Media Mobile NONE TECH TECH_Technology

A hacker creates a way to steal all your passwords from your Chrome browser

Only weeks after Google’s Chrome was stated to be the biggest browser in the world a hacker has come forth and explained how easy it is to steal information of the browser.

The hacker explained that he used the auto fill sequence so popular with modern browsers. What he does is send a bait site to the unsuspecting hack victim.

These are often dummy sites that resemble popular well-rated websites. The victim will often use the auto fill option and send the details of the login to the hacker.

“A hack has been discovered in some modern web browsers that can use the “Autofill” feature to allow cyber thieves to view user names, emails and even passwords,” said David Snelling from Express UK.

But this technique has been used for a while now so what makes this new method different. The hacker explained that with his method Chrome doesn’t just send the details of that particular login. Instead, it sends all the save passwords and personal information.

The information includes CVV numbers, bank account information and every other piece of information saved in your browser.

This could be catastrophic if not looked into because many people today have all their bank and personal setting saved on Chrome.

The hacker explained that the worst part is that he did not need any specialized tool to carry our his malice just the chrome browser.

But it’s not just Chrome that is susceptible to this hacking. All the modern browsers that have the ability to auto-fill your information can suffer this.


Painkillers just as effective as opioids, study reports

Simple, over-the-counter painkillers may be just as effective as opioids when it comes to fighting pain, new research published in the journal JAMA reports.

This new finding is important because America’s opioid epidemic continues to grow with each passing year. More than 500,000 people have died from drug overdoses since 2000, and opioids were the cause of a lot of those deaths. As a result, doctors have been attempting to find more effective ways to help patients deal with pain.

This study may provide an answer.

“The results did surprise me,” said study co-author Andrew Chang, a professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center, according to TIME. “Most physicians reflexively give opioids to patients with fractures or broken bones. This study lends evidence that opioids aren’t always necessary even in the presence of fractures.”


In the study, researchers from the Albany Medical Center analyzed whether alternative painkillers could help treat pain in emergency rooms of hospitals. They looked at over 400 people who came to two different emergency rooms in the Bronx for strains, sprains, or fractures. Then, they randomly assigned either non opioid painkillers — a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol) — or one of three variations of opioid-based pain killers to the subjects.

After two hours, the doctors asked the subjects to rate their pain on an 11-point scale and compared the different responses. This showed that the generic pills did as much to quell pain as more advanced opioids.

This discovery is important because it could change the way doctors prescribe painkillers. Addiction is a serious problem, and it will only continue to grow unless something is done. Switching away from opioids could be a step in the right direction.

“Preventing new patients from becoming addicted to opioids may have a greater effect on the opioid epidemic than providing sustained treatment to patients already addicted,” Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medicine specialist at Northwestern University, wrote in an accompanying editorial, according to The Washington Post.


T. Rex may have used arms for slashing, study reports

Steven Stanley, a paleontologist from the University of Hawaii in Maui, has found evidence that suggests T. Rex used its short arms to slash and rend prey.

Though T. Rex’s short arms are an iconic part of the large dinosaur, scientists have never been able to agree on what they were used for. Some believe the animals used them to grasp prey, while others think the arms could have helped the massive beasts push themselves up off the ground or mate.

However, in the new study, Stanley found evidence that the ancient reptiles used their claws for close-contact slashing in the same way as other, smaller species, Tech Times reports. He believes T. Rex would have mounted their prey, grasped it, and then slashed out repeatedly with their arms.

He came to this conclusion by looking at fossilized arm bones. That analysis showed that, not only were T Rex’s arms strong, but they also had ball-and-socket joints that allowed them to move in different directions. Such features suggest the arms had a great amount of mobility and were likely used quite a bit.

In addition, T. Rex also lost one of its three claws throughout evolution. That change would have made the remaining two claws stronger, and given them more powerful slashing ability.

“Its short, strong forelimbs and large claws would have permitted T. rex, whether mounted on a victim’s back or grasping it with its jaws, to inflict four gashes a meter [three feet] or more long and several centimeters [more than an inch] deep within a few seconds,” explained Stanley, according to National Geographic. “And it could have repeated this multiple times in rapid succession.”

While the study does give ample evidence that T. Rex slashed with its claws, many paleontologists are still skeptical of the data. They believe that the arms were simply too short to reach prey, and that jaws would have been a more effective way to attack.

Even so, the skeptics also state that it is possible T. Rex’s forearms were bigger before it shrunk down during the course of evolution. However, more research is needed before such claims can be made.

“Infliction of damage by slashing was widespread among other theropod taxa,” added Stanley, according to Science Alert“So in light of its formidable weaponry, why should T. rex not have engaged in this activity?”


Gut bacteria could help cancer patients respond to certain drugs

Cancer patients with high levels of good gut bacteria may be more likely to respond to immunotherapy in a positive way than those who have low levels of such microbes.

This finding, which comes from researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, could be important for future research. It is also one of the latest examples of the significance of the microbiome — the community of microbes living inside the human body — and suggests that patients may one day be told to actively nurture their good bacteria when taking PD-1 drugs for serious diseases.

“You can change your microbiome, it’s really not that difficult, so we think these findings open up huge new opportunities,” explained study author Jennifer Wargo, a researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to Reuters.

Manipulating the microbiome is fairly simple. You just need to change your diet, avoid antibiotics, or take probiotics. Such alterations could be key in aiding future studies because positive bacteria help prime immune cells for PD-1 drugs.

Currently, only 20 to 30 percent of patients respond to new wave cancer medication. As a result of that low number, researchers have tried to find better ways of identifying people that could benefit from groundbreaking treatments. The new information laid out in the study could be a way to make that happen.

This research builds on past trials conducted in 2015 that looked at the connection between immunotherapy drug responses and the gut bacteria in mice. The team hopes to further such studies by next running a clinical trial to test the benefits of combining immunotherapy with microbiome modulation. That process could open up new ways to use modern medicines that, while highly effective, only work in certain patients.

“Our hypothesis is if we change to a more favorable microbiome, you just may be able to make patients respond better,” added Wargo, according to BBC News. “The microbiome is game-changing, not just cancer but for overall health, it’s definitely going to be a major player.”

The findings are detailed in a pair of scientific papers published in the journal Science.


Sea slug species uses never-before-seen type of predation

A sea slug species that lives near the bottom of the ocean has shed light on a brand new hunting technique, known as kleptopredation.

Typically, nudibranchs — a family of colorful sea slugs — feast on a coral-like super organisms known as hydroid colonies. Such colonies are made up of a wide collection of individual polyps that capture and eat both plankton and small crustaceans.

In the study, a group of researchers from the University of Portsmouth discovered that, despite common belief, the slugs do not eat randomly. Rather, they prefer to prey on polyps that have recently consumed a large meal. That then allows them to both feast on the polyp and the food that polyp just are. 

“Effectively we have a sea slug living near the bottom of the ocean that is using another species as a fishing rod to provide access to plankton that it otherwise wouldn’t have,” explained lead author Trevor Willis, a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, according to UPI.

This type of predation is completely unique and has never been recorded before. Some species show kleptoparasitic behavior — when one species takes food killed by another — but that is not directly stealing food through consumption. In this case, the predator is eating both its own prey and the prey that animal had captured.

Researchers first found this behavior during a study aimed to look at the consumption patterns of nudibranchs. As they only eat one organism, the team worried the slugs might eat their way out of existence by depleting their only source of nutrients.

However, the study shows that hydroid polyps only make up a small percentage of the sea slug’s diet. Nudibranchs mostly eat zooplankton, which they get through consuming hydroid polyps.

These findings could lead to a new understanding of sea slugs and shed new light on animal behavior. Though this predation has only been noted in nudibranchs, there is a chance other species employ it as well.

“This is very exciting, we have some great results here that rewrite the text book on the way these creatures forage and interact with their environment,” added Willis, in a statement.

The new research is detailed in the journal Biology Letters.


CO2 concentrations are higher than ever, study reports

CO2 concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere reached record highs throughout 2016, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

While CO2 has been steadily on the rise throughout the past decade, last year’s increase was roughly 50 percent higher than the average of the past 10 years. Researchers believe that sudden spike could not only trigger further climate shifts, but it could also make most global temperature targets unattainable.

The team gathered this new information by looking at climate measurements taken from 51 different countries. That revealed, in 2016, average concentrations of CO2 hit 403.3 parts per million (ppm), a jump from the 400 parts per million noted in 2015.

“It is the largest increase we have ever seen in the 30 years we have had this network,” said Oksana Tarasova, chief of WMO’s global atmosphere watch program, told BBC News. “The largest increase was in the previous El Niño, in 1997-1998, and it was 2.7ppm; and now it is 3.3ppm. It is also 50% higher than the average of the last 10 years.”

El Niño affects carbon levels by causing droughts that limit the uptake of CO2 by plants and trees. As a result, while emissions from human sources have slowed down over the past few years, the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere has remained high. That is concerning because such levels could lead to both ecological and economic disruptions.

The last time the Earth experienced such high amounts of CO2 was three to five million years ago during the mid-Pliocene Epoch. At that time, the climate was 2 to 3 Celsius warmer, and sea levels were 32 to 65 feet higher.

Not only are the CO2 levels in the report concerning, but scientists also discovered that atmospheric methane levels — which were also larger than the average over the past 10 years — are on the rise as well. That is cause for worry because methane tends to drive up temperatures, which in turn releases more methane from natural sources.

The new findings are important because they show the agreement reached at the Paris climate accord might be reaching too low. Something needs to be done to curb the rising emissions, and if the problem is not resolved things will only get worse. 

“The numbers don’t lie. We are still emitting far too much and this needs to be reversed,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, according to CNN. “We have many of the solutions already to address this challenge. What we need now is global political will and a new sense of urgency.”


Robotic “bees” are able dive in and out water, study reports

A group of scientists from Harvard University have developed a robotic “bee” that can fly, swim underwater, and then move back up into the air.

The machine — which is apart of the latest generation of so-called RoboBees — is a big breakthrough. Not only can it do things past models were not capable of, but it is 1,000 times lighter than any previous aerial-to-aquatic robot.

“This is the first microrobot capable of repeatedly moving in and through complex environments,” explained lead author Yufeng Chen, a researcher at Harvard University, according to International Business Times. “We designed new mechanisms that allow the vehicle to directly transition from water to air, something that is beyond what nature can achieve in the insect world.”

While the new design is effective, creating a robot that can move in and out of water is not easy. That is because water is 1,000 times more dense than air, which means the machine need to flap their wings at different speeds depending on which medium they are in. If they flap too slowly they will not be able to fly, but if their wings move too fast they will break while submerged. 

In the study, the team used a combination of computer modelling and experimental data to get the robots to flap their wings between 9 and 13 hertz in water and 220 to 300 hertz in in the air.

Once that problem was solved, they next needed to design the machines in a way that would allow them to dive into water and bring themselves back out.

Past studies have shown that a powerful impact and sharp objects can help machines pierce through the surface of water. However, moving from the liquid — which has a surface tension that is more than 10 times the weight of the robot and three times its maximum lift — is a much more difficult process.

To overcome that, scientists fitted the RoboBee with four flotation devices and a special gas chamber filled with combustible fuel. The flotation devices first push the robot up to the surface so that its wings are out of water, and from there a spark ignites the gas to move it out the rest of the way. 

“Because the RoboBee has a limited payload capacity, it cannot carry its own fuel, so we had to come up with a creative solution to exploit resources from the environment,” said study co-author Elizabeth Helbling, a researcher at Harvard University, according to Tech Radar. “Surface tension is something that we have to overcome to get out of the water, but is also a tool that we can utilize during the gas collection process.”

This new design allows the devices to lift more than three times the amount of past models. That enables them to carry the gas chamber, the sparker, and buoyant outriggers. While they are still in early testing, the team hopes the machines will have a wide range of applications across different fields. Not only could they be used for search-and-rescue operations, but they could aid environmental monitoring and biological studies as well.

The study is outlined in the journal Science Robotics.


Fossils reveal the bizarre structure of Earth’s early trees

Earth’s first trees had hundreds of tree-like structures inside of them, making them much more complex than modern species.

This new discovery comes from a team of international researchers who found fossils of 374-million-year-old trees in northwest China during both 2012 and 2015. The fossils belonged to a group of trees known as cladoxylopsids, which existed from the Middle Devonian to the Early Carboniferous periods 390 to 320 million years ago.

The team analyzed the remains and found that the ancient plants had an interconnected mesh of woody strands inside them. While other cladoxylopsids have been discovered in the past, none of them were detailed enough to give an accurate picture of their anatomy. The ones in the new study were preserved in a volcanic environment, which provided researchers with a clear picture.

Scientists found the new species, known as Xinicaulis lignescens, had hundreds of xylem — woody tubes that carry water from the roots of the tree to its branches and leaves — inside of it. Some modern trees have a xylem that travels up the center of the trunk, while others have ones that are embedded in a spongy tissue throughout the trunk.

X. lignescens differs from both of those examples because its strands sat on the outside of the tree, leaving the middle of the trunk hollow. In addition, the xylem were connected to one another with a web of supportive strands that each had its own set of growth rings. As the rings grew, the tree got fatter over time. That process would eventually break the tree apart, and then it would repair itself.

“What you see, basically, is the way that each individual strand is growing, and the fact that it’s slowly ripping itself apart but repairing itself at the same time,” said study co-author Christopher Berry, a senior lecturer of paleobotany at Cardiff University, according to Live Science “That’s the key to how this thing grew. It’s just incredibly complex.”

The team plans to follow up on the study to learn more about Earth’s early trees. They hope to figure out how they affected our planet’s early climate and see how much carbon they captured from the atmosphere.

“It’s widely thought early trees and early plants played a significant role in shaping the system of the Earth we are used to having,” Berry said, according to Seeker.

This study is detailed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Corrosion led to fatal Ohio State Fair accident

The manufacturer of the Fire Ball ride that broke apart and caused the death of a teenager at the Ohio State Fair in July says that excessive corrosion led to the deadly mishap.

The interior of the ride’s support beam was worn away by corrosion, KMG International said in a statement, as reported by ABC News. The company made this determination after conducting an investigation into the accident, including a visit to the scene, an analysis of video footage of the incident, and a metallurgical inspection.

Jarrell died of blunt force trauma to his head and body, according to Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz. Seven others were injured and have been identified as: Tamika Dunlap, 36; Russell Franks, 42; Jacob Andrews, 22; Keziah Lewis, 19; Abdihakim Hussein, 19; and Jennifer Lambert, 18. A 14-year-old boy also was hurt, but officials have not released his name.

Concerns for safety caused similar rides across the country to shut down operations.

“As the investigation into the cause of this accident continues, the Indiana State Fair and North American Midway Entertainment have made the decision to not operate the Fireball at the 2017 Indiana State Fair.”

North American Midway Entertainment, which does not provide rides for the Ohio State Fair, said in a statement last week that it “will keep all our Fire Ball rides closed until further notice from the manufacturer for precautionary safety measures.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said 22 deaths involving amusement rides have occurred since 2010, according to the ABC News report. Nearly 31,000 injuries treated at emergency rooms in 2016 were “associated with amusement attractions,” the Commission estimates.

NONE NWT_Environment SCI Science

Sperm counts way down in Western males, study finds

Scientists who looked at sperm counts of men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand find that sperm count and sperm concentration have sharply declined over about a 40-year period.

The study is published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

Researchers led by Dr. Hagai Levine at Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined nearly 43,000 semen samples from male participants from some 50 different industrialized countries who provided samples between 1973 and 2011.

The international team of scientists report an overall decline of 52.4 percent in sperm concentration — an average decline of 1.4 percent per year. Sperm count plummeted 59.3 percent, or 1.6 percent per year.

“The extent of the decline is a heartache,” said Levine, in a report by CNN. “It’s hard to believe — it’s hard to believe for me.”

While Levine stressed that his study did not look at what caused the declines in sperm viability, his and other previous studies show that fetal exposure to certain commonly used chemicals can disrupt the male reproductive system.

Some, like Prof. Michael Dourson at the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, suspect obesity may be contributing to the downward trend.

“The impact of the modern environment on health of populations and individuals is clearly huge, but remains largely unknown,” said Levine. “Sperm count has previously been plausibly associated with environmental and lifestyle influences, including prenatal chemical exposure, adult pesticide exposure, smoking, stress and obesity. Every man can reduce exposure to chemicals, avoid smoking, keep balanced diet and weight and reduce stress.”