Science

Japan announces plans to put its own astronaut on the moon

Japan announces plans to put its own astronaut on the moon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA — the country's equivalent of NASA) announced earlier this week that it was developing plans to put a man on the moon by the year 2030. While the proposal is yet to be approved by the nation's government, if successful it will be the first time a Japanese astronaut is sent on a mission beyond the International Space Station.

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Gut bacteria pathway may be key to treating obesity: study

Gut bacteria pathway may be key to treating obesity: study

Yet another study has found a link between obesity and gut bacteria, shedding light on a possible treatment option that excludes surgery. The findings were made by researchers with the Cleveland Clinic, which reports that a specific chemical called trimethylamine oxide -- TMAO for short -- is the potential key to this treatment. The chemical results from gut bacteria; mice without it demonstrated obesity protection even when consuming high-calorie diets.

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PSA: NASA is not running a child slave colony on Mars

PSA: NASA is not running a child slave colony on Mars

This week a NASA representative was asked whether they were running a child slave colony on Mars. That anyone would believe such a thing is just about as insane as a conspiracy theory gets. Kind of like believing there's a child slave ring being operated out of the basement of a pizza shop which literally has no basement. Much like the source of this rumor, this is all a performance - made for entertainment.

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Study: just being close to your phone will impact your cognition (in a bad way)

Study: just being close to your phone will impact your cognition (in a bad way)

A smartphone connected to the Internet puts an immense amount of information at your fingertips and that's a great thing. While the benefit of having such instant access to information is welcomed, the potential cognitive effects a phone's presence may have on one's mind isn't. According to a newly published study coming from the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, simply having your phone nearby is enough to negatively impact your cognitive capacity.

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Deep-sea mining may cause ‘irrevocable’ biodiversity loss

Deep-sea mining may cause ‘irrevocable’ biodiversity loss

A letter from experts newly published in Nature Geoscience warns that deep-sea mining missions may cause biodiversity loss that is 'irrevocable.' The loss of biodiversity in these regions is 'unavoidable,' according to the letter, and is something that must be taken into account when such missions take place. The effects of how the environment will respond to deep-sea mining is still a 'tremendous uncertainty,' according to one expert, underscoring the need for mining practices to include protection measures.

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SpaceX launches, lands second Falcon 9 in 48 hours in extreme weather

SpaceX launches, lands second Falcon 9 in 48 hours in extreme weather

Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night. That USPS battle cry could very well be adopted by SpaceX in the future. Against weather that would have normally caused a cancellation, SpaceX launched a second Falcon 9 just two days after it successfully launched and, more importantly, successfully landed one. And, both through luck and hard work, SpaceX was able to once again successfully land that second rocket, taking them one step closer to the dream of space commerce and tourism.

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SpaceX nails launch & landing of a used rocket for second time

SpaceX nails launch & landing of a used rocket for second time

SpaceX's record of success continues to grow as the space company successfully launched and landed a used Falcon 9 rocket for the second time on Friday. As the second instance of reusing one of its rockets, this marks 12 completed landings out of 17 attempts for SpaceX, and the 7th successful recovery at sea, where the rocket's first stage touches down upright on a floating drone platform.

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This new type of poppy seed won’t make you fail drug tests

This new type of poppy seed won’t make you fail drug tests

From a Seinfeld episode to real-life drama, poppy seeds have been a source of comedy, angst, and compromised jobs. Consuming too many of the seeds on your morning bagel can cause you to test positive for heroin, and depending on the nature of your job, that could be cause for immediate dismissal. The issue is a serious one, and as a result one company has created a new variety of poppy seeds, ones that have low levels of morphine.

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NASA CHESS mission will probe ’empty’ deep space

NASA CHESS mission will probe ’empty’ deep space

NASA plans to probe the seemingly empty space that lies between stars via its new CHESS mission, helping researchers understand the earliest parts of a star's slow formation. CHESS, in this case, is short for Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph, a special payload that will be sent into space on the suborbital sounding rocket called Black Brant IX. The launch will take place next week.

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This medieval sword was found in a bog, and a knight’s remains may follow

This medieval sword was found in a bog, and a knight’s remains may follow

A notable archaeological discovery is coming out of Poland, where researchers have recovered a medieval-era sword from a peat bog. The sword is still in good shape, at least for something as old as it is, bearing all of its components minus the hilt padding. Researchers say the preservation is excellent enough that even a small marking -- likely the blacksmith's mark -- is still visible on the sword.

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NASA’s Mars telescope spied Curiosity rover on planet’s rocky surface

NASA’s Mars telescope spied Curiosity rover on planet’s rocky surface

A new NASA photo shows a small blue dot in the middle of a bumpy, rocky brown landscape. That landscape, the space agency says, is Mars, and the small blue dot? That's the Mars Curiosity rover as seen by NASA's own Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The photo was taken last month by the space agency's super powerful Mars telescope, which only takes photos a handful of times a year. The capturing of Curiosity, it seems, was a happy coincidence.

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Ethiopia’s coffee farms must move to survive climate change

Ethiopia’s coffee farms must move to survive climate change

A new study has warned that Ethiopia's coffee production is at risk over climate change, forcing farmers to move their farms or lose their crop. The troubles result from a combination of increased temperatures and decreased rainfall, reducing the number of places in which coffee can be grown. In just a handful of decades, 60-percent of Ethiopia's coffee farm land could become unusable.

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