United States

New bill aims to allow employers to force workers to take genetic test

New bill aims to allow employers to force workers to take genetic test

A new bill introduced by Republican legislators would allow companies to force their employees to take a genetic test and share the results or pay a hefty penalty.

The HR 1313, which is formally called the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, has already been approved by the House Committee on Education & the Workforce. All 22 Republicans supported the bill, while all of the 17 Democrats opposed it.

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Scientists hope JWST will help detect alien life on exoplanets

Scientists hope JWST will help detect alien life on exoplanets

Scientists searching for alien life hope that an upcoming megatelescope could reveal whether any of the recently discovered 7 Earth-size planets of the TRAPPIST-1 star system have life-supporting atmospheres.

Scheduled to be launched in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be sensitive enough to detect or identify the chemical components of the exoplanets' atmospheres as these planets will be passing in front of their host star.

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Overhyped ‘metallic hydrogen’ unbelievably disappears

Overhyped ‘metallic hydrogen’ unbelievably disappears

The world’s only sample of metallic hydrogen that was last month hyped as potentially revolutionizing technology has suddenly disappeared, scientists reported.

A team of physicists at Harvard University made a breakthrough last month when they created the first metallic hydrogen material by turning the gas into a metal. They described the metallic hydrogen as the “holy grail” of high-pressure physics.

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NASA might send humans to orbit the Moon again

NASA might send humans to orbit the Moon again

NASA’s next generation rocket Space Launch System (SLS) is currently scheduled to send an unmanned capsule to orbit the Moon, but the White House has asked the government-run space agency to look into the possibility of making the rocket’s debut launch a manned mission.

The White House has asked the space agency to take around a month to assess how much additional time, money and risk would be added to the SLS’ debut flight if a two-member crew is put on board.

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Goal to send humans to Mars gaining unprecedented support

Goal to send humans to Mars gaining unprecedented support

Children born in 2017 will be more likely than any previous generation to witness humans walking on another planet before their 18th birthday, Explore Mars CEO Chris Carberry said in a press release.

The goal to send humans to the Red Planet has been gaining unprecedented support from the U.S. Congress, the business world and academia; despite massive challenges lingering on the path to achieve the goal.

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Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Dwarf planet Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld, who is known as Hades in Greek mythology and is in charge of judging the dead, sounding like hell.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees the naming of all celestial bodies, has now made the dwarf planet’s spooky status official by approving underworld, mythology and scientist-themed names for Pluto System.

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Hidden continent Zealandia discovered underwater

Hidden continent Zealandia discovered underwater

A new study claims that Earth has eight continents but the eighth is hidden under water in the Pacific Ocean, with only small bits, including New Zealand and New Caledonia, being above sea level.

According to geologists, the eighth continent, dubbed Zealandia, lies beneath the waves in the Pacific Ocean. Only a few specks of land, including for New Zealand, Campbell Plateau and Lord Howe Rise, are above sea surface.

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Scientists’ effort clone woolly mammoth raises ethical questions

Scientists’ effort clone woolly mammoth raises ethical questions

Using the controversial gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9, a team of Harvard scientists are trying to coax woolly mammoth-like traits out of ordinary elephant cells. However, the effort to clone a woolly mammoth has raised ethical questions.

The ethical questions range from the risk of impregnating existing elephants with an experimental hybrid embryo to the ability to bring back an extinct species.

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Sea ice in Antarctica shrinks to record low

Sea ice in Antarctica shrinks to record low

Antarctica sea ice has shrunk to the smallest annual extent since the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) started keeping record in 1979, preliminary satellite data revealed on Tuesday.

Ice floating around the Antarctica continent typically melts to its lowest level for the year near February’s end, which summer in the southern hemisphere. With the start of the autumn chill, level of ice grows again.

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Bizarre squid’s mismatched eyes help it survive in deep-sea, dark habitat

Bizarre squid’s mismatched eyes help it survive in deep-sea, dark habitat

Bizarre deep-sea squid Histioteuthis heteropsis’ mismatched eyes help the marine creature survive in its cold and dark habitat, according to a new research.

Deep-sea dweller Histioteuthis heteropsis has been puzzling biologists since it was discovered more than a century ago because its bulging left eye is big and yellow, whereas its right eye is significantly smaller and clear.

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