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Me, Myself and iPhone: What Becomes of Self When We’re All Connected Through Silicon?

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by Ysabel Yates

A viral YouTube video, “I Forgot My Phone,” has a clear message: The ever-present smartphone is ruining “the moment.” The video shows smartphone users interrupting a birthday celebration, a wedding proposal and other special occasions. It has garnered more than 22 million views so far.

The message has sparked a national conversation, and, to quote the New York Times, “may have landed at one of those cultural moments when people start questioning if something has gone too far and start doing something about it.”

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Sleepy Lemurs May Help Treat Disease

by Ysabel Yates

The fat-tailed dwarf lemurs pictured above aren’t just another pretty face. They may be the source of insights into treating or preventing such ugly human diseases as obesity, stroke, traumatic injury and rabies.

A recent Duke University study on the sleeping habits of fat-tailed dwarf lemur, the only primate known to hibernate, has yielded promising data that could help control the diseases. The findings could also help enable something that’s bound to perk up the ears of science-fiction enthusiasts: the ability to cryogenically preserve - meaning safely freeze for an extended period of time - a living person.

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Molten Metal Goes Through Two Liquid States

by Txchnologist Staff

Using extremely powerful x-rays, German materials scientists have discovered that molten liquid metals exhibit unusual properties as they cool.

The Saarland University researchers levitated positively charged molten metal droplets in an electric field generated between two electrodes within a vacuum chamber. 

Hitting the drops with x-rays as they cooled, the team observed that liquid metal transitions to another liquid state with equal density but much more order before it crystallizes and turns solid.

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GPS ‘Junk’ Data Reveals Volcanic Plumes

by Ryder Diaz, Inside Science

Scientists may be able to track dangerous ash-filled clouds by using information similar to the bars showing signal strength on a cell phone.

The new technique analyzes the GPS’s “signal strength” — the intensity of a GPS signal – as it attempts to cut through a volcanic plume. The research was published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The dangerous particles within these plumes can clog an airplane’s engines and send it plummeting from the sky.

Two years ago this month, Grímsvötn, a volcano in Iceland, erupted, leaving behind a thick column of ash that led to canceled flights all over Europe for days. 

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