The Minority Report Blog » science news Conservative News & Opinion Tue, 24 Feb 2015 06:45:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 For the Love of Jaguars – Nat Geo Live Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:50:13 +0000

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Watch: Adorable lion triplets debut at Florida zoo Tue, 06 Jan 2015 12:35:04 +0000 via USA Today

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In January 2015, astronomers will be able to observe three moon shadows travelling across the face of Jupiter Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:27:12 +0000 CNET – Jupiter — the largest planet in a solar system — takes 11.86 Earth years to perform one complete orbit of the Sun. In this time, something happens twice: three of the planet’s four brightest and largest moons (known as the Galilean moons, Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa) out of a confirmed 67 will pass between the Sun and Jupiter at the same time, casting their shadows onto the planet’s face — and the phenomenon will be observable from Earth.

At 4.36 a.m. GMT, on January 24, 2015, a multiple lunar transit will commence. Callisto, whose shadow will have started crossing Jupiter at 3.10 a.m. GMT, will be joined by Io — but double lunar transits are pretty common. The real magic begins at 6.26 a.m. GMT, when Callisto and Io will be joined by Europa. All three shadows will be visible on the face of Jupiter until 6.52 a.m. GMT.    Read More

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GPS study tracks grizzlies as they follow hunters Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:40:01 +0000 This GPS system is a real bear.


Fox News – Eight Montana grizzly bears have been outfitted with GPS trackers in an ongoing study that could bring some unnerving news to hunters.


The study is aimed at bolstering the theory that grizzlies, which can be as stealthy as they are ferocious, stalk hunters from as close as the length of a football field in order to steal their prey. Already, data has shown at least one grizzly following oblivious elk hunters almost from the moment they left the parking lot, according to the Billings Gazette. Scientists believe the bear may have been following the humans in hopes of getting to a fallen elk before they did.


“Bears opportunistically scavenge carcasses throughout the active season and commonly usurp kills of other predators, such as cougars and, since their reintroduction in 1995, gray wolves,” stated a report last year by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. “Remains left by hunters also provide grizzly bears with meat, and bears are attracted to areas outside of national parks when these remains become available during the fall.”   Read More

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Formaldehyde and Chicken Eggs: What’s Inside a Flu Shot Tue, 04 Nov 2014 00:51:30 +0000
Wired – 
Flu virus
All flu vaccines start with flu viruses: genetic material packaged in an envelope of proteins and fats, studded with yet more proteins—antigens—that push the body’s immune system into action. With thousands of possible flu variants out there, the World Health Organization looks at info from 141 labs around the world to determine which variants are most likely to circulate each year. Since it can take more than six months to manufacture the shot, the WHO picks four strains about nine months before flu season: two A viruses (which can infect humans and animals, like swine flu) and two B viruses (which primarily affect humans).
Egg Protein
Manufacturers grow the flu viruses in fertilized chicken eggs—hundreds
of millions every year. Scientists inject the viruses into the allantoic fluid between the embryo and the shell, where the viruses replicate. Then the fluid goes for a spin in a centrifuge, along with layers of sucrose solutions of different concentrations to separate the denser virus from the rest of the egg proteins. Trace amounts of egg can remain in the final shot.   Read More
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Scientists Call Foul On Brain Games Pseudo-Science Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:02:34 +0000 Forbes – Wanting to be smarter is kind of a no-brainer, as is wanting to slow or stop cognitive decline with age. The thorny issue is how to do it. The $1.3 billion a year Americans spend on “brain training” games suggests lots of people are turning to screens to buy a jolt of what they hope is scientifically-verified cognitive juice. Unfortunately for those paying to play, and for those collecting the fees, these games are not scientifically verified methods for cognitive enhancement. And what makes this truly unfortunate is not the wasted money. Rather, it is the lost time and effort that could have been directed to what cognitive science has shown can actually enhance cognitive performance.


For a voluminous, complex research literature like brains and games it pays to pay attention to the experts. On October 20th a large group of leading cognitive and brain scientists released a statement provocatively titled “A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community.” It concluded in part:

“The strong consensus of this group is that the scientific literature does not support claims that the use of software-based “brain games” alters neural functioning in ways that improve general cognitive performance in everyday life, or prevent cognitive slowing and brain disease.”    Read More

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14 amazing photos taken from outer space Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:29:12 +0000 New York Post – It’s a view few earth-dwellers experience on a daily basis: our home planet as seen from above.

Astronauts dubbed the mind-altering perspective of observing the earth from outer space the “overview effect” – and a new website inspired by that name is bringing out-of-this-world images straight to your computer screen.

Not to be mistaken with abstract art, these breathtaking photos from the Daily Overview are satellite images of the earth captured from DigitalGlobe – the same company that provides images for Apple Maps, Caters News reports.

Every day the website posts a new satellite shot taken from a different corner of the globe. Previous posts include an aerial view of the geometrical Billie Jean King Tennis Center, the green-and-gray beauty of Central Park and the vibrant tulip fields of Lisse, Netherlands.

Each photo reveals how humans have manipulated the earth’s surface, creating dazzling patterns and designs that can’t be appreciated with two feet on the ground.

“[T]he Overviews (what we call these images) focus on the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape,” the website’s mission statement reads.

“Each Overview starts with a thought experiment. We consider the places where man has left his mark on the planet and then conduct the necessary research to identify locations (and the corresponding geo-coordinates) to convey that idea.”

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NASA unveils maps of Jupiter’s giant moon Wed, 19 Feb 2014 15:28:10 +0000 RT – NASA released diagrams of the solar system’s largest moon, Ganymede. Astronomers have created the first-ever global geological map of Jupiter’s biggest moon. The map, created using observations by NASA’s twin Voyager probes and Galileo orbiter, highlights the varied terrain of Ganymede, which is bigger than the planet Mercury. RT’s Meghan Lopez looks into the scientific discovery made more than 400 years after Galileo Galilei first discovered the lunar orb.

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Mars Express: 10 years of capturing the Red Planet – Photos Fri, 17 Jan 2014 05:19:59 +0000 CNET – Mars Express, the first planetary explorer for the European Space Agency, is celebrating 10 years of taking images of the Red Planet. Using data obtained from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard, the spacecraft has returned hundreds of images since the mission began.

The HRSC has been imaging the planet in color and 3D with a resolution of about 10 meters. Selected areas have been imaged in even greater detail, at a 2-meter resolution. One of the camera’s greatest strengths is the pointing accuracy achieved by combining images at the two different resolutions, along with the perspective view of the 3D imaging created with the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) which has revealed the topography of Mars in full color.

“As the 2-metre resolution image is nested in a 10-metre resolution swath, we will know precisely where we are looking. The 2-metre resolution channel will allow us to pick out great detail on the surface,” says Gerhard Neukum, HRSC principal investigator from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Here, Mars Express offers a close-up view of the mesa inside Hebes Chasma. Material has slumped down onto the floor of the valley below, and along the side of the mound fine horizontal layering is seen, likely a mix of wind-blown dust and ancient lake sediments, along with remnants of more ancient plateaus.

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VIDEO: ‘Body Maps’ Show Where We Feel Love, Anger, Shame Thu, 02 Jan 2014 02:24:43 +0000

The all-over glow of happiness, the heart-hurt of sadness, and the sheer numbness of depression were felt in roughly the same way by all participants.

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