07 Jul 2015

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Smartphone App Tells You When to Stop Drinking

There are smartphone apps that can help you keep track of healthy habits, like how much exercise you do and the number of steps you take in a day. The app is aimed at helping drinkers better manage their alcohol intake, the researchers said. The developers noted that researchers have found that apps that promise to track users' blood alcohol content are highly unreliable.

07 Jul 2015 11:22pm GMT

People Who Can Imagine Aromas Vividly Tend to Weigh More

Previous research has shown that food cravings are associated with obesity, and that the intensity of people's food cravings is related to the vividness of their mental images of food, said the new study's lead researcher, Barkha Patel, a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry at Yale University. To investigate, the researchers gave 25 people three questionnaires asking them to rate their mental-imagery abilities, including the vividness of their visual imagery, olfactory imagery and food imagery. In fact, olfactory imagery was the best predictor of BMI out of all the measures, the researchers considered, including visual imagery and food imagery, they found.

07 Jul 2015 11:19pm GMT

'Not Yet Explored' No More: New Horizons Flying Stamp to Pluto

'Not Yet Explored' No More: New Horizons Flying Stamp to PlutoThey are three words that, after next week, will never be used to describe the dwarf planet Pluto again. The phrase, which first appeared in 1991 along the bottom of a 29-cent U.S. postage stamp depicting Pluto, is now affixed - in the form of one those 24-year-old stamps - on NASA's New Horizons robotic probe, which as of Tuesday (July 7) is just one week out from flying by the mysterious dwarf planet. Not only is it thought to be the first time that a U.S. postage stamp has been present for the event that effectively made its design outdated, but it is also the farthest that any stamp has ever traveled before.

07 Jul 2015 10:31pm GMT

From Sputnik to Spock: Crowdsourced Names for Pluto Map Submitted

From Sputnik to Spock: Crowdsourced Names for Pluto Map SubmittedResearchers working on NASA's New Horizons mission have submitted for official approval a long list of crowdsourced names that will help fill out the first-ever maps of Pluto and its five moons. New Horizons team members submitted names generated by the "Our Pluto" campaign to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) today (July 7), one week before the probe makes history's first flyby of the faraway dwarf planet. The July 14 close encounter - in which New Horizons will zoom within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto - will reveal many different surface features, such as craters and mountains, on the dwarf planet and its satellites (Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx).

07 Jul 2015 9:20pm GMT

Painkiller Abuse Tied to Skyrocketing Heroin Use in US

People who are addicted to opioids are 40 times more likely than others to abuse heroin, making the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers the strongest risk factor for heroin use, according to a new report. "Heroin use is increasing at an alarming rate in many parts of society, driven by both the prescription opioid epidemic and cheaper, more available heroin," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who are addicted to opioids are primed for heroin addiction because opioids are essentially "the same chemical, with the same impact on the brain, as heroin," Frieden said at a news conference today.

07 Jul 2015 7:19pm GMT

'Direct From Pluto': Science Channel to Air New Horizons' Flyby Images

'Direct From Pluto': Science Channel to Air New Horizons' Flyby ImagesWith less than nine days to go in its nine-year journey to Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is on the verge of delivering the first up-close images of the mysterious dwarf planet. And when those historic images arrive on Earth, they are set to star in a new hour-long special, "Direct from Pluto: The First Encounter," premiering on the Science Channel on Wednesday, July 15, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. "Science Channel viewers will see the very first close-up images of Pluto's surface and its moons, and learn more as leading experts discuss the previous planet's status as well as uncover some surprising research," the channel described in a release shared with collectSPACE.com.

07 Jul 2015 4:07pm GMT

Teaching old dogs new tricks with 'smart harness'

(This July 6 story is refiled to correct name in paragraph 12) North Carolina State University researchers have developed new technology designed to improve communication between dogs and humans. Researchers at North Carolina State University are combining their love for dogs with their love of technology. A joint project between the computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments and the College of Veterinary Medicine has developed new technology designed to improve communication between dogs and humans.

07 Jul 2015 2:28pm GMT

The future of travel? A tube called Hyperloop

This was originally the brainchild of billionaire U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk, who envisioned being able to whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under half an hour. Two years after unveiling plans for a futuristic, high-speed Hyperloop transportation system, Musk has now announced plans for building a test track in southern California and a competition for prototype pods. Several companies subsequently announced plans for pilot projects in California, Texas and other locations, but Musk and his companies, which include privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, and Tesla Motors Inc electric car company, were not involved.

07 Jul 2015 1:46pm GMT

Cause of Falcon rocket accident still eludes SpaceX, CEO says

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - SpaceX is still homing in on why its Falcon 9 rocket exploded after liftoff last week, unable to resolve conflicting data radioed back to the ground before the explosion, CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday. SpaceX plans to take its findings to the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees U.S. commercial launches, NASA and some customers to see if an outside eye can help resolve the conundrum.

07 Jul 2015 1:45pm GMT

US scientists: Warm oceans cause concern of coral bleaching

HONOLULU (AP) - Abnormally warm ocean temperatures are creating conditions that threaten to kill coral across the equatorial Pacific, north Pacific and western Atlantic oceans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

07 Jul 2015 1:24am GMT

06 Jul 2015

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Pluto's Odd Dark Spots Continue to Puzzle Scientists (Photos)

Pluto's Odd Dark Spots Continue to Puzzle Scientists (Photos)The images reveal a great deal of variation and complexity across Pluto's surface - including the four large dark patches near the equator first spotted by New Horizons late last month. "This object is unlike any other that we have observed," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said during a news briefing today (July 6). New Horizons captured the new photos last Wednesday (July 1) and Friday (July 3), shortly before suffering a glitch that sent it into a precautionary "safe mode" on Saturday (July 4).

06 Jul 2015 9:59pm GMT

Historic flyby of Pluto on track despite probe glitch, NASA says

An artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moonBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA said on Monday it expects the New Horizons spacecraft to be back in service on Tuesday after a computer crash over the weekend threatened its upcoming historic flyby of Pluto. Nearing the end of a 9-1/2-year journey to the solar system's unexplored outer reaches, New Horizons shut down radio communications with Earth for a nail-biting 81 minutes on Saturday. Ground controllers accidentally overloaded the spacecraft's primary computer, which was attempting to compress data to free up memory while simultaneously installing the operating sequence for the Pluto encounter on its flash drive, New Horizons project manager Glen Fountain told reporters on a conference call.

06 Jul 2015 8:59pm GMT

Low-Flying Science: How 2 Pilots Pulled Off Amazing Stunt

Low-Flying Science: How 2 Pilots Pulled Off Amazing StuntWe've come a long way since Kitty Hawk. A pair of British pilots recently pulled off a daring aviation stunt, becoming the first to fly two planes in formation through a building.

06 Jul 2015 11:32am GMT

05 Jul 2015

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New Horizons space probe suffers glitch on approach to Pluto

An artist?s impression of NASA?s New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moonBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA scientists were working on Sunday to revive the New Horizons spacecraft after it suffered a computer malfunction just nine days before it was due to fly past Pluto. On Saturday, an unknown glitch caused New Horizons to switch to a backup computer, which triggered an 81-minute break in radio communications with mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, NASA said in a status report. "Full recovery is expected to take from one to several days," NASA said.

05 Jul 2015 1:12pm GMT

03 Jul 2015

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Solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii, pilot sets nonstop record

Swiss pilot Piccard takes a selfie in the Solar Impulse 2 plane during the 6th leg of the round the world trip from Chongqing to Nanjing(Reuters) - A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun's energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg's 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.

03 Jul 2015 5:23pm GMT

Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change

By Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe. In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week - defined as three-day periods of excessive heat - are becoming much more frequent in the region. In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly 1-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists.

03 Jul 2015 3:14pm GMT