Science

  • ABC News

    Underwater Expedition off California Reveals Sunken Warship

    An underwater expedition along the California coast has revealed for the first time a sunken World War II-era aircraft carrier once used in atomic tests in the Pacific. The expedition led by famed oceanographer Robert Ballard captured on Tuesday the wreckage of the USS Independence, located half a mile under the sea in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Scientists aboard the ocean research ship E/V Nautilus lowered two submersibles to the ocean floor to find a Hellcat fighter plane, anti-aircraft guns, hatches and the ship's name on the hull. The Independence was deliberately scuttled in 1951. Samples of marine life growing on the ship will be brought onboard to be tested for possible

  • ABC News

    Astronaut Breaks US Record: 521 Days in Space and Counting

    An astronaut has set a U.S. record for most time spent in space. Jeffrey Williams, commander of the International Space Station, marked his 521st day in orbit Wednesday, a number accumulated over four flights. That surpasses the 520-day record set by Scott Kelly, whose one-year space station mission ended in March. By the time Williams returns to Earth in two weeks, he will have logged 534 days off the planet for NASA. His record won't last long. Space station veteran Peggy Whitson will top that after she flies up in November for a six-month stay. She's already at the 377-day mark for total space time, a record for a woman. Kelly, who's now retired from NASA, called Williams from Mission Control

  • Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida
    ABC News

    Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida

    Capybaras, giant rodents that are native to South America, may be establishing themselves as an invasive species in Florida, according to Elizabeth Congdon, the only biologist in North America studying the animal. "Right now, they're considered exotics -- non-native animals that aren't supposed to be here," Congdon told ABC News today. Capybaras were first accidentally introduced to forests in northern Florida after five of them escaped a research facility in the early '90s, said Congdon, an assistant professor at the Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, who warned about the potential threat of the species at an animal behavior conference earlier this month.

  • Vox Sentences: We may have found a Plan(et) B
    Vox.com

    Vox Sentences: We may have found a Plan(et) B

    Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Scientists from the European Southern Observatory and the "Pale Red Dot" project (I know, right?) announced Wednesday they've discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri that's within the right distance from its star to support life.

  • Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking
    LiveScience.com

    Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

    Powerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller
    ABC News Videos

    Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller

    The humanitarian group's USA executive director Jason Cone says they decided not to negotiate for the American hostage's freedom. Kayla was about Doctors Without Borders vehicle when she was captured by crisis in Syria.

  • Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    By Mayank Bhardwaj NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

  • Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar
    Foreign Policy Magazine

    Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar

    There are many national security challenges facing the United States, but too often our focus is exclusively on threats from terrorism, geopolitics and cyberattacks. As the country confronts the arrival of the Zika virus and contemplates travel bans to Miami, it’s time to have an adult conversation about the threats posed by biology.

  • Jeff Williams Breaks US Space Record
    VOA News

    Jeff Williams Breaks US Space Record

    American astronaut Jeff Williams has set a new record for most cumulative time in space for a U.S. astronaut. On Wednesday, Williams surpassed 520 days living in space, breaking Scott Kelly’s record set during his nearly year-long mission aboard the International Space Station. Williams will be heading back to Earth on September 6, which will extend his record to 534 days. The first 10 days of Williams’ time in space date back to 2000, when he was a flight engineer aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis during STS-101 as the shuttle was involved in helping put the finishing touches on the space station. According to NASA, Williams returned to space in 2006 for a six-month flight aboard the ISS. He returned

  • Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam
    AFP

    Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

    A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. "It's great news for this particular species because had we not found this new population, they were in grave danger of being wiped out within a decade," spokeswoman for FFI in Vietnam, Akofa Wallace, told AFP Tuesday.

  • Crusader-era hand grenade surprises archaeologists
    Fox News

    Crusader-era hand grenade surprises archaeologists

    A centuries-old hand grenade that may date back to the time of the crusaders is among a host of treasures retrieved from the sea in Israel. The metal artifacts, some of which are more than 3,500 years old, were found over a period of years by the late Marcel Mazliah, a worker at the Hadera power plant in northern Israel. Mazliah’s family recently presented the treasures to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Experts, who were surprised by the haul, think that the objects probably fell overboard from a medieval metal merchant’s ship. Related: The hand grenade was a common weapon in Israel during the Crusader era, which began in the 11th century and lasted until the 13th century, according to the

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • LiveScience.com

    America's No. 1 Killer Is Changing

    Cancer has passed heart disease as the leading cause of death in nearly half of U.S. states, according to a new report. In 2014, cancer was the leading cause of death in 22 states, including many in the West and Northeast. In the rest of the 28 states, heart disease remained the leading cause of death in 2014.

  • Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people
    Mashable

    Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people

    American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology "from like 700 BC." He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable. Attitudes are changing as people become more familiar with the idea of implants.

  • GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
    Reuters

    GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

    A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition. Technical clearance for indigenously developed GM mustard seeds was given on Aug. 11 by the panel of government and independent experts, following multiple reviews of crop trial data generated over almost a decade, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The decision to go ahead is likely to be made public soon by the environment ministry's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, and is expected eventually to move to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desk via Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

  • Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa
    Popular Mechanics

    Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa

    Six scientists are close to wrapping up a year of near isolation in a Mars simulation on a Hawaii mountain. The scientists are housed in a dome on Mauna Loa and can go outside only in spacesuits, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, said this simulation is the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia.

  • A Russian billionaire has a crazy plan to reach a nearby planet that might harbor life
    Business Insider

    A Russian billionaire has a crazy plan to reach a nearby planet that might harbor life

    Back in April, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner pledged $100 million toward a crazy plan to visit another star system. The mission — Breakthrough Starshot — aims to get this done by propelling teeny, tiny spaceships to 20% the speed of light with powerful lasers. Milner and famed physicist Stephen Hawking initially said their destination would be Alpha Centauri: the second-closest star system to Earth, located some 4.37 light-years (25.7 trillion miles) away.

  • Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild
    AFP

    Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild

    Embraced by kings and freedom fighters alike, Myanmar's peacocks have long been a national symbol of pride and resistance -- but they are becoming ever harder to spot in the wild. Ornithologist Thet Zaw Naing is worried. Every year that goes by, Myanmar's national bird becomes a less familiar sight.

  • Former Hostage Recalls How Kayla Mueller Stood Up to ISIS Guard
    ABC News Videos

    Former Hostage Recalls How Kayla Mueller Stood Up to ISIS Guard

    Danish freelance photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen was held captive by ISIS at the same time as the American aid worker. Hostage Daniel rye. A Danish freelance photographer recalls how Kayla stood up to the brutal crisis guards wants to be used on its

  • Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up
    Mashable

    Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up

    In the heart of North Dakota's prairie lands, tribal leaders and their allies are squaring off against a Texas pipeline builder and the federal government. Over a thousands protesters have gathered during the past two weeks in a grassy camp near the town of Cannon Ball to physically block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear the tribe's lawsuit, which claims a federal agency violated multiple statutes for protecting clean water and culturally significant sites by issuing permits to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline's builder.

  • Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird
    Associated Press

    Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird

    The dodo bird is extinct — but one collector can now have their own dodo skeleton. Summers Place Auctions is selling what it describes as a rare composite skeleton of a dodo bird, a creature once found on the island of Mauritius. Although individual bones of the flightless bird come up for sale occasionally, Summers Place director Rupert van der Werff says this is the first time a nearly complete skeleton has come up for sale since the early 20th century.

  • LiveScience.com

    In Babies, Zika Can Linger for Months, Brazilian Case Suggests

    A baby in Brazil who became infected with Zika in the womb still had the virus in his body for months after he was born, according to a new report of the case. The baby's mother, who lived in São Paulo, showed symptoms of Zika when she was 26 weeks pregnant, according to the report, published today (Aug. 24) in the New England Journal of Medicine. When the baby was born, he was diagnosed with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head and brain.