When the mighty orca breaks to the surface and exhales, the whale sprays an array of bacteria and fungi in its his breath, scientists said, some good, and some bad such as salmonella. The findings in a new study raises concerns about the potential role of infectious diseases as another major stress factor for the struggling population of endangered Puget Sound orcas. Those orcas' breath samples revealed microbes capable of causing diseases. Some were resistant to multiple antibiotics frequently used by people and animals, suggesting human waste contaminating the marine environment, according to a study published online Friday in the journal Scientific Reports. Scientists followed the whales as
Is a guaranteed paycheck from the government, with no strings attached, the answer to the relentless rise of automation? The concept might sound far-fetched, but a so-called universal basic income (UBI), is currently one of the most hotly debated policy topics being floated as a means to address income inequality and the disruption that technology poses to the workforce. UBI is being tested in Finland and other international markets, but has received decidedly mixed reactions. Meanwhile, developments in robotics and artificial intelligence have grave implications for the labor force. A report issued this week from consulting firm PwC found that more than a third of U.S. jobs were at risk from
Spacewalking astronauts prepped the International Space Station on Friday for a new parking spot reserved for commercial crew capsules. The 250-mile-high complex already has one docking port in place for the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, which should start carrying up astronauts as early as next year. Friday's spacewalk set the stage for a second docking location. A new docking device will fly up late this year or early next. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough disconnected all four cables from an old docking port, using some extra force on one. He looped a spare tether around the balky cable and pulled, and off it came. "Nicely done, Shane," Mission Control radioed. On Sunday, flight controllers
The northern and southern lights are probably the eeriest cosmic views available to us here on Earth, and 150 people on a flight from New Zealand learned that first-hand this week. The Air New Zealand charter flight took off on March 23 to give passengers
California air regulators voted Friday to keep the state's tough vehicle emissions standards through 2025. The state Air Resources Board voted unanimously at a meeting in Riverside to continue with the standards for 2022 to 2025 after reaching a conclusion similar to one by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration. More recently, however, President Donald Trump said he wants to re-examine the rules governing gas mileage and set a uniform fuel mileage requirement for automakers in the U.S.
"Noura's blood was not at the crime scene. And Jennifer's blood was not on Noura," says defense attorney Valerie Corder.
A plague of crop-destroying fall armyworm caterpillars has spread to East Africa where officials confirmed their presence for the first time in Uganda on Friday. An outbreak of the caterpillars in several southern African nations has already raised alarm with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation warning they pose "a huge threat to food security". Uganda's Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja said the presence of the innocuous looking but hugely destructive brown caterpillar had been confirmed in over 20 districts of the country.
In 2014, I spoke with Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, about his quixotic mission: to get recognition for a new category of cloud called the “undulatus asperatus.” For years, individuals from across the world had been sending him pictures of the unusual formations, trying to figure out what they were. Yesterday, on World Meteorological Day — 9 years after the classification was first submitted — the World Meteorological Organization finally recognized Pretor-Pinney’s clouds in the updated version of the International Cloud Atlas, though the name has been tweaked to “asperitas.” They’re the first new addition to the Atlas in over half a century. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.” Asperitas clouds tend to be low-lying, and are caused by weather fronts that create undulating waves in the atmosphere.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati are spinning a tale of spider personality, with a focus on romance, and they say it can include “charisma,” of all things. Different types of wolf spiders woo their mates in distinct ways, with some sending out vibrations to their potential partners and others using visual cues like waving their legs at them, the university said in a statement. Read: Is a Bad Personality Genetic?
Are robots coming for your job? Although technology has long affected the labor force, recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are heightening concerns about automation replacing a growing number of occupations, including highly skilled or "knowledge-based" jobs. Just a few examples: self-driving technology may eliminate the need for taxi, Uber and truck drivers, algorithms are playing a growing role in journalism, robots are informing consumers as mall greeters, and medicine is adapting robotic surgery and artificial intelligence to detect cancer and heart conditions.
Before King Tut, Hatshepsut or Ramesses I — in fact, before there were any pharaohs at all — someone pecked an image of a hunter and a dancer wearing an ostrich mask into a rock on a hill along the Nile River. The image, discovered recently by archaeologists, provides a tantalizing glimpse of Egypt’s Neolithic period, or Stone Age. It likely dates back to the latter half of the fourth millennium B.C., said Ludwig Morenz, an Egyptologist at the University of Bonn in Germany. The depiction of a masked dancer in this era is particularly fascinating, Morenz told Live Science. “[In] ancient Egyptian culture, we know many, many masks, but they are basically all masks for the dead,” Morenz said. “And
Ask Zhenan Bao why she went from designing batteries to creating synthetic, human-like skin and she'll give you a simple answer. Bao's 17-member Stanford team is developing is flexible, stretchable skin that can sense touch and temperature.
In real life, the future of the International Space Station was debated just this week in Congress. NASA is gradually transitioning away from shouldering the project's annual budget of more than $3 billion, to a new role of helping to facilitate commercial space travel. On the screen, however, the ISS has become the scene of a frightening new life form—and Hollywood's latest example of giving a movie meticulous treatment that's worthy of the best scientific minds on the planet. "Life," which opened on Friday and stars A-list actors Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, centers on the groundbreaking discovery that's long been the holy grail of space geeks everywhere—evidence of biological life on
The Empire State Building and United Nations headquarters in New York joined other iconic buildings and monuments around the world plunging into darkness for sixty minutes on Saturday to mark Earth Hour and draw attention to climate change. The Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Acropolis in Athens and Sydney's Opera House also dimmed their lights as millions of people from some 170 countries and territories were expected to take part in Earth Hour, the annual bid to highlight global warming caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas to drive cars and power plants.
All those cool rocket landings SpaceX has pulled off over the past year or so? They’ll amount to little more than expensive stunts unless the company shows that those recovered Falcon 9 boosters can be re-launched again. And again. And again. SpaceX’s highly anticipated first opportunity to prove that its rockets can be reused is expected next week, with the planned 4:59 p.m. Wednesday launch from Kennedy Space Center of a commercial communications satellite on what's being called a “flight proven” booster. CEO Elon Musk has long argued that reusability is the innovation that will revolutionize the launch industry by driving down costs, a prerequisite to fulfilling his dream of colonizing Mars.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has spoken to a Hong Kong audience by hologram, showcasing the growing reach of a technology which is making inroads into politics, entertainment and business. The British scientist appeared Friday before an audience of hundreds who cheered and snapped pictures with their phones as he discussed his career and answered questions about the possibility of life on other planets, the use of technology in education and the impact of Brexit on Britain. The 75-year-old said the election of US President Donald Trump was one in a string of "right-wing successes" that would have grave implications for the future of scientific innovation and discovery.
To those of us who care about details and facts (there, I said the “f” word), these past few months have been troubling times. We are told by the highest office in the country that facts don’t matter, that those who think they have facts are corrupt, and that “alternative facts” is a thing (it isn’t). All of these various euphemisms we’ve been hearing, such as alt.truth and fake news, are just obscuring the reality that we are neck deep in lies. My job as a neuroscientist is to help understand how people come to hold the beliefs they do (it’s even in my job description). Why do we find so much emotional resonance in lies? There are four reasons that derive from our evolutionary history. We are
The 4 conundrums of the universe that lead to all biases There are four qualities of the universe that limit our own intelligence and the intelligence of every other person, collective, organism, machine, alien, or imaginable god. All 200-ish of our known biases are attempts to work around these conundrums! 1. There's too much information The first conundrum is that there's too much information in the universe for any individual within the universe to process. We have our five senses (or up to a dozen, depending on how you divide them up), and we're located at points within vast planes of space and time. So there's a lot of information out there (outside your house, across the street, on the
In a story March 22 about dinosaur evolution, The Associated Press misspelled the name of the college of one expert. It is Macalester College, not Macalaster. WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyrannosaurus Rex and his buddies could be on the move as a new study proposes a massive shake-up of the dinosaur family tree.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a 3D-printed robot “skin” capable of changing color according to the physical stimuli that it receives. The work was inspired by the so-called “goldbug,” a golden tortoise beetle, which changes color in the wild. “I was googling online about two and a half years ago, looking for creatures that change their color, and found out about this beetle,” project leader, Subramanian Sundaram, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, told Digital Trends.
Prepare to hear your worst nightmare: cockroaches can multiply on their own for years without meeting a member of the opposite sex. For a few types of cockroaches, such as the American cockroach, or “Periplaneta Americana,” females are able to breed for years without the help of a male, according to a Japanese study published this month in the peer-reviewed Zoological Letters journal. The team, from Hokkaido University in Japan and led by entomologist Hiroshi Nishino, studied a group of 15 female virgin cockroaches for three years beginning in December of 2013. The results surprised them: They grew to about 1,000 female roaches over that time. The cockroaches multiplied through asexual reproduction
Dinosaur research just got more high tech, thanks to drones which will now be used by researchers to track the footprints of the prehistoric creatures. Drone mapping of dinosaurs' tracks is expected to revolutionise the way researchers investigate the ancient crutures as they allow scientists the ability to create digital maps, which in turn provide more in-depth data. Australian researchers have begun using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to track dinosaurs' footprints in remote locations.
Astrophysicist Paul Sutter explains what the science community is doing and the tools they are using to understand dark energy in the Universe.
Few things in the solar system capture the imagination quite like the rings of Saturn. Countless pieces of ice and rock orbit the system’s second-largest planet, and the Cassini probe sent back a beautiful closeup taken from just 70,000 miles away. Peering further into the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope snapped an amazing photograph of the Whirlpool Galaxy, flecked with blue and spinning like a Frisbee through the Horologium, or pendulum clock, constellation 50 million miles away. Look closely and you can see the spiral arms reaching out from the galaxy’s core. The Hubble also captured a supermassive black hole with the mass of 1 billion suns some 8 billion light-years away. Astronomers suspect
Why do the predictions for a bouncing ball’s trajectory diverge between general relativity and Newtonian gravity? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Paul Mainwood, Doctorate in Philosophy of Physics, on Quora: This is a conceptually simple and fun piece of work that has been let down by an appalling write-up on phys.org that you can read here. Reading the paper itself, what the authors have done is to put together two fascinating phenomena from Twentieth Century physics. At low speeds and with weak gravitational fields, the predictions of Newtonian Physics and General Relativity