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Ancient “Deep Skull” From Borneo Full of Surprises

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A new study of the 37,000-year old remains of the “Deep Skull” – the oldest modern human discovered in island South-East Asia – has revealed this ancient person was not related to Indigenous Australians, as had been originally thought.

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Substance User’s Social Connections: Family, Friends, and the Foresaken

It’s no secret that social environments can play a role in the development as well as recovery from substance-abuse problems. A new study, designed to uncover how individual relationships respond to substance use and social influences, has found that the links between substance use and social connections are bidirectional and strong.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Jun-2016 12:00 AM EDT

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How Well Do Facial Recognition Algorithms Cope with a Million Strangers?

University of Washington computer scientists and engineers have launched the "MegaFace Challenge," the world's first competition aimed at evaluating and improving the performance of face recognition algorithms at the million person scale.

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Tracking the Aluminum Used to Purify Tap Water

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A Kobe University research group including Associate Professor Maki Hideshi (Center for Environmental Management), PhD candidate Sakata Genki (Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, currently employed at Central Glass Co., Ltd.) and Professor Mizuhata Minoru (Graduate School of Engineering) have developed a new analysis method that uses magnetic fields to quickly and accurately measure the concentration of aluminum used to purify tap water. These findings can potentially be used in developing efficient and environmentally-conscious coagulants for water treatment. The findings were presented on May 29, 2016 at the 76th Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry Symposium.

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Science Educators Convene to Discuss What’s Next and New in Teaching Physiology

Dozens of undergraduate and professional school physiology educators will attend this workshop-intensive meeting to discuss best practices in physiology education, including: • The changing role of students and instructors in today’s classrooms • New teaching strategies that attendees can employ in their own classrooms • New research on student learning behaviors • Challenges of engaging millennial learners

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Scientific Gains May Make Electronic Nose the Next Everyday Device

Researchers at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas are working to develop an affordable electronic nose that can be used in breath analysis for a wide range of health diagnosis.

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New Gravitational Wave Observed From Second Pair of Black Holes

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RIT scientists help identify, analyze gravitational wave, properties of the final black hole.

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New Planet Is Largest Discovered That Orbits 2 Suns

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If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you'll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system. It's too faint to see with the naked eye, but a team led by astronomers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and San Diego State University used the Kepler Space Telescope to identify the new planet, Kepler-1647 b. The discovery was announced today in San Diego, at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

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Need Better Sleep? Consider the Cognitive Shuffle

Simon Fraser University research aimed at helping people get to sleep will be highlighted at an international sleep conference next week. Luc Beaudoin, an adjunct professor in cognitive science and education, created the mySleepButton® app two years ago (a new version with the world's first configurable "body scan" will be released shortly).

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Measuring the Milky Way

It is a galactic challenge, to be sure, but Gwendolyn Eadie is getting closer to an accurate answer to a question that has defined her early career in astrophysics: what is the mass of the Milky Way?

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Exploring Gender Perception via Speech

We tend to perceive speakers as masculine or feminine rather quickly. These snap judgments are based on acoustic information from the speakers’ voices. But some vocal qualities deemed “feminine” can overlap with acoustic cues for “clear speech,” which is a set of changes speakers make when they suspect their listener is having a difficult time hearing. This overlap inspired researchers to explore gender perception via speech — largely to determine whether adopting clear speech could help transgender people who would like to sound more feminine.

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Lung Function May Affect Vocal Health for Women

Vocal fatigue is a common complaint among teachers and one of the most debilitating conditions that can lead to vocal damage. The typical symptoms include hoarseness, vocal tiredness, muscle pains and lost or cracked notes. However, the actual physiological mechanism of vocal fatigue is still being explored. Now, a group of researchers have found a potential link between pulmonary function and the symptoms of voice fatigue unique to women, the predominate population of teaching workforce.

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The Future of Sonar in Semiheated Oceans

Light doesn’t travel very far underwater so the navy uses sound to transmit messages. The speed of underwater sound depends on a combination of temperature, salinity and pressure. Understanding sound speed is crucial for transmitting messages, detecting enemy submarines and avoiding marine animals. As climate change elevates temperatures, understanding underwater sound speed will become increasingly important.

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A Warning System for Tsunamis

Scientists at the Australian National University have developed the Time Reverse Imaging Method to take real-time data from the ocean sensors and use that information to recreate what the tsunami looked like when it was born. Once scientists have the tsunami source pinpointed, they can use it to make better predictions about what will happen once the waves reach shore. This new method is fast enough to compete with existing algorithms but much more accurate.

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High Performance Golf Club Comes with Annoying Sound

In 2007, a new golf club hit the market. The distribution of mass in the club head made it less likely to twist, making an off-center hit less likely, but it had a drawback: a loud noise when it struck the ball, piercing through the tranquility of a golf course. The club never grew popular among players, with many saying they disliked the noise. Researchers at Penn State set out to find the cause of the offensive clang.

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Mucus May Play Vital Role in Dolphin Echolocation

A dolphin chasing a tasty fish will produce a stream of rapid-fire echolocation clicks that help it track the speed, direction and distance to its prey. Now researchers have developed a model that could yield new insights into how the charismatic marine mammals make these clicks – and it turns out snot may play an important role. The researchers will present their model at the 171st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

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Why Vocal Fry?

Researchers are studying the lowest vocal register used by chorus singers to better understand the emotional properties of music. This lowest register is called vocal fry, and it sounds a little bit like a growl or a croak. The technique has become popular in today’s pop and country music. When female singers use this lowest register, listeners rate her as more expressive, according to a small study. The opposite is true for men.

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Cities Try Different Tactics to Regulate Noise

If you live in Waco, a gas lawn mower at night likely wouldn’t violate the decibel limit, even though it may in most towns. The large difference is just one example of the diversity of laws regulating noise throughout the U.S. The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, a national non-profit that gathers noise-related resources and advocates for quieter public spaces, has compiled a database of noise ordinances for nearly 500 of the largest communities in the U.S.

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Thin Film Work Is Poster Child for Getting Research and Development to Industry

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories researcher Paul Vianco sees his work on thin films as a poster child for the way research and development work can boost U.S. industry.