Ghostly 'Lightning' Waves Discovered Inside a Fusion Reactor

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realclearscience.com | May 20 @ 01:30

These ghostly whistler waves form when lightning bolts generate pulses of electromagnetic waves that travel between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Mysterious, ghostlike "whistler waves" that are normally created by lightning could protect nuclear fusion reactors from runaway electrons, new research suggests. Fusion powerIn nuclear fusion reactions, which power the sun and stars, atoms slam together, fusing into larger atoms while releasing energy. Because whistlers can scatter and impede high-speed electrons, they could provide a new way to prevent runaway electrons from damaging the inside of a tokamak. And a new collaboration between MIT and a company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems announced that the partners hope to put nuclear fusion on the grid in 15 years.

'Everyday Astronaut' Tackles SpaceX Rocket Landings in Episode 2!

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space.com | May 19 @ 13:30

If you've ever wondered how SpaceX manages to bring its rockets back down to Earth, the Everyday Astronaut is here to help. ) [Reusable Rocket Launch Systems: How They Work (Infographic)]"Everyday Astronaut" Tim Dodd beholds a landed Falcon 9 first stage and SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Dodd, a photographer by trade, created the Everyday Astronaut persona after buying an orange Russian flight suit in an online auction in 2013. Visit Spacing Out with the Everyday Astronaut on Facebook for more series information. In the second episode of the Facebook Watch series "Spacing Out with the Everyday Astronaut," which premieres Saturday (May 19), host Tim Dodd revels in the awesomeness of SpaceX's first-stage rocket landings and explains some of the physics involved.

Vermont Legislators Pass Law Allowing Drug Imports

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 13:00

Trump has since stepped back from his campaign position, and the White House did not include drug importation in its proposal last week to bring down drug prices. This week, Vermont passed a first-in-the-nation law that would facilitate the state’s importation of prescription drugs wholesale from Canada. Meanwhile, Sachs said Vermont’s law, and others like it, will challenge the White House to show its mettle in taking on drug costs. So how much impact might a state law like this actually have? And cautions abound that importation may not actually save that much money as questions swirl about whether the policy undermines drug safety standards.

What Can the Death of a Neutron Tell Us About Dark Matter?

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livescience.com | May 19 @ 12:27

"Our proposed new particles are dark in that, like dark matter, they interact feebly with normal matter," Grinstein said. "What we see from neutron stars suggests that neutrons decay either into no dark matter particles, or at least two," Shelton said. However, if neutrons can decay into dark matter, it may cause neutron stars with sufficient mass to collapse due to their own gravity. "But future experiments may prove that the neutron lifetime anomaly has nothing to do with dark matter at all, Fornal and Grinstein conceded. The physicists explored several different scenarios of "dark decay" for neutrons, where the neutrons would break down into both dark matter particles and ordinary components such as gamma rays or electrons.

Here's How Health Officials Plan to Use the Ebola Vaccine in New African Outbreak

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livescience.com | May 19 @ 12:14

But unlike during the 2014 outbreak, response teams are armed this time with a vaccine. The way the vaccine is being used is quite different from how standard vaccination programs work, Hibberd told Live Science. The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is spreading, but this time around, there's a vaccine. Congolese Health Ministry officials carry the first delivery of Ebola vaccines in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo on May 16. Hibberd added that if the vaccine proves effective in the current outbreak, widespread vaccination programs might be considered to protect populations of those African countries at risk of Ebola.

Are We Even Playing the Same Game?

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 12:00

Both of us had grown up playing the game, and both of us could beat most of the people we knew. Low stakes, quick turns, and unlimited tries made the game feel more like a playground than a competition. My family played a game of angles; his family played the grid. Removing some of the stakes opened the door to risky approaches and innovative solutions that a more cut-throat game might not have allowed. Each game was different, and each held new lessons to learn.

Why SpaceX's "Block 5" Is a Big Deal

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 10:00

And the icing on the cake is that Block 5 is designed to meet NASA’s requirements for human commercial spaceflight. Specifically, the goal is for the Block 5 build to be capable of 100 launches. For example, the orbiter Discovery went to space an impressive 39 times, Atlantis hit 33 times, and Endeavour managed 25. This version of the Falcon 9 has a design, designated as “Block 5” in a nod to Soviet rocketry, that should reach a new standard in reusability. The engineering of Block 5 includes many enhancements and tweaks from earlier versions.

Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 09:32

But no law can address the absence of meaning and purpose that many white men appear to feel, which they might be able to gain through social connection to people who never expected to have the economic security and social power that white men once enjoyed. For these economically insecure, irreligious white men, “the gun is a ubiquitous symbol of power and independence, two things white males are worried about,” says Froese. “We found that white men who have experienced economic setbacks or worry about their economic futures are the group of owners most attached to their guns,” says Froese. The American citizen most likely to own a gun is a white male—but not just any white guy. Indeed, Froese and Mencken found that religious faith seemed to put the brakes on white men’s attachment to guns.

The Best Way to Use Compression Gear

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 09:30

»Continie reading “The Best Way to Use Compression Gear” on QuickAndDirtyTips.com For one, compression gear doesn’t provide enough support to make your muscles perform any different than normal. Listener Maurine recently asked me about compression gear on Twitter. I’ve got lots of compression socks and pants. Despite what it feels like, that invincible feeling you get from sliding on those hardcore looking socks is mostly in your head.

After Controversy Over Industry Funding, NIH Halts Enrollment in Moderate Drinking Study

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scientificamerican.com | May 19 @ 09:00

The National Institutes of Health has suspended enrollment in a study aimed at investigating whether moderate alcohol consumption helps cardiovascular health following concerns over the alcoholic beverage industry’s role in the study. In testimony before a Senate subcommittee Thursday, NIH Director Francis Collins said that enrollment had been halted a week ago as officials investigate how the funding for the study was raised and if the study is still worth pursuing. But it’s equally important that NIH not be doing its own internal investigation” of what role alcoholic beverage makers played in funding the study. Collins said part of the investigation was looking at whether NIH employees sought those funds in ways that violated NIH policies. “Until these concerns are resolved,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, referring to industry’s involvement, “it’s appropriate to stop the study.

The Best of the Physics arXiv (week ending May 19, 2018)

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technologyreview.com | May 19 @ 09:00

for unlimited online access. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access. /3You've read of three free articles this month. You've read all your free articles this month.

New NASA Chief Bridenstine Says Humans Contribute to Climate Change 'in a Major Way'

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space.com | May 19 @ 08:24

At the NASA employee town hall, Bridenstine described how his thinking had "evolved" on the topic and laid out his current beliefs. More recently, such as in his NASA administrator confirmation hearings last November, he has acknowledged that human activity contributes to climate change. The statement is significant because Bridenstine has expressed doubt about human-caused climate change in the past, causing some to question his suitability to lead a fact-focused NASA. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke at an agency town hall event on May 17, 2018, where he took employee questions and reassured them about his stance on climate change. His 2013 claim was that too much research is done into climate change instead of weather forecasting.

Why Formamide May Have Been Early Life's Alternative to Water

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space.com | May 19 @ 08:20

Small pools of water close to deposits of radioactive elements could have formed formamide, which could then have became a solvent for early life on Earth. Scientists have found that formamide can be made by mixing water with hydrogen cyanide and radioactive minerals. However, water has a dark side to it, known as the 'Water Paradox', in which water actually hydrolyzes, or breaks down, nucleic acids and proteins — the building blocks of life. The water evaporated, leaving behind concentrated mixtures of formamide and other organic solvents that had formed from gamma irradiation. [Early Earth: A Battered, Hellish World with Water Oases for Life]Formamide is made by the hydrolysis of hydrogen cyanide, which is in turn formed from hydrogen, carbon, and ammonia.

On This Day In Space! May 19, 2000: STS-101 Launches with 1st 'Glass Cockpit'

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space.com | May 19 @ 08:09

On May 19, 2000, the space shuttle Atlantis launched with the very first "glass cockpit. The flight deck of NASA's space shuttle Atlantis as seen in 2000, when the shuttle received the first "glass cockpit" for NASA's shuttles. Photos: NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis on Display at KSCNASA's Space Shuttles: Where Are They Now? " This was one of several big upgrades that were made to the space shuttle before the mission STS-101. " The new glass cockpit had 11 flat-panel, full-color display screens.


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