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95 new exoplanets discovered during NASA's K2 mission

95 new exoplanets discovered during NASA's K2 mission

Science
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Scientists have confirmed 95 additional exoplanets outside the solar system based on analysis of NASA's K2 mission data.Since the first planet orbiting a star similar to the solar system's sun was detected in 1995, more than 3,300 exoplanets -- ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter -- have been found.The first data from the K2 was released in 2014, with the latest findings released in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal."We started out analyzing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets. In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries," Andrew Mayo, a doctoral student at the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, said in a press release.The work also involved colleagues ...
Flu epidemic hits US, hospitalizations climb during peak season

Flu epidemic hits US, hospitalizations climb during peak season

Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the nation is at peak flu season, as the disease is now considered to be an epidemic, based on its medical impact, the federal agency said today. The rate of hospitalizations for pneumonia and the flu is continuing to climb amid a CDC warning of several more weeks of significant flu activity. "It’s a busy flu season this year," Dr. Jesse Jacob, associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, told ABC News today. "We’re seeing a lot of patients with the flu compared to last year," Jacob said. "We’ve tested nearly twice as many patients as we have the year before and we’re seeing about four times as much flu." "What we're seeing this year -- the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking
Pope Francis addresses migrant crisis during Christmas Eve mass

Pope Francis addresses migrant crisis during Christmas Eve mass

World
Dec. 25 (UPI) --Pope Francis held Christmas Eve mass on Saturday in Vatican City and made the plight of migrants around the world a focus in his sermon.The pontiff compared migrants' struggles to find safety and security in other lands to the story of Mary and Joseph, who had to hide in a manger to give birth to the baby Jesus because "there was no place for them in the inn," The New York Times reported.Francis said that when Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, the inn "had no room or place for the stranger from afar." But Jesus, the pope said, "comes to give all of us our document of citizenship."After drawing parallels between today's current events and Biblical stories, Francis addressed the migrant crisis directly."We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go awa...
Putin announces Russian troop withdrawal from Syria during visit

Putin announces Russian troop withdrawal from Syria during visit

World
Russia has begun withdrawing some of its troops from Syria, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.President Vladimir Putin ordered the partial withdrawal during an unannounced visit to Syria on Monday.Russian support has been crucial in turning the tide of Syria's civil war in favour of government forces, led by president Bashar al-Assad.Mr Putin made a similar withdrawal announcement last year, but Russian military operations continued.When asked how long it would take for Russia to withdraw its military contingent, Mr Shoigu said that this would "depend on the situation" in Syria. The Russian president was met by Mr al-Assad at the Russian Hmeimim airbase near Latakia.Mr Putin said: "I order the defence minister and the chief of the general staff to start withdrawing the Russian...
Plague first came to Europe during the Stone Age

Plague first came to Europe during the Stone Age

Science
Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The earliest evidence of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis suggests the disease first arrived in Europe during the Stone Age, several millennia before the first documented epidemics.According to analysis by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the bacteria was carried to Central Europe by wave migrations of steppe nomads arriving between 4,800 to 3,700 years ago.Scientists detailed their discovery this week in the journal Current Biology.Researchers surveyed more than 500 tooth and bone samples collected from Germany, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Their analysis yielded six instances of the Yersinia pestis genome.These bacteria strains that caused these early infections were closely related."This su...