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D-brief

Scientists Find What Makes Our Bones Strong When We Exercise

By Nathaniel Scharping | December 13, 2018 3:07 pm

Exercise is good for us in a lot of ways. It helps cut the pounds, increases cardiovascular health, adds muscle mass and can boost our mood. What it also does, though, is help keep our bones strong.

Studies have shown that regular exercise, especially involving weights, ups bone mass and maintains the health of our skeletal system. For us spring chickens, having strong bones might not sound all that critical, as our skeleton seems to get by just fine no matter what we do. But in the elde …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: aging, personal health

D-brief

A Nearby Supernova May Have Caused a Mass Extinction 2.6 Million Years Ago

By Alison Klesman | December 13, 2018 2:51 pm

Supernovae are the explosive end stages of massive stars. About 2.6 million years ago, one such supernova lit up Earth’s sky from about 150 light-years away. A few hundred years later, after the new star had long since faded from the sky, cosmic rays from the event finally reached Earth, slamming into our planet. Now, a group of researchers led by Adrian Melott at the University of Kansas believes this cosmic onslaught is linked to a mass extinction of ocean animals roaming Earth’s water …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

D-brief

Researchers Discover 1.5 Million Hidden Penguins by Looking at their Poop From Space

By Jake Parks | December 13, 2018 2:37 pm

Monitoring the well-being of Antarctica’s delicate ecosystem just got a little bit easier thanks to a very unlikely source: penguin poop.

By analyzing over 40 years of Antarctic images gathered by seven satellites as part of the Landsat program, a NASA-funded team of researchers recently uncovered new details about the lives of Antarctica’s Adélie penguins — a species that may help reveal past and future threats to one of the most unspoiled regions in the world.

In re …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World, top posts

D-brief

Ancient DNA Reveals The Surprisingly Complex Origin Story of Corn

By Barbara Frazer | December 13, 2018 2:00 pm

In Mexico, corn tortillas rule the kitchen. After all, maize began evolving there from a grass called teosinte some 9,000 years ago, eventually becoming a staple consumed around the world.

But that spread presents a puzzle. In 5,300-year-old remains of maize from Mexico, genes from the wild relative show that the plant was still only partly domesticated. Yet archaeological evidence shows that a fully domesticated variety was being grown in South America more than 1,000 years before that.
 …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

D-brief

HGH Treatment Tragedy Suggests Alzheimer's Might be Transmissible

By Roni Dengler | December 13, 2018 1:32 pm

A medical procedure transferred a key component of Alzheimer’s disease from one person to another, finds a new study published today in the journal Nature. The discovery suggests the seeds of the devastating neurodegenerative disease are transmissible.

“It is a new way of thinking about the condition,” John Collinge, a neurologist at the University of College London in the United Kingdom, who led the new research, told reporters during a media briefing.
Odd Autopsy
Three years ago …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

D-brief

Virgin Galactic Has Launched its SpaceShipTwo Into Space

By Chelsea Gohd | December 13, 2018 1:03 pm

Launching Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic has followed through with their ambitious goal to launch their SpaceShipTwo vehicle into space before Christmas. Today, the aerospace company successfully launched four NASA-supported technologies and two brave test pilots aboard the suborbital space plane into space and then landed safely back on Earth.

Today, SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Unity, launched for space, attached to the WhiteKnightTwo mothership from the Mojave Air and Space Po …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

D-brief

Scientists Create Tiny Nanomaterials By Shrinking Them

By Bill Andrews | December 13, 2018 1:00 pm

The idea of shrinking things down to a more convenient size seems so enticing. It’s a superpower for Ant-Man, kicks off the adventures in Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and, of course, the Simpsons had fun with the idea too. (Shrinkage has come up in other contexts, as well.)

Now, in real life, a team of MIT and Harvard scientists has gotten in on the fun by devising a new way of constructing nanomaterials — tiny machines or structures on the order of just a billionth of a meter. They call …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts

D-brief

Physicists Make 'Quark Soup' to Study the Early Universe

By Jake Parks | December 13, 2018 9:41 am

By slamming small particles into heavy gold nuclei at nearly the speed of light, scientists have created tiny, ultra-hot droplets of a bizarre type of matter called a quark-gluon plasma (QGP), which once filled the entire universe shortly after the Big Bang.

Creating such a ‘quark soup’ is a tough task in its own right; the first sample of QGP was produced less than two decades ago by smashing two heavy atoms together. But for this new study, which was carried out as part of the …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: cosmology, physics

D-brief

Starting School Later Helps Teens Get More Sleep

By Lacy Schley | December 12, 2018 2:44 pm

Ah, adolescence. A time of change, of navigating awkward social situations, figuring out who you are, maybe holding down that first job or focusing on extracurriculars — all while juggling the demands of school. And for most teens, managing all of this happens on too little sleep.

To help alleviate the lack of Z’s, experts in the U.S. have been pushing for school systems across the country to roll back the start times for middle and high school students. Now, a new paper in the journa …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: personal health

D-brief

2018 Saw Simultaneous Wildfires Devastate California. That Could be the New Normal

By Ramin Skibba | December 12, 2018 2:27 pm

(Inside Science) — Just a few weeks ago, two large wildfires caused massive destruction and at least 91 deaths in California, the Woolsey fire near Los Angeles and the Camp fire that engulfed the town of Paradise in the north. Residents and firefighters struggled to stop both fires, yet they can expect more like them to come.

Simultaneous large fires are becoming more common throughout the continental United States, according to new research presented by Alison Cullen today at the Societ …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: natural disasters
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