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.
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.
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
More corals are dying and others are succumbing to disease and predators after the worst-ever bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, scientists said Wednesday. A swathe of corals bleached in the northern third of the 2,300-kilometre (1,429-mile) long biodiverse site off the Queensland state coast died after an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year as sea temperatures rose. "In March, we measured a lot of heavily bleached branching corals that were still alive, but we didn't see many survivors this week," Andrew Hoey of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said in a statement.
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.
In the Sonoran Desert, a body laid gently on its side, its arms crossed, its knees bent toward its chest, tells the story of someone who was loved and respected, whose community mourned her once she was gone. The University of Arizona bioarchaeologist studies “atypical” burials — bodies tossed haphazardly into graves headfirst, their bones broken, their limbs splayed. In a new study in the journal Current Anthropology, Watson and doctoral student Danielle Phelps argue that these burials are a sign of the violent circumstances surrounding deaths that happened thousands of years ago. “These people were buried very differently than the rest of the community, and we're trying to understand why that is,” Watson said in a news release.
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.
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 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.
Children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience disruptions in the structure of the neural networks inside their brains, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology. The findings could help in the development of treatments for the disorder, researchers said. PTSD is a mental health problem that occurs in the wake of one or more traumatic experiences. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PTSD, as the multiple neurochemical and hormonal effects associated with childhood trauma can lead to lasting changes in brain structure and function. Brain imaging with MRI is a promising tool for identifying vulnerable patients and allowing interventions to
"The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn's seasons," the US space agency said. What happened? Saturn has four seasons. They last about seven Earth years. The planet has photochemical haze, or particles in its atmosphere. Between November 1995 and August 2009, Saturn underwent a "winter polar darkness," according to Hampton University Assistant Professor Kunio Sayanagi. Well, the northern cloud-like barrier, which scientists call a six-sided jet stream, is affected. During the winter, particles are not produced. There's no sunshine. They can't reach the hexagonic jet stream. And the jet stream itself blocks them. "The hexagon jet acts as a barrier and when when there is nothing produced
Now, researchers have discovered that the corals that inhabit this "twilight zone" have a never-before-seen adaptation that enables them to eke out enough light energy to survive. The photosynthetic algae that live on and power these corals have unusual cellular "machinery" that enables them to conduct photosynthesis more efficiently than species that live at shallower depths, the researchers reported Oct. 17 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. "It's unlike anything we've seen on land, or anything we've even seen in the shallow reefs," said David Gruber, a marine biologist at the City University of New York and one of the researchers on the study.
A Science Channel show is making waves about the Bermuda Triangle this week. It appears to have claimed that the “mystery” of the region is solved — except that’s not at all what the scientist interviewed intended. The “What on Earth” segment portrays Randall Cerveny, director of the meteorology department at Arizona State University, as having discovered the secret to the mysterious disappearances, sinkings and crashes that have occurred in the famous region east of the Bahamas. Or at least, he appears to think he has the answer, when in reality he has no interest in anything having to do with the Bermuda Triangle. “The editing on this was horrendous,” Cerveny told The Washington Post. “I was
About 100 demonstrators protested on the steps of New York's City Hall on Nov. 15, 1985, as a City Council committee considered legislation to bar pupils and teachers with the AIDS virus from public schools.
In a land where centaurs thunder around enchanted forests, giant deer have magic trees growing out their heads and the preferred mode of travel involves hopping on the back of an undead flying horse, it is surprising (and unfortunate) that they have still not invented David Attenborough. Deprived of his dulcet tones, the world of Harry Potter got Newt Scamander. A nervous, twitchy fellow who unleashes chaos upon New York after accidentally releasing a zoo’s worth of magical creatures out of his suitcase. In honour of this travesty, we’ve rounded up 17 of the most fantastic beasts we could find from the Harry Potter books, its movies, and the texts of Newt Scamander himself. Check them out below
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
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
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)
Now that General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt has moved to Boston, he doesn’t want anyone else to leave. Speaking Tuesday night at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Joint Visiting Committee Symposium, which brings together and educates the hospital’s donors and community ambassadors, Immelt said he moved his company to Boston to be immersed in "a sea of ideas." Now he wants to make sure the people behind Boston’s health care ecosystem aren’t leaving. “One of our hypotheses in moving here was … this was kind of a wasted ecosystem — if you look at Silicon valley, Sand Hill Road, everything around Stanford. There’s no reason all of that couldn't be, in some shape or form, here,” Immelt said. “I think
There are more than 30 million research papers out there, and more than 3,000 papers are published every day. Put simply, you haven’t a chance in hell to read all of them. So what’s a poor researcher to do when set a challenge in a brand new field of research? Once the wave of blind panic and urge to drink copious amounts of gin has dissipated, you reach for a technology solution. Iris believes it has just the thing. The company launched a public beta to show off its technology this week. “We’re of course really excited with the first results,” says Anita Schjøll Brede, the company’s CEO. “But to be honest we’re running a marathon here. Our ultimate goal is an AI Scientist and we’re not done
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
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
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.