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Inside NASA’s daring $8 billion plan to finally find extraterrestrial life

posted onMarch 9, 2017
by l33tdawg

DEEP IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM—A darkness has spread over the grim, airless field of ice that threatens to swallow us. Night has come to the nightmare glacier. But then we see the shiny spacecraft, with its four gangly legs extending outward to find purchase on the jagged ice. Within, scientific instruments begin to blink on, one by one. Soon, they will start sniffing for any hint of life on this most alien and mysterious of worlds in the Solar System: the Jovian moon Europa.

The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With Numbers

posted onFebruary 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

Math conferences don’t usually feature standing ovations, but Francis Su received one last month in Atlanta. Su, a mathematician at Harvey Mudd College in California and the outgoing president of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), delivered an emotional farewell address at the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the MAA and the American Mathematical Society in which he challenged the mathematical community to be more inclusive.

CVS just announced a super cheap generic alternative to EpiPen

posted onJanuary 13, 2017
by l33tdawg

Pharmaceutical giant CVS announced Thursday that it has partnered with Impax Laboratories to sell a generic epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 for a two-pack—a dramatic cut from Mylan’s Epipen two-pack prices, which list for more than $600 as a brand name and $300 as a generic.

The lower-cost auto-injector, a generic form of Adrenaclick, is available starting today nationwide in the company’s more than 9,600 pharmacies. Its price resembles that of EpiPen’s before Mylan bought the rights to the life-saving devices back in 2007 and raised the price repeatedly, sparking outcry.

Inside the Hunt for a Ghost Particle

posted onDecember 12, 2016
by l33tdawg

Even for a particle physicist, Janet Conrad thinks small. Early in her career, when her peers were fanning out in search of the top quark, now known to be the heaviest elementary particle, she broke ranks to seek out the neutrino, the lightest.

Google’s AI Reads Retinas to Prevent Blindness in Diabetics

posted onNovember 30, 2016
by l33tdawg

Google’s artificial intelligence can play the ancient game of Go better than any human. It can identify faces, recognize spoken words, and pull answers to your questions from the web. But the promise is that this same kind of technology will soon handle far more serious work than playing games and feeding smartphone apps. One day, it could help care for the human body.

Physicists Uncover Strange Numbers in Particle Collisions

posted onNovember 21, 2016
by l33tdawg

At the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, physicists shoot protons around a 17-mile track and smash them together at nearly the speed of light. It’s one of the most finely tuned scientific experiments in the world, but when trying to make sense of the quantum debris, physicists begin with a strikingly simple tool called a Feynman diagram that’s not that different from how a child would depict the situation.

NASA realizes SLS and Orion are too expensive, opens door to competitors

posted onNovember 18, 2016
by l33tdawg

With a new presidential administration promising to review its human spaceflight activities, NASA on Thursday continued to signal a willingness to consider alternatives to its exploration systems—the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and related ground systems developed at Kennedy Space Center to support their launch later this decade and in the 2020s.

Increased smartphone screen-time associated with lower sleep quality

posted onNovember 10, 2016
by l33tdawg

Exposure to smartphone screens is associated with lower sleep quality, according to a study published November 9, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew Christensen from the University of California, San Francisco, USA, and colleagues.

Smartphones are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, but questions remain about the effects of frequent use on sleep. Poor sleep is associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and depression.

Hazardous chemicals discovered in flavored e-cigarette vapor

posted onNovember 10, 2016
by l33tdawg

Building on more than 30 years of air quality research in some of the most polluted urban environments on Earth, a team of atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have turned their attention toward the growing e-cigarette industry and the unidentified effects of vaping on human health.