In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree. The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. Scientists say they already are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage — and the situation is expected to worsen. "They
When scientists are trying to figure out how to live in near-isolation in a dome to simulate a Mars mission, the last thing they'll need is an ill-fitting space suit. So one of the nation's top design schools has come to the rescue. Staff members and students at the Rhode Island School of Design have come up with a new, adjustable suit that closely resembles an actual space suit. Real space suits are designed to work in zero gravity, meaning they're too expensive and too heavy to use at the NASA-funded Mars simulation mission in Hawaii. The simulated space suits that are used instead wear out quickly and aren't all that comfortable. They're small and provide poor ventilation. The new suit, unveiled
On July 4, 2014, Shawnnon Hale sat in a Denver area bar, drinking with a group of friends. Little did he know that day would lead him to file a lawsuit against two crime lab investigators two years later. At one point that Independence Day, one of his friends, accompanied by a woman, joined the group. Hale had never met the woman before; none of them had. Nonetheless, she invited the whole group to the rooftop of her apartment complex to watch fireworks explode over the Denver skyline. There, everyone milled around, smoking cigarettes, drinking and talking. “I had never met her,” Hale said. “We went there; everyone was talking and drinking; everyone was having a good time watching the fireworks.”
Some rain fell in southern Madagascar last week, a rare piece of good news for a drought-hit region where nearly 1 million people face severe hunger because of failed harvests. Farmers in the south started some seed-planting because of the recent rainfall, but those seeds could be wasted if there is no more rain to help crops grow, Joshua Poole, the Madagascar representative for Catholic Relief Services, said Tuesday. Many households in southern Madagascar are begging and selling land and belongings to survive, according to the U.N. World Food Programme.
An agile jumping robot that was inspired by some of the animal world's best leapers could one day help in rescue efforts after earthquakes or building collapses, US scientists said Tuesday. Known as Salto, the 10-inch (26-centimeter) tall robot can jump higher than a bullfrog and almost as high as a galago, or bush baby, a small primate found in Africa. Salto does hold the crown in vertical-jumping agility, which researchers define as the ratio of the maximum jump height to the time it takes to complete one jump.
EXPOSITION PARK – Academic colleagues of Bosco Tjan, a USC professor of psychology stabbed to death last week allegedly by a graduate student, pondered Monday what they can do to identify troubled students and to protect themselves. Their concerns arose as hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered on the campus to remember the slain educator. “We are facing uncertainty each and every day,” said Ming Huang, 60, a professor of computer science. “Students come from all walks of life. And you never know.” Huang recommended engaging students prone to isolating themselves. “I would pay more attention to not only knowing the students,” he said, “but making sure that the student is in good connection
A woman in England was rushed to an emergency room with life-threatening symptoms after she mistakenly used the leaves of a poisonous plant to make an herbal tea, according to a new report of her case. The plant that the woman used to make the tea, called foxglove, contains potentially harmful compounds that act on proteins called ion channels in heart cells, and can cause a person's heart rate to slow down, said the lead author of the report, Dr. Mathew Kurian Vithayathil, a doctor at the King’s College Hospital in London, who treated the woman. The woman came to the emergency department in April 2016, Vithayathil told Live Science.
A Russian surface-to-air missile crashed back to Earth when its rocket motor failed to ignite, starting a fire that damaged the launcher system. The incident was caught on video by a Russian Army missile crewman. According to the video description, the incident took place at the Ashuluk Firing Range, a missile base in southwestern Russia. The S-300 transporter/erector/launcher vehicle is parked behind a berm, and the cameraman appears to be filming from a nearby vehicle, possibly a MAZ-543 8x8 tractor. The missile is expelled from the launch tube, but the solid rocket fuel engine fails to ignite. The S-300 missile falls back to Earth and crashes to the ground, whereupon the rocket fuel begin
Indonesia has extended legal protection for its wetlands and peat bogs by expanding a ban on the conversion of these carbon-rich swamps into plantations. The move, if properly enforced, could drastically reduce Indonesia's sizeable carbon footprint and prevent a repeat of the annual forest fires that plague the region, conservationists say. A moratorium on new conversions of certain peatland areas has been in place since 2011 in Indonesia.
SpaceX plans to launch several Iridium communications satellites in early January, delaying its return to flight after a Sept. 1 fireball destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket on a Florida launch pad. SpaceX is completing “the final steps necessary to safely and reliably return to flight,” according to a posting Wednesday on the company’s website. Iridium had said in a Dec. 1 statement that the launch would be Dec. 16, contingent on U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval of SpaceX resuming flights.
A 14th-century mass burial pit full of victims of the Black Death has been discovered at the site of a medieval monastery hospital, according to archaeologists. Researchers uncovered 48 skeletons — 27 of which were children — at an “extremely rare” Black Death burial site in Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom, they said. DNA testing of teeth that were uncovered at the site revealed the existence of plague bacteria, the scientists said. The presence of such a large burial site suggests that the community was overwhelmed by the number of victims of the Black Death, said lead archaeologist Hugh Willmott, a senior lecturer in European historical archaeology at the University of Sheffield. A mass
Increasing temperature "North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable," Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, told CNN. "That will string from Morocco all the way through to Saudi Arabia," he said. Sudan's temperature is expected to increase significantly. By 2060, it's projected to rise between 1.1 °C and 3.1 °C. As a result of hotter climate and erratic rainfall, much of Sudan has become progressively unsuitable for agriculture and villages. Irregular rain has ruined crops and the country is experiencing both droughts and floods -- making arable land
By Andrew Mambondiyani MPUDZI, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After a year of paralyzing El Nino-induced drought, Zimbabwe’s farmers have been relieved to receive substantial rain in recent weeks, with normal to above-normal rainfall predicted for the new growing season. “My cattle survived the drought but they do not have the strength to pull a plough. In this part of Zimbabwe farmers have five-hectare (12-acre) plots, but without animals to draw the ploughs, many have reduced the area under crops this season.
Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to team-up to form joint database of 'digital fingerprints' of terrorists
Asian countries dominated the top places in a key survey released Tuesday of high-school skills, but the report criticised science teaching in many countries. The PISA survey of 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies found that the quality of science lessons was more important than equipment or even staffing levels. Singapore came top of the table for its teaching of science, reading and mathematics.
There is an upside to aging: Older Americans tend to be happier, according to a new poll. In the poll, from Gallup-Healthways, older adults in the United States scored higher on a survey of well-being than did their younger counterparts. On average, adults ages 55 and older scored 63.6 out of 100 on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in 2015, which is 3 points higher than the average score of adults younger than 55, Gallup-Healthways said.
NASA's Cassini mission has captured new imagery of the the unusual cloud pattern in the planet's northern hemisphere. The camera filters used by the spacecraft are "sensitive to violet (420 nanometers), red (648 nanometers), near-infrared (728 nanometers) and infrared (939 nanometers) light," according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Space.com added colors to part of the video to match the music. Take a long look at the views
Citizens of Earth, get out your calendars: June 30, 2017 will be International Asteroid Day, the United Nations proclaimed on Wednesday. The United Nations said that the point of International Asteroid Day is to “raise public awareness of the asteroid impact hazard”-- in other words, to work towards making sure that we all don’t perish during a cataclysmic space rock impact. In the United States at least, NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office takes the lead on keeping track of objects that could hit Earth as well as helping to figure out what to do if they were to detect such a threat. Part of that is the Near Earth Object Program, which in late October announced that they are now keeping track of a multitude of rocks: over 15,000 near-Earth asteroids.
DST Global founder Yuri Milner joins Bloomberg's Emily Chang from the fifth annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Silicon Valley. More from Bloomberg.comTrump Slams Boeing Air Force One With
Paris was smothered Wednesday by its worst winter pollution in a decade, with commuters enjoying free public transport and half of all cars ordered off the road to try to clear the air. The surge in pollution has been driven by cold weather and near windless conditions that have trapped exhaust fumes, smoke from wood fires and other pollutants, according to the French capital's AirParif air monitoring service. Although bad by Paris standards, current levels of fine airborne particles, or PM10, are around 60 percent of those in Beijing and a fraction of readings in New Delhi, the world's most polluted capital.
Google will power 100 percent of its sprawling data centers and offices with renewable energy starting next year. The tech giant on Tuesday said it had bought enough wind and solar power to account for all the electricity it uses globally each year. Last year, just 44 percent of Google's power supplies came from renewables, the company said.
Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake, as the technology promises commercial applications in treating genetic diseases, engineering crops, and other areas. CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace them with new stretches of DNA. It will pit one group of researchers associated with the Broad Institute, affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, against another group linked to the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Vienna in Austria.
Today, the United Launch Alliance is set to launch one of its Delta IV rockets — the bigger sibling to the company’s more prolific Atlas V. The vehicle is tasked with carrying a communication satellite into a super high orbit for the US Air Force. The Boeing-built satellite is the eighth of the military’s Wideband Global SATCOM constellation — a series of probes that together provide extremely high-bandwidth communication. In order to provide this capability, today’s satellite, called WS-8, is meant to orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth’s equator. Getting to a high orbit requires some extra power, though today’s Delta IV rocket isn’t the most powerful version of the vehicle that ULA has. That
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Technology and modern medicine has brought us a long way in the last hundred years. Women’s health has come leaps and bounds as well. In fact, according to scientists, Cesarian births are affecting human evolution.