Science

  • ABC News

    SpaceX's 1st Launch Since Rocket Blast Now Bumped to January

    SpaceX's first launch since a rocket explosion at the pad has slipped to January. The company said Wednesday it needs more time. So instead of launching in mid-December, SpaceX will try in early January. SpaceX has been grounded three months since the dramatic accident, which originated in the upper stage of the Falcon rocket. The next Falcon to fly will carry 10 satellites for Iridium Communications, and launch from Southern California. The Falcon and its satellite were destroyed in the massive fireball that erupted Sept. 1 as the rocket was being fueled for a test-firing. The pad remains damaged at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX hopes to switch soon to another pad at NASA's Kennedy

  • ABC News

    Former Astronaut, US Sen. John Glenn Is Hospitalized in Ohio

    An Ohio State official says former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn has been hospitalized for more than a week. Hank Wilson with Ohio State University's John Glenn College of Public Affairs said Wednesday that the 95-year-old Glenn is at the James Cancer Hospital, but that doesn't necessarily mean he has cancer. Wilson said he didn't have other information about Glenn's condition, illness or prognosis. Glenn apologized for his poor eyesight this year at the renaming of Columbus' airport after him. He said then he'd lost some of his eyesight because of macular degeneration and a small stroke. Glenn had a heart valve replacement in 2014. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

  • The Latest: Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 102
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 102

    A spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency says the death toll from Wednesday's earthquake has risen to 102, spread across three districts in northern Aceh but concentrated in Pidie Jaya near the epicenter. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a press conference Thursday that 136 people are severely injured and more than 600 have light injuries. The death toll "probably will increase," he says, despite the agency only counting one person as officially missing.

  • SPACE.com

    Time Running Out in Congress for NASA Authorization and Other Space Bills

    WASHINGTON — As the 114th Congress winds to a close, several space-related bills seeking passage, including a NASA authorization bill, are in danger of running out of time. The top priority for Congress is passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. The CR currently funding government agencies at fiscal year 2016 levels expires Dec. 9. Appropriators are expected to introduce a new CR Dec. 6 that would continue funding the government into 2017. Originally, the new CR would extend through March, but congressional leaders said Monday it would likely run through April, giving Congress more time to finalize revised spending bills that take into account priorities of the

  • Can a Rosy Outlook Ward Off Illness?
    Scientific American

    Can a Rosy Outlook Ward Off Illness?

    In her widely celebrated 1978 book Illness as Metaphor Susan Sontag wrote that when medical experts attribute psychological causality to biological disease, they “assign to the luckless ill the ultimate responsibility both for falling ill and for getting well.” The latest salvo in the ongoing debate over the extent to which psychological factors can explain physiological outcomes comes from a study published today, which finds optimistic women are less likely to die of a variety of illnesses—from cancer to heart failure to infectious disease. Researchers from Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health turned to a 40-year survey-based study begun in 1976 of American female nurses, most of whom were white, called the “Nurses’ Health Study.” They extracted data on the women's personalities from the 2004 and 2008 surveys and compared it with mortality rates for the same women between 2006 and 2012.

  • Meet the team making history in Southeast Asia's space race
    CNBC.com

    Meet the team making history in Southeast Asia's space race

    In order to enter the next phase of the competition, Independence-X must secure a contract to launch Henry into orbit--something that only four out of the competition's sixteen teams have done. Among the four are SpaceIL from Israel--which announced last year that its lander will be hitching a ride on a Falcon 9 rocket constructed byElon Musk's SpaceX--and Moon Express from the U.S. The latter will be launching its lander on Rocket Lab's Electron vehicle, which boasts a battery-powered rocket engine printed on 3D parts. Independence-X said it has a launch provider in the pipeline and is working on finalizing the process with an intention of making an announcement in January. "I feel both worried and confident at the same time as this is the first attempt of its kind in Southeast Asia," Yamin remarked.

  • Giraffes climb 'red list' as numbers dramatically fall
    CNN

    Giraffes climb 'red list' as numbers dramatically fall

    Among bird species under threat is the African grey parrot, a popular pet, which is now classed as "Endangered" on the list because of "unsustainable trapping and habitat loss." Across animals, birds, insects, aquatic life and plants, the list now includes 85,604 species, of which 24,307 -- over a third -- are threatened with extinction. 'Silent extinction' The plunge in the number of wild giraffe prompted the group to move the animals from the "least concern" rating to "vulnerable," in the report. "Whilst giraffes are commonly seen on safari, in the media and in zoos, people -- including conservationists -- are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction," IUCN co-Chairman

  • A new underwater robot captured eerie, high-def scenes from sunken ship
    Mashable

    A new underwater robot captured eerie, high-def scenes from sunken ship

    A new type of underwater robot has made it possible to peer deep inside the USS Arizona, the sunken naval battleship that was bombed 75 years ago at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Arizona was hit four times by Japanese bombers on Dec. 7, 1941 and eventually sank. Since then, nobody has seen inside the Arizona below its second deck.

  • Trump says he only sleeps a few hours each night — and there could be a scientific reason why
    Business Insider

    Trump says he only sleeps a few hours each night — and there could be a scientific reason why

    (Reuters) President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly only needs a few hours of sleep every night.  While on the campaign trail, he said, "You know, I’m not a big sleeper. I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find

  • Background Checks May Lower School Shootings: Study
    LiveScience.com

    Background Checks May Lower School Shootings: Study

    States that require background checks before people buy guns or ammunition may have a lower chance of having a school shooting, a new study finds. Researchers found that over a three-year period, states that didn't require background checks before purchases of guns or ammunition were more likely to have a school shooting than those states that did require them, according to the study. Moreover, the researchers found that school shootings occurred less frequently in states that spent more money on mental health services, compared with states that spent less.

  • Oldest smallpox DNA discovered in 17th century child mummy
    CNN

    Oldest smallpox DNA discovered in 17th century child mummy

    Duggan added that there is a lot of uncertainty around our understanding of smallpox, including how the virus developed or when it began infecting humans. But this study is helping to establish an updated timeline of smallpox at a time when exploration, migration and colonization could have helped to spread the virus. The researchers were also able to use this timeline in conjunction with other data to identify more information about the evolution of smallpox. When Edward Jenner developed his vaccine in the 18th century that would eventually lead to its eradication, the data shows that the variola virus split into two strains. "There is some historical evidence that increasingly widespread inoculation

  • Spread by Trade and Climate, Bugs Butcher America's Forests
    ABC News

    Spread by Trade and Climate, Bugs Butcher America's Forests

    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

  • Denver man sues lab techs after spending 61 days in jail because of mixed-up DNA samples
    Washington Post

    Denver man sues lab techs after spending 61 days in jail because of mixed-up DNA samples

    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.”

  • Forbes

    John Glenn, Iconic Kennedy-era Astronaut and Former U.S. Senator, Dies At 95

    John Glenn, the small-town Ohio boy who grew up to be a military aviator, an icon of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier as the first American to orbit the earth and a four-term U.S. senator, has died at age 95. Glenn died Thursday at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, surrounded by family members, according to the Columbus Dispatch. He’d been admitted to the hospital about a week earlier, according to media reports. Tributes to the man, who’s been celebrated in literature, film and song, included praise from President Barack Obama. “With John’s passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend,” Obama said in a statement released shortly after the

  • World Vision says hundreds affected by Solomon Islands quake
    Associated Press

    World Vision says hundreds affected by Solomon Islands quake

    Hundreds of people in remote parts of the Solomon Islands have had their homes damaged or destroyed by a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck Friday, an aid organization said. There have been no deaths reported from the quake, which also caused some small tsunami waves in the Solomon Islands and other Pacific islands. Speaking from the capital Honiara, Suzy Sainovski, World Vision's Pacific Timor-Leste spokeswoman, said it has been hard to get a full assessment from some more remote communities, some of which don't have cellphone coverage.

  • Mars One just delayed its (highly unlikely) Mars mission — again
    The Verge

    Mars One just delayed its (highly unlikely) Mars mission — again

    The project has been slower to get off the ground than Mars One anticipated, Landsdorp said. Mars One has been constantly shifting its timelines since it was first announced in 2012. In 2014, two MIT graduate students released a report analyzing the plans for the Mars One colony, arguing it will take a significant amount of money and technological innovations for the project to work.

  • New app hopes to become the Tinder of air travel
    FOX News Videos

    New app hopes to become the Tinder of air travel

    Passengers can swipe right on their flight

  • Paris choked by worst winter pollution in a decade
    AFP

    Paris choked by worst winter pollution in a decade

    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.

  • Black Death 'Plague Pit' with 48 Skeletons Is 'Extremely Rare' Find
    LiveScience.com

    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. 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.

  • House of Representatives approves bill to mint coins for moon landing 50th
    Fox News

    House of Representatives approves bill to mint coins for moon landing 50th

    The United States Mint is now somewhere between a "small step" and a "giant leap" closer to striking coins for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted unanimously to pass the "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act," calling for the Mint to produce curved coins in gold, silver and clad to recognize the five decades since astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched on the first lunar landing mission. The bill (H.R.2726) was passed under a suspension of the rules used to quickly approve non-controversial bills. The act was first introduced by Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) in June 2015. "Mr. Speaker, July

  • America’s Lead in Quantum Computing Is ‘Under Siege’
    Defense One

    America’s Lead in Quantum Computing Is ‘Under Siege’

    The United States needs to invest more in quantum computing, a White House assistant director said Tuesday. While the federal government has been funding quantum research for decades—quantum refers to a computing paradigm that relies on particles known as qubits instead of the traditional ones and zeros in classical computing—its global leadership position is “certainly under siege,” Tim Polk, assistant director of cybersecurity within the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said during an event in Washington. “There are significant quantum programs in Canada, in the U.K., in the Netherlands, the [European Union], China,” Polk said at an event hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

  • Thousands of snow geese were killed after landing in a toxic lake
    Mashable

    Thousands of snow geese were killed after landing in a toxic lake

    When a snowstorm hit Montana last week, tens of thousands of southbound snow geese were forced to land in the nearest source of open water. Several thousand geese died soon after settling in the pit, which holds about 45 billion gallons of highly acidic water, according to Montana Resources, one of the mining companies responsible for the Berkeley Pit Superfund site. Witnesses described the scene on Nov. 28 as "700 acres of white birds," Mark Thompson, the environmental affairs manager for Montana Resources, told the Associated Press.

  • Jumping Robots Mimic Adorable Big-Eyed Primates
    LiveScience.com

    Jumping Robots Mimic Adorable Big-Eyed Primates

    A jumping robot — whose design was inspired by small primates known as bush babies — can spring off walls to gain height faster than any previous robot and could one day help rapidly scan urban disaster zones, researchers say. Despite being just 10 inches (26 centimeters) tall and weighing only 0.2 pounds (100 grams), the one-legged robot, named Salto, can leap up more than 3.2 feet (1 meter) high from a standing position. Salto is not the highest-jumping robot out there — some bots can jump to heights of more than 10 feet (3 meters), but those bots have to wind up for several minutes before they leap, whereas Salto can jump again almost immediately, the researchers said.

  • Aid groups descend on Indonesia quake zone; deaths reach 102
    Associated Press

    Aid groups descend on Indonesia quake zone; deaths reach 102

    Humanitarian organizations descended on Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday as the local disaster agency called for urgent food supplies and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an earthquake that killed more than 100 people. Volunteers and nearly 1,500 rescue personnel concentrated their search on the hard-hit town of Meureudu in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter of the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit before dawn Wednesday. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had risen to 102 and warned it could increase.

  • Get your Sagan on with these 30 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier
    Digital Trends

    Get your Sagan on with these 30 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

    NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI From the early, grainy images of the Martian surface taken by Mariner 4 to humanity’s first up-close look at Charon, photographs of our celestial neighbors and those lightyears away have