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Tag Archives: Scientific American

New Concrete Recipes Could Cut Cracks

There’s a stretch of highway in Pennsylvania, along US-422. “And like every probably 20 feet you see a big pothole or cracking at the joint. Like everywhere. It was so bad.” Yaghoob Farnam is a construction materials engineer at Drexel University in Philly. And this road is pretty much his worst nightmare. “Yeah and just imagine I was driving like ...

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Causes and Treatment of Lower Back Pain

The main causes of low back pain include muscle strain, herniated disks, arthritis, and more.  You can treat low back pain with ice/heat, stretching, a back brace, and more. Keep reading to hear the main causes and treatments. Last episode , we tagged along with Lori, a 46-year-old bakery owner who went to see her doctor for three days of ...

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The Curious Case of the Caterpillar's Missing Microbes

Many animals, including humans , can’t live healthy lives without the microbes in their guts. These intestinal residents break down food and help to fight off disease-causing microorganisms. But the latest research suggests that some species, including caterpillars, can do just fine without them. It’s possible, say scientists who have studied these symbiotic bacteria, fungi and other microbes, that gut microbiomes ...

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Drunk Mice Get the Munchies

If you give a mouse a beer, he is going to want a cookie—and another, and another. If you give a person enough beer, she might find herself wolfing down a plate of greasy nachos or some other caloric snack. A study published in January in Nature Communications helps to explain why binge drinking, in both mice and humans, so ...

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Exocomets Light Up 100 Billion Kilometers of Space

Caleb A. Scharf Dr. Caleb A. Scharf is Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University,and has an international reputation as a research astrophysicist, and asa lecturer to college and public audiences. The UK’s Guardian newspaperhas listed his blog Life, Unbounded, as one of their “hottest scienceblogs,” while an editor at Seed Magazine called it “phenomenal.Informed, fresh, and thoughtful.” Scharf is author ...

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"Snow White" the Dwarf Planet Has Its Own Moon

The third-largest dwarf planet in our solar system has its own moon, a new study reveals. Astronomers used three different telescopes to detect and characterize a moon orbiting 2007 OR10, which is known informally as “Snow White .” Snow White is a 950-mile-wide (1,530 kilometers) dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of frigid bodies beyond Neptune. The object’s ...

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Geneticists Enlist Engineered Virus and CRISPR to Battle Citrus Disease

0SHARESShare Fruit farmers in the United States have long feared the arrival of harmful citrus tristeza virus to their fields. But now, this devastating pathogen could be their best hope as they battle a much worse disease that is laying waste to citrus crops across the south of the country. The agricultural company Southern Gardens Citrus in Clewiston, Florida, applied ...

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How Satellite Images Can Confirm Human Rights Abuses

0SHARESShare This week the U.S. Department of State publicly accused Syria’s government of killing prison inmates and systematically destroying their bodies. Citing newly declassified photographs, Washington alleges Syrian forces built a crematorium on prison grounds—just 45 minutes from the capital, Damascus—to eliminate evidence of their human rights abuses. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones told ...

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Why Installing Software Updates Makes Us WannaCry

0SHARESShare The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation , an online publication covering the latest research. The global ransomware attack called “WannaCry,” which began last week and continues today , could have been avoided, or at least made much less serious, if people (and companies) kept their computer software up to date. The attack’s spread demonstrates how hundreds of thousands ...

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Can Plants Hear?

0SHARESShare Pseudoscientific claims that music helps plants grow have been made for decades, despite evidence that is shaky at best. Yet new research suggests some flora may be capable of sensing sounds, such as the gurgle of water through a pipe or the buzzing of insects. In a recent study, Monica Gagliano, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western ...

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