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Jackpot: Scientists find Earth-like planet at star next door

This artist rendering provided by the European Southern Observatory shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper-right of Proxima itself. Proxima b is a little more massive than the Earth and orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. (European Southern Observatory via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — After scanning the vast reaches of the cosmos for Earth-like planets where life might exist, astronomers have found one right next door.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 3:19 pm

Scientists hope new test could help contain meningitis outbreaks

By Umberto Bacchi LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A test has been developed that could help diagnose bacterial infections including meningitis in minutes, but it could take several years before a cheap testing device is available to developing countries, scientists said on Wednesday. The new test could save lives, allow treatment of disease - which is difficult to diagnose - to start much sooner and reduce the risk of life-changing after effects, an international team of researchers led by Imperial College London said. "We would very much hope this could become something cheap enough to be applied even in resource poor regions," Imperial College Professor Michael Levin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Posted on 24 August 2016 | 2:11 pm

Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbor

The planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System, is seen in an undated artist's impressionThe relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The planet, located about 4.2 light-years from Earth, or 25 trillion miles (40 trillion km), is the closest of some 3,500 planets that have been discovered beyond the solar system since 1995, according to the paper.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 1:43 pm

Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent ShakingPowerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 1:25 pm

Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbour

The planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System, is seen in an undated artist's impressionScientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published on Wednesday showed. The relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 1:08 pm

Scientists find Earth-like planet circling sun's nearest neighbor

The planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System, is seen in an undated artist's impressionScientists have discovered a planet that appears to be similar to Earth circling the star closest to the sun, potentially a major step in the quest to find out if life exists elsewhere in the universe, research published on Wednesday showed. The relative proximity of the planet, known as Proxima b, gives scientists a better chance to eventually capture an image of it, to help them establish whether it has an atmosphere and water, which is believed to be necessary for life. Future studies may reveal if any atmosphere contains tell-tale chemicals of biological life, such as methane, according to a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 1:08 pm

It's Splitsville: Divorce May Be Seasonal, Study Finds

The rates of divorce filings may peak twice a year, a new study from one state suggests. In a 14-year study of divorce filings in Washington state, researchers found that the rates of such filings consistently peaked in March and August. "People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past," study co-author Julie Brines, an associate sociology professor at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

Posted on 24 August 2016 | 11:20 am

Mental Toll of Bad Jobs Lasts Decades

If your job causes stress and anxiety in your life, it may seem obvious that it may be bad for your health. A new study shows that people who had low levels of job satisfaction in their 20s and 30s may have an increased risk of mental health problems in their 40s. "We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s," lead author Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.

Posted on 24 August 2016 | 11:18 am

China shows first images of Mars rover, aims for 2020 mission

Concept portrayal of China's Mars rover and landerChina has showed off its first images of a rover it plans to sent to Mars in mid-2020, which is designed to explore the planet surface for three months, state media said, the latest aim of China's ambitious space program. China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States. It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar "soft landing" since 1976 with the Chang'e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.


Posted on 24 August 2016 | 12:23 am

Scientists: Puffin chicks starving with less food available

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Atlantic puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine have had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the majority of chicks starving to death in burrows, scientists said.

Posted on 23 August 2016 | 1:06 pm