Science

  • ABC News

    Rosetta Space Probe Sees Bright Flares, Landslide on Comet

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has captured images of a bright burst of light on the comet it is orbiting, apparently caused by a landslide. The dramatic light flashes were recorded Feb. 19 and accompanied by rising temperatures and sharp increases in dust, gas and plasma released from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Eberhard Gruen of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, said Thursday that a landslide on the comet's surface was most likely responsible. The flashes would have been generated by light reflecting from dust particles kicked up by the landslide. The European Space Agency plans to crash-land Rosetta on the comet's surface Sept. 30, more than

  • ABC News

    NASA Nears the End of Its Splashdown Tests for Mars Craft

    NASA has conducted the second to last splashdown test for its Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. Scientists at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday used a pendulum and explosives to fling a test capsule into a pool of water at about 25 mph. The 11-foot craft disappeared behind a bowl-shaped splash before bouncing buoyantly against safety netting. More than 500 instruments gauged aspects of the impact, including the level of strain on the carbon fiber heatshield and aluminum cabin. Crash test dummies were also inside to measure safety designs. Orion sailed through its first unmanned test flight in 2014, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Another unmanned

  • Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins
    AFP

    Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins

    Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 critically endangered pangolins found hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said Friday. Police discovered the pangolins, known as "scaly anteaters", when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java after local residents became suspicious about the large number of freezers in the property. A total of 657 pangolins, which are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine, were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AFP.

  • Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day
    International Business Times UK

    Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day

    Two big earthquakes struck Europe and Asia on the same day this week, killing hundreds and razing entire towns to the ground. Rescuers in central Italy are continuing to search for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings, after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Umbria region of the country in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The death toll has surpassed 240, officials have confirmed, with many more people missing. Hours later, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Myanmar, damaging historic buildings in the city of Bagan and killing at least one person. Both countries, Myanmar in particular, are prone to quakes as they are located on major fault lines. Although we know

  • Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
    Associated Press

    Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples

    It was a time of conquest and conversions. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287.

  • Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism
    LiveScience.com

    Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism

    In a study aimed at measuring altruism, researchers "lost" a total of 7,466 letters in 2001 and 2011 in 63 urban areas in the United States and Canada. That changed in 2011, however, when the United States had a 10 percent drop in helping behavior, which did not occur in Canada, suggesting that people in the United States were less altruistic than before, said study researcher Keith Hampton, a professor of media and information at Michigan State University. The project began after Hampton heard an anecdote that altruism was declining in Canada.

  • Obama creates world's largest protected area
    Mashable

    Obama creates world's largest protected area

    Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument will now span 582,578 square miles near the Northern Hawaiian Islands, the Obama administration announced on Friday. The administration was able to expand the monument, which President George W. Bush first designated in 2006, using Obama's executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The islands, described as "America's Galapagos," encompass the most intact tropical marine region under U.S. control.

  • Reuters

    Once a jolly SwagBot: Ageing Aussie drovers go high-tech

    Mustering cattle across rugged terrain and wide open spaces, Australia's newest drover is a far cry from a man with a big hat, a horse and fancy boots. Australia is the world's third largest cattle exporter but with the age of producers creeping higher, and cattle stations averaging about 400,000 hectares (988,420 acres) of land - nearly four time the size of Hong Kong - rearing livestock can be difficult, even with a sufficient number of cowhands. A labour shortage makes the task harder though, and threatens Australia's hope of boosting its livestock output to profit from rising Asian demand for red meat.

  • Cosmos Magazine

    Intense storms shake the Earth – and unveil the planet's layers

    Hurricanes don’t just wreak havoc on land and sea, they also shake the Earth to its core – literally. And now, a pair of seismologists detected a rare, faint, deep-Earth tremor in Japan which was evoked by a distant storm in the North Atlantic. Kiwamu Nishida from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University’s Ryota Takagi observed an “S wave microseism” for the first time – one, they say, originated from a special, fast-developing storm called a weather bomb. The work, published in Science, could give geologists a new tool to study the planet’s deep structure which we know little about. When chunks of Earth’s crust shift, grind and slip, two types of wave course through the planet. Primary

  • A landslide may have caused this brilliant comet outburst captured by Rosetta
    Digital Trends

    A landslide may have caused this brilliant comet outburst captured by Rosetta

    In what seems like a great stroke of luck, the Rosetta probe has captured data and images of a brilliant comet outburst, which astronomers think may be the aftermath of a landslide. On February 19, as Rosetta trailed Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from about 22 miles, nine of the spacecraft’s instruments were pointed at the comet for coordinated monitoring. Suddenly, a cloud of gas and dust rose from the comet in an outburst.

  • Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story
    Associated Press

    Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story

    In a Feb. 20, 2015 story about an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, The Associated Press mischaracterized a statement an expert made about proving the cause of an infection. Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he was suggesting an argument hospitals might use when he said, "Proving causation is impossible." Muscarella said an infection can be proven to come from a hospital instrument.

  • Kayla Mueller Part 5: Kayla's Sacrifice Allows Sex Slave to Escape
    ABC News Videos

    Kayla Mueller Part 5: Kayla's Sacrifice Allows Sex Slave to Escape

    Even after being raped by ISIS leader, Kayla foregoes her chance to run to save others. There's the Christmas tree. And there's my mom on Christmas eve. Reporter: With Kayla missing now for two christmases in a row, the family's only joy came in the

  • We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole
    Popular Mechanics

    We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole

    The wind was howling, the sun blinding, and the temperature cold enough to chill your bones when the six made their final march towards the North Pole. American Commander Robert Peary, his assistant Matthew Henson, and four Inuit men arrived at what was, according to Peary's reading of his sextant, exactly 90 degrees north latitude. It had taken more than two decades for Peary to complete this task.

  • Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough
    AFP

    Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough

    A tiny "kitten-sized" marsupial lion that roamed Australia's ancient rainforests some 18 million years ago has been named after veteran British naturalist David Attenborough. The fossil remains of the "microleo attenboroughi" were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area -- believed to be one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world -- in remote north-western Queensland state some years ago by palaeontologists from Sydney's University of New South Wales. "It's around about the size of a grey squirrel... maybe a little bit bigger than kitten-sized," UNSW palaeontologist Anna Gillespie told AFP on Friday, adding that the new species was estimated to weigh about 600 grams (21.2 ounces) and was smaller than other members of an extinct marsupial lion family.

  • LiveScience.com

    Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates

    The research showed that counties in the U.S. with more men than women generally had higher rates of marriage, fewer births outside marriage and fewer single female heads of household — all of which are generally signs of greater family stability, according to the researchers. "There's this numerical expectation that, as men increase in numbers, that means that there are fewer women available, so men are less likely to get married," said Ryan Schacht, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology at the University of Utah. In the study, the researchers looked at U.S. Census data from 2,800 counties in all 50 states, focusing on the relationship between each county's gender ratio (the number of men relative to women) and certain markers of family stability that researchers commonly use in research like this, such as marriage rates and the percentage of households with children who were headed by single women.

  • Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore
    Associated Press

    Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore

    Six Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as forest fires blanketed a swath of Southeast Asia in a smoky haze. Singapore's air quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires on Sumatra, where millions of people are already affected by haze, across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Borneo by weather satellites has increased in the past month though they are below levels last year when massive fires in Indonesia caused a regional crisis.

  • Reuters

    Argentine soy growers fret seed royalties bill might favor Monsanto

    Argentine soy farmers fear they will get shortchanged under a proposal they say would favor U.S. agricultural company Monsanto Co by forcing them to pay royalties on seeds grown on their own farms using the company's genetically modified technology. Farmers in Argentina's Pampas grains belt say they should have to pay only once, or maybe twice, for seeds containing Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO technology. Monsanto says to plant seeds grown with that technology without paying royalties - something that the current law allows - amounts to copyright infringement.

  • Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016
    Singapore Business Review

    Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016

    Blame it on output declines in almost all clusters. Singapore’s total manufacturing performance in July 2016 slipped 3.6% largely due to falloffs in almost all of industrial clusters. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, output went down 4.

  • Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water
    Digital Trends

    Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water

    You only need to think back to the BP oil spill of 2010 to realize what an enormous potential problem such spillages are. “We — and other scientists worldwide — would like to increase the absorption capacity of artificial oil absorbers as this is a serious problem for the environment,” Hendrik Hölscher, one of the researchers involved with the study, told Digital Trends. Nanofur took its inspiration from water ferns, which are capable of absorbing oil while remaining water-repellent, due to the hairy microstructure of their leaves.

  • The Week

    Your coffee addiction might be genetic

    It's 10 a.m. Do you know where your coffee is? If you're one of the many people who start their day with a cup of joe steaming by their side, you might be able to blame genetics for your addiction. According to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, a gene known as PDSS2 "has been shown to negatively regulate the expression of the caffeine metabolism genes and can thus be linked to coffee consumption." In layman's terms? Certain genes play a part in breaking down caffeine in the body, and a certain variant of the PDSS2 gene was found to apparently slow the metabolism of caffeine. That means that for those people, the caffeine "lingers in the blood for longer and gives people

  • Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition
    LiveScience.com

    Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition

    An exploration of a World War II battleground right off U.S. shores is now underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with several nonprofit and private partners to explore the twin wrecks of the freighter SS Bluefieldsand the German U-boat U-576. The German submarine attacked and sank the Bluefields on July 15, 1942, and was then itself sunk by bombs from U.S. Navy air cover and the deck gun of another merchant ship in the convoy, the Unicoi.

  • Jump starting the brain: Experimental device used to rouse 25-year old man from a coma
    Mashable

    Jump starting the brain: Experimental device used to rouse 25-year old man from a coma

    A team of physicians and neuroscientists on Wednesday reported the successful use of ultrasound waves to “jump start” the brain of a 25-year-old man recovering from coma — and plan to launch a much broader test of the technique, in hopes of finding a way to help at least some of the tens of thousands of patients in vegetative states.

  • MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water
    Fox News

    MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water

    Foam, specially-coated copper, and bubble wrap are components of a simple but innovative new device that can boil water without electricity, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on Monday. The system, which MIT compares to a sponge, can heat water to 212 degrees under just the heat of the sun, and could be used for applications like sterilizing medical tools in settings without electricity. Bubble wrap covers the top of the puck-like device to help trap the sun’s heat— an idea that one of the researchers on the project got from his teenage daughters’ science fair project, according to MIT. “This device offers a totally new design paradigm for solar steam generation,” Tao Deng, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University who was not part of the research, said in a statement.

  • Conflict and drought threaten Mozambique's Gorongosa park
    AFP

    Conflict and drought threaten Mozambique's Gorongosa park

    Passing through the aged faded gates into Gorongosa National Park, it's difficult to imagine you've just entered Mozambique's largest wildlife sanctuary. Bled dry by a long civil war that ravaged Mozambique from 1976 to 1992, the park has seen a remarkable turnaround in the last decade.

  • For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed
    Associated Press

    For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed

    A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao. Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.