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+ - Crohn's, sickle cell anaemia evolved to protect Neanderthals from deadly disease->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Sufferers of psoriasis, Crohn's disease or sickle cell anaemia, which are hereditary conditions, might be interested to know these ancient diseases evolved in order to protect our ancestors from even worse medical conditions.

The scientists say the DNA deletions occurred in a common ancestor of humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans about a million or so years ago, in order to make humans in certain parts of the world deliberately susceptible to various health conditions.

Sickle cell anaemia is a serious blood disorder that causes red blood cells to take on a curved, crescent-like shape, which leads to anaemia (a problem) but also protects against malaria, a deadly infectious disease, by keeping parasites out of cells (an advantage)."

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+ - Missing link to 80-year-old physics theory explains Earth's magnetic field->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science and Rutgers University have found a missing link that proves the original 1930s metal physics theory that thermal convection can drive magnetic-field generation is correct.

Recently, new studies have challenged the 80-year-old theory about thermal convection causing the Earth's magnetic field.

New calculations state that the resistivity of the molten metal at the Earth's core would be too low, thus generating a thermal conductivity that is too high.

If the thermal conductivity is too high, the liquid would not be able to rise, and thus thermal convection would not be possible, and therefore couldn't be the cause of the Earth's magnetic field."

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+ - Graphene: Reversible method of magnetic doping paves way for semiconductor use->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "A team of physicists at University of California, Riverside have discovered how to induce magnetism in graphene in a way that still preserves the material's electronic properties, which paves the way for graphene to be used as a semiconductor.

The researchers grew a sheet of yttrium iron garnet using laser molecular beam epitaxy in a laboratory. Magnetic substances like iron are known to disrupt graphene's electrical conduction properties, but yttrium iron garnet works well as it is an electric insulator.

When a graphene sheet was placed on top of an atomically smooth sheet of yttrium iron garnet, the graphene borrowed the magnetic properties from the yttrium iron garnet and became magnetised without the need for doping."

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+ - Painkiller discovered in coffee that is stronger than morphine and lasts longer->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists at the University of Brasilia (UnB) and Brazilian agriculture research company Embrapa have accidentally discovered a new painkiller by accident while researching something completely different.

The researchers from the two organisations were collaborating to how to improve the quality of coffee grains by combining coffee genes in new ways.

They analysed the coffee's genome sequence and discovered corresponding proteins that shared properties with those in humans.

The researchers "identified previously unknown fragments of protein — peptides — in coffee that have an effect similar to morphine, in other words they have an analgesic and sedative activity," Embrapa said."

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+ - 30 Chinese tombs, 28 chariots and 98 horses dating back 2,800 years found->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Archaeologists from Peking University have discovered a group of 30 tombs, 28 chariots and 49 pairs of horse skeletons dating back 2,800 years in Zaoyang city, Hubei Province in China.

The tombs are believed to belong to high-ranking Chinese nobility and date back to the Spring and Autumn Period in Chinese history (770-476BC). Also discovered are some of the earliest music instruments ever found in China.

All the tombs have been found on the same piece of land, with a separate "mass grave" of at least 28 wooden chariots buried together on their sides in a pit that measures 33m long by 4m wide."

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+ - Invisible 3D holograms that can be seen and felt created using ultrasound->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Computer scientists at the University of Bristol have developed invisible 3D object holograms in mid-air that can be felt and seen using ultrasound, which could one day be used to help surgeons "feel a disease" in a CT scan.

The UltraHaptics technology works by pulsing high-frequency sound waves from tiny speakers that exert pressure on a person's hand to create the feel of haptic holograms, i.e. an object that can be touched by applying forces, vibrations or motions to the user.

The system also makes use of a Leap Motion sensor that can track the position of a person's hand in order to decide where in the air to create the object.

In order to be able to actually see the objects, the researchers projected the sound waves onto a thin layer of oil, and the depressions of the shapes and how the shapes move can clearly be seen on the surface."

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+ - Researchers Discover an 'Off Switch' For Pain in the Brain-> 1

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists working together from several international universities have discovered that it is possible to block a pathway in the brain of animals suffering from neuropathic pain, which could have a huge impact on improving pain relief in humans.

So far, the most successful ways to treat chronic pain from a pharmacological point of view are to create drugs that that interact or interfere with various channels in the brain to decrease pain, including adrenergic, opioid and calcium receptors.

However, there is another way – a chemical stimulator called adenosine that binds to brain receptors to trigger a biological response.

Adenosine has shown potential for killing pain in humans, but so far, no one has managed to harness this pain pathway successfully without causing a myriad of side effects.

Led by Dr Daniela Salvemini of SLU, the researchers discovered that by activating the A3 adenosine receptor in the rodents' brains and spinal cords, the receptor was able to prevent or reverse pain from nerve damage (the cause of chronic pain)."

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+ - Zano: A Clever Smartphone-Controlled Nano Drone as Small as Your Hand->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Wales-based aerospace and defence technology firm Torquing Group has developed an incredibly intelligent, autonomous flying helicopter nano drone that is surprisingly so small it can fit into the palm of your hand.

Zano is a quadcopter nano drone now on Kickstarter that measures just 6.5cm x 6.5cm. It can be controlled by a smartphone app to hover in the air from a great height to take selfies and capture HD videos, for example if the user wants to capture himself performing extreme sports like diving from a cliff or skiing down a mountain.

"The intelligence is in the firmware – we're able to get all the sonar, biometric sensors, infrared camera, GPS to operate in seamless cohesion using data-fusing algorithms," Torquing Group's head of marketing Reece Crowther told IBTimes UK.

"Everyone else in the world hasn't been able to streamline their data-fusing algorithms. They're not thinking about it correctly."

Although Zano hasn't yet been launched, Torquing Group says it has already had huge interest from intelligence agencies like the FBI, CIA and MI6, and has been invited to present its drone technology to the Pentagon and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)."

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+ - Bitcoin Anonymity: There's a Way For Hackers To Find Out Your IP Address->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Computer scientists at from the University of Luxembourg have demonstrated that it is possible to figure out the IP address and therefore the identity of individuals who pay for transactions anonymously online using bitcoins.

Virtual currency has come into vogue this year, particularly as it can be used to anonymously pay for potentially illegal items, and numerous underground markets have sprung up selling drugs and firearms through the Tor Anonymity network (known as the dark web or deep web).

Unfortunately, the researchers say Tor is not really able to protect a bitcoin user's identity from a would-be hacker, as the bitcoin's built-in denial of service (DoS) protection can be exploited.

The authors say: "We figured out that very short messages may cause a day IP ban, which can be used to separate a given node or the entire network from anonymity services such as proxy servers or Tor. If the Bitcoin community wishes to use Tor, this part of the protocol must be reconsidered.""

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+ - Kim Dotcom: I Regret Not Taking Threat of Copyright Law and MPAA More Seriously->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Kim Dotcom has spoken out about his long battle over copyright with the US government and his regrets about the events that have led to his arrest ahead of his bail breach hearing on Thursday that could see him return to jail in New Zealand.

"Would I have done things differently? Of course. My biggest regret is I didn't take the threat of the copyright law and the MPAA seriously enough," Dotcom said via live video link from his mansion in Auckland, New Zealand at the Unbound Digital conference in London on Tuesday.

"I thought that due to court decisions we were monitoring from our competitors like RapidShare who did exactly what we did and were winning in civil court proceedings, and YouTube was winning against Viacom – our sense was that we were protected by the DMCA law.

"We never for a minute thought that anyone would bring any criminal actions against us. We had in-house legal counsel, we had three outside firms working for us who reviewed our sites, and not once had any of them mentioned any form of legal risk, so I wish I had known that there was a risk.""

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+ - ALS Treatment Hope: Researchers Discover How to Stop Brain Rejecting Drugs->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University have discovered that blocking certain types of proteins in the brain may help drugs that have so far failed to treat Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to be able to work.

Currently there is only one drug in the world, called Riluzole, that is approved for treating ALS. Riluzole works by suppressing the activity of glutamate – a chemical messenger in the central nervous system.

Unfortunately, Riluzole has been shown to lose its effectiveness in patients as the disease progresses, and it only prolongs the lives of ALS patients for between three to six months.

The researchers decided to analyse the brains of mice infected with ALS, instead of analysing healthy animals. They identified two specific pumps in the brain that interact with Riluzole, namely P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast-cancer resistant protein.

When they blocked these two types of proteins by treating the mice with an experimental compound called Elacridar together with Riluzole, the scientists found that the treatments extended the life span of the mice and alleviated some of the disease's symptoms, such as improving and preserving muscle strength."

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+ - Lunar Mission One: Moon to be Launchpad for Interplanetary Missions->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "You may have heard the news today that a British-led consortium backed by lots of well-known scientists wants to launch the first ever crowdfunded space mission, and that members of the public will be able to send digital memories and even human DNA in the form of a strand of hair to the moon.

However, one of the most exciting aspects of this space mission is not so much that DNA or drilling robots will be going to the moon, but more what the scientists hope to achieve once they get there.

"In the future, it will probably be better to launch planetary missions from the moon than the Earth," Lunar Missions Ltd and Lunar Missions Trust founder David Iron tells IBTimes UK.

"We can use the top layer of the moon to create fuel and oxygen and water to help sustain a permanent manned lunar base at the south pole of the moon, [while] the moon and its vicinity can be used as a stepping point to help launch interplanetary missions."

There will in fact be three stages of funding for Lunar Mission One – a Kickstarter campaign, a reservation service for individuals or companies that want to store information on the moon, and a global marketing campaign."

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+ - Self-Filling Water Bottle Invention Can Turn Air Humidity into Drinking Water->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "An Austrian industrial design student has invented a water bottle that fills itself during cycling journeys by converting humidity in the air into safe drinking water.

The Fontus system was developed by Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna who is a Dyson Awards finalist.

Designed to be attached to a bicycle frame, Fontus consists of a condenser unit powered by a solar panel that is attached to a bottle.

When the bike is in motion, moist air is blown into a channel in the condenser unit where it cools and condenses.

The water droplets then roll into the water bottle, and at present the prototype is able to produce a drop of water a minute in air that features approximately 50% humidity at temperatures of at least 20C (68F)."

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+ - Rare Murals Discovered in 1,000-Year-Old Liao Dynasty Ancient Chinese Tomb->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "The 1,000-year-old tomb of a rich nobleman from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125 AD) has been discovered in Datong City, Shanxi Province in northern China, featuring beautiful murals, ceilings covered in constellations of stars and a statue of the tomb's occupant.

The tomb, known as M1, was discovered by archaeologists from the Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology in April 2011, buried 1.5m below ground level near the Datong-Taiyuan Railway line. It is circular in shape and made from brick, consisting of three components – an entrance corridor, a passageway with stairs and a burial chamber.

The walls of the tomb chamber are lime plaster covered with several large murals depicting the daily domestic life of a noble during the Liao Dynasty (also known as the Khitan Empire), which lasted from 907-1125 AD.

The Khitan people were normadic people from Mongolia and Manchuria who dominated parts of China during the Liao Dynasty and rules over the Han Chinese. Very few relics of their reign have survived till today."

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+ - Mac and Android Users Charged More on Shopping Sites Than iPhone and PC Users->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Computer science researchers from Boston's Northeastern University have proved that e-commerce sites are tracking the online shopping habits of people and will charge individuals different prices, depending on what type of device they are using to access a website.

300 participants ran product searches earlier this year on the websites of 16 big US and international retailers, online travel agencies and car rental companies.

Their search results showed that retailers like Home Depot, Sears, JC Penneys, Macy's, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia and Travelocity have been charging higher prices to users on Macs or Android devices, and some retailers had been giving out secret discounts to users on certain devices."

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