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Science News
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Sanofi dengue vaccine promising but questions remain

A view shows the logo of Sanofi Pasteur on a building at the French drugmaker's vaccine unit Sanofi Pasteur plant in Neuville-sur-Saone, near LyonBy Natalie Huet PARIS (Reuters) - The first vaccine against dengue fever, from France's Sanofi, provided moderate protection in a large clinical study, but questions remain as to how well it can help fight the world's fastest-growing tropical disease. The late-stage trial involved 10,275 healthy children aged 2-14 across five countries in Asia, a region that accounts for over two-thirds of the mosquito-borne disease's global burden. Sanofi had already disclosed in April that its vaccine reduced the incidence of dengue fever by 56 percent in the Asian study, without giving details. The results suggest the new vaccine acts best as an immune booster for patients with some previous exposure, and therefore may be most useful in tropical regions where dengue is common, rather than as a vaccination for travellers.

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:14:47 -0400
In the brain, sex addiction looks the same as drug addiction

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Pornography triggers brain activity in sex addicts similar to the effect drugs have on the brains of drug addicts, researchers said on Friday - but that doesn't necessarily mean porn is addictive. Although there are no precise figures, experts in the field believe as many as one in 25 adults is affected by compulsive sexual behavior, more commonly known as sex addiction - an obsession with sexual thoughts, feelings or behavior they are unable to control. The study looked at brain activity in 19 male patients affected by sex addiction and compared them with the same number of volunteers. The patients had started watching pornography at earlier ages and in higher proportions than the volunteers. "The patients in our trial were all people who had substantial difficulties controlling their sexual behavior and this was having significant consequences for them, affecting their lives and relationships," said Dr Valerie Voon, who led the study at Cambridge's department of psychiatry.

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:43:02 -0400
Mississippi baby thought cured of HIV no longer in remission

By Julie Steenhuysen (Reuters) - A toddler thought to have been cured of HIV now has detectable levels of the virus in her blood, the child's doctors and U.S. health officials said on Thursday. The Mississippi child's stunning story, first disclosed at a medical meeting in March 2013, was the first account of an HIV-infected infant achieving what appeared to be a cure after receiving aggressive drug treatment within the first 30 hours of life. ...

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:17:53 -0400
Citizen scientists out of options to rescue old NASA satellite

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - A valiant effort to put a defunct NASA science satellite back to work came to a disappointing end this week after the 36-year-old spacecrafts propulsion system failed, project organizers said. An ad hoc team of engineers and scientists won permission from NASA to try to take control of the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3. As ISEE-3 neared Earths orbit this spring, a volunteer team launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money, eventually ending up with nearly $160,000. The group also petitioned NASA to let it try to redirect the probe into a stable orbit around Earth so it could resume science operations.

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:36:14 -0400
Russia test launches first new space rocket since Soviet era

Workers carry a part of a Russian Angara rocket to put it on display as they prepare for the MAKS-2009 international air show in ZhukovskyRussia launched its first new design of space rocket since the Soviet era from the northern military space port of Plesetsk on Wednesday, aiming to break its reliance on foreign suppliers as well as the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Angara rocket's quiet debut was in marked contrast to the live broadcast of an embarrassing aborted first launch attempt, watched by President Vladimir Putin via video link from the Kremlin. "The first test launch of the light-class Angara-1.2PP space rocket was conducted by the Air and Space Defence Forces," Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement, cited by Russian news agencies.

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 09:05:59 -0400
Surfin' Birds Just Wanna Have Fun (Video)

A group of "surfing" black swans were caught catching some waves at a beach on Australia's Gold Coast, in a video posted on YouTube. "There're good biological reasons to think that animals have fun," said Marc Bekoff, a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "Probably as few as five years ago, scientists wondered, do animals have fun or make friends and I think that's just the silliest thing in the world," Bekoff told Live Science. The swans in the video aren't the only ones enjoying themselves at the shore.

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:58:47 -0400
Self-Guided Sniper Bullets Could Help Soldiers with Bad Aim

Self-Guided Sniper Bullets Could Help Soldiers with Bad AimHow do you hit a target if you have bad aim? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is known for developing some of the country's most futuristic technologies, has developed a high-tech sniper-bullet system to solve that problem. DARPA recently conducted its first successful live-fire tests of the agency's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, which is designed to help military snipers hit targets, even when their aim is off.

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:29:12 -0400
Road Melts from Yellowstone Volcano's Heat

Road Melts from Yellowstone Volcano's HeatPart of Firehole Lake Drive, a scenic one-way road off of Yellowstone's main loop, was shut down for repairs when oil bubbled to the surface, damaging the blacktop, the Park Service said in a statement. The closure doesn't affect the Grand Loop Road, which sees 20,000 visitors per day during the summer. Park spokesman Dan Hottle told Live Science that Firehole Lake Drive's surface hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, about 30 degrees to 40 degrees F (17 to 22 degrees C) hotter than usual. The park has previously closed Firehole Lake Drive for repairs due to heat damage, Hottle said.

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:29:06 -0400
Running in Space: New 'ForceShoe' to Monitor Astronaut Exercise

Running in Space: New 'ForceShoe' to Monitor Astronaut ExerciseThe shoes, which will be worn by astronauts in space, may help scientists on the ground learn more about how the body responds to weightlessness on the International Space Station. NASA officials sent a device called the ForceShoe to the space station in May so astronauts can literally put it through its paces. Space station occupants will wear the shoes during some of their exercises, so that researchers can learn more about how the body's joints behave in microgravity. To help the astronauts exercise, NASA developed the Advanced Resistance Exercise Device, a machine that makes weight-bearing workouts possible through the use of vacuum cylinders.

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:07:36 -0400
Supermoon Saturday: Supersized Full Moon Rises This Weekend

Supermoon Saturday: Supersized Full Moon Rises This WeekendOne of the biggest full moons of the year a so-called "supermoon" will light up the night sky on Saturday (July 12), but is only the first in a lunar triple-play this summer. During this weekend's supermoon, the July full moon will appear about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent closer than a typical full moon. Last year,the full moon of Junemade headlines with its super luminosity. In 2014, skywatchers will seethree supermoons this summer, one each during the back-to-back full moons in July, August and September.

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:23:04 -0400
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