It sounds like the stuff of horror films: a creeping black slime that can't be killed. But experts say a real-life microbial invasion is coating some of the nation's most important monuments in black. The National Park Service earlier this month reported the "biofilm" has befouled the Jefferson Memorial, particularly its "gleaming white rotunda," and appears on the Washington and Lincoln Memorials and on tombstones in the Congressional Cemetery. But the mysterious substance—"part algae, part bacteria, part fungi," the Washington Post reports—isn’t unique to the Washington, DC, area. Biofilm has slimed sites around the globe, from Egypt to Italy to the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia, per the NPS.
A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender. “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence. “Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.
Storytelling images on a deer-hide "manuscript" from Mexico have been seen for the first time in 500 years, thanks to sophisticated scanning technology that penetrated layers of chalk and plaster. This "codex," a type of book-like text, originated in the part of Mexico that is now Oaxaca, and is one of only 20 surviving codices that were made in the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans. Other Mexican codices recovered from this period contained colorful pictographs — images that represent words or phrases — which have been translated as descriptions of alliances, wars, rituals and genealogies, according to the study authors.
Embraced by kings and freedom fighters alike, Myanmar's peacocks have long been a national symbol of pride and resistance -- but they are becoming ever harder to spot in the wild. Ornithologist Thet Zaw Naing is worried. Every year that goes by, Myanmar's national bird becomes a less familiar sight.
Atlantic puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine have had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the majority of chicks starving to death in burrows, scientists said. A drop in the puffins' food supply is to blame, said Tony Diamond, director of the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research at the University of New Brunswick. In a typical year, 60 percent of the puffin nests with eggs produce chicks that fly off the nest, and this year, the success rate was 12 percent, the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2bCwkaf) reported.
D.A. Henderson, an American public-health official who led the international campaign to eradicate smallpox in one of the greatest scientific endeavors of the 20th century, died on Friday. Henderson’s death was announced Saturday by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he taught as a public-health professor. When Henderson, then a 39-year-old epidemiologist, became the first chief of the World Health Organization’s smallpox-eradication unit in 1967, the virus killed an estimated two million people every year on three continents.
A large rift is widening across an increasingly fragile Antarctic ice shelf, scientists found. About 10 to 12 percent of the Larsen C Ice Shelf is expected to break off during such an event, leaving the larger ice shelf even more vulnerable to melting from increasing air and ocean temperatures. The iceberg and ice shelf melting would not, however, increase sea levels, since the ice is already resting in the ocean, like an ice cube in a glass.
SEATTLE - A four-foot long skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex arrived arrived at the Burke Museum Thursday morning, and could well prove to be one of the best-preserved skull specimens ever seen, according to museum scientists. The T. rex was found in northern Montana, part of the Hell Creek Formation where many dinosaur fossils have been found. The skull, protected in a plaster cast reinforced with wood, is not the only bone found from this giant meat-eating dinosaur. Scientists at the Burke Museum estimate they have 20% of the skeleton so far, including vertebrae, ribs, and the hips. Researchers are optimistic that many of the other bones are still buried in the hillside awaiting excavation, but
By October 2016, the popular farm-to-counter chain will open a 50-acre organic farm near Hudson, New York, CEO Adam Eskin tells Business Insider. Dig Inn's farmers will experiment with different organic farming methods, seed varieties, and crop rotations, Taylor Lanzet, Dig Inn's sustainability manager, tells BI. Since its launch in 2011, Dig Inn has opened 11 New York locations and one in Boston.
Such an incident could potentially mean years of work lost, and that not only relates to the blood, sweat and tears expended keeping the spacecraft in operation far from Earth, but also the massive amount of preparation needed to get the thing off the ground in the first place. In October 2014, the situation looked serious for NASA engineers working on the Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission when they lost touch with one of two sun-studying spacecraft eight years after launch. The breakdown occurred while NASA was testing a set of important procedures designed to keep the satellites operating throughout an upcoming four-month communications blackout caused by interference from the sun.
One man's fatal lung infection highlights a rare danger that musicians may face: getting sick from fungi growing within their instruments, according to a recent report of the case. The 61-year-old man developed what his doctors in England described as "bagpipe lung," and died just a month after he was hospitalized for his infection, according to the case report, published today (Aug. 22) in the journal Thorax. The man had previously been diagnosed with a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, in 2009, the doctors who treated him wrote.
NASA scientists are putting the finishing touches on a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with Asteroid Bennu in 2018 to find clues about the origins of life.
A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. "It's great news for this particular species because had we not found this new population, they were in grave danger of being wiped out within a decade," spokeswoman for FFI in Vietnam, Akofa Wallace, told AFP Tuesday.
Men who earn more money than their wives may be rolling in the bucks, but they tend to have poor health and heightened anxiety, new research shows. Researchers analyzed surveys from 9,000 young married men and women in the United States taken annually over a 15-year period, and evaluated each participant's response on income, health and psychological wellness. The findings suggest that men who are primary breadwinners — and who, in essence, fulfill the culturally held expectation that husbands should bring home more money than their wives — are actually worse off than men who earn salaries that are more equal to those of their wives.
Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have found a way to make electrical wires that are thousands of times thinner than a human hair. The secret? The "microbial nanowires," or little hair-like protein filaments, or pili, produced
With Tesla unveiling its Master Plan 2.0 that includes a fleet of shared, driverless vehicles, Ford's announcement that it will mass produce fully-autonomous cars by 2021, and Uber's plan to use driverless cars in Pittsburgh by the end of August, there has never been more enthusiasm for the potential of self-driving cars. But, while Tesla's Autopilot and other driver assistance systems have come a long way in advancing the technology behind autonomous driving, there are still some big technical hurdles to overcome to get these vehicles ready for the public—and that's fantastic news for tech jobs. If you're a software developer, engineer, roboticist, or designer, now has never been a better time
Germany's opposition Green party unveiled Monday a 10-point plan to end electricity generation from coal within 20 years, a key plank of its campaign heading into next year's general elections. "We aim to introduce the end of the coal era in Germany, irreversibly and reliably in the coming parliamentary term," running to 2021, Green lawmakers wrote in the proposal, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. As the smallest party represented in parliament, the Greens have been mooted as a potential kingmaker to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives after the general election expected in September or October 2017.
When it comes to sending rockets to Mars, the biggest hurdle NASA has faced is the amount of energy needed to carry a very small payload over such a long distance. Modern technology doesn't allow for us to get enough there to start a full Martian colony. But 24-year-old engineering student Gary Li believes he's found a solution with an efficient self-healing plasma rocket. Follow TI: On Facebook
Welcome to a very special ABC news live streaming events I'm going to be talking with two American astronauts. Flight commander Jeff Williams ended doctor Kate Rubens live from the International Space Station this is live streaming and all of ABC's. Digital platforms as well as as FaceBook. A FaceBook lied. I want to welcome our two astronauts. Flight commander Jeff Williams is about to set a record for the most cumulative days in space. But it will be a total of 534. And doctor Kate Rubens is is on her. Her first spaceflight. Kate I want to I want to start by asking you a question I I understand that both of you win on the space walk at the end of last week. It was your first space walk. So
Researchers at Scotland's University of St. Andrews have demonstrated the world's first polariton laser based on lab-grown, fluorescent jellyfish proteins -- which could help trigger major advances in fields like optical computing. "I've always been fascinated by the material properties of fluorescent proteins," said Malte Gather, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, who helped invent the laser. "They have a very special molecular structure that is unlike the structure of any of the synthetic materials that we use." Polariton lasers are different in their physics from conventional lasers, and potentially more efficient at generating light at low energy levels. However, they have previously
The tree, dubbed "Adonis" by the scientists who discovered it, is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) that took root in A.D. 941, high in the Pindus mountains of Greece. "It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years," Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the leader of the expedition that found the tree, said in a statement. Researchers first discovered the tree during a research trip run by the Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO), which was analyzing tree rings for evidence of the region's past climate.
In the real world, we get to know something by touching and feeling the objects. The same isn't possible on video — yet. In MIT PhD candidate Abe Davis's dissertation, he explains how he's trying to change that and introduce tactile input into videos.
The Antarctic is freezing cold, and ice both above and below the surface of the water can block routes and prove hazardous for boats and equipment. Autonomous underwater vehicles are making some progress, but a team of researchers also turned to another solution to gather data -- the animals that inhabit the Antarctic. Led by Guy Williams of the University of Tasmania, Australia, the team this week released the results of their research in the journal Nature Communications, the ABC has reported. The team wished to study the effect of melting ice shelves on Antarctic bottom water in East Antarctica's Prydz Bay. If something happens to the bottom water, it affects the entire globe. Previous studies
When it comes to creatures with keen hearing ability, sea anemones are not at the top of the list. The finding comes from a study done in mice and could be an early step toward finding a treatment for people with hearing loss, the researchers said. In mammals, including humans, sound is translated from vibrations in the air into nerve signals that can be sent to the brain by highly specialized cells called hair cells.