Month: December 2018

LAUREL, Md. — Even as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft bears down on one object in the Kuiper Belt, the mission team is already thinking about a second potential flyby in the 2020s. New Horizons will fly by 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, on Jan. 1, making its closest approach of about 3,500 kilometers at 12:33
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Data breaches, widespread malware attacks and microtargeted personalized advertising were lowlights of digital life in 2018. As technologies change, so does the advice security experts give for how to best stay safe. As 2019 begins, I’ve pulled together a short list of suggestions for keeping your digital life secure and free of manipulative disinformation. 1.
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LAUREL, Md. — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is ready to perform the most distant flyby ever of a solar system object, an event largely unaffected by the ongoing government shutdown. New Horizons will make its closest approach to the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Jan. 1. The spacecraft
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Consider this modest New Year’s proposal: to help keep your drinking tendencies and physical health on track throughout the year, take a month off from drinking alcohol at the start of the year. That’s the thinking behind the “Dry January” movement, and new research suggests reasons to take it seriously. Not only can going a month
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Mining corporation Rio Tinto says that an autonomous rail system called AutoHaul that it’s been developing in the remote Pilbara region of Australia for several years is now entirely operational — an accomplishment the company says makes the system the “world’s largest robot.” “It’s been a challenging journey to automate a rail network of this size and scale in
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Earlier this year, researchers found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a study. The study, published in the journal Nature in April 2018, says the deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals. Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries
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We can only hope that 2019 will be the year when the ethics of emerging technologies becomes a central part of discussions on innovation and progress. Below, I’ve asked some prolific tech ethicists about their hopes for the upcoming year and to share with readers what they would like to see people and policy bodies pay more attention
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The must-read brain books of 2018 featured perception, emotion, hormones, psychedelics, culture, time, technology, addiction, and the biological roots of consciousness. The eight books on this list all reveal important, timely insights about who we are, what we do and why we do it. This is part one of a two-part list; the second installment
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Adam and Eve might have managed it in the Bible, but scientifically speaking, would two people be enough to repopulate our world from scratch, despite the inevitable health issues associated with inbreeding and a limited gene pool?  First of all, let’s deal with the obvious problems. The first ‘new’ generation would obviously all be brothers and
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VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia — With an exasperated hiss and engulfing roar, the sounds of a Soyuz rocket pierced the wild, windswept expanse of Russia’s far eastern taiga in a dramatic signal that Russia’s newest cosmodrome has finally opened for business.  After years of delays, construction mishaps and outrageous corruption scandals, Russia’s new premier space launch
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The first few bites of that delicious meal are triggering an irresistible double tap of dopamine in your brain, suggests new research. Understanding this repetitive pleasure cycle helps explain why curbing cravings and cutting calories is so difficult, especially around the holidays when we’re surrounded by delectable delights. Researchers at the Max Plank Institute in Germany used a new
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“Foust Forward” appears in every issue of SpaceNews magazine. This column runs in the Dec. 17, 2018 issue. At least Wall Street is paying attention to the space industry again. In December, CNBC profiled Adam Jonas, a former automotive industry analyst at Morgan Stanley who has shifted to analyze the space industry. His coverage of
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2018 was a busy year for important developments in cancer research, but what can we expect to see in 2019? Photo Credit: Getty Royalty FreeGetty 2018 was a remarkable year for cancer research, with great strides made in diagnosing and treating various types of cancer as well as important breakthroughs looking at the health of
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woman at the restaurant choosing what to eat between two platesGetty New research reveals that a meal can trigger reward signals in the brain twice: first when the food is ingested and again when the food reaches the stomach. The study, published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism, highlights how close interactions between the
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WASHINGTON —  A startup designing a constellation of orbiting cloud data centers has arranged a $100 million investment from Hughes China Holdings Company Limited (HCH Group) of Hong Kong. Cloud Constellation CEO Cliff Beek said the commitment from HCH Group, though not yet finalized, is awaiting the “final strokes” and should close in the first
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The story of the Appalachians began almost half a billion years ago. The first British colonialists arrived in North America just 400 years ago. Yet both events are connected and shaped the history of the modern United States. Without a series of mountain building cycles 65 to 490 million years ago caused by the assembling and
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The holidays are over- did you keep the environment in mind? Chances are you may be under a mountain of wrapping paper, tinsel, and a lot of plastic.   As people reuse, reduce, and recycle the question on a lot of people’s minds is, “Who should be the driving force when it comes to reducing
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