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Comet Could Host Alien Life, Scientists Say

July 6, 2015 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The space probe Philae landed on a speeding comet in November, then remained silent for seven long months before “waking up” last month. A European spacecraft named Rosetta, orbiting the same comet, is said to have picked up strange organic clusters of material similar to viruses.

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Spiders, Known to Fly, Also Adept Sailors

July 6, 2015 3:03 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Spiders are adept sailors, using the wind to travel long distances and colonize new lands. Researchers found a half-dozen techniques the spiders use to travel along the surface of water, including using their abdomens as a kind of sail while doing a handstand-like posture on the water.

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Five Foods We May Be Eating in the Future

July 6, 2015 2:20 pm | by Associated Press, Candice Choi | Comments

Chips made out of broccoli, chickpeas and kale. Wine-spiked ice cream. Popcorn that didn't quite fulfill its destiny. Those were some of the alternate-universe products at this week's 61st annual Fancy Food Show. Many have limited distribution and aren't easy to find, but could signal coming trends.

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Feds Loosen Restrictions, Drone Use Soars on Farms

July 6, 2015 2:20 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Clare Jalonick | Comments

Agricultural use of drones is about to take off after being grounded for years by the lack of federal guidelines. The FAA has approved more than 50 exemptions for farm-related operations since January. Companies with those exemptions say business has grown, helped by quick advances in the technology.

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Concussions May Change Your Mind

July 6, 2015 2:20 pm | by The Univ. of Texas at Dallas | Comments

A study of former National Football League players, led by neurologists and neuropsychologists, has found cognitive and structural brain changes in athletes with a history of concussion who experienced loss of consciousness.

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Terminating a Threat Preemptively, Elon Musk and Others Invest in Keeping AI Safe

July 6, 2015 1:23 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Elon Musk and other prognosticators of the future are trying to avoid sci-fi scenarios posited in stories such as that of the blockbuster “Terminator” franchise. The Future of Life Institute announced last week it was awarding $7 million to thinkers around the world to gauge the risks and rewards of developing AI.

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Dog Meat May Be to Blame as Ebola Re-emerges in Liberia

July 6, 2015 1:08 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

On Thursday, July 2, Liberia confirmed its third new Ebola case—just two months after it was finally declared Ebola-free from the 2014 outbreak. Officials have turned their attention toward dog meat and are investigated whether the disease spread through animals before resurfacing.

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Chinese Researchers Using Animals to Forecast Earthquakes

July 6, 2015 11:26 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Reports of animals being extra-sensitive to coming natural disasters have abounded in history. Now, a group of Chinese researchers is monitoring some animals to see if they can be used to predict earthquakes.

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Tetris Owner Takes House, Ranch Off Grid, Starts Solar Business

July 6, 2015 9:10 am | by Associated Press, Caleb Jones | Comments

Henk Rogers, famous for discovering the video game "Tetris" more than 20 years ago, lives in a solar-powered home that is completely energy independent. Rogers will announce his new company, Blue Planet Energy Systems, today. The new venture, which will sell and install battery systems for homes and businesses running on solar technology, plans to begin sales on August 1.

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California Water Prices on the Rise

July 6, 2015 8:53 am | by Associated Press, Fenit Nirappil | Comments

Saving water doesn't always mean saving money in parched California. Millions of Californians expecting relief on their water bills for taking conservation measures instead are finding higher rates and drought surcharges.

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Brainwaves Change Under Influence of ‘Laughing Gas’

July 6, 2015 8:39 am | by MIT | Comments

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” has been used in anesthesiology practice since the 1800s, but the way it works to create altered states is not well understood. In a new study, researchers reveal some key brainwave changes among patients receiving the drug.

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Oldest Known Old World Monkey Had Tiny, Complex Brain

July 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Duke Univ. | Comments

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree.

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Laughs from Lab: July 6

July 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile on your face. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: What is a chemist’s favorite car brand?

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Seahorses Find It's Hip to Be Square

July 3, 2015 12:00 pm | by UC San Diego | Comments

Why is the seahorse's tail square? An international team of researchers has found the answer and it could lead to building better robots and medical devices.

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Digesting Bread, Pasta Releases Biologically Active Molecules

July 3, 2015 12:00 pm | by Elsevier | Comments

Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study, reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.

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Bad Sleep Linked to Bad Self-control

July 3, 2015 12:00 pm | by Clemson Univ. | Comments

Poor sleep habits can have a negative effect on self-control, which presents risks to individuals’ personal and professional lives. In a study, psychologists concluded a sleep-deprived individual is at increased risk for succumbing to impulsive desires, inattentiveness and questionable decision-making.

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