Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998. The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors, unable to come together at the tips. Others curved up or down like crossed sickles. Handel, a U.S. Geological Survey bird specialist, was sure the cause of avian keratin disorder would be found quickly: contaminated birdseed, a poison targeting spruce bark beetles, maybe some sort of bacterium or fungus. Years went by. She found herself losing sleep over a mysterious ailment afflicting 6.5 percent of south-central Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent
Telling little fibs leads down a slippery slope to bigger lies — and our brains adapt to escalating dishonesty, which makes deceit easier, a new study shows. Neuroscientists at the University College London's Affective Brain Lab put 80 people in scenarios where they could repeatedly lie and get paid more based on the magnitude of their lies. The researchers then used brain scans to show that our mind's emotional hot spot — the amygdala — becomes desensitized or used to the growing dishonesty, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
On Sunday evening, Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul and nerd hero behind Tesla Motors, hosted a special two-hour Q&A session on Reddit. The AMA, which lasted roughly two hours, was intended as a supplement to the presentation he gave on during last month’s International Astronautical Congress. Which, in turn, meant questions were limited to the fledgling commercial rocket program, and Interplanetary Transport System, not Musk's electric car company or recently consolidated renewable energy firm, SolarCity.
Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. The gender effect is a hot topic in autism research and one that could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating a condition that affects at least 1 in 68 U.S. children.
Gordon Hamilton, a prominent climate scientist who studied Earth's melting ice sheets, died Saturday, when his snowmobile went into a crevasse in Antarctica, according to the National Science Foundation. He was 50 years old. Hamilton was a researcher with the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program studying the stability of the ice shelves near McMurdo Station, a research center on Ross Island, 2,500 miles south of New Zealand. He and his team were camped in a heavily-crevassed area known as the McMurdo shear zone, where the Ross and McMurdo ice shelves meet. Three miles wide and more than 125 miles long, this perilous zone bisects the compacted snow road to the station. The ice there is hundreds
The European Space Agency's spacecraft's primary mission was to demonstrate how well its cutting-edge landing system would deal with the treacherous descent to the Martian surface. The Schiaparelli probe had a parachute, an advanced landing computer, and thrusters for slowing the descent onboard. But as the probe left for the surface, something went wrong. The ESA lost contact with Schiaparelli, and later images from a NASA orbiter revealed a dark impact crater and a parachute in the area where the probe was supposed to land. The ESA's ExoMars team is still analyzing what happened to the probe. As they study the crash, they are becoming more convinced that the advanced hardware of the probe wasn't
US billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates urged Britain on Wednesday to step up investment in science and research as it prepares to leave the EU. Gates pledged to continue his own investment in British research and innovation, despite economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit, but said government support was vital to fight global pandemics such as the Zika virus. "As the UK seeks to negotiate its exit from the EU, it is critical that the government steps up its investments in science and innovation if we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow -- and grow the UK's economy," he said.
Russia is claiming that the Afghanit active protection system (APS) mounted on Moscow’s powerful new T-14 Armata main battle tanks has been proven effective at intercepting depleted uranium-core armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) cannon shells. If Moscow’s claims are accurate, the new Russian active protection system would be a game-changing development in the realm of mechanized warfare. While active protection systems were thought to be effective mostly against incoming anti-tank missiles and rocket propelled grenades, most industry and defense experts had believed that active protection systems were ineffective against kinetic energy (KE) round such as the U.S. Army’s M829A4 120mm APFSDS.
At engineering schools throughout the world, professors are turning to virtual reality technology in the classroom. The technology provides 3-D visuals that help engineering students improve their designs, alerting them to flaws before the building process starts . Engineering schools are researching technologies that could transform the way people communicate and interact by -- for instance -- allowing people to visit one another in a virtual space if they can't meet in person.
An appeals court panel on Monday ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals threatened by sea ice loss. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reverses a lower court ruling that found the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service was improper. At issue was whether the fisheries service can protect species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act when it determines that a currently non-endangered species will lose habitat due to climate change in coming decades.
The national group last week unveiled a new set of guidelines that allow for certain types of media use by younger children and set broader parameters for older kids to keep them well-rested, physically active and socially engaged. "Parents can set expectations and boundaries to make sure their children's media experience is a positive one," she said. The AAP's recommendations were published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics.
A satellite image showing peculiar hexagonal clouds over the ocean area known as the Bermuda Triangle is prompting speculation about whether they may represent a recurring phenomenon responsible for decades of unexplained disappearances in the region. The photo appeared in the Science Channel's "What on Earth"? According to the Science Channel, similar cloud formations in the North Sea near the U.K. have been associated with so-called "air bombs" — powerful downdrafts of air that could overpower and destroy ships and airplanes.
The third-largest earthquake in Oklahoma was likely triggered by underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production, the U.S. Geological Survey found in a report issued Monday. The magnitude 5.1 quake that struck northwest of Fairview in February was likely induced by distant disposal wells, the agency said. The USGS report indicated that in the area around where the Fairview quake occurred, the volume of fluid injected had increased sevenfold over three years.
Assuming you don’t get caught, taking the first step toward dishonesty can cause you to be more and more dishonest when similar opportunities present themselves in the future. In an experiment we carried out with colleagues Stephanie Lazzaro and Dan Ariely—published in Nature Neuroscience—we gave 80 people the opportunity to lie again and again on a financial task in order to gain money at another person’s expense. This escalation of dishonesty was observed only when participants lied for their own benefit, not when they did so solely for the benefit of others. Outside the laboratory, there are many reasons for why dishonesty may escalate—incentives may become larger or past lies might need to be covered up.
Within the fields of history and journalism, the use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has greatly changed the way we visualize, understand, and analyze racial bias within the United States and the globe. Maps have always been a way that we were able to conceptualize the topography of our universe, and now the use of GIS has given us more insight into the inequality embedded in our country than ever before. Below are just a few of the projects working to use spatial analysis in order to reveal the historical and current prejudices that people of color face every day. 5. Lynching Maps And The Equal Justice Initiative In 2015, the New York Times profiled the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI)
Famed billionaire and wannabe space cadet Elon Musk took to Reddit to do a surprise AMA yesterday. It was supposed to be a follow-up to SpaceX's recent announcement about how it plans to return Elon Musk to his place of birth, and also create a permanent Mars colony along the way. Given that Musk insisted questions stick on the topic of SpaceX and its recent announcement, much of the conversation was centered around highly technical details.
The United States and China appear to be keeping an unusually low profile as they push for more dialogue and cooperation on space exploration. The State Department hosted a new round of space cooperation talks in Washington last week with a delegation led by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), but U.S. officials didn’t publicly announce the meeting until Monday, via a tersely worded press release that said a third round of civil space dialogue would be held in China next year. CNSA has yet to make any public mention of the talks, which included Pentagon officials and representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998.The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors
A man in Maryland died just days after he developed a rare infection from a type of flesh-eating bacteria that live in ocean water. The man, Michael Funk, 67, had a cut on his leg that came into contact with the salty water in a bay near his home in Ocean City, according to Nature World News. The cut allowed a type of bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus to enter his bloodstream.
The European Union adopted a plan to keep a leading place in the increasingly competitive global space industry by encouraging companies to make use of its cutting-edge satellite data set to become indispensable in areas from producing driverless cars to monitoring climate change. The European Commission, the regulatory arm of the 28-nation EU, wants to promote the creation of industrial space hubs and help start-ups gain a foothold in the region’s space industry. The Space Strategy for Europe also highlights the need for the region to develop autonomous access to space through building its own launchers.
Few regions of the world are as unstable in the face of advancing climate change as frozen West Antarctica, where rapidly melting glaciers have scientists on edge about the potential for huge amounts of future sea-level rise. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the most rapid ice losses observed in the region in the past 15 years - and it supports a growing scientific belief that warm ocean water is behind the melting. "[The study] seems to provide a strong piece of evidence to support a general hypothesis about what's happening in the Amundsen Sea," said Ala Khazendar , a polar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the new paper's lead author. Much of the focus on West Antarctica
SALISBURY, Md. — Frank Turano stalks among clumps of leafy sugar beet plants in a field about the size of a tennis court. He is on the hunt for flaws and having an easy time of it. He presses his fingertips into a mushy beet half-buried in the mud and suffering from root rot. A few paces away, he folds open a leaf on a stunted specimen to reveal a plague of dark spots, a tell-tale sign of a fungus called cercospora. "As a breeder, I like that," Turano says. "That's our competition." The beet plants bred by his company, meanwhile, appear to be largely free of disease. And they're producing tubers up to twice the size of the commercial varieties growing in the same rows. Turano, the head scientist
Government support and lower costs will power stronger-than-expected global growth in renewable energy over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday. After a record 2015, global renewable electricity capacity will grow by 825 gigawatts by 2021, a massive 42-percent rise, the IEA said. The IEA has been criticised in some quarters for being over-cautious about renewables.
Post written byVincent Ialenti and Annie Tomlinson The authors are National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellows and PhD students at Cornell University. Nuclear technologies have long evoked grand images—from billowing mushroom clouds to massive concrete cooling towers looming above nuclear power plants. This bigness has been engrained in our very language. A person can, for example, take the “nuclear option” – the most extreme course of action – when making a difficult decision. In anger, a person might “go nuclear,” exploding into rage. In many ways, nuclear technologies earned their reputations for their huge scale. Since the 1950s, the size of nuclear power reactors has grown from