Science

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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NASA’s space laser is used to study phytoplankton

NASA’s space laser is used to study phytoplankton

NASA has a laser inside a satellite orbiting the Earth and the laser is being used to study the boom-and-bust cycle of polar ocean plants. Specifically the laser is being used to study the peak and decline cycles of phytoplankton in the ocean. NASA says that its findings will supply data for ecosystem management, commercial fisheries, and help our understanding of the climate and key ocean ecosystems.

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China plans to soft land probe on far side of the moon by 2018

China plans to soft land probe on far side of the moon by 2018

China has announced its space ambitions for the coming years and it has some big plans. The first thing that China plans to do is place a probe on the far side of the moon. China wants to soft land a probe on the far side of the moon by 2018 and accomplishing this feat would make it the first country to do so.

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Cheetahs are closer to extinction than anyone knew

Cheetahs are closer to extinction than anyone knew

A mere 7,100 cheetahs remain the wild, a new study has confirmed, putting the wild cats perilously close to extinction and spurring demands that they be officially classed as "endangered". The striking big cats, which hold the record as the world's fastest land animal, are currently considered "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. That, the authors of a new study insist, paints the actual situation in too rosy a way.

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Researchers lambast study associating HPV vaccine with brain damage

Researchers lambast study associating HPV vaccine with brain damage

Vaccines are a hot topic and, unfortunately, the source of ample criticism by those who fear they cause autism and other conditions. The latest vaccine to reach alarm status is the HPV vaccine, which deals with the human papilloma virus and aims to prevent cervical cancer in women. This vaccine is recommended for women and girls, and is also increasingly being given to boys, but a new study has undermined confidence in it, associating it with brain damage in mice.

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