Science

  • Rhode Island School of Design Works With NASA on Mars Suit
    ABC News

    Rhode Island School of Design Works With NASA on Mars Suit

    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

  • The Latest: Thousands deployed in quake rescue effort
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Thousands deployed in quake rescue effort

    Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says several thousand rescuers are being deployed to quake hit areas in Aceh including hundreds of soldiers. "They'll be our eyes and ears on the ground and be able to give us a much clearer picture of what the needs are," says IOM disaster preparedness project manager Peter Kern. Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says the death toll from the Aceh earthquake, currently at 54, could continue to rise as people are believed trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings.

  • Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey
    AFP

    Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey

    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.

  • Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on
    AFP

    Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on

    Seventy-five years after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans, a group of forensic scientists in Hawaii is still working to identify the remains of the dead. A jumble of skulls, bones and teeth deemed unidentifiable in the years following the devastating attack are now being linked to missing sailors and Marines, thanks to advances in DNA testing. The Pentagon last year ordered the exhumation of remains belonging to 388 Americans who were killed aboard the USS Oklahoma, an enormous battleship that took multiple torpedo hits and keeled over in her Pearl Harbor berth, trapping hundreds of men inside.

  • Whoops! This Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Couldn't Quite Get In the Air
    Popular Mechanics

    Whoops! This Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Couldn't Quite Get In the Air

    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

  • Associated Press

    Southern Madagascar to suffer drought impact into 2017

    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.

  • University of Southern California faculty express safety concerns following professor’s stabbing death
    MercuryNews.com

    University of Southern California faculty express safety concerns following professor’s stabbing death

    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

  • What You Need to Know About Bird Flu
    Consumer Reports

    What You Need to Know About Bird Flu

    What Is Bird Flu and Does It Differ From Seasonal Flu? There are many different subtypes of bird flu, and they mutate frequently and swap genes with one another. Unlike seasonal flu, bird flu does not readily infect humans or spread easily from one person to another.

  • Black Death "plague pit" with 48 skeletons is "extremely rare" find
    CBS News

    Black Death "plague pit" with 48 skeletons is "extremely rare" find

    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

  • This is not normal, people: Arctic and Antarctic hit record low sea ice
    Mashable

    This is not normal, people: Arctic and Antarctic hit record low sea ice

    Freakishly high air and ocean temperatures during November caused sea ice to trail far behind typical levels, with sea ice extent ending the month at a record low. During part of the month, sea ice actually declined when it would normally be growing with the arrival of the polar winter.

  • It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head
    Hello Giggles

    It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head

    Your family also loves anchovy pizza—growing up, that’s all you ever ordered. You want to celebrate your team’s recent accomplishments, so you order something they’ll surely love: anchovy pizza. The false-consensus effect is a cognitive bias that was coined by researcher Lee Ross and his colleagues in 1976.

  • Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris
    AFP

    Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris

    Authorities in Russia's Siberian region of Tuva on Monday were examining several pieces of the Progress cargo spaceship found after it crashed last week having failed to reach orbit. Two pieces, including a large spherical object, were found by herders over the weekend, while another was discovered in the courtyard of a residential house on Monday, said the region's head Sholban Karaa-ool, warning people not to touch any metal debris. Regional sanitation officials "inspected the spot where two pieces of the spacecraft were found in the Ulug-Khem district, on the side of the mountain and near a yurt," Kara-ool said on his official website.

  • Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump
    AFP

    Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump

    Native Americans and their supporters expressed cautious optimism Monday after the US Army nixed plans for a controversial oil pipeline crossing in North Dakota, with many fearing their victory could be short lived. While the decision marks a win for the months-long protest movement that stood its ground even as the freezing winter set in, it could be undone when Donald Trump moves into the White House in January if his administration chooses to grant the pipeline the final permit it needs. "There are still some remaining questions," said Dallas Goldtooth, one of the leaders of the protest camp in the North Dakota plains, where thousands have camped to block the planned route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires
    Associated Press

    Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires

    Indonesia has strengthened its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations in a move a conservation research group says will help prevent annual fires and substantially cut the country's carbon emissions if properly implemented. Indonesia's move was welcomed by Norway, which in 2010 pledged $1 billion to help the country stop cutting down its prized tropical forests but has released little of it. As a result of the expanded regulation, Norway said it would give $25 million to Indonesia to fund restoration of drained peatlands and another $25 million once an enforcement and monitoring plan is ready.

  • Indian X Prize team secures launch contract with ISRO
    Fox News

    Indian X Prize team secures launch contract with ISRO

    TeamIndus, an Indian team competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, announced Dec. 1 it has a launch contract for its lunar lander mission with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The contract, which has been verified by the X Prize Foundation , is for the dedicated launch of TeamIndus' lander and rover on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) planned for December 2017. As currently planned, the PSLV will place the TeamIndus spacecraft into an elliptical transfer orbit around the Earth of 880 by 70,000 kilometers. The spacecraft will then slowly spiral out to the moon on a 21-day transit before landing in the Mare Imbrium region of the moon, the same general region where China's first

  • Reuters

    U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on gene-editing technology

    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.

  • Reel Big: 112-Pound Catfish Caught in North Carolina
    LiveScience.com

    Reel Big: 112-Pound Catfish Caught in North Carolina

    A gigantic, 112-lb. (50 kilograms) catfish was reeled in by a North Carolina man the day before Thanksgiving, according to local news reports. The man, Riahn Brewington, caught the massive fish in the northeast section of Cape Fear River in North Carolina, local ABC affiliate WWAY reported. Brewington said he could tell the catch was big, but he had only a 10-lb. (4.5 kg) line on his fishing rod.

  • The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed
    Mashable

    The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed

    A brand new satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth's surface has just opened its eyes. The details in the new photo are impressive, especially considering that the image was taken from 617 kilometers, or about 383 miles, above the planet.

  • Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms
    International Business Times

    Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms

    Both Google and OpenAI announced plans to open-source their deep learning code Monday. Elon Musk’s OpenAI released Universe, a software platform for measuring and training an AI’s general intelligence across games, websites and other applications. DeepMind may have defeated a world champion at the difficult game Go, but to advance its learning further, Alphabet says that AI agents require more detailed environments to help with AI research.

  • Mammoth fossils found at site of L.A. subway dig
    CBS News

    Mammoth fossils found at site of L.A. subway dig

    Fossils from giant, ice age-beasts were uncovered while workers were digging an extension to the Los Angeles subway system. The finds include a 3-foot-long section of mammoth tusk, as well as a skull and partial tusks from a much younger animal, which might have been either a mammoth or a mastodon, according to The Source, a transportation blog about the L.A. Metro. The area around the site of the fossil discovery, near the La Brea/Wilshire station, is not too far from the La Brea Tar Pits, an area of central Los Angeles where natural asphalt has been seeping up from the ground for the last 40,000 years. The viscous ooze trapped small animals and insects immediately, while larger beasts like mammoths sank inches into the tar, struggling to get out before becoming stuck, researchers have noted.

  • You are your own charger — the Matrix PowerWatch powered solely by body heat
    Digital Trends

    You are your own charger — the Matrix PowerWatch powered solely by body heat

    It’s the world’s first to harnesses natural body heat to maintain a charge. “It converts heat energy to electricity,” Akram Bokai, Matrix Industries co-founder and CEO told Digital Trends. The PowerWatch relies on something called the Seebeck effect, the same scientific principle on which NASA based the Voyager spacecraft and the Mars rover Curiosity.

  • Benzinga

    Pressure Biosciences CEO On Biological Samples: It's All About How You Break Open A Cell

    “In a research lab, one of the most critical parts of scientific research is what we call sample preparation. It is absolutely critical that you are as good as you can be when you’re preparing the sample for analysis,” Pressure Biosciences Inc (OTC: PBIO)’s CEO Richard T. Schumacher told Benzinga in a recent interview. The exec went on to explain that in a single cell, there could be between 5,000 and 10,000 different proteins and as many as 1,000 different lipids, plus DNA and RNA.

  • Associated Press

    Australia considers charging power generators for pollution

    Australia will consider making electrical power companies pay for greenhouse gas pollution they create, three years after the government scrapped the national carbon tax, a Cabinet minister said Monday. The conservative government rejected all polluter-pays options in 2014 when it repealed Australia's 3-year-old carbon tax levied against the nation's biggest industrial polluters.

  • Tornado cluster sizes skyrocket, and no one knows why
    Fox News

    Tornado cluster sizes skyrocket, and no one knows why

    Tornados are behaving strangely: The number of tornado outbreaks per year is fairly constant, but the number of tornados per outbreak has skyrocketed. And scientists aren't entirely sure why. In an effort to learn more, researchers looked at meteorological factors related to tornado outbreaks , and then dug into the data to see whether these factors had changed over time, said study lead researcher Michael Tippett, an associate professor of applied physics and applied mathematics at Columbia University. The analyses did yield a result, but an unexpected one, Tippett said.  [The Top 5 Deadliest Tornado Years in US History] "The meteorological factors that are related with tornado outbreaks have