Toxic smog has found itself in the dock in China, as the authorities are taken to court over a problem that has choked entire regions, put public health at risk and forced the closure of schools and roads. At the helm is a group of human rights lawyers, who despite increasing government hostility to their work on some of China's most sensitive cases, say popular feeling is behind them when it comes to pollution that is literally off the charts. "Chinese people aren’t too concerned about societal problems and things that aren't happening to them personally, but this issue is different: everyone is a victim and is personally influenced by breathing polluted air," lawyer Yu Wensheng told AFP.
What could an Indonesian volcanic eruption, a 200-year-old climate disaster and a surge in the consumption of mackerel tell us about today's era of global warming? A group of scientists and academics with the University of Massachusetts and other institutions made that assessment while conducting research about a long-ago calamity in New England that was caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora half a world away in 1815. A cooled climate led to deaths of livestock and changed fish patterns in New England, leaving many people dependent on the mackerel, an edible fish that was less affected than many animals.
The satellite formerly known as GOES-R (so Prince, right?) has transmitted its first images back to Earth, and they are flooring. From the details on the face of the moon to the incredible resolution of cumulus over the Caribbean, these first pixels portend a sunny future for NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite. Meteorologists are drooling. This release coincides with the first day of the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting. There are thousands of weather geeks in Seattle this week, and — at least on Monday — they’re all looking at this next-gen satellite imagery. As we’ve written before, GOES-R satellite has six instruments, two of which are weather-related. The Advanced Baseline Imager,
A month after retaking control of Palmyra, the Islamic State group (also called ISIS or Daesh) has allegedly committed new destruction and executions in the ancient Syrian city. Two of Palmyra's iconic monuments, the Tetrapylon and the Roman theater, have experienced "significant damage," according to the Cultural Heritage Initiatives (CHI) of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), which obtained new satellite images of the site from DigitalGlobe.
Before Rachel Carson became the mother of the modern environmental movement, she was stuck in a job that paid the bills but left her restless. It was in that role that Carson learned about DDT — a potent pesticide that farmers sprayed indiscriminately over their crops. The PBS documentary Rachel Carson draws on the biologist's own writings, letters and recent scholarship to tell her inspiring life story.
Having apparently taken note of Elon Musk’s plan for a super-fast “Hyperloop” transportation system, engineers in South Korea are now working on their own remarkably similar technology. The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) recently revealed plans for a near-supersonic “train” that’d be capable of whisking passengers between Seoul and the southern Korean city of Busan 200 miles away in just half an hour.
A virus rarely seen in the United States recently infected eight people in Wisconsin and Illinois who were working in facilities where pet rats are bred, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Authorities first became aware of the infections when two people in Wisconsin who operated a rat-breeding facility fell ill in December 2016, with one going to the hospital. Both breeders tested positive for Seoul virus, which is part of the Hantavirus family, a group of viruses that typically infect rodents, the CDC said.
A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck deep under Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing damage and blackouts but no tsunami hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for nearby islands. The mid-afternoon quake struck at a depth of 167 kilometers (103 miles) beneath the eastern province of Bougainville, where Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands meet in a continuous South Pacific archipelago, said Chris McKee, assistant director of Papua New Guinea Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby.
Primatologist Frans de Waal says chimpanzees can do almost everything that was once considered a distinctively human trait. The idea that only humans make tools is today "an unsustainable position," de Waal writes by email. The only unique trait of humans, he says, might be that we have symbolic language.
MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. State prosecutors said the pit was discovered in February 2016 on a rural hillside in Garcia, near the northern city of Monterrey. But in the year since then investigators have been painstakingly analyzing the fragments and teeth to see how many people were buried there and who they were. On Sunday, the prosecutors’ office said 24 sets of remains were identified through DNA testing. Some of the 24 remains whose DNA matched existing profiles belonged to people who had been reported missing since 2010. The DNA
Since last summer’s announcement of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride Mission Breakout, everybody’s been anxiously awaiting a look inside. Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Designer Joe Rohde and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada gave a tour of the new ride to a handful of folks. Although the ride is still in the early stages, this early look is not only a glance at the Mission Breakout’s development, but also a chance to see the future of Marvel in theme parks.
US President Donald Trump has met with two rumoured front-runners for the role of White House science adviser. Trump met with David Gelernter—a computer scientist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and a critic of liberal academia—on January 16. And on January 13, Trump met with William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University in New Jersey who rejects the notion that carbon dioxide emissions from human activities will cause dangerous levels of global warming. Several media reports have identified the two men as contenders for the science-adviser job. Gelernter told Nature in an e-mail that his meeting with Trump was “wide-ranging & informal”, adding that the president is “not just
It was an unusual and unfortunate confluence of events: A larger-than-normal number of geese was making a later-than-normal migration over Montana when a snowstorm blew in at the wrong time and sent them soaring to the wrong place. The throngs of white birds splashed down in a 50 billion-gallon toxic stew in a former copper mine that is part of the nation's largest Superfund site. The Anaconda Copper Co. mined thousands of miles of tunnels under Butte over a century, finding gold, silver, lead, zinc, manganese and especially copper, and earning the city of 30,000 the nickname "The Richest Hill on Earth." The old mine shafts started flooding when mining there ended in 1982, sending tainted water into the Berkeley Pit.
As such, the common method of tapping or whacking a ketchup bottle to encourage the sauce to come out is necessary, but what's the best way to keep the splatter at bay? The answer lies in understanding rheology, which is the study of these soft solids, said Anthony Stickland, a senior lecturer in the University of Melbourne's School of Engineering. There are three simple steps to getting ketchup out of the bottle without the mess, Stickland said in a statement.
This composite color full-disk image from GOES-16, focusing on North and South America, was acquired at 10:07 a.m. PT on Jan. 15. Two months after its launch, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back its first images – and they’re spectacular. GOES-16 is watching the Western Hemisphere from a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, with a camera known as the Advanced Baseline Imager that provides four times the resolution of previously launched GOES satellites.
Detailed images taken by New Horizons spacecraft revealed in new NASA video, showing surface and potential landing on the dwarf planet Pluto
Of all the treatments that patients use, the ones that benefit patients the least include unneeded antibiotics and dietary supplements, according to a recent survey of U.S. doctors. It is the second of two surveys on high-value care, which is defined as providing treatments to patients that have benefits that outweigh their potential harms and avoid unnecessary costs. "The bottom line: the health care costs are rising," and they're increasing at an unsustainable rate, Dr. Amir Qaseem, the lead author of the paper and chair of ACP’s High Value Care Task Force, told Live Science.
A giant goddess sculpture has been found on the sea floor off the south-western coast of Turkey. Experts believe it to be the largest of its kind ever discovered in Turkish waters. The 2,700-year-old artefact was found by archaeologists investigating the contents of a 43m deep shipwreck uncovered in November 2016. Presently they have only located the legs and feet of the Cypriot goddess - now the race is on to find her upper half. Researchers from Dokuz Eylül University sifted through an area of approximately 300 sq ft off the coast of Bozburun, in Turkey's Marmaris district, hoping to uncover Mediterranean relics. They were delighted to find the ceramic sculpture, which they believe dates back
On July 16, 1962, French geologist Michel Siffre entered a darkened cave where he planned to remain for two months. Tracking the days according to his sleep patterns (one night’s sleep equals one day), he believed his underground stay was ending on Aug. 20. Instead, when he emerged it was Sept. 14 — 25 days later. The new book “Why Time Flies” by New Yorker writer Alan Burdick explores our perception of time. Siffre spent extended periods underground three times, the last in his 60s, and showed how skewed our brain’s sense of time is without the stimuli of natural light. “Like many scientists, Siffre wondered how a human would manage in such places, isolated from other people and from the sun,”
I really did have it all. A rare top job in the City for a woman, a partner who didn't resent it, and wonderful children. Then I was suddenly sent home, caught in a boardroom battle. My life spiralled downhill. The loss was immediate, humiliating and shocking. I was suddenly forbidden to talk to colleagues, people with whom I had worked for more than 10 years. The experience changed my life forever. Now a number of years later I am happier for people to know that, despite my current excellent job, my biggest source of pride is volunteering for the Samaritans. What I learned was that nothing sugarcoats the pain of rejection except the support of other people. I also know that nobody is above being
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unearthed fossils of an intriguingly large otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in southwestern China about 6.2 million years ago. Who would have imagined a wolf-size otter?" said Denise Su, Cleveland Museum of Natural History curator of paleobotany and paleoecology. It had enlarged cheek teeth and strong jaws that appear to have been used for crunching hard objects, perhaps large shellfish and freshwater mollusks, and was capable of swimming in shallow, swampy waters.
A baby monkey is cuddled by its mother to keep warm as the sub-zero temperatures freeze life during a fresh snowfall in Tangmarg. TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images Scientists surveyed every known primate species. Sixty percent are threatened
Few franchises embody this better than Star Wars, existing in a universe where magic, laser swords, and faster-than-light travel are considered run-of-the-mill. All the stories that exist within the Star Wars canon are really best enjoyed with minimal thought or concern paid to realism. Screenwriters can’t fill every gap in logic within Star Wars, so we’re going to attempt to do that for them.
2016 was a painful year for Illumina's (NASDAQ:ILMN) investors. Shares of the genomic-sequencing company dropped by more than 29% during the year in response to disappointing quarterly results. Will the company be able to right the ship in 2017? Here are three reasons to believe that the answer is yes. New partnerships could open doors Illumina recently announced that it has joined forces with Royal Philips NV and IBM in an effort to make processing and analyzing genomics data easier. While these deals are still quite new, they promise to open doors and advance the use of genomic testing in ways that Illumina could never do on its own. I'm particularly excited about the potential of the IBM partnership.
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Archaeologists have created the most precise timeline of Mayan civilization, offering new insights into the ancient people's downfall. As part of a new survey of Mayan archeological data, researchers analyzed 154 radiocarbon dates at a single site, the Royal Palace of Ceibal, which was burned during the Classic Maya collapse in the 9th century. The newly analyzed dates yielded a more precise chronology, revealing ebbs and flows leading up to the 9th-century collapse. The survey -- soon to be published in the journal PNAS -- also revealed the presence of an earlier, smaller collapse. As shown by the radiocarbon data, the patterns of population size and building construction before