Science

  • ABC News

    Scholars Who Studied Liars, Put Pants on Rats Win Ig Nobels

    A Swede who wrote a trilogy about collecting bugs, an Egyptian doctor who put pants on rats to study their sex lives and a British researcher who lived like an animal have been named winners of the Ig Nobels, the annual spoof prizes for quirky scientific achievement. The winners were being honored — or maybe dishonored — Thursday in a zany ceremony at Harvard University. The 26th annual event featured a paper airplane air raid and a tic-tac-toe contest with a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist and four real Nobel laureates. This year's Ig Nobels, sponsored by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research , included research by Fredrik Sjoberg, who published three volumes about collecting hoverflies on the sparsely populated Swedish island where he lives.

  • Mark Zuckerberg Made Us All Friends—Now Can He Rid the World of Disease?
    Town & Country

    Mark Zuckerberg Made Us All Friends—Now Can He Rid the World of Disease?

    Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, want to rid the world of all disease by the end of this century-and they're pledging $3 billion of their fortune to the ambitious goal. Over the next 10 years, the Facebook CEO and his pediatrician wife will donate about six percent of their net worth of $55.2 billion toward advancing scientific research to "cure, prevent or manage all disease" in the next 80 years, the couple announced yesterday at an event in San Francisco for the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. At current rates of progress, Zuckerberg reckons, it will be possible to solve most of these problems "by the end of this century." Zuckerberg and Chan have spent the past two years speaking to scientists and other experts to plan the endeavor.

  • ABC News

    Pioneering California Physicist Dies; Built Important Tool

    A pioneering physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who helped build a key tool for studying the universe and played a role in the project that created the first atomic bomb has died, a lab official said Thursday. Edward Joseph Lofgren led the development, construction and operation of the Bevatron, an early particle accelerator at the lab. A giant machine that smashes atoms, it was used to find the antiproton, a discovery which led to a Nobel Prize. This research helped scientists study how today's universe was created and grew. Lofgren also was involved in the Manhattan project, the federal government's successful effort to build an atomic bomb. Lofgren died in Oakland, California,

  • Beached boats, pink water as drought saps Great Salt Lake
    Associated Press

    Beached boats, pink water as drought saps Great Salt Lake

    On the southern shore of Utah's Great Salt Lake, more than 100 boats are sitting high and dry in a parking lot, unable to sail the shallow, drought-stricken sea. The lake, about 75 miles long (120 kilometers) and 30 miles wide (50 kilometers), is America's largest outside the Great Lakes. The state estimates that the Great Salt Lake's ecosystem has a $1.32 billion economic effect.

  • TakePart.com

    Justice Department Says No Thanks to Forensic Science Report

    Common crime lab techniques made famous by shows like Law & Order have come under fire yet again—this time by President Obama’s top scientific advisers. A damning report released this week by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology calls into question the scientific basis of the forensic analysis of bite marks, mixed DNA samples, hair samples, and footwear, among other techniques. In spite of the esteemed origin of the report, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department wouldn’t heed the findings.

  • LiveScience.com

    Eggo Waffle Recall: How To Find Listeria

    Kellogg announced on Monday that it is recalling approximately 10,000 cases of Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles due to possible contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. There are several ways that bacteria such as Listeria can get into food products, said Benjamin Chapman, a food safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University. One way is if the bacteria make their way into the food-processing plant, Chapman said.

  • ABC News

    Warmer Waters Might Prevent Baby Lobsters From Surviving

    Baby lobsters might not be able to survive in the ocean's waters if the ocean continues to warm at the expected rate. That is the key finding of a study performed by scientists in Maine, the state most closely associated with lobster in the U.S. The scientists found that lobster larvae struggled to survive when they were reared in water 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the current temperatures typical of the western Gulf of Maine. That's how much the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Gulf of Maine to warm by the year 2100. The paper appears this month in the scientific journal ICES (ICE-ees) Journal of Marine Science. Scientists at the University of Maine Darling

  • Work on sex life of rats, life as a badger honored at Ig Nobel Prizes
    Reuters

    Work on sex life of rats, life as a badger honored at Ig Nobel Prizes

    By Scott Malone CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Scientific research into how polyester pants affect the sex life of rats, what it's like for a human to live like a badger and how different the world looks when viewed through your legs was honored at this year's Ig Nobel spoof awards. The group also took a dig at Volkswagen AG, lauding it in chemistry for engineering its vehicles to produce fewer emissions "whenever the cars are being tested." The prizes will be awarded for a 26th straight year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday by a group of actual Nobel Prize winners, and are intended to honor accomplishments in science and humanities that make one laugh, then think. "The prizes are for something pretty unusual," said Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, and host of the awards.

  • Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
    AFP

    Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline

    Germany has halted a three-decade-long decline in its birth rate, with data showing that the trend has started to reverse, statisticians said Friday. Over the last 35 years Europe's biggest economy had recorded a steady fall in birth rate, which reached a low of 1.49 child for each woman born in the year 1968, said the Federal Institute for Population Research. "The decline in birth rate has stopped," said Martin Bujard, a researcher at the institute.

  • Man becomes goat for 3 days, wins award
    Mashable

    Man becomes goat for 3 days, wins award

    LONDON — Remember that guy that decided being a human is overrated and created special prostheses that allowed him to live among mountain goats in the Alps for three days?  Absolute legend, right? Well, this hero is finally receiving the acclaim that

  • Dna Analysis Points To Humanity's Oldest Civilization
    Fox News

    Dna Analysis Points To Humanity's Oldest Civilization

    New research suggests that the title of world's oldest civilization goes to the indigenous populations of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Scientists say the DNA of these people can be traced back to an original wave of settlers from Africa more than 50,000 years ago, reports the Guardian. “They are probably the oldest group in the world that you can link to one particular place,” says the University of Copenhagen's Eske Willerslev, lead author of a new study in Nature. It finds that the ancestors of these indigenous populations arrived on Sahul—a supercontinent that once included New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania, per the Telegraph—between 51,000 and 72,000 years ago. In fact, the study suggests

  • LiveScience.com

    A Look at Holiday Weight Gain in 3 Countries

    Holiday weight gain isn't unique to the United States: A new analysis finds that people in Germany and Japan also pack on pounds during festive seasons. In the study, which was published today (Sept. 21) in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers gave wireless digital scales to nearly 3,000 participants in Germany, Japan and the United States. People in all three countries gained weight, on average, around Christmas, according to the study.

  • Bloomberg

    SpaceX Sees Clue to Rocket Blast in Super-Chilled Helium Breach

    Elon Musk’s SpaceX revealed a crucial new clue in its hunt to determine what triggered a fireball that engulfed its rocket on a Florida launchpad: a “large breach” in the Falcon 9’s super-chilled helium system. The timeline is “extremely short,” less than a 10th of a second, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said in a statement posted to its website Friday. While the investigation continues, SpaceX’s rockets, which fly missions for commercial satellite customers as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, remain grounded.

  • Laos failing to curb illegal wildlife trade: monitor
    AFP

    Laos failing to curb illegal wildlife trade: monitor

    The illegal trade in pangolins, helmeted hornbills and other wildlife products is thriving in Laos, a monitoring group said Friday, urging the Southeast Asian nation to crack down on a lucrative commerce largely fuelled by demand in neighbouring China. The authoritarian country has long been top transit hub for the smuggling of wildlife products, with widespread corruption and weak law enforcement allowing the criminal activity to flourish. Wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC said Friday that endangered species such as pangolins and helmeted hornbills were being openly sold in Laos and that law enforcement against the illegal trade remained threadbare.

  • The Atlantic

    How a Garbage Fire Could Lead to New Antibiotics

    The fire under Centralia has been burning since 1962. That spring, a dump in the Pennsylvania mining town caught on fire. The dump was in a strip mine, which led to an underground mine, which led to a coal seam under the town. Fire met fuel, miles and

  • Connecticut becoming a hub for new bioscience companies
    Associated Press

    Connecticut becoming a hub for new bioscience companies

    Connecticut hasn't become the Silicon Valley of bioscience quite yet, but five years after lawmakers made a massive investment to support the development of that industry, there is a thriving hub in Farmington. The labs are being leased to the companies as part of the university's Technology Incubation Program, which is designed to help bioscience and tech companies start and grow in Connecticut.

  • Scientists Read Ancient Hebrew Scroll Without Opening It
    Popular Mechanics

    Scientists Read Ancient Hebrew Scroll Without Opening It

    The En-Gedi manuscript is the first heavily damaged ancient scroll to be virtually unraveled and read, line by line, without opening it. "Like many badly damaged materials in archives around the world, the En-Gedi scroll was shelved, leaving its potentially valuable contents hidden and effectively locked away by its own damaged condition," writes Seales and his colleagues.

  • Internal email: Paul Allen’s top space exec Chuck Beames leaving Vulcan Aerospace
    GeekWire

    Internal email: Paul Allen’s top space exec Chuck Beames leaving Vulcan Aerospace

    Aerospace veteran Chuck Beames is leaving his post as president of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s spaceflight company, Vulcan Aerospace. Word of Beames’ departure came from Allen in an internal email that was sent to Vulcan employees and obtained by GeekWire today. Allen said Jean Floyd, the CEO of Vulcan’s Stratolaunch Systems, will expand his role to become Vulcan Aerospace’s interim executive director as well.

  • LiveScience.com

    Associating Colors with Letters: Clues to Synesthesia

    People with an unusual condition called synesthesia, which makes them experience a "mixing" of their senses, may automatically form stronger mental links between the sound of a word and the image that word conjures up in their mind, according to a small new study. For example, a person with synesthesia might always perceive the letter "Y" as blue or yellow, even when that individual sees it in black print. "There's been a debate about synesthesia," study co-author Dr. Krish Sathian, a neurologist at Emory University, said in a statement.

  • ABC News

    SpaceX: Accident Points to Breach in Rocket's Helium System

    SpaceX said Friday that evidence points to a large breach in the rocket's helium system during a routine prelaunch test that turned into a devastating fireball three weeks ago. The Falcon rocket and a satellite were destroyed in the Sept. 1 explosion, which occurred on the pad two days before the scheduled liftoff. Most of the wreckage has been recovered and is being analyzed. In an update Friday, SpaceX said it's still poring through video, audio and data from the moment the first sign of a problem occurs, until the actual fireball. That timeline covers less than one-tenth of one second. The data and debris indicate "a large breach" in the helium system of the second-stage liquid oxygen tank.

  • Albania seeks to liberate chained bears
    AFP

    Albania seeks to liberate chained bears

    The two five-year-old Albanian bears carry physical and mental scars from their days of mistreatment and captivity -- Pashuk has marks from the tight chain on his neck, while Tomi is an alcoholic. The pair are temporarily staying in Tirana zoo after they were rescued from their jailers, amid a new drive to liberate the Balkan country's cruelly caged brown bears. There are up to 250 of them roaming free in Albania's mountains, according to the international animal rights group Four Paws.

  • China Claims It Developed "Quantum" Radar To See Stealth Planes
    Popular Mechanics

    China Claims It Developed "Quantum" Radar To See Stealth Planes

    Beijing's state media has made the bold claim that a Chinese defense contractor successfully developed the world's first quantum radar system. Quantum radar is based on the theory of quantum entanglement and the idea that two different particles can share a relationship with one another to the point that, by studying one particle, you can learn things about the other particle-which could be miles away. In quantum radars, a photon is split by a crystal into two entangled photons, a process known as "parametric down-conversion." The radar splits multiple photons into entangled pairs-and A and a B, so to speak.

  • LiveScience.com

    The Science of Boredom

    Although boredom is as familiar a feeling as excitement or fear, science has only begun to understand what makes people bored. Recently, six scientists who emerged after living for a year in isolation on the Mauna Loa volcano as part of the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) experiment, which simulated the isolation that future space travelers might experience traveling to and living on Mars, said that boredom was their biggest challenge. Boredom "has been understudied until fairly recently, but it’s [worth studying] because human experience has consequences for how we interact with each our and our environment," said James Danckert, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo in Ontario in an interview with Live Science.

  • Working transporter beams photons just under four miles away using dark optics
    Digital Trends

    Working transporter beams photons just under four miles away using dark optics

    Gene Roddenberry came up with the method of using transporters in Star Trek to transition characters from the Enterprise set to planet landscapes and cities. For starters, the team sent the pair’s first proton to city hall while the second proton traveled to the university.