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Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories – And How to Change Their Minds

I’m sitting on a train when a group of football fans streams on. Fresh from the game – their team has clearly won – they occupy the empty seats around me. One picks up a discarded newspaper and chuckles derisively as she reads about the latest “alternative facts” peddled by Donald Trump. The others soon chip in with their thoughts on the US president’s fondness for conspiracy theories. The chatter quickly turns to other conspiracies and I enjoy eavesdropping while the group brutally mock flat Earthers, chemtrails memes and Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest idea. Then there’s a lull in the conversation, …

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NASA Has a $3.5bn Plan to Save The Planet From The Yellowstone Supervolcano

Scientists at NASA have developed a hugely ambitious strategy to counter the looming threat of an apocalyptic supereruption from the Yellowstone Caldera. Yellowstone is one of about 20 known supervolcanoes around the world, and an eruption from any of these could produce so much fiery magma that the ensuing ash cloud might starve the Earth of sunlight in a choking, years-long volcanic winter. Against such a backdrop, NASA has been working on a plan to counter this potentially far off but ultimately inevitable circumstance, which could be graver than even the nightmare scenario of a planet-devastating asteroid strike. “I was …

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New Recipe For Heating Nuclear Fusion Plasma Boosts Ion Energy Output 10 Times

Extracting useful amounts of energy from the merging of atoms is tricky business, not least thanks to the challenges of controlling squirming clouds of ultra-hot plasma. Our clean power fusion goals could be a step closer now researchers have tweaked their fusion recipe to add a new ion to the mix. This allows researchers to get a better grip on how high-energy charged particles move not just inside reactors on Earth, but potentially provide insights into how they behave in stars. A team of researchers at MIT have used data from experiments conducted on a type of fusion reactor called …

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We May Have Just Found The Hormone That Lets Gut Bacteria Talk to The Brain

There’s no shortage of evidence linking brain function to the composition of our gut bacteria, but just how that relationship works is still something of a mystery. Now, a team has uncovered what looks like a communication channel between gut microbes and the brain, and they’re theorising that the operation of this pathway may ultimately help explain how autism develops. The researchers have specifically found that cortisol – often called the ‘stress hormone‘ – could act as a messenger to chemicals in our heads. These chemicals – called brain metabolites or neurometabolites – are crucial for helping the brain to function and …

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Cyborg Bacteria Covered in Tiny Solar Panels Are Changing The Future of Clean Fuel

In an effort to improve the efficiency of natural photosynthesis, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, has created cyborg bacteria. These bacteria were trained to grow and cover their bodies with tiny semiconductor nanocrystals that act as efficient solar panels for harvesting sunlight. Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as its source of energy, the process has a weak link: chlorophyll. Plants and other organisms use the green pigment to harvest sunlight during photosynthesis, but it is rather inefficient. To that end, scientists have been searching for ways to upgrade natural photosynthesis so humans would be …

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‘Orange UFO’ sighted over Somerset, England

The object was spotted near the town of Frome. Image Credit: YouTube / SWNS TV The peculiar aerial phenomenon was captured on camera by Jeremy Le Fevre on Saturday evening. Consisting of several orange spheres of light, the UFO appeared to trail across the sky and change direction multiple times over the course of several minutes before eventually disappearing. “I had never seen anything like it before,” said Le Fevre. “It really caught my eye. It went on for quite some time before flying off into the distance towards Longleat.” “It was emitting green and red colors. It looked to …

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Plasma heating method offers fusion boost

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod reactor. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Bobmumgaard / MIT Scientists have developed a new way of heating fusion plasmas inside tokamak nuclear fusion reactors. Often seen as the Holy Grail of power generation, nuclear fusion is the same process that produces energy in the Sun and works by fusing hydrogen nuclei together to create helium. Unlike nuclear fission which comes with the inherent risk of a meltdown, fusion is much cleaner and safer while the hydrogen fuel used by the process is so abundant that it is practically limitless. Now researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology …

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World War 3 Nostradamus predictions: Did physician predict war would break out in 2017?

The start of US and South Korea’s military exercises on the day of the total solar eclipse has sparked fears that a major armed conflict could be on the horizon.  North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun warned: “The Trump group’s declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the DPRK … is a reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”   But the escalating tensions have not come as a surprise to some who believe that the events have been foretold centuries ago by the French physician Nostradamus. Related articles Who was Nostradamus?  Born …

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Battle Between Geckos and a Snake Ends in a Twist

Watch: Battle Between Geckos and a Snake Ends in a Twist When 31-year-old Sawet Numpet was walking through the woods behind the factory at which he works in Thailand, he noticed two tokay geckos honing in on a tree snake. He approached the trio, filming on his phone, and noticed a gecko-shaped object protruding from inside the belly of the snake. Speaking to local press, Numpet described the event, saying he and his friends were so captivated they watched for a while. The geckos continued to approach the snake; one approached it from a tree branch, while the other crawled …

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Scientists Attached Cameras to Penguins—Here’s What They Learned.

Scientists Attached Cameras to Penguins—Here’s What They Saw. Scientists have historically had a hard time studying how gentoo penguins communicate with each other in the icy waters they hunt in off Antarctica. To eavesdrop on this communication, scientists from the Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) strapped the penguins with small video cameras that had built-in microphones. Their results, published in the journal Nature, are providing insights on how these iconic birds live. They found that gentoo penguins seem to call to each other to form groups, but it’s unclear what the groups’ exact functions are. (Elephant seals can recognize their …

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