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Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

Edible sensor helps TB patients take their meds: study

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 12:15

An ingestible sensor that allows doctors to remotely monitor tuberculosis patients' intake of medication has the potential to save millions of lives and revolutionise treatment for the world's most deadly infectious disease, researchers said Friday. A randomised trial of 77 patients in California, published in the journal PLOS medicine, found that 93 percent of patients using the sensor were taking their daily treatment doses, compared with 63 percent who did not. Around 10 million people contract tuberculosis annually, and in 2017 1.6 million people died from the chronic lung disorder.


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New research suggests we might be thinking about the ocean plastic problem all wrong — trash dumped from ships could be a major culprit

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 06:57

Up to 14 million tons of plastic enters the ocean annually. A study shows that dumping from ships may be the source of a lot of that pollution.


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Is the 3D rocket boom passing the government by?

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 04:44

Government programs designed to incubate promising new technologies can’t keep pace with the rapid growth of venture-backed space start-ups, says the CEO of Relativity Space, a small launch company that is building 3D printed rockets. Tim Ellis, the 29-year old CEO, gave a hypothetical example: When his Los-Angeles-based firm had just 14 employees a year and a half ago, it would have been eligible to compete for a NASA contract to bring partially-developed technology at small businesses to fruition.


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Pacific Northwest National Lab plays role in federally funded AI research center

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 19:37

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is joining forces with two other research powerhouses to pioneer a new $5.5 million research center created by the U.S. Department of Energy to focus on the biggest challenges in artificial intelligence. The Center for Artificial Intelligence-Focused Architectures and Algorithms, or ARIAA, will promote collaborative projects for scientists at PNNL in Richland, Wash., at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and at Georgia Tech. PNNL and Sandia are part of the Energy Department's network of research labs. ARIAA will be headed by Roberto Gioiosa, a senior research scientist at PNNL. As center director, he'll be in… Read More


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Why Studying the Death of Battleships Could Save Aircraft Carriers

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 18:00

Learning from history.


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Bipartisan Report Says Trump's Abuse Has Pushed Federal Science to a 'Crisis'

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 17:49

WASHINGTON -- In a single month in 2017, the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency blocked scientists from speaking at a climate change conference, its Interior Department forwarded a policy letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection only after deleting concerns from biologists about a border wall's effects on wildlife, and the FBI issued a crime report that omitted dozens of tables of data on homicides and arrests.That October was fairly typical for the Trump administration, according to a new report out of New York University, led by Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney, and Christine Todd Whitman, who led the EPA for George W. Bush.Every president over the past two decades has, to some degree, undermined research and injected politics into science, the report said. But, it concluded, "Now, we are at a crisis point, with almost weekly violations of previously respected safeguards." The report calls for stringent new standards to enshrine scientific independence.The study, to be formally released Thursday, follows reports that President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, pressured the commerce secretary to rebuke weather forecasters who appeared to contradict the president after he erroneously claimed a recent hurricane could affect Alabama. This summer a State Department intelligence analyst resigned in protest after the White House tried to edit scientific testimony about climate change and then blocked it from being entered into the permanent Congressional Record. For months the White House debated a plan to publicly question the established scientific conclusions about the severity of climate change."While the threat to the independence of scientific data did not start with this administration, it has certainly accelerated of late," said Whitman, a Republican who also served as New Jersey's governor, in an emailed statement.A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the report's findings.The report is the second in a series of studies issued by a democracy task force that was launched last year at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's School of Law. Both Bharara and Whitman have been critical of Trump, but they emphasized that stronger laws against financial conflicts, political interference with law enforcement and the suppression of science were needed to curtail the impulses of any president from either party.Under President George H.W. Bush, the report noted, the White House altered the scientific testimony of James E. Hansen, a NASA scientist, to make his conclusions about climate change appear less certain. The EPA under President Barack Obama made last-minute changes to a report to downplay the risks of an oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking on the nation's water supply. In another instance the Obama administration issued a memo discouraging members of EPA's scientific advisory boards from speaking publicly without agency approval.But the report reserved special condemnation for the actions of the Trump administration, which has disbanded independent scientific review boards, altered reports that contradict the administration's political views and relocated researchers whose conclusions were politically uncomfortable. For instance, the Agriculture Department decided in May to move some of its economists out of Washington after they presented research indicating that the agricultural benefits of Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut would flow largely to the nation's richest farmers.On Oct. 13, 2017, the Interior Department sent a supportive letter to border patrol officials considering Trump's proposed wall along the southwestern frontier, but deleted concerns by scientists about the harm that a physical structure could cause the habitats of rare cats and other wildlife in the area, according to the report. A few days later the EPA barred three agency scientists from speaking at a conference in Rhode Island about the effects of climate change on Narragansett Bay. A week after that the FBI issued its annual report of crime data with 70% fewer data tables. The changes, according to a report at the time, did not go through the normal review process."Policies governing the health and welfare of the public and of our shared environment have to be based in credible, independent science," Whitman said in emailed remarks. "For the public to lose faith in that process will call into question everything that has been done to make our drugs and food safe and our environment healthier."The authors maintain that, without action from Congress, future administrations of either party could further erode the independence of federal scientific data. Among the changes it recommended was legislation to require that all federal agencies that perform scientific research articulate clear standards for, and report on, how political officials interact with career scientists.While that seems like a long shot in the current Congress, where even the definition of scientific integrity is in dispute, the authors said they are optimistic that rules governing scientific advisory bodies could earn bipartisan support. Legislation by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., to develop scientific integrity standards has 217 co-sponsors, but none are Republican."There's truth and there's science, and that shouldn't be swayed by whether someone is a liberal or a conservative, a Democrat or a Republican," Bharara said in an interview.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


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Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Martian Moons

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 12:54

Phobos and Deimos are small, lifeless, and weird.


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If India and Pakistan have a nuclear war, scientists say it could trigger Ice-Age temperatures, cause global famine, and kill 125 million people

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 12:29

Earth's temperature could drop by 5 degrees Celsius, which means major farming regions would struggle to grow crops.


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Three spacefliers, including first Emirati in orbit, return to Earth from space station

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 11:34

Today's landing of a Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan brought one of the shortest recent stays on the International Space Station to an end, as part of a plan for one of the longest stays. The first representative of the United Arab Emirates to fly in space, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, was part of the returning trio, along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russia's Alexey Ovchinin. All three seemed to be in good shape as they were brought out of their Soyuz and underwent an initial round of medical checks. Almansoori spent a mere eight days on the station, under an… Read More


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Astronomers plan to film the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy as it gobbles up stars and planets. The video could open a 'new field' of science.

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 11:22

You might soon be able to watch hours of real-time video of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.


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Mayo Clinic study suggests 'toxic chemical fumes' may be to blame for vaping lung illnesses

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 11:16

A new Mayo Clinic study of vaping-related lung injuries finds that "toxic chemical fumes"," not oils, may be the cause.


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UK particle accelerator to reveal secrets of 2,000-year-old papyrus

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 09:00

A leading science facility in the English countryside is helping in a bid to decipher Roman-era scrolls carbonised in the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago. Researchers led by antiquities decoder Professor Brent Seales have turned to Diamond, Britain's national synchrotron in Didcot, Oxfordshire, to examine the papyri, which are described as "fragile like butterfly wings". "Our normal idea of a scroll is that you can just unroll it and read it," Seales, director of the Digital Restoration Initiative at the University of Kentucky, told AFP during a recent tour of the site in Didcot.


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MIT scientists have figured out a way to tell if a nuclear weapon is real or fake — a crucial step toward reducing the number of nukes in the world

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 06:44

The technology encrypts its data, so weapons inspectors wouldn't have access to military secrets about how a nuke was designed or built.


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Tires and clothes major sources of Bay Area microplastics: study

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 02:11

Research has revealed the presence of trillions of microparticles from clothes, plastic wrap and possibly tires in the San Francisco Bay, according to a study released Wednesday. Microplastics measure less than 5 millimeters and are often invisible to the naked eye -- but the term microparticles is used when the chemical composition is not clear. Teams from the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the 5 Gyres Institute studied 12 small tributaries, the water flows from treatment plants, and the bay itself across three years.


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Vaping-linked lung injury may be caused by toxic fumes: study

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 23:10

Lung biopsies from 17 people affected by a US outbreak of severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping have revealed the injuries are consistent with exposure to noxious chemical fumes, scientists reported Wednesday. The research, carried out by the Mayo Clinic, a medical nonprofit, and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found no evidence of tissue injury caused by the accumulation of fatty substances, a prevailing theory until now. "While we can't discount the potential role of lipids, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a problem caused by lipid accumulation in the lungs," said Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona.


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How China Could Win a War Against America: Kill The Satellites

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 19:00

Maybe a Space Force is a good idea after all?


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More Frequent and Intense Tropical Storms Mean Less Recovery Time for the World’s Coastlines

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 18:00

More frequent coastal storms are stressing ecosystems.


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Elon Musk’s Starship May Be More Moral Catastrophe Than Bold Step in Space Exploration

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 17:00

An artist concept of the Starship following separation from the first stage Super Heavy


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The ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus contains the building blocks of life, NASA data reveals

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 15:07

NASA data revealed the most basic ingredients of life in bursts from an ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus.


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Cultural Studies Key to National Security

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 14:36

A lack of understanding between American and Middle-Eastern culture is a national security risk.


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