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Sci-Tech

From School to Space: Satellite Built by Brazilian Students Launched in Orbit

A satellite built by students of a Brazilian middle school was launched into space from aboard the International Space Station on Monday, January 16. The Tancredo-1 satellite, developed by the students of Tancredo de Almeida Neves Municipal School in the city of Ubatuba, measures only 13 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 700 grams. Launched into orbit about 400 kilometers above the Earth, the satellite will help study how plasma forms in the atmosphere. Candido Moura, the…

[Editorial] Everyone should try

SummaryThe new year brings opportunities to think creatively about finding solutions to difficult problems. It's a chance to affirm that although views may differ dramatically, we should try to work effectively with one another. My namesake believed in this. Jeremy Stone, the long-time president of the Federation of American Scientists, passed away on 1 January at the age of 81. As a graduate student, Stone attended mathematics classes taught by my father, and he and his wife Betty Jane (B.J.) Stone, also a distinguished…

With heart-firming embrace, squishy device keeps blood pumping

A demonstration of the soft robotic sleeve in a pig. A good squeeze can definitely get the blood flowing. But the firm, rhythmic squeezes of an inflatable robot, can keep that blood flowing. The device—a silicone sleeve ribbed with inflatable tubes—wraps around a waning heart and provides extra muscle-power to pump blood. In early tests, the heart-snuggling sleeve restored blood flow in six living pigs after they had suffered acute cardiac arrest, researchers reported Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. If the

Solar Storm Blackout Could Cost the US $42 Billion Per Day

It's always interesting to consider all the weird and wonderful ways life on Earth could be affected by a cataclysmic disaster from space — but it seems that only when you attach a dollar amount to the damage that can be caused, the world takes morbid notice. For example, we know an asteroid impact would kill a lot of people, that's a given. But if the economic cost of an asteroid hitting a financial center was estimated at a few trillion dollars, it's the latter that grabs the headlines. Space weather,…

Behind the Cellar Door: Learning how to drink, and how to stop

Behind the Cellar Door: Learning how to drink, and how to stop John Seabrook in The New Yorker: For a quarter of a century, I averaged a twenty-dollar bottle of wine almost every night, buying most of them individually at a nearby liquor store. I also bought cases of wine for parties and for weekend houses, and plowed through those, too—oceans of wine washing over us and our friends as the children played under the table. Even though I had been drinking three hundred and sixty-five days a year since I was twenty-four, it

Windows 10 – Microsoft's latest update might be the best news you'll READ all day

Your Windows 10 device may be about to turn into a one-stop reading hub thanks to a new update from Microsoft.The company is planning to launch an all-new ebook store as part of the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.Similar to existing offerings for iOS and Android devices, the service, part of an upgrade to the existing Windows Store, would allow users to purchase and download ebooks directly to their device.The news comes from MSPowerUser, which says that users will be able to both buy and read their ebooks in the…

Limpets repair their damaged shells with biological materials

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Limpets can make their damaged shells good as new using biological materials derived from within. When David Taylor, a professor of materials engineering at Trinity College Dublin, tested patches of repaired limpet shells, he discovered the mended portions were just as strong as the original shell material. Limpets are a type of sea snail with conical shells. They're often found attached to the underside of coastal rocks. Absent from limpet shells is the coiling typical of the shells of garden snails.…

Extreme Astronomy Unlocks Cosmic Secrets From the South Pole

Imagine doing astronomy where grease won't stay greasy, where it's nighttime all day during the winter, and where nighttime temperatures fall to -100 Fahrenheit. Well, there's a hardy group of astronomers that enthusiastically do that, year-in, year-out, at Antarctica's South Pole Telescope. The South Pole is a harsh environment, but it's excellent for astronomy due to its dry atmosphere (water vapor interferes with observations). Researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are even…