Science

  • ABC News

    Scientists Exit Hawaii Dome After Yearlong Mars Simulation

    Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation

  • ABC News

    In Drought, Drones Help California Farmers Save Every Drop

    A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird's-eye view of a vast tomato field in California's Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region. Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of

  • How did Lucy, our early human ancestor, die?
    CNN

    How did Lucy, our early human ancestor, die?

    What happened to Lucy? Lucy was small, about 3½ feet tall and 60 pounds. Analysis of her skeleton and teeth shows she had reached maturity, but not unlike chimpanzees, her species matured young. Kappelman estimates she was 15 or 16 years old. Given her size, predators such as hyenas, jackals and saber-toothed cats would have posed a threat to Lucy. So Lucy most likely turned to the trees, Kappelman said. It's possible she scaled them only from time to time for safety or that she nested in them every night. Based on data on the nesting habits of chimps, an average of 46 feet above the ground makes them feel safe. She stood up straight, with feet, knees and hips that are similar to ours. If you

  • Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway
    Mashable

    Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

    The incident, while rare, is not without precedent in other parts of the world, where lightning bolts have killed large numbers of cattle, elk and other animals that were clustered together during a thunderstorm. This area is home to about 2,000 reindeer at this time of the year, the agency said. Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.

  • Rocket Lab nearing completion of world's first private orbital launch site
    CNBC

    Rocket Lab nearing completion of world's first private orbital launch site

    Rocket Lab , whose technology aims to propel small satellites into orbit at a fraction of the current industry prices, has nearly completed construction of the world's first private launch site. Located on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, the site was designed to "enable the highest frequency of space launches in history," according to Rocket Lab, a U.S. company with a New Zealand subsidiary. Ten-year old Rocket Lab will be charging $4.9 million per launch, a significant discount to SpaceX's $62 million price tag, and hopes to conduct weekly operations.

  • French environment minister announces partnerships in Iran
    AFP

    French environment minister announces partnerships in Iran

    France's environment minister signed Sunday a plan for French firms to help tackle Iran's environmental problems, but criticised the refusal of her country's banks to work with the Islamic republic. Segolene Royal met in Tehran with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and a group of ministers, agreeing to work together on the water shortage, energy efficiency and pollution problems facing Iran.

  • The New York Times - Harnessing the Firenado
    New York Times

    The New York Times - Harnessing the Firenado

    From The New York Times: A new, blue, whirling shape of fire, inspired by bourbon, could one day help clean up oil spills.. Watch the original video on Times Video: http://nyti.ms/2bTU9KO

  • LiveScience.com

    More Parents Are Refusing Vaccinations, But Their Reasons Are Changing

    Parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found. Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to increase immunization rates, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama. In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients' parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination.

  • First secret from ancient stone tablet revealed
    CBS News

    First secret from ancient stone tablet revealed

    An ancient tablet recently unearthed in Tuscany has revealed its first secret: the engraved name of a goddess linked to fertility. The 500-pound (227 kilograms) stone slab, or stele, was unearthed earlier this year at Poggio Colla, a sixth century B.C. site built by the Etruscans. The stele bears a long inscription in a language that has not been used for 2,500 years, project archaeologist Gregory Warden, a professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in April. Now, translation is underway and archaeologists have discovered that the tablet references the goddess Uni. [Photos: The Tomb of an Etruscan Prince] “We can at this point affirm that this discovery is

  • Scientists exit Hawaii dome after yearlong Mars simulation
    ap.org

    Scientists exit Hawaii dome after yearlong Mars simulation

    Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation. For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged.

  • No Man's Sky guide: How to get to the center of the galaxy (and what happens next)
    Polygon

    No Man's Sky guide: How to get to the center of the galaxy (and what happens next)

    "Embark on an epic voyage to the center of a boundless universe," the back of No Man's Sky's retail box says, inviting you to chart an unambiguous course to the galactic core. Your warp menu lets you connect the interstellar dots, giving you constant access to the distance between you and your destination. Nada, one of No Man's Sky's most intriguing characters, tells you to go there. So we went there. In this guide, we'll teach you the most efficient ways to get to the galactic core. We'll also tell you why you might not want to go to what No Man's Sky also refers to as the Galaxy Center — and what happens if you go there anyway. Before you go, maybe don't Seriously, maybe don't do it. Or at

  • This animated map shows why animals can't survive climate change without our help
    Quartz

    This animated map shows why animals can't survive climate change without our help

    As the global climate gets hotter both people and animals will have to adapt to changes in their local environments. However, while people can shed clothes or turn up the A/C, animals have fewer options to maintain the conditions they need to survive. If their home habitats change too much, they’ll be forced to migrate in search of new territory. “Migration” sounds like a simple fix, and in some cases it might be, if not for one big problem: There are, literally, a lot of things in the way. Nearly every path that animals would naturally travel is blocked by roads, fences, houses and other man-made barriers. According to research published earlier this year in PNAS (paywall), “only 41% of natural

  • More than 300 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
    AFP

    More than 300 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway

    More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lightning in southern Norway, officials said Monday, in the largest such incident known to date. The 323 reindeer, including 70 young, were found on Friday by a gamekeeper on the Hardangervidda plateau, a national park where Europe's largest herd of some 10,000 wild reindeer roam freely. The animals stay close together in bad weather and these ones were hit by lightning," an official from the Norwegian Environment Agency, Kjartan Knutsen, told AFP.

  • OpEd: Billionaires are racing to the stars, but who really owns outer space?
    CNBC

    OpEd: Billionaires are racing to the stars, but who really owns outer space?

    Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Authority announced that Moon Express, a space exploration business owned by private U.S. citizens, had been approved to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2017. Moon Express reportedly aims to land a robotic vehicle (an MX-1 lander) on the moon to maneuver it about the lunar surface and to beam images and data back to Earth. The mission is apparently a first step toward the venture's overall goal of developing and mining mineral resources of the moon .

  • The Quiet Work of a Civil Engineer
    The Atlantic

    The Quiet Work of a Civil Engineer

    Civil engineering is often called the oldest engineering discipline, as humans have been building roads, bridges, and water ducts for thousands of years. The profession is also expected to expand by 8 percent in the next 10 years, as increasing urbanization and an interest in renewable-energy create new projects for civil engineers. Engineering is the STEM sector where the struggle for female representation is the most pronounced: According to statistics compiled by the Society of Women Engineers, only 12 percent of engineers are female.

  • 'Strong signal' stirs interest in hunt for alien life
    AFP

    'Strong signal' stirs interest in hunt for alien life

    A "strong signal" detected by a radio telescope in Russia that is scanning the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life has stirred interest among the scientific community. "No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study," said Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website which covers peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration. The observation is being made public now, but was actually detected last year by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, he said.

  • LiveScience.com

    EpiPen Alternatives Exist, and They May be Cheaper

    The soaring price of the EpiPen has garnered controversy recently, but there are alternatives to this well-known allergy treatment device. The EpiPen belongs to a class of medical devices known as epinephrine auto-injectors, which allow people to quickly inject a precise dose of the drug epinephrine. The devices are used to treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be triggered, in people who have the corresponding allergies, by foods, insect stings, medications and certain other substances.

  • This is what it looks like when society collapses
    Business Insider

    This is what it looks like when society collapses

    Before society collapses, it slows down. A team of researchers examined the archaeological record that Neolithic European — that is, between 3,000 and 10,000 years — societies left in the years before several different collapses. Sean Downey, a University of Maryland anthropologist and a researcher on the study, said that to understand what it means for a society to slow down, you should imagine a rainforest.

  • The connected cow business is about to jump over the moo-n
    Digital Trends

    The connected cow business is about to jump over the moo-n

    Connected cows are already a thing, but recently the intersection of barnyards and bits has been breeding a whole herd of applications. The current $1.27 billion “Connected Cow and Farm” business is slated to grow eight-fold to $10.75 billion by 2021, says research firm Arcluster, as reported in The Register. Arun Nirmal is Arcluster’s research director.

  • SAPVoice: Could Big Data Have Saved Ancient Civilizations?
    Forbes

    SAPVoice: Could Big Data Have Saved Ancient Civilizations?

    The burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria has come to symbolize the tragedy of irretrievably losing valuable cultural information and knowledge. The Egyptian centre of scholarship was one of the largest and most important libraries of the ancient world, standing from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Romans conquered Egypt in 30 BC. Today, our information is decentralized across huge regions, and thanks to digital technology, there is a lot more of it. According to the documentary The Human Face of Big Data (shown worldwide as part of SAP’s Our Digital Future film series), the typical person in the Western world is now exposed to as much data in one day as someone in the 15th century would have seen in their entire life.

  • After Math: Only the essentials
    Engadget

    After Math: Only the essentials

    It was a pretty kick-ass week in terms of interplanetary exploration -- and not even just in NMS. Astronomers found a potentially habitable planet just 4.2 light years from us! This could be our first stop beyond Mars but it's going to take a while to get there, so we're going to have to travel light. That means bringing nothing but the most essential of supplies -- like scouter drones, custom-designed hazmat suits, efficient solar power generators and 8K televisions. Numbers, because how else are you going to calculate the interstellar rocket's payload fraction?

  • Science briefs: Oetzi the Iceman, whiskey vs. coffee
    The Columbus Dispatch

    Science briefs: Oetzi the Iceman, whiskey vs. coffee

    Oetzi the Iceman was dapper dresser About 5,300 years ago, Oetzi the Iceman sported a fur hat made from a brown bear, a sheepskin loincloth, leggings and a coat made of goat hide, shoelaces from wild cows and a quiver made from deer leather. Scientists from the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Research Academy in Bolzano, Italy, used genetic testing to identify the animals that made up the frozen mummy’s fur and leather ensemble. Their findings recently were published in the journal Scientific Reports. Oetzi, as he became known, was found face down in a thawing glacier in the Oetztal Alps, which border Austria and Italy, nearly 25 years ago. One way that whiskey beats coffee

  • ABC News

    Feds Turn to Space Experts NASA for Small-Drone Traffic Plan

    As the unmanned aircraft industry continues to evolve, the United States is depending on its space agency to help manage small drone traffic close to the Earth. NASA is currently entering the second phase of a four-step plan to draw up rules of the skies for drones that weigh 55 pounds or less and fly no higher than 500 feet. The project is meant to develop performance standards for drones that would be used for commercial purposes by companies such as Amazon and Google. The agency is hoping to present its research to the Federal Aviation Administration before 2020, John Cavolowsky, director of NASA's Airspace Operations and Safety Program, told attendees at a drone summit in North Dakota last week.

  • One Scientist’s Crazy Bet to Save the Bees: Join Monsanto
    Wired News

    One Scientist’s Crazy Bet to Save the Bees: Join Monsanto

    In May 2013, hundreds of thousands of people in more than 300 cities participated in a March Against Monsanto. “We recognized that our reputation can’t get any worse,” Monsanto’s Brennan says. That summer, the company revamped its communications efforts. Where once executives carefully vetted everything their rank and file said in public, they now encourage staff to be less closed off and to share personal stories. I heard a few (remarkably similar) about farmers in India and Africa who were able to send their kids to school because of Monsanto-engineered crops. Employees engage on social media, talk to local skeptics’ groups, do AMAs on Reddit and panels at conferences like SXSW. The company

  • 60% of key S.Asian water basin not usable: study
    AFP

    60% of key S.Asian water basin not usable: study

    Sixty percent of the groundwater in a river basin supporting more than 750 million people in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh is not drinkable or usable for irrigation, researchers said Monday. The biggest threat to groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, named after the Indus and Ganges rivers, is not depletion but contamination, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Up to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet), some 23 percent of the groundwater stored in the basin is too salty, and about 37 percent "is affected by arsenic at toxic concentrations," they said.