Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998. The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors, unable to come together at the tips. Others curved up or down like crossed sickles. Handel, a U.S. Geological Survey bird specialist, was sure the cause of avian keratin disorder would be found quickly: contaminated birdseed, a poison targeting spruce bark beetles, maybe some sort of bacterium or fungus. Years went by. She found herself losing sleep over a mysterious ailment afflicting 6.5 percent of south-central Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent
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.
In the Sonoran Desert, a body laid gently on its side, its arms crossed, its knees bent toward its chest, tells the story of someone who was loved and respected, whose community mourned her once she was gone. The University of Arizona bioarchaeologist studies “atypical” burials — bodies tossed haphazardly into graves headfirst, their bones broken, their limbs splayed. In a new study in the journal Current Anthropology, Watson and doctoral student Danielle Phelps argue that these burials are a sign of the violent circumstances surrounding deaths that happened thousands of years ago. “These people were buried very differently than the rest of the community, and we're trying to understand why that is,” Watson said in a news release.
A mysterious structure orbits a star almost 1,500 light-years from Earth. Most astronomers remain skeptical about that but are nonetheless intrigued as Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) projects to observe Tabby’s star continue. Now, a team of University of California, Berkeley astronomers have turned their gaze toward Tabby’s Star as a part of its 10-year, $100 million initiative to find extraterrestrial intelligence.
At engineering schools throughout the world, professors are turning to virtual reality technology in the classroom. The technology provides 3-D visuals that help engineering students improve their designs, alerting them to flaws before the building process starts . Engineering schools are researching technologies that could transform the way people communicate and interact by -- for instance -- allowing people to visit one another in a virtual space if they can't meet in person.
The national group last week unveiled a new set of guidelines that allow for certain types of media use by younger children and set broader parameters for older kids to keep them well-rested, physically active and socially engaged. "Parents can set expectations and boundaries to make sure their children's media experience is a positive one," she said. The AAP's recommendations were published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics.
Russia is claiming that the Afghanit active protection system (APS) mounted on Moscow’s powerful new T-14 Armata main battle tanks has been proven effective at intercepting depleted uranium-core armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) cannon shells. If Moscow’s claims are accurate, the new Russian active protection system would be a game-changing development in the realm of mechanized warfare. While active protection systems were thought to be effective mostly against incoming anti-tank missiles and rocket propelled grenades, most industry and defense experts had believed that active protection systems were ineffective against kinetic energy (KE) round such as the U.S. Army’s M829A4 120mm APFSDS.
More corals are dying and others are succumbing to disease and predators after the worst-ever bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, scientists said Wednesday. A swathe of corals bleached in the northern third of the 2,300-kilometre (1,429-mile) long biodiverse site off the Queensland state coast died after an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year as sea temperatures rose. "In March, we measured a lot of heavily bleached branching corals that were still alive, but we didn't see many survivors this week," Andrew Hoey of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said in a statement.
The wreck of a World War I German submarine has been discovered off the coast of Scotland by marine engineers surveying the route of an undersea power cable. Researchers said they think the wreck is one of two German U-boats sunk by British patrol ships in the Irish Sea in 1918 — including one that was supposedly attacked by a sea monster, according to an internet legend. Marine archeologist and historian Innes McCartney, from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, said the submarine wreck was in reasonably good shape, considering it has spent almost 100 years on the seafloor at a depth of 340 feet (about 100 meters).
On current trends, stocks of global wildlife could plunge two-thirds by 2020, an annual decline of two percent, conservation group WWF and the Zoological Society of London warned in their joint biennial Living Planet report. "This should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations," said Ken Norris, director of science at the Zoological Society of London.
The problem with providing a “rough, first-draft of history” is that so few people ever see the later drafts. And so it goes with Gaétan Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant who died in 1984 and soon thereafter was identified by the media as “Patient Zero” in the North American HIV/AIDS epidemic. Journalist Randy Shilts cast Dugas as such in his 1987 book, And the Band Played On; although other reports had avoided the mischaracterization, the moniker stuck. Scientists have returned to this episode in a rigorous new Nature paper that traces the actual origin of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. back to the early 1970s. About 35 million people have died from AIDS-related causes since the disease
Post written byVincent Ialenti and Annie Tomlinson The authors are National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellows and PhD students at Cornell University. Nuclear technologies have long evoked grand images—from billowing mushroom clouds to massive concrete cooling towers looming above nuclear power plants. This bigness has been engrained in our very language. A person can, for example, take the “nuclear option” – the most extreme course of action – when making a difficult decision. In anger, a person might “go nuclear,” exploding into rage. In many ways, nuclear technologies earned their reputations for their huge scale. Since the 1950s, the size of nuclear power reactors has grown from
The brain uses different hemispheres to sort through negative and positive information, says Clifford Nass, in the book he co-authored, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What We Can Learn About Ourselves From Our Machines. In a New York Times interview, Nass - a professor of communications at Stanford University - explains, "Negative emotions generally require more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones." The extra brain power that's required to process negative emotions means we spend more time contemplating the bad stuff and less time on the good stuff. In 1959, psychologist Carl Rogers wrote about unconditional positive regard and how important it is in personal development.
“What we tried to achieve was to build a material structure that would shrink when you heat it and expand when you cool it down,” Nicholas Fang, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, told Digital Trends. To achieve this, Fang and his colleagues created tiny, 3D-printed star-shaped structures — around the size of a single sugar cube — which rapidly shrink when subjected to extreme temperatures of 540-degrees Fahrenheit.
A subversive influx of mild, dense salt water is undermining the vast ice shelves of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and threatening to destabilize the entire region, thereby raising sea levels worldwide by at least four, and possibly as much as 15 feet.
The United States and China appear to be keeping an unusually low profile as they push for more dialogue and cooperation on space exploration. The State Department hosted a new round of space cooperation talks in Washington last week with a delegation led by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), but U.S. officials didn’t publicly announce the meeting until Monday, via a tersely worded press release that said a third round of civil space dialogue would be held in China next year. CNSA has yet to make any public mention of the talks, which included Pentagon officials and representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and
Communities in the U.S. range widely in the percentage of residents who've had heart attacks, a new report shows. Less than 2 percent of the residents of Boulder, Colorado, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported having had heart attacks, according to new findings from a Gallup-Healthways survey of people living in 190 U.S. metro areas, conducted in 2014 and 2015. The community with the highest rate of heart attacks was Charleston, West Virginia, according to the survey.
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.
Astronauts may have no trouble moving heavy objects in the weightlessness of space, but that doesn't mean that the experience isn't hard on their backs. Astronauts on long-duration spaceflights routinely report back pain, both during and after the flight. Now doctors think they know what's causing this. In a new study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to observe the spines of six NASA astronauts before they landed, at the time of landing and about two months after they had spent upward of seven months on the International Space Station. The researchers found that the prolonged exposure to weightlessness weakened the muscles supporting the astronauts' spines. The discovery
There are more than 30 million research papers out there, and more than 3,000 papers are published every day. Put simply, you haven’t a chance in hell to read all of them. So what’s a poor researcher to do when set a challenge in a brand new field of research? Once the wave of blind panic and urge to drink copious amounts of gin has dissipated, you reach for a technology solution. Iris believes it has just the thing. The company launched a public beta to show off its technology this week. “We’re of course really excited with the first results,” says Anita Schjøll Brede, the company’s CEO. “But to be honest we’re running a marathon here. Our ultimate goal is an AI Scientist and we’re not done
Within the fields of history and journalism, the use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has greatly changed the way we visualize, understand, and analyze racial bias within the United States and the globe. Maps have always been a way that we were able to conceptualize the topography of our universe, and now the use of GIS has given us more insight into the inequality embedded in our country than ever before. Below are just a few of the projects working to use spatial analysis in order to reveal the historical and current prejudices that people of color face every day. 5. Lynching Maps And The Equal Justice Initiative In 2015, the New York Times profiled the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI)
Four4Four Tech: How hackers disrupted the Internet; Apple set for MacBook refresh, 'Skunklock' makes bike thieves vomit, U.S. Army tests self-driving trucks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998.The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors
The European Union adopted a plan to keep a leading place in the increasingly competitive global space industry by encouraging companies to make use of its cutting-edge satellite data set to become indispensable in areas from producing driverless cars to monitoring climate change. The European Commission, the regulatory arm of the 28-nation EU, wants to promote the creation of industrial space hubs and help start-ups gain a foothold in the region’s space industry. The Space Strategy for Europe also highlights the need for the region to develop autonomous access to space through building its own launchers.