities are limitless.” Research for The Daily Telegraph last year found that global investment in technology designed for older people has almost trebled since 2017. During the first ten months of 2018 alone, investment in technology companies creating products in the elderly care market increased to $453m, up from $166m in investments in the whole of 2017. The Samsung Bot Care Credit: Bloomberg CES is best known for the cutting edge updates to hardware like televisions and laptops shown at the event. But as populations age, technology companies are increasingly tailoring their products for a new demographic, often using innovations like artificial intelligence and facial recognition. Another brand-new system is from British brand Hive, part of Centrica. Launched in the UK last month, it allows carers to remotely check on a vulnerable person using sensors placed around their home. The system, which costs £149 plus £14.99 per month, learns someone's daily routine and alerts family or neighbours that something may be wrong if they don't stick to it. The system can detect whether the front door has been closed, the kettle switched on, and the kitchen cupboards or fridge opened. The company says it helps carers feel less worried and guilty about leaving their loved ones alone, and lets older people stay in their homes for longer. Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA Samsung revealed its new Bot Care, two-foot tall, white, wheeled artificial intelligence robot that trundled onto the stage for the company’s showcase at the electronics event. The Bot Care can provide a companion to its human owner while monitoring their health through blood pressure and heart rate tests. It has emergency settings to call emergency services if something goes wrong, and can play relaxing music to deal with stress. It can also enable video calling from families to check up on sick relatives. Samsung’s vice president of AI Gary Lee said: “Samsung Bot care gives daily health briefings, shares exercise guidance and monitors medication intake. Family members can easily stay in touch with one another and check on their wellbeing even from far away.”


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China gives long-awaited GM crop approvals amid U.S. trade talks

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:28

China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import on Tuesday, the first in about 18 months in a move that could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods. The United States is the world's biggest producer of GM crops, while China is the top importer of GM soybeans and canola. U.S. farmers and global seed companies have long complained about Beijing's slow and unpredictable process for approving GM crops for import, stoking trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.


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Pollution Got Worse in 2018 Thanks to Two Overlooked Sectors

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:28

A pair of often-overlooked sectors posted the largest rises in carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S. in 2018. Emissions generated by industrial manufacturing jumped 5.7 percent, according to research firm Rhodium Group. Commercial and residential buildings generated ten percent more emissions.


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4 Common Health Problems That Can Be Serious When You're Older

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:27

Many medical problems—such as heartburn or a fall—are easy to bounce back from when you’re a teenager or young adult. But as we get older, seemingly small problems are more likely to balloon into...


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4 Common Health Problems That Can Be Serious When You're Older

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:27

Many medical problems—such as heartburn or a fall—are easy to bounce back from when you’re a teenager or young adult. But as we get older, seemingly small problems are more likely to balloon into...


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VCs Plowed a Record $9.3 Billion Into AI Startups Last Year

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:21

Venture capital funding of AI companies soared 72 percent last year, hitting a record $9.3 billion, according to a new report from PwC and CB Insights. College students last year enrolled in introductory AI and machine learning classes in record numbers, the number of academic papers on the topic shot up and officials mentioned the technology in more than 70 meetings of the U.S. Congress, according to Stanford University analysis of transcripts. AI technology has matured in recent years, as more companies have started using predictive algorithms and other automated techniques across myriad disciplines.


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Latest trial in J&J talc litigations gets under way in California

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:08

The lawsuit brought by Terry Leavitt in Alameda Superior Court in Oakland is the first of over a dozen J&J talc cases scheduled for trial in 2019. The company is facing some 11,700 lawsuits over the safety of talc in its products. Leavitt's lawyer, Joseph Satterley, accused J&J in his opening statement of knowingly selling a dangerous product, according to an online broadcast by Courtroom View Network.


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George is dead and his species likely extinct. It’s the loss of a ‘crown jewel of evolution.’

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:55

A one-inch Hawaiian snail is dead, and his species is likely gone forever.  The New Year's Day death of the small, 14-year-old snail, named George by Hawaiian scientists, is yet another blow to the native Hawaiian ecosystem, which as the most isolated group of islands on the planet contains species found nowhere else. But overexploitation, invasive predators, and climate change are continuously knocking out the critters here. And it's happening fast. "We're witnessing complete extirpations at a rate that's pretty remarkable," David Sischo, the snail extinction prevention program coordinator at the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, said in an interview. "Our staff has broken down and cried in the field before," said Sischo. "They're not going extinct tomorrow -- it's happening now." A total of 752 land snail species have been identified in Hawaii, covering a range of 10 families. But in each family, between 60 to 90 percent of the species are now extinct.  George. Image: HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES George's species, Achatinella apexfulva, was one of hundreds that evolved on these once inaccessible Pacific Islands. The idea is that a snail species -- perhaps brought by wayward birds or floating debris -- found its way to the Hawaiian island ages ago. Since then, the species flourished in diversity across Hawaii's hugely varied forests and elevations. "Think of the process as something like a spectacular firework -- one inconspicuous, lucky species travels an outrageous distance and then explodes into a breathtaking diversity of color or form," Sea McKeon, a biology professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland and co-host of The Naturalist Podcast, said over email. "George's lineage of landsnails is one of these fireworks, and 'his' death is the most recent loss in a long series of human-induced extinctions."   (Note: Most snails are hermaphrodites, so George is not actually male as he naturally has both female and male sex organs.) "Our world is slowly becoming less colorful, less vibrant with each loss, and only a few people are in a position to appreciate it," McKeon added. SEE ALSO: These are the animals that went extinct in 2018 The number of land snail species in Hawaii once outnumbered all of the mollusk species in North America, noted Sischo. It was a profoundly diverse number of species packed into the relatively small islands. It was a natural and scientific wonderland.  Biologists agree that it's extremely daunting to officially label any species extinct. George was the last known member of his species, so while there could potentially be more Achatinella apexfulva out there hiding in a ravine, it's exceedingly unlikely. Sischo uses the careful phrasing "likely extinct." "I've been scouring the mountains trying to find more," said Sischo. "People have been looking for them for well over 20 years." George became the lone member of his species soon after he was born in a University of Hawaii laboratory, 14 years ago. But an unknown pathogen or illness swept over the captive species, killing everyone but George. A frozen sample of his cells was later collected, and is now stored at the San Diego Frozen Zoo -- a lab containing over 10,000 living cell cultures, sperm, eggs, and embryos. Hawaii's diverse native snails. Image: Hawaii Department of land and natural resources Before Achatinella apexfulva's demise, the species occupied forests ranging between 1,000 to 1,500 feet in the mountains of O'ahu, Hawaii's most populous island. Invasive species, which had been unwisely introduced to the island, wiped out most of the species. For the snails, the worst culprit is the rosy wolfsnail, introduced to the island to eliminate another pest, the giant African snail.  The plan backfired. The wolfsnails are now exterminating Hawaii's unique, native snails. "It's essentially vacuuming up our snail fauna," said Sischo. Making matters worse, climate change is exacerbating the plight of the Hawaiian snails. Some historically wet forests areas are drying out, straining the dwindling snails and inviting more wildfire. "Climate change is exacerbating the issues," noted Sischo. Hawaii -- often labeled the "extinction capital of the world" -- has seen the rapid demise of a variety of unique critters. According to the American Bird Conservatory, 95 of 142 bird species found nowhere else on Earth have gone extinct on Hawaii. Just last year, biologists concluded that Hawaii's insect-eating forest-bird, the poʻouli, is now extinct. The Hawaiian herb, Amaranthus brownii, was placed on the infamous extinction list in 2018. Snails are often some of the first species to go extinct in a wild habitat. They're known as an indicator species, meaning that their health is indicative of the greater environment.  "We're losing a scientific jewel of evolution," said Sischo. "They've been a scientific spectacle since they've been introduced to Western science." ## WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?


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India to issue new safety rules for A320neos with Pratt & Whitney engines

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:35

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's civil aviation watchdog will issue an advanced safety management protocol in one week for airlines operating Airbus A320neo aircraft fitted with the troubled Pratt & Whitney engines, the civil aviation secretary told Reuters on Tuesday.


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A Total Lunar Eclipse Is Coming to the U.S. in January 2019

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:30

The shadow of the Earth will eclipse the moon and turn it blood red on January 21, 2019.


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6 All-Natural Strategies for Fighting the Cold and Flu This Winter

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:22

In the spirit of taking a 360-degree approach to healing, an integrative medicine pro’s guide to naturally warding off the cold and flu this winter.


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Semiconductor Stocks Fall as Goldman Sees More Pain on Tap

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:19

The troubles could be particularly acute in the first half of the year with chip unit shipments tracking above the long-term average, elevated inventories and room for Wall Street to reduce expectations, analyst Toshiya Hari wrote in a note. Deteriorating demand for semiconductors and a slump in the market for memory chips helped send the Philadelphia semiconductor index down 7.8 percent in 2018, its worst year since 2011. Equipment makers such as Applied Materials Inc. and Lam Research Corp. were among the worst performers as chipmakers reduced capital spending.


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Hulu Sees Record Subscriber Growth Amid Changing Ownership

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:02

The on-demand service blends original TV series and licensed shows, much like Netflix, while the live-TV offering mimics a cable or satellite package.Hulu said it generated nearly $1.5 billion in advertising revenue, an increase of more than 45 percent compared with 2017. Key InsightsHulu’s growth last year was fueled partly by its first original hit show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel set in a dystopian future.Chief Executive Officer Randy Freer, a veteran of 21st Century Fox Inc., is revamping the company after taking over in October 2017. In June, Hulu announced a reorganization that included several top executives leaving the company.


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