Thursday , August 16 2018
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Science

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No contraceptive is perfect, but can you trust apps to stop pregnancy?

Birth control app Natural Cycles has come under fire for unwanted pregnancies, but this just reveals how little we understand contraception Natural Cycles By Penny Sarchet WOULD you trust your smartphone to stop you getting pregnant? That might sound ridiculous, but the US Food and Drug Administration has just approved …

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Extreme tales from a record-breaking dive in the Antarctic

Jon Copley dived deep for Blue Planet II. He reveals the risks of falling rocks, leaks and fires inside the sub, and highlights the extraordinary “death star” David Doubilet/National Geographic Creative By Sam Wong THE BBC documentary series Blue Planet II brought the startling and diverse creatures of the deep …

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Some clouds are formed when a virus makes algae shed their shells

A coloured scanning electron micrograph of some phytoplankton STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY By Chelsea Whyte The clouds over your head may have started around a seed made of a seashell. Microscopic algae called phytoplankton can affect the amount of clouds that form and even how they move. One such species, …

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Doctors will grow human tissue on the International Space Station

Astronauts must exercise in space to avoid muscle loss NASA By Adam Mann Two projects aiming to engineer muscle fibres and liver tissue on board the International Space Station (ISS) could help develop innovative biomedical treatments, and perhaps one day see full human organs grown in space. Researchers have studied …

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This one particle could solve five mega-mysteries of physics

Forget the Higgs: theorists have uncovered a missing link that explains dark matter, what happened in the big bang and more. Now they’re racing to find it Maximmmmum/Jiang Hongyan/Shutterstock By Michael Brooks 911? It’s an emergency. The most important particle in the universe is missing. Florian Goertz knows this isn’t …

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Weird circles in the sky may be signs of a universe before ours

Has the BICEP2 telescope seen something unusual? Steffen Richter, Harvard University By Chelsea Whyte Swirling patterns in the sky may be signs of black holes that survived the destruction of a universe before the big bang. “What we claim we’re seeing is the final remnant after a black hole has evaporated away …

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Why taking ayahuasca is like having a near-death experience

Ayahuasca contains the psychedelic drug DMT Brian Van Tighem / Alamy Stock Photo By Sam Wong A psychedelic drug taken as part of the South American plant brew ayahuasca produces effects that are strikingly similar to near-death experiences, a study has found. That means that feelings of leaving the body …

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Sterile fish could help wild salmon dodge the ‘gene pollution’ effect

Salmon farms in Norway are monitored to prevent escapes Bluegreen Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo By Michael Le Page FROM Norway to Canada, farmed Atlantic salmon are escaping in such large numbers that they are a threat to the local salmon. This could be prevented by making the farmed fish sterile. But …

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Sticking brain cells together with glue could boost and protect memory

Memories are made by bolstering connections between brain cells Thomas Deerinck, NCMIR/Science Photo Library By Clare Wilson Can we bolt brain cells together to protect our memories from ageing or Alzheimer’s? It’s an eccentric idea, but there are signs it could work. Rahul Kaushik of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in …

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We have finally figured out how to snap spaghetti into two pieces

Quick as a snap CasarsaGuru/Getty By Frank Swain It is a puzzle that has perplexed physicists for decades: hold a strand of dry spaghetti at both ends, bend it until it snaps, and you will always end up with three or more pieces. In 2005, researchers in France finally discovered …

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