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Science News

Climate Change Is Melting the Arctic Ice Out from Under Our Buildings

Climate Change Is Melting the Arctic Ice Out from Under Our BuildingsResearchers don't think a frozen arctic will always be as stable or as safe as we thought it would be.



05/23/2017 - 12:39 PM

 

NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space stationNASA has ordered up urgent spacewalking repairs at the International Space Station



05/22/2017 - 10:00 AM

 

'Winged' snake species from 5 million years ago discovered

'Winged' snake species from 5 million years ago discoveredA new species of snake that lived 5 million years ago was discovered at a fossil site in Tennessee



05/22/2017 - 05:42 PM

 

How the Net Neutrality Debate Affects Your Internet

How the Net Neutrality Debate Affects Your InternetThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last week to start dismantling 2015 rules that regulated internet service providers the same way as utilities. The debate swirls around two related issues: whether the internet is a public utility, and how (or if) to ensure a concept known as net neutrality. Net neutrality is the framework for an internet in which all data is treated equally.



05/23/2017 - 10:48 AM

 

China says no mining in its immediate plans for Antarctica

China says no mining in its immediate plans for AntarcticaBEIJING (AP) — China plans to expand its scientific research in Antarctica in coming years amid worries over the area's susceptibility to climate change, but has no immediate plans to mine or develop natural resources that could be exposed as the ice cap shrinks, government officials said Monday.



05/22/2017 - 09:29 AM

 

Nepal torches valuable wildlife parts

Nepal torches valuable wildlife partsNepal destroyed thousands of valuable animal skins and other parts seized from poachers on a giant bonfire Monday in a symbolic gesture against the illegal wildlife trade. More than 4,000 animal parts, including endangered tiger skins and rhino hides, were burned in a large pyre at Chitwan National Park, the nation's most important conservation area. "As a country committed to conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, Nepal has destroyed animal parts stored over 20 years," Maheswor Dhakal from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation told AFP.



05/22/2017 - 09:24 AM

 

A solar eclipse will be visible across the entire US for the first time in 99 years, here's how to make the most of it

A solar eclipse will be visible across the entire US for the first time in 99 years, here's how to make the most of itA rare solar eclipse is happening across the US on August 21. It will be the first time since...



05/23/2017 - 03:06 PM

 

Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Carving Found in Looting Hole

Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Carving Found in Looting HoleEgyptian authorities say they caught looters digging up an ancient stone block carved with an image of a pharaoh. In the city of Abydos, antiquities authorities say they were inspecting an old two-story, mud-brick house when they found that the owner had excavated a hole in the floor. The block was at the bottom of the hole, about 13 feet (4 meters) below the floor, according to an announcement from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.



05/22/2017 - 07:41 AM

 

This $3 Million Machine Tests Car Chassis While They're Sitting Still

This $3 Million Machine Tests Car Chassis While They're Sitting StillEver seen a car corner at 1.00 g while it's not moving?



05/22/2017 - 05:45 PM

 

This NASA Space Bag Used To Collect Moon Rocks Will Be Auctioned Off In July

This NASA Space Bag Used To Collect Moon Rocks Will Be Auctioned Off In JulyThe NASA pouch that Neil Armstrong used to collect moon rocks and dust is to be auctioned off in July by Sotheby's.



05/22/2017 - 05:53 PM

 

Just one glass of wine per day can raise your breast cancer risk

Just one glass of wine per day can raise your breast cancer riskCancer experts say they're increasingly confident that at least two lifestyle choices can affect a woman's risk of getting breast cancer: drinking alcohol and exercising.  Just one alcoholic drink each day is enough to boost breast cancer risk, according to a comprehensive new report published Tuesday. Vigorous exercise, by contrast, can decrease the risk in both pre- and postmenopausal women. SEE ALSO: Alcohol's cancer risks outweigh any health benefits, study shows The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund published their joint report, which includes data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer gathered in nearly 120 studies. Image: American Institute for Cancer Research"The evidence is clear: Having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, and limiting alcohol — these are all steps women can take to lower their risk," said Anne McTiernan, a lead author of the report and a cancer prevention expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The study gives researchers "even greater confidence in the results," McTiernan said in an email. Alcohol increases risks Tuesday's report upholds earlier findings about the links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. Yet McTiernan said she was surprised to find that just one drink a day on average was enough to raise a woman's risk. In the U.S., a standard drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, or 12 ounces of a 5-percent alcohol beer. The analysis of premenopausal women included 10 large cohort studies, in which more than 4,000 women developed breast cancer. While the increase in risk for drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol per day was relatively small — about 5 percent — it is still statistically significant. Image: rob carr/Getty ImagesThe postmenopausal analysis included 22 large cohort studies, in which more than 35,000 women developed breast cancer. Researchers found a 9 percent increase in risk for drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol per day, which is also statistically significant.  There are still many unknowns about how and why alcohol consumption affects breast cancer risk, Melissa Pilewskie, a surgical breast oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in an interview.  Pilewskie was not involved in Tuesday's report but said its findings were consistent with a number of other studies. She said it's unclear whether one drink per day is the same as having a few drinks here and there throughout the week. Alcohol consumption may also be a "surrogate" for other lifestyle factors that are the real risk culprits. Image: American institute for cancer researchWhatever the case, our drinking habits are one of the few areas of cancer risk that we can actually control, she said. Genetics, family history, age, breast density — these are much greater risk factors for breast cancer, but we can't change them. "For women who are at increased risk [of breast cancer], this is something we think likely could make a difference, even though it may be only a moderate difference," Pilewskie said. Exercise decreases risks The new report provided stronger evidence that moderate exercise can decrease the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer — the most common type of breast cancer. It also revealed, for the first time, that vigorous physical exercise can decrease the risk in premenopausal women as well.  Premenopausal women who were the most active had a 17 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared to those who were the least active, the report found. Postmenopausal women had a 10 percent reduction in risk. Alice Bender, a nutritionist at the American Institute for Cancer Research, said "vigorous" activity should be sufficiently intense that it's hard to carry on a sustained conversation. That could mean power walking, jogging, or cycling, depending on the person's fitness level. Bender acknowledged that exercising more and drinking less are not surefire ways to prevent cancer, just like exercising less and drinking more won't condemn you to a diagnosis. "There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer. We know a lot of things are out of our control," she said. But evidence increasingly suggests that healthier lifestyle choices can "move the needle" toward cancer prevention. Findings from Tuesday's breast cancer report will included in the cancer institutes' forthcoming 2017 report on diet, weight, physical activity and cancer prevention. A global panel of experts will also use the research to update the World Cancer Research Fund's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. WATCH: Gamer with cancer gets touching gift from his best friends



05/23/2017 - 12:01 AM

 

Breathtaking photography series showcases beauty of night sky in areas with no light pollution

Breathtaking photography series showcases beauty of night sky in areas with no light pollutionTwo photographers have made a set of images exploring the magnificent night skies still found in North American and the grave threat of light pollution.



05/22/2017 - 01:26 PM

 

Baby bump: China eatery in Japan soars on pregnant panda hopes

Baby bump: China eatery in Japan soars on pregnant panda hopesSwelling hopes for a baby panda in Tokyo have bumped up the stock price of a Chinese restaurant chain in the area, with locals setting their sights on a flurry of tourists. Eleven-year-old Shin Shin, who was brought to Ueno Zoo from China, has been showing signs of pregnancy since last week after mating with male Ri Ri in February, according to zoo officials. Giant pandas are notoriously clumsy at mating, with males said to be bad at determining when a female is in the right frame of mind and often befuddled at knowing what to do next.



05/23/2017 - 05:40 AM

 

Silicon Valley is getting interested in healthcare — here's why that could be a good thing

Silicon Valley is getting interested in healthcare — here's why that could be a good thingMajor tech companies are eyeing the healthcare world. Amazon is seriously considering entering...



05/22/2017 - 04:24 PM

 

Drowned City: Jordan to Search for Ancient Site's Underwater Remains

Drowned City: Jordan to Search for Ancient Site's Underwater RemainsThis July, archaeologists in Jordan will begin an underwater search for remains of an early Islamic city. Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, modern-day Aqaba is Jordan's only port. In the Middle Ages, the city was known as Ayla.



05/22/2017 - 07:26 AM

 

Gender-Confirmation Surgeries on the Rise in US

Gender-Confirmation Surgeries on the Rise in USThe number of surgeries done to confirm a person's gender identity, also referred to as sex reassignment surgeries, has increased in recent years, according to the first report on the topic from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In 2016, more than 3,200 gender-confirmation surgeries were performed in the U.S., according to the report. The organization began collecting data on gender-confirmation surgeries in 2015.



05/23/2017 - 12:52 PM

 

How Jeff Bezos’ passion for space is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and explorers

How Jeff Bezos’ passion for space is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and explorersWhen Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos visited the Museum of Flight this weekend to answer questions from students, the kids did not hold back. “That’s one of the great things about kids,” Bezos said on Saturday. “There are always questions.” Scores of elementary-school and middle-school students came from the Seattle area as well as from Deer Park, a city just north of Spokane on the other side of the state, to cram into the museum’s “Apollo” exhibit and meet America’s second-richest person (after Bill Gates). The kids asked about Bezos’ successful expedition to recover sunken rocket engines from the Apollo moon missions, about his… Read More



05/21/2017 - 08:30 PM

 

Sherpas show how the human body can thrive in extreme environments

Sherpas show how the human body can thrive in extreme environmentsMount Everest is a grueling, deadly place for many adventurers. Beyond the steep terrain, bone-chilling temperatures, and fierce weather, the air is so thin that your body can begin to shut down. That is, unless you're a Sherpa. Members of the Nepalese ethnic group have evolved over generations to withstand the oxygen-deprived atmosphere high in the Himalayas, a new study found.  SEE ALSO: Now you can climb Mount Everest in VR Sherpas are, biologically speaking, extremely efficient at producing the energy they need to reach such heights, even where oxygen is scarce, according to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Their cells are akin to fuel-efficient cars that can travel farther on less fuel. A porter fetches the ladders to help fix the route for climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest.Image: Tashi Sherpa/AP/REX/ShutterstockScientists say the findings not only help explain Sherpas' mountain-climbing prowess — they may also lead to new ways of treating oxygen deficiencies, called "hypoxia," in hospital patients. "By understanding how Sherpas are able to survive with low levels of oxygen, we can get clues to help us identify those at greatest risk in [intensive care units] and inform the development of better treatments to help in their recovery," Michael Grocott, a co-author of the study and professor at the University of Southampton in England, said in a press release.  Grocott is the chair of Xtreme Everest, a 10-year-old initiative by doctors, nurses, and scientists to study how our bodies respond to the extreme altitude on Mount Everest. Their ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for critically ill patients. With a 29,029-foot-high peak, Everest is the world's highest mountain. Everest Base Camp is around 17,600 feet, which is plenty high enough to sicken unadjusted visitors. An aerial photograph of Everest Base Camp.Image: Paula Bronstein/Getty ImagesAt those altitudes, where oxygen is scarce, the body is forced to work overtime to make sure the brain and body receive enough oxygen to function. Often, the body will produce more red blood cells, which carry blood to our organs and thicken the blood. As a result, blood flows more slowly and blood vessels are prone to tightening, which can cause dangerous build-up of fluid in the lungs and other risks. Mountain climbers can combat this by bringing oxygen supplies and ascending slowly, giving their bodies time to adjust. Sherpas, however, don't need such a boost.  Previous studies have shown that Sherpas produce fewer red blood cells at higher altitudes. They also produce higher levels of nitric oxide, a chemical that opens blood vessels and keeps blood flowing, which in turn gives them more energy to climb. Sherpas' remarkable physical skills, along with their local expertise, have made them the go-to guides and porters for international expeditions. It's an imperfect arrangement, however. Nepalese guides in recent years have protested poor pay and unsafe working conditions, and in 2014, they went on strike after 16 colleagues were killed in an avalanche. People attend a prayer service in New York City for Sherpa victims of the April 18, 2014, avalanche on Mt. Everest.Image: eric thayer/Getty ImagesFor Monday's study, a research team led by scientists at the University of Cambridge followed 15 Sherpas and 10 "lowlanders" — researchers living in non-high altitude areas — as they gradually ascended to the base camp. The lowlanders took samples, including blood and muscle biopsies, at three different times: in London, for the baseline measurement; upon arrival to base camp; and after two months working at base camp.  They compared those samples to those of the Sherpas, all of whom lived in relatively low-lying areas, and none of whom were "elite" high-altitude climbers. Sherpas' baseline measurements were taken in Kathmandu, Nepal. At baseline, Sherpas' mitochondria — the parts of human cells that respire to generate energy — were already more efficient at using oxygen to produce ATP than those of lowlanders, the samples revealed. ATP, or molecule adenosine triphosphate, is the energy that powers our bodies. A porter walks with a massive load towards Everest Base Camp near Lobuche, Nepal.Image: Tashi Sherpa/AP/REX/ShutterstockSherpas' measurements hardly changed once they reached the base camp, suggesting they were born with such biological traits. Lowlanders, meanwhile, saw their measurements change as their bodies acclimatized and began to mimic the Sherpas'. After two months at camp, Sherpas also produced more phosphocreatine, an energy reserve that acts as a buffer to help muscles contract when no ATP is available. Lowlanders, by contrast, saw their phosphocreatine levels crash.  And, unlike lowlanders, Sherpas did not experience a rapid increase in free radicals, which are molecules created by a lack of oxygen that can potentially damage cells and tissues. "Sherpas have spent thousands of years living at high altitudes, so it should be unsurprising that they have adapted to become more efficient at using oxygen and generating energy," Andrew Murray, the study's senior author and a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, said in the press release.  "When those of us from lower-lying countries spend time at high altitude, our bodies adapt to some extent to become more 'Sherpa-like', but we are no match for their efficiency," he said. WATCH: Drone captures breathtaking footage of Norwegian mountains



05/22/2017 - 05:49 PM

 

What is MILAMOS? Work begins on international rule book for future space warfare

What is MILAMOS? Work begins on international rule book for future space warfareAn international committee is embarking on a three-year effort to establish globally-recognised ground rules for space warfare, in anticipation of a future in which battles are not only fought on Earth, but above it. A coalition of scientists, lawyers, academics and government representatives from around the world will come together to draft a document that will outline the legal parameters for military operations in space and its governance during war time. The Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space – or MILAMOS – seeks to determine the rules of engagement during space combat and whether current treaties regarding warfare could be applied to conflicts taking place miles above the Earth.



05/22/2017 - 09:32 AM

 

British Daredevil Aims to Break 4 World Records in Wingsuit Jumps

British Daredevil Aims to Break 4 World Records in Wingsuit JumpsA wingsuit pilot is hoping to break four world records in two death-defying jumps from an altitude higher than where commercial airliners fly. British daredevil Fraser Corsan is aiming to beat the current records for the highest altitude, highest speed, furthest distance and longest time flown in a wingsuit. Corsan will attempt his first jump from a high-altitude hot air balloon at 40,000 feet (12,100 meters) today (May 22), but the stunt will be subject to weather conditions and airspace clearance.



05/22/2017 - 02:21 PM

 

Lean-burn physiology gives Sherpas peak-performance

Lean-burn physiology gives Sherpas peak-performanceNepalese mountain guides have a physiology that uses oxygen more efficiently than lowlanders.



05/22/2017 - 03:32 PM

 

Science Says: Medications prevent opioid addiction relapse

Science Says: Medications prevent opioid addiction relapseCHICAGO (AP) — Remarks by a top U.S. health official have reignited a quarrel in the world of addiction and recovery: Does treating opioid addiction with medication save lives? Or does it trade one addiction for another?



05/22/2017 - 01:27 PM

 

To improve your productivity, paint your office this color (it’s scientifically proven)

To improve your productivity, paint your office this color (it’s scientifically proven)Employees may have an answer to that 3 o’clock energy dip.



05/23/2017 - 09:32 AM

 

Is Russia prepping for space war? 3 mystery satellites reactivated but no one knows what they can do

Is Russia prepping for space war? 3 mystery satellites reactivated but no one knows what they can doRussia has reportedly reactivated three mysterious satellites, which remained idle over the past year or so, after they were launched into space between 2013 and 2015. After their initial launch, the three satellites reportedly shifted their orbits dramatically, exhibiting an unusual ability of manoeuvrability for small spacecraft. The trio of satellites, reportedly known by their codenames Kosmos-2491, Kosmos-2499 and Kosmos-2504 remained inactive for over a year.



05/22/2017 - 03:06 AM

 

How To Spot A Psychopath

How To Spot A PsychopathPsychopathy is a psychological disorder in which seemingly charming, normal people actually have no conscience or empathy.



05/21/2017 - 07:30 PM

 

In Science, Good Looks Don't Pay, Study Finds

In Science, Good Looks Don't Pay, Study FindsResults showed that the scientists rated as competent and moral, but also judged to be relatively unattractive and unsociable gave stronger impressions as people who did quality research. "People can form an impression of a person's personality or character or even ability from a few milliseconds of just viewing their face," said Ana Gheorghiu, a Ph.D. student in psychology at the University of Essex in England and lead author of the new research, which was published today (May 22) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists. "I was very surprised that attractiveness could be a negative quality," she said.



05/23/2017 - 12:57 PM

 

A new 3D printer uses vats of gel to create objects in a matter of minutes

A new 3D printer uses vats of gel to create objects in a matter of minutesYour furniture could soon be made in vats of gel. Researchers at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and the furniture company Steelcase have partnered up to design a 3D printer that can create an object in a matter of minutes (typical 3D printers can take hours). Right now, they are in a proof-of-concept stage—it can only print…



05/22/2017 - 05:00 AM

 

'Crypto' Parasite Top Culprit for Pool-Related Illnesses

'Crypto' Parasite Top Culprit for Pool-Related IllnessesIf you got sick from swimming in a pool last summer, there's a good chance it was due to a tiny parasite called Cryptosporidium. The parasite, which causes cryptosporidiosis, or "crypto" for short, is the leading cause of recreational water-associated outbreaks, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of cases of crypto in the U.S. have about tripled since 2004, according to the report, which was published today (May 18) as a part of the CDC's "Healthy and Safe Swimming Week." Crypto outbreaks are particularly associated with aquatic facilities that have one or more pools.



05/22/2017 - 11:32 AM

 

Scientists just created the world’s first lab-grown human blood stem cells

Scientists just created the world’s first lab-grown human blood stem cellsTwo breakthrough studies have demonstrated for the first time that it's possible to grow the stem cells that produce blood inside a lab. The work could help treat patients with a variety of blood disorders.



05/22/2017 - 05:54 PM

 

Einstein's biggest blunder turned out to explain one of the greatest scientific revelations of the 20th century

Einstein's biggest blunder turned out to explain one of the greatest scientific revelations of the 20th centuryBrian Greene, Columbia University physicist and co-founder of the World Science Festival...



05/22/2017 - 11:30 AM

 

Dinosaurs: 66 million years ago triceratops roamed in Mississippi

Dinosaurs: 66 million years ago triceratops roamed in MississippiA fossil tooth of the triceratops or a very close relative has been discovered in the eastern US about 66 to 68 million years ago. Horned ceratopsid dinosaurs, which include triceratops, were only thought to have lived in the west of the US. The tooth, from the lower jaw of the dinosaur, was discovered in the Owl Creek Formation in northern Mississippi.



05/23/2017 - 08:40 AM

 

Towering Rock Once Hidden Beneath Earth Seen from Space

Towering Rock Once Hidden Beneath Earth Seen from SpaceIt's no wonder this abrupt landform is the center of a Navajo legend involving a giant bird that turned to stone — it's impossible to look at the sheer cliffs without wondering what created them. A new view of Shiprock from space offers a few hints. Leading toward the rugged rock formation in San Juan County is a dark dike, a part of the volcano that created the 1,969-foot-tall (600 meters) cliff formation.



05/22/2017 - 09:11 AM

 

Is intelligence genetic? 40 genes linked to IQ discovered

Is intelligence genetic? 40 genes linked to IQ discoveredA total of 40 newly identified genes have been linked to intelligence in one of the largest studies of its kind. Previously, there were only a handful of genes with a robust link to intelligence. A study published in the journal Nature Genetics has now identified a total of 52 such genes, with 40 of them that had never been linked to intelligence previously.



05/22/2017 - 01:06 PM

 

 

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