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Scientist Find 3 Planets That Could Support Life

By Tim Muprhy 8 months ago No comments

Scientists find 3 Earth-sized planets that may support life

Scientists have found three planets about the size of Earth that may be able to support life.

As the video shows, the planets orbit an "ultracool dwarf," a star much smaller and cooler than the sun, but still possibly warm enough to allow for liquid water on the surfaces of at least two of the planets.

The planets have a "winning combination" of being Earth-sized, potentially habitable and well-suited for atmospheric studies, making them "the first opportunities to find chemical traces of life outside our solar system," study co-author Julien de Wit told CNBC in an email.
The team published its findings Monday in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature.

This is the first time planets have been observed orbiting ultra-cool dwarves — though scientists had suspected that such stars could host small solar systems.

The researchers note in their paper that "there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting" ultra-cool dwarves, "ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable, volatile-rich, Earth-sized planets."

The team found the planets using the Trappist telescope, an optical system located in Chile but operated robotically from a control center in Belgium.

David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University told the New Scientist that there "is a legitimate case to be made that this system could host life, and we may be able to infer the presence of that life in the next decade."

By Robert Ferris, CNBC.com. Full article can be found here.

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Tesla's New Bioweapon Mode

Tesla's particulate filters are so good, not only do they clean up the air inside the car, they make the world outside the car cleaner, too.

Cabin air filters are nothing new; they’ve been rolled out in luxury cars since the late 1970s, and across a broader number of vehicles from the mid 1980s onward. HEPAfilters in cars are more novel, but Telsa is one-upping the HEPA filter by adding a Bioweapon Defense Mode button. Talking about bioweapons is a way to catch the headlines, but the real talking point is that by using industrial-grade particulate filters, the Tesla Model S and Model X are spectacularly well-suited for use in environments where pollution is off the charts.

Of course, the current Tesla models are a lot of things, but one thing they ain’t is cheap. Put the two together, and you get Tesla’s target audience here: People who have access to significant amounts of money and who suffer from tremendous amounts of pollution.

Around 7 percent of the top 1,000 most-polluted cities in the world are in the U.S., which is the first piece of the puzzle: Creating cars that are particularly well-designed for your home market is just common sense — especially if you’re an electric car company who inherently has a horse in the race when it comes to making a statement about pollution.

Looking at the rest of the data is far more interesting, however, and offers some clues as to why this matters to the car manufacturer: India, China, Turkey, France and Germany all feature heavily in the top 1,000, and, while not all markets are equally affluent (average GDP per capita varies wildly between these countries), there is no denying there is a large number of people who can afford — and do buy — luxury cars in all these countries.

If we’re looking just at the countries that suffer from the most severe amounts of pollution, the data changes dramatically. It comes as no surprise that pollution has a choke-hold on China’s economy, with a recent report suggesting that a staggering 6.5 percent of the country’s GDP is being spent on pollution-related costs.

India is also struggling tremendously; the country has the dubious honor of claiming 13 of the 20 slots in the top most-polluted cities in the world. A 20-minute documentary entitled Death By Breath was released, exploring just how bad the air quality is in cities like Delhi, Patna and Gwalior.

What’s interesting about both of these markets is that they may just be perfect target markets for the sort of thing Tesla is trying to accomplish.

I believe that thinking “Hey, the HEPA filters make Tesla great for polluted places” is the wrong way of looking at it: It’s the other way around. Tesla was looking at the markets where it wants to make a huge splash, and added the advanced filtration precisely because these markets are struggling with severe pollution problems.

By Haje Jan Kamps, Originally published in Techcrunch.com, full article can be found here.

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Chobani makes millionaires of its employees!

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the Chobani yogurt company, said he would give his 2,000 employees shares worth up to 10 per cent of the company when it goes public or is sold. It is currently valued at around $7bn.

-New York Times

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The Rise of Escape Rooms

The Financial Time's Paul McClean reports on the growing trend of so-called escape rooms – where teams of people are locked in rooms and have to solve puzzles and do other tasks to escape.

Why are they becoming popular and how does the business model work?

See the video here.

- Originally Published in the Financial Times
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Coffee and Wine may be Good for the Gut

A cup of coffee or a glass of wine appear to help maintain "good" bacteria in the gut, a new Dutch study has found.

Large-scale DNA analysis enabled researchers to examine what factors affect the diversity of the microbiome, the intestinal bacterial community unique to each individual. Coffee and wine can increase the diversity of gut bacteria, while whole milk or a high-calorie diet can decrease it.

"In total we found 60 dietary factors that influence the diversity. What these mean exactly is still hard to say," Alexandra Zhernakova, a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the first author of the study, said in a statement, according to EurekAlert. "But there is a good correlation between diversity and health: greater diversity is better," she added.

Scientists found that people who regularly consume yogurt, buttermilk, fruits and vegetables have a greater diversity of gut bacteria. Drinking coffee, tea and wine also proved to be good for one's gut.

Click here for the full article.

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Review: Google Keyboard for Android Makes One-Handed Typing Easy

As the Android world awaits N, the latest version of the mobile operating system, Alphabet Inc's Google released some cool new phone software as a sort of consolation: an all-new Android keyboard geared for one-handed typing. Phabletsmay be great for watching video, reading email, surfing the Web and choosing the right filter for your group selfie, but these same massive displays are terrible when it comes to that all-important activity, typing.

The new Google Keyboard app, rolling out now in the Google Play app store, addresses that need. Once installed, you give a long press to the keyboard’s comma key, and up pops a green phone-in-hand icon. Slide up to it, and the keyboard squeezes over to the right. You can pin the skinnier keyboard to the left as well, so this will work for both righties and lefties.

It’s automatic relief for anyone who knows what it’s like to have to awkwardly twist your hand around a phablet to reach those edge keys. Even though the one-handed version of the keyboard is, by design, shrunk down, it still works great with gesture typing: Sweep your fingers across keys to spell out words quickly, while keeping the phone stable in your hand.

Another nice ergonomic feature: You can adjust the keyboard’s height in the app’s settings, making it taller or shorter as needed. You can also turn on or off borders around keys—some people may want clear targets for where their fingers should land.

Most Android updates only come to certain phones on certain carriers. But the fact that this keyboard is served up as its own individual app means anyone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream or newer, with access to the Google Play app store, can get it. (If you have a Nexus phone, just update the already installed Google Keyboard app to get the new perks.) So, if you’re an Android user who has a tough time reaching all the keys when you type, give Google Keyboard a shot.

-By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, originally published in WSJ.com

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How Millennials Ended the Running Boom

After two decades of furious growth in footrace participants, the number of finishers dropped 9% in 2015, according to industry-funded research group Running USA. Coming off a small decline in 2014, the 2015 slide points to a sustained cooling off of footrace fever, something that was unimaginable only two years ago, when Running USA reported that the number of 2013 finishers had reached an all-time peak of 19 million.Back then, observers predicted an imminent crossing of the 20 million threshold. Instead, the 2015 number dropped to 17 million.

A sport traditionally dominated by young adults, running is losing its hold on 18- to 34-year-olds.

Millennials aren’t sedentary. Rather, they’re fueling the proliferation of studios that specialize in everything from cycling, CrossFit and boxing to ballet barre workouts, boot camp and weight training. Their hunger for variety is reflected in the success of ClassPass, which offers entry to a range of fitness classes in 31 U.S. cities for a monthly fee. The service has booked 18 million reservations in less than three years, most of them for people in their 20s, a spokeswoman said.


Millennials also drove the success of untimed events that emphatically aren’t competitions. Young adults grew up in an era of de-emphasized athletic competition and have expressed a greater fear of failure than older generations, says Sarah Robb O’Hagan, former president of the parent company of Equinox gyms and SoulCycle. O’Hagan is writing a book advising millennials how to take more risks in pursuit of professional and personal growth.

Originally published in the Wall St. Journal, full article can be found here.

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How often do people check their phones?


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The Most Interesting Podcasts

Podcasts can go places other forms of entertainment and education can’t: you can listen to them on your commute or as you’re falling asleep at night. Here's a list of the top 100 best, most interesting Podcasts of 2016 as curated by DailyTekk.

Don't see anythng that floats your boat? Here are the top 25 rated Podcasts from PodcastOne Charts.

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***Quotes***

Bertrand Russell famously said, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.”

"Most people are willing to do just about anything, except the one thing that will change their life."
-Rich Schefren

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Return of Repair Culture in the U.S.

Return of the repair culture The idea of mending things, as opposed to replacing them, is one that is gaining traction in the US.

Pop-up repair events are proving popular and larger companies are getting in on the trend.

Outdoor clothing store Patagonia will soon kick off the “Worn Wear” tour, where clothing repair experts will tour cities from San Francisco to Boston, fixing Patagonia’s coats and outdoor clothing.


Click here for the full article, originally published in BBC.

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This bug could give you the 'kiss' of death

A deadly insect known as the “kissing bug” has recently been reported in other states besides Texas. Texas officials said recently at least 12 people in their state have been infected with a parasite connected to the insect.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the insects — called triatomine bugs— may carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease, which — if left untreated — can cause sudden death.Kissing bugs get their nickname because they favor biting human faces and lips at night.

In Pittsburgh, after an on-air report about the bug, viewers sent in photos to WPXI and a curator at the Pittsburgh Zoo said the photos did appear to show “kissing bugs.”

However, the station reported that no cases of Chagas disease had been confirmed in Pennsylvania.

How to protect against the ‘kissing bug’

Even if the bug carries the parasite, CDC officials say, the likelihood of getting Chagas disease from the bug in the United States is low.

The CDC says that the bugs are typically found anywhere from under porches or cement, in animal burrows, chicken coops or even outdoor dog houses or kennels.

To keep the insects away from your home, the CDC says to use the following precautions:

• Seal cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors
• Remove wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
• Use screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears
• If possible, make sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs)
• Seal holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside
• Have pets sleep indoors, especially at night
• Keep your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs

If you think you've found a triatomine bug, the CDC urges not to touch or squash the bug, but place a container on top of it, slide the bug inside and fill it with rubbing alcohol. If you do not have rubbing alcohol available, the CDC says to freeze the bug in the container before you take it to your local extension service or university laboratory.

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

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One in five plant species threatened with extinction

A giant, insect-eating carnivore discovered recently in Brazil is one of 2,000 new plants found in the past year, bringing the total of known plant species around the world to 391,000, according to the first scientific report of its kind.

But the report, compiled by a team of 80 scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, also showed 21 per cent of species threatened by extinction..

-Clive Cookson, originally published in Financial Times

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