Tagged With Science & Health

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Actual lab tests have revealed that the commonly-cited five-second rule doesn't hold up. And yet, they still can't stop me from eating this piece of floor candy! Who's in charge now, Science?

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In what's being hailed a meteorological first, two back-to-back hurricanes are marching toward Hawaii, both of them threatening torrential rains and rip-roaring winds this week. The closer of the two, hurricane Madeline, could break a second meteorological record as the first hurricane to strike the Big Island since bookkeeping began in 1949.

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Nikola Tesla was both of his time and ahead of it (he has a car company named after him, after all). Besides his contributions to alternating current electrical systems, the inventor predicted smartphones, television and apparently drones, which he thought could cause humanity's destruction.

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Some 380 light years away in the constellation Scorpius lies a star that has puzzled astronomers for over 40 years. Called AR Scorpii, the star flashes brightly and fades again every couple minutes, like a lightbulb on a dimmer switch. Now, astronomers have identified the cause of the flickering, and it's a reminder that the cosmos is still rife with terrifying secrets.

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Scientists at MIT have designed an ingenious new concept for a battery that operates on the same fundamental principal as an hourglass — it relies on gravity to generate energy. They described the device in a recent paper for Energy and Environmental Science.

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Earlier this week, over a hundred scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome. Strangely, journalists were not invited and attendees were told to keep a tight lip. Which, given the weighty subject matter, is obvious cause for concern.

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For the first time, physicists have observed a mysterious process called magnetic reconnection — wherein opposing magnetic field lines join up, releasing a tremendous burst of energy. The discovery, published in Science, may help us unlock the secrets of space weather and learn about some of the weirdest, most magnetic objects in the universe.

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There are plenty of methods for coping with email overload, and you probably have one or two tricks of your own to try and reach inbox zero. But what about tips backed up by proper scientific research? These nuggets of advice are all based on recent studies of our email habits.

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The rules of chess have remained consistent since the early 19th Century, but that doesn't mean our approach to the game has stayed the same. Here are some intriguing and surprising ways the Game of Kings has changed its shape over the past 150 years.

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When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau schooled a journalist on the basics of quantum computing yesterday, I was initially as charmed and delighted as everyone else. But then a niggling sense of dismay set in. Why should this be such a singular newsworthy event? How come so few of us can do what Trudeau did, when science plays such a central role in almost every aspect of our daily lives?

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Every week people all around the world spend 3 billion hours playing games. Games are entering almost all areas of our daily life and have the potential to become an invaluable resource for science.

Citizen science games have already proved successful in advancing scientific endeavours such as protein folding and neuron mapping. However, this approach had not previously been applied to quantum physics, and a recent study has now shown that gamers are solving a class of problems in quantum physics that cannot be easily solved by algorithms alone.

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Your smartphone already wears a number of hats: camera, MP3 player, and it can even make and receive calls — but with the right set of apps, you can do much more with your handset. Here are 8 scientific instruments your phone is capable of transforming into.

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I'm sure our inevitable robot overlords will dish out sufficient payback 50 years from now, but today, it's better to send in machines than humans when the work required is sufficiently dangerous. When it comes to maintaining the Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW's Roads and Maritime Services agrees and as such, have enlisted mechanical aid for the job, courtesy of the University of Technology Sydney.

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A sonar reading recently revealed a previously unseen trench at the bottom of Loch Ness. Located about 14.5km east of Inverness, it looks just large enough for Nessie to hide in. Or more plausibly, it's yet another attempt by the locals to keep the myth alive — and the tourists flocking to the lake.

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In our 24/7 culture, sleep loss is a major problem. Back in 1942, we averaged almost 8 hours of sleep a night — now that’s down to 6.8. (Seven to 9 hours per night are what’s generally recommended.) Almost 40 per cent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night, a recent Gallup poll found, and an estimated 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Everyone knows that it’s important to get enough sleep — but you may not realise just how many things can go wrong when you don’t.