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Churchill the Astrobiologist?

A wonderful commentary by Mario Livio in this week’s edition of Nature reveals the details of one of Winston Churchill’s newly unearthed writings; not on political and historical strategies, but on the nature of life in the Universe. Remarkably, Churchill started mulling over these ideas in 1939 – as western Europe was about to slide into the brutal conflict of World War II. As ...

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Spaceflight Squishes Spacefarers' Brains

Time spent in zero G changes the body: Astronauts come home with bone loss and muscle weakness. But what happens in their heads? To find out, researchers examined MRI’s of astronauts’ brains taken before and after flight. They looked at 12 astronauts who spent two weeks on the shuttle crew and 14 who spent half a year on the International ...

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New Continent Zealandia Is Discovered Underwater

Hail, Zealandia! It’s not the lost city of Atlantis, but scientists say they’re convinced they have discovered the planet’s eighth continent sprawling underwater beneath New Zealand. Australia and adjacent New Zealand have always been considered the continent of Australia. But now, researchers have found that New Zealand rests on a separate 1.8 million-square-mile continental crust, rather than oceanic crust. The ...

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Here's What We Learned From Friday's #DayofFacts

Museums and libraries are typically nonpartisan institutions, but even they can’t stay quiet in this political climate and amid the “fake news” buzz . On Friday, they took to Twitter to stand up for something that’s become a puzzling political talking point: Facts. Using the hashtag #DayofFacts , scientists, historians and even encyclopedias filled Twitter feeds with all the facts that ...

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GM hens help build 'frozen aviary' in Edinburgh

Genetically-modified hens that can lay eggs from different poultry breeds are helping scientists set up a “frozen aviary” to conserve rare birds.The aviary acts like a seed bank for poultry, storing primordial stem cells that produce eggs destined to hatch male or female offspring.The Edinburgh University team have collected more than 500 samples from 25 different breeds.The cells are held ...

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Naica's crystal caves hold long-dormant life

It is a remarkable discovery in an amazing place.Scientists have extracted long-dormant microbes from inside the famous giant crystals of the Naica mountain caves in Mexico – and revived them.The organisms were likely to have been encased in the striking shafts of gypsum at least 10,000 years ago, and possibly up to 50,000 years ago.It is another demonstration of the ...

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Eclipse to be turned into mega-movies

August’s total solar eclipse in the US will almost certainly be the most watched such event in history. More than 12 million people – from Oregon to South Carolina – live on the path of darkness that the Moon will cut as it sweeps in front of the Sun. Nearly four times that many live within a two-hour’s drive. And ...

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How Public Health Officials Can Make The Truth Heard In A 'Post-Fact' World

As reports of fake news  ― real or perceived ― and “alternative facts ” become more common, so does Americans’ distrust in public officials and institutions. Respondents to an Edelman survey conducted last year, for example, said they would consider the view of a “person like me” twice as credible  as that of a government leader. The public’s trust in businesses, the government, ...

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Woolly Mammoth Could Be 'De-Extinct' In 2 Years, Scientist Says

Did we learn nothing from “Jurassic Park?” A Harvard University scientist told The Guardian this week that his team is only two years from resurrecting some traits of the woolly mammoth, which went extinct during the last ice age. The goal is to create an embryo that’s a hybrid of the woolly mammoth and its closest living relative, the Asian elephant. ...

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Bill Would Allow Killing Of Bears And Wolves Again On Alaska Wildlife Refuges

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers on Thursday advanced a measure to repeal an Obama-era rule that largely banned the hunting of bears, wolves and other predators on more than 76 million acres of national wildlife refuge land in Alaska. The Republican-sponsored legislation would undo the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule , ultimately opening the door for the state to resume aggressive predator ...

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