Science

SpaceX returns to space on Sunday as investigation closes

SpaceX returns to space on Sunday as investigation closes

What should have been a glorious end to SpaceX's 2016 ended up in a blaze when, on 1st September, its Falcon 9 exploded even before it could get off the ground, taking Facebook's first satellite down with it. Now four months later, SpaceX is closing the books on its joint investigation with government agencies and industry experts. Having traced down the cause of that failed attempt, SpaceX will once again try its luck on 8th January in an attempt to start the year right.

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Rare dinosaur egg embryo hints at 6-month incubation times

Rare dinosaur egg embryo hints at 6-month incubation times

The popular image of dinosaurs is that of giant lizards. After all, that's where their name came from. Science, however, paints us a different and more complicated story. They were warm-blooded, unlike reptiles and some were actually closer to birds than lizards, having feathers and wings. There were, however, nonavian dinosaurs that were indeed closer to crocodiles than chicken. And these, according to scientists, laid eggs that took 6 months or more to hatch, which, in a sad way, helped bring about their extinction.

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Researchers: bad ‘magic mushroom’ trips may still be beneficial

Researchers: bad ‘magic mushroom’ trips may still be beneficial

So-called magic mushrooms are the source of renewed scientific interest in psilocybin, particularly the beneficial effects the chemical may have on helping terminal cancer patients accept impending death, among other things. Researchers recently published the results of a large survey they conducted with magic mushroom consumers, one in which they specifically looked for details about bad trips and their lasting effects.

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Nikon to help fight diabetes-related eye diseases with optical engineering expertise

Nikon to help fight diabetes-related eye diseases with optical engineering expertise

Nikon has announced it's teaming up with Verily, the company previously known as Google Life Sciences, to help improve the detection of diabetes-related eye diseases — diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, two of the leading causes of adult blindness. The camera giant will contribute its imaging technology to Verily's machine learning, with a goal of increasing early detection, giving patients enough time to get to a doctor before losing all eyesight.

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Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

NASA has published an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a megamaser, something the space agency describes as a ‘beautiful and serene cosmic rosebud.’ A megamaser is a very bright ‘process’ that, says NASA, radiates intense energy. This particular megamaser has been dubbed IRAS 16399-0937, and it emits microwaves. On camera, it looks nothing short of stunning.

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Five fun things to do in your extra second of 2016

Five fun things to do in your extra second of 2016

In a little more than a day's time (depending on where you happen to be in the world), we'll be closing the book on 2016. On top of everything that will make 2016 stand out in our minds, here's one more thing to add to the list: 2016 will be one second longer than a standard year. Known as a leap second, we sometimes have to tack on this additional second thanks to irregularities in Earth's rotation.

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NASA loses its chief scientist Ellen Stofan

NASA loses its chief scientist Ellen Stofan

NASA has quietly revealed that its chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, has left the space agency for other 'adventures.' The tidbit of info was published as part of a long Q&A with the chief scientist, though Stofan herself did indicate her plans with a quip during an astrobiology symposium earlier this month. It isn't clear why she has left the space agency, nor whether NASA has someone else lined up to take her place and what it will do in the meantime.

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Study: office workers can ditch standing desks by taking short walks instead

Study: office workers can ditch standing desks by taking short walks instead

There seems to be three stages involved in owning a standing desk. First, you feel enthusiastic about your renewed work environment and optimistic about its effects on your health. Soon enough, though, you start to feel distracted by the discomfort of standing all the time. Then, finally, you acknowledge that humans invented chairs for a reason and return to your previous sedentary ways. According to a new study, that's fine: there's a suitable alternative to standing desks.

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NASA Langley Mars habitat concept is made of ice

NASA Langley Mars habitat concept is made of ice

NASA is working on a lot of the components required to send man to Mars. From the rockets that will carry the astronauts to the Red Planet to the structures the astronauts will live in on the surface of the planet, NASA is working on all aspects. The latest concept for a dwelling on the surface of the Red Planet uses an unusual and rather simple building material - ice.

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2016 will get an extra second to keep precision time devices precise

2016 will get an extra second to keep precision time devices precise

I'd wager that we are all familiar with the leap year, this is the year when February gets an extra day. Some will be familiar with a similar concept called the leap second and the last time a leap second was added to the clock as June 30, 2015. 2016 will get a leap second to keep precision clocks that precisely track time accurate. This leap second will come at the end of 2016.

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Researchers develop nanodiscs to deliver personalized cancer therapy

Researchers develop nanodiscs to deliver personalized cancer therapy

Researchers from the University of Michigan have reported success in cancer research with mice using a new delivery method for therapies called nanodiscs. The researchers were able to use the nanodiscs to deliver a customized therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of colon and melanoma cancer tumors. Personalized immunotherapy is a growing field of research for cancer treatments.

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Self-assembly process builds nanowires with tiny 3-atom wide copper-sulfur crystalline core

Self-assembly process builds nanowires with tiny 3-atom wide copper-sulfur crystalline core

Stanford University researchers with help for the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created a new self-assembly process that that uses something called diamondoids to create tiny nanowires that have a solid core. That solid core inside the tiny nanowires is made from a 3-atom wide copper-sulfur crystalline material and is the smallest core possible. The tiny nanowires have superior electrical properties due to the lack of defects in the solid crystalline core.

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