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+ - Tracking the weather on an exoplanet

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Scientists have begun gathering increasingly detailed information about the atmosphere and weather on the exoplanet HD189733B, 63 light years away with an orbit that produces a transit every 2.2 days.

It appears that the temperature rises with increasing altitude, reaching 3,000 degrees at the top of the atmosphere. There are also strong winds blowing from the cold to the hot side of the planet.

+ - Acetaminophen reduces both pain and pleasure, study finds->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers studying the commonly used pain reliever acetaminophen found it has a previously unknown side effect: It blunts positive emotions. Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol, has been in use for more than 70 years in the United States, but this is the first time that this side effect has been documented.
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+ - Briny Water May Pool in Mars' Equatorial Soil->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine writes: Mars may be a frigid desert, but perchlorate salts in the planet’s soil are lowering the freezing temperature of water, setting up conditions for liquid brines to form at equatorial regions, new research from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows. The discovery of subsurface water, even a trickle, around the planets warmer equatorial belt defies current climate models, though spacecraft orbiting Mars have found geologic evidence for transient liquid water, a phenomenon termed “recurring slope lineae.” The findings, published in this week’s Nature Geoscience, are based on nearly two years worth of atmospheric humidity and temperature measurements collected by the roving science laboratory Curiosity, which is exploring an ancient impact basin called Gale Crater near the planet’s equator. The brines, computer models show, form nightly in the upper 2 inches of the planet’s soil as perchlorates absorb atmospheric water vapor. As temperatures rise in the morning, the liquid evaporates. The levels of liquid, however, are too low to support terrestrial-type organisms, the researchers conclude. “It is not just a problem of water, but also temperature. The water activity and temperatures are so low in Mars that they are beyond the limits of cell reproduction and metabolism,” Javier Martin-Torres, with Lulea University of Technology, in Kiruna, Sweden, wrote in an email to Discovery News.
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+ - Mystery of Ceres' bright spots grows

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: New data from NASA mission suggest varied origins for tantalizing gleams on dwarf planet's surface.

The Dawn science team has released the first global map of Ceres, based on the preliminary images produced during the spacecraft's approach in March.

This map is very preliminary. The global survey produced during Dawn's year long visit will be far more detailed.

+ - What's the point in Sharp's 5.5 inch 4K 806ppi screen?->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: It is a given that whatever technology you see if front of you will be bettered if not next week, then next month or next year. Processors will get faster, hard drives bigger, laptops thinner and... well, you get the idea. In the realm of mobile devices there was a time when size meant everything. Mobile phone screens grew larger and larger, but then focus started to switch.

Size, it turned out, was not everything after all; it’s the number of pixels that matters. We started to see ppi figures quoted everywhere, Apple even came up with its own label for the pixel density at which pixels became indistinguishable — Retina Display. This was just the start of the battle of the pixels, though, and now things are starting to get a bit silly. Sharp has announced a 5.5 inch 4K screen which boasts a pixel density of 806ppi. Say, what?

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Comment: Re:Anyone else want bigger batteries... (Score 1) 39

by jdschulteis (#49458985) Attached to: LG's Leather-Clad G4 Revealed In Leaked Images

This phone is basically a third of an inch thick. Given that one holds the phone while it's in use by that thin edge, this is getting a little ridiculous. Give me a thicker phone with a much bigger battery. My pockets can handle it, I assure you, and with more edge to hold on to I'm much les likely to drop the damn thing by accident, and they could even build the phone more durably to the point I might not need to buy a third-party case either.

I have a G3 and the thin, slick edge is actually more of a problem for me than battery life. A thicker, textured edge and better battery life would be great improvements and would cost very little.

Comment: Re:why is this taking so long? (Score 1) 383

How hard is it to tell them, either end your nuclear program or we will?

47 minutes after Iran announces that they have a nuclear weapon a large mushroom cloud over Tehran will announce the cancelation of said nuclear program.

Send that message.

anything past that is a waste of time.

Hopefully you are being facetious, otherwise what kind of evil bastard are you? Willing to slaughter millions of people to "send that message".

Comment: Re:What's the alternative? (Score 1) 383

The mere presence of Iran at the bargaining table suggests that sanctions were working. Ratchet up the sanctions.

To achieve what, exactly? Play out the scenario for us.

Agreed. There are limits to harshness of sanctions. The ideas that sanctions could make the Iranian leadership give up all nuclear aspirations or make the Iranian masses rise up against the theocracy are both ridiculous. Harsher sanctions, if they are even possible, might make Iran try even harder to complete a nuclear weapon. A rapprochement between the US and Iran gives a chance, however slight, of Iran realizing that they don't need one.

Comment: Re:Iranian nuclear weapon in one year (Score 1) 383

There's no reason to believe that Iran would invite destruction by doing a first strike.

I tend to consider the statement by Iran's minister of defense that the destruction of Israel is a non-negotiable point as a reason. Reasonable people can argue on how good a reason, but holding to the theory that no reason exists is, in fact, delusional, when national leadership of the country has openly declared its intent to annihilate another country.

You place too much weight on rhetorical statements. While Israel neither confirms nor denies that it has nuclear weapons, it is widely believed to possess a substantial arsenal. It is highly doubtful that Iran could eliminate Israel's ability to counterattack.

Comment: Re:MAD does not apply (Score 1) 383

But why WOULD the U.S. send a nuclear strike back, against cities full of innocent people.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki each had plenty of innocent people, why do you think the US would be too scrupulous to respond in kind to an Iranian first strike? After 9/11, many ordinarily rational people were ready to support the nuclear annihilation of millions in response to the murder of thousands.

Personally I am not concerned; I don't think that Iran will commit a first strike. (They will get nuclear weapons, eventually.) I reject the idea that the Iranian leaders are not rational enough to be deterred by the threat of a nuclear response.

+ - How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Pablo Garcia went to the hospital feeling fine. Then the hospital made him very sick. Through a series of technological mishaps, a prescription for one pill of a routine antibiotic became 38 pills, sending Garcia into a seizure. “Wait, look at this Septra dose,” the resident on duty said to Garcia's nurse at the time. “This is a huge dose. Oh my God, did you give this dose?” She had. But in this medical horror story, the real culprit was hospital technology.
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+ - New study finds fracking does not contaminate drinking water

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A new study, using data from more than 11,000 drinking water wells in northern Pennsylvania, has found no evidence that fracking causes contamination.

The new study of 11,309 drinking water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania concludes that background levels of methane in the water are unrelated to the location of hundreds of oil and gas wells that tap hydraulically fractured, or fracked, rock formations. The finding suggests that fracking operations are not significantly contributing to the leakage of methane from deep rock formations, where oil and gas are extracted, up to the shallower aquifers where well water is drawn.

The result also calls into question prominent studies in 2011 and 2013 that did find a correlation in a nearby part of Pennsylvania. There, wells closer to fracking sites had higher levels of methane. Those studies, however, were based on just 60 and 141 domestic well samples, respectively.

The article outlines in detail the many disagreements and uncertainties of both the old studies and this new one. It also however contains this one key quote about the earlier studies, buried in the text, that illustrates the politics influencing the reporting of the anti-fracking research:

The two papers seemed to show that fracking was leading to increased concentrations of methane in drinking water. Dissolved methane is not toxic, and drinking water often contains significant background levels of the gas from natural sources.

Earlier studies were top media stories. They were used to show the harm fracking does, and were the justification for the banning of fracking in New York. Yet, the methane they found was not necessarily caused by fracking, and isn’t even a health concern anyway.

Will the press give this new report as much coverage? It might not be right, but it sure does indicate that the science is unsettled, and that the risks from fracking are overblown.

+ - Robobug: Scientists Clad Bacterium With Graphene to Make a Working Cytobot->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula writes: By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications.
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+ - New compound quickly disables chemical weapons->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: In 2013, the Syrian military allegedly launched sarin gas rockets into a rebel-held town, killing hundreds. After diplomats brokered a deal to eradicate the weapons, international organizations began the dangerous job of destroying them. One roadblock to chemical weapons disposal is that heat and humidity quickly break down enzymes that can disable the deadly chemicals. Now, researchers have developed a highly stable compound that can inactivate nerve agents like sarin in a matter of minutes.
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A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz