A University of Maine professor has died while conducting research in Antarctica. The university says 50-year-old Gordon Hamilton died Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding hit a crevasse and he fell 100 feet. He had been in Antarctica doing research for the National Science Foundation. His work focused on the role of ice and glaciers in the climate system. Hamilton began working at the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute in 2000. He served as an assistant research professor, taught undergraduate and graduate courses and worked with a statewide initiative on science, technology, engineering and math programs for high school students. UMaine provost Jeffery Hecker released a statement
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.
Unfortunately, not everyone made it, as at least 14 bodies were recovered and dozens more remain missing, Italian officials said. Italy's Guardia Costiera, or Coast Guard, shared two videos on Sunday from the dozens of rescue operations this weekend in the central Mediterranean. Officials said 2,400 people were rescued on Saturday by the coast guard, ships from nongovernmental organizations and the Irish Navy, according to ANSA, Italy's leading news agency.
If you were trying to catch up on the latest news or check out what was trending on Twitter this morning, you might have received a message that said that your browser couldn't connect to the server. Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and even news sites such as CNN experienced a widespread outage early today due to a so-called DDoS cyberattack that affected many users on the East Coast of the United States, according to several news outlets. The culprit behind the outage is what's known as a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, which was mounted against a company called Dyn DNS.
Pro- and anti-whaling nations clashed at a key meeting Monday where Japan sought to ease a 30-year-old moratorium on commercial hunts while others pushed for an Atlantic whale sanctuary. Host Slovenia urged compromise the sake of the marine mammals -- some species of which were hunted to near-extinction in the 20th century -- but member states of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) soon split into familiar factions. Japan, which conducts a yearly whale hunt in the name of science, which its detractors say is for meat, insisted that stocks of some species have recovered sufficiently to make them fair game.
The six-person crew of astronauts in the International Space Station rested easy after they successfully received supplies totaling more than 5,100 pounds (2,300 kilograms) this morning. The Cygnus cargo spacecraft, developed by American aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK Inc., was captured by the ISS’ robotic arm at 7:28 a.m. EDT (1128 GMT) today. The ship, named the S.S. Alan Poindexter in honor of the late NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter, carried materials for science experiments and other supplies for the crew.
The third-largest earthquake in Oklahoma was likely triggered by underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production, the U.S. Geological Survey found in a report issued Monday. The magnitude 5.1 quake that struck northwest of Fairview in February was likely induced by distant disposal wells, the agency said. The USGS report indicated that in the area around where the Fairview quake occurred, the volume of fluid injected had increased sevenfold over three years.
The "Bermuda Triangle" is the stuff of legend — in both senses of the word. The area of the Atlantic Ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda has seen its share, or maybe more than its share, of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, leading to a popular theory that some paranormal force is at work in the triangular body of water. Two meteorologists tell the Science Channel that hexagonal cloud patterns, 20 to 55 miles across, are likely to blame for the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. "These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence, 'air bombs,'" said Dr. Randy Cerveny at Arizona State University. "They're formed by what are called microbursts. They're blasts of
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Children's brains undergo noticeable changes after just one season of football, even if they were never diagnosed with a concussion, according to a new imaging study. While there is no way to know whether the changes may lead to health problems down the road, the researchers found that the degree of change seen in the brain's white matter tracts was tied to the amount of exposure a child had to head impacts during play. "It’s really another study that suggests there are changes in the brain associated with all of these head impacts," said lead author Dr. Christopher Whitlow, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Telling little fibs leads down a slippery slope to bigger lies — and our brains adapt to escalating dishonesty, which makes deceit easier, a new study shows. Neuroscientists at the University College London's Affective Brain Lab put 80 people in scenarios where they could repeatedly lie and get paid more based on the magnitude of their lies. The researchers then used brain scans to show that our mind's emotional hot spot — the amygdala — becomes desensitized or used to the growing dishonesty, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session this week, during which he fielded 15 questions about the SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System (ITS). Musk said his SpaceX team plans to test a booster fuel tank "in the coming weeks" to see how it fares when two-thirds of its power is put to the test. He added that the ITS moniker isn't working, and his team is now looking for a new one that better suits an effort to bring humans to Mars. Musk has been one of the more outspoken proponents of going to Mars and has said on numerous occasions that he believes it can be achieved by a private company like SpaceX and not just a government agency. Musk, who also
One of the biggest accomplishments that a professor can achieve is reaching tenure, a process that is surely expedited by having your paper recognized by a scientific conference. Unfortunately, how Christoph Bartneck got to that point leaves more questions than answers, reports The Guardian. An associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Bartneck received an invitation from the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
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.
Government support and lower costs will power stronger-than-expected global growth in renewable energy over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday. After a record 2015, global renewable electricity capacity will grow by 825 gigawatts by 2021, a massive 42-percent rise, the IEA said. The IEA has been criticised in some quarters for being over-cautious about renewables.
Scientists have recently discovered a mysterious, 100-million-year-old insect trapped in amber — and as far as anyone knows, it is unlike any other insect that has ever lived on Earth. The weird insect, called Aptenoperissus burmanicus, is a mash-up of many other creatures: It has the face of a wasp but no wings, the legs of a grasshopper, the antenna of an ant and the body of a cockroach. "When I first looked at this insect, I had no idea what it was," study co-author George Poinar Jr., a professor emeritus at Oregon State University, said in a statement.
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.
Google has a new doodle on their homepage today, celebrating the, er, 384th birthday of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch textile salesman considered the first microbiologist. Van Leeuwenhoek designed a single-lens microscope which he used to observe what he famously called "little animals" - single cell organisms that we now know as bacteria and other microbes. The famous phrase came from a letter to the Royal Society of London, in which van Leeuwenhoek marveled at what he had seen in a sample of water from a nearby lake. On its Doodle page, Google says, "In his rooms on the Market Square in Delft, Netherlands, van Leeuwenhoek was a DIY-er supreme.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project had intended to find out how quickly water levels rose in the Black Sea after the last Ice Age, but the team ended up discovering a whole lot more than they had bargained for, Quartz reports. While examining the seabeds, the scientists found dozens and dozens of previously undiscovered shipwrecks — 41 in all. "The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys," the project's principal investigator, Jon Adams, said in a statement. Many of the shipwrecks were in spectacular condition due to the low oxygen levels that exist nearly 500 feet below the surface. "Certainly no one has achieved
In 2006, Cheryl Nickerson sent a culture of salmonella bacteria for a ride on the space shuttle Atlantis. Eleven days later, she watched anxiously from the Kennedy Space Center in the dead of night as her bacteria returned safely. Nickerson, a microbiologist at Arizona State University, and her team then infected hundreds of mice with the salmonella grown in space. At the same time, they infected hundreds of other mice with salmonella simultaneously grown on the ground. They had to work quickly before the bacteria lost the effects of space; it took them about three hours from the time the shuttle landed. “You get one chance to get it right,” Nickerson said. “We moved lightning fast.” After a
Famed billionaire and wannabe space cadet Elon Musk took to Reddit to do a surprise AMA yesterday. It was supposed to be a follow-up to SpaceX's recent announcement about how it plans to return Elon Musk to his place of birth, and also create a permanent Mars colony along the way. Given that Musk insisted questions stick on the topic of SpaceX and its recent announcement, much of the conversation was centered around highly technical details.
Sixty-eight may not seem that old, but for Snooty the manatee, it's a world record. Snooty is now the world's oldest manatee living in captivity, the Guinness World Records recently announced. The sea cow was brought to South Florida Museum as an 11-month-old calf in 1949.
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
Brilliant people aren't a special breed of super-humans. They just harness the power of their minds differently. They have the curiosity to wonder, “What if…” and the confidence to try and explore. Educators have a responsibility to insure that students’ natural curiosity and confidence are nurtured and encouraged through their curricula, not despite their curricula. I have dedicated the past 35 years of my professional life to promoting impactful learning. I love engaging individuals in intellectual challenges — whether it’s face-to-face, via Skype, in the classroom, on television, or through over 4,000 math videos that I have created. Those uplifting moments of thoughtful engagement invite
The ancestors of today's slithery snakes once sported full-fledged arms and legs, but genetic mutations caused the reptiles to lose all four of their limbs about 150 million years ago, according to two new studies. The findings are welcome news to herpetologists, who have long wondered what genetic changes caused snakes to lose their arms and legs, the researchers said. Both studies showed that mutations in a stretch of snake DNA called ZRS (the Zone of Polarizing Activity Regulatory Sequence) were responsible for the limb-altering change.
In the desert near Scottsdale, the new tourist attraction Dolphinaris Arizona opened for business on Oct. 15. Customers will pay hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to swim with its three captive dolphins. How did those dolphins get there? They were flown from Hawaii by FedEx. Two activists from the nonprofit advocacy group, Animal Rights Hawaii, went inside a FedEx cargo warehouse at the Honolulu Airport in late September and filmed a container holding the dolphins. The video was posted on the Animal Rights Hawaii Facebook page. The dolphins were likely kept inside the shipping crate for at least 12 hours, based on the flight itinerary. "I think it was definitely shocking for a lot of people