Science

  • Sunlight powers an aviation milestone
    CBS News

    Sunlight powers an aviation milestone

    A remarkable aircraft is "winging it" this morning . . . completing its first round-the-world flight. As our David Pogue of Yahoo Tech explains, it's a LIGHT aircraft in more ways than one: Some achievements are considered impossible -- right up until the moment someone does them, like building a flying machine, or walking on the Moon ... or building an airplane powered only by the Sun. The Solar Impulse is on an impossible mission flying around the world without using a single drop of fuel. Not exactly nonstop, and not without a hitch. But it's only one flight away from completing its journey. Two Swiss explorers have been taking turns in the pilot seat "We are so different," Bertrand Piccard

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  • Russian balloonist lands safely in Australia after 11 days
    Washington Post

    Russian balloonist lands safely in Australia after 11 days

    In this Tuesday, July 12, 2016 photo released Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Morton, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov floats at more than 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above an area close to Northam in Western Australia state in his helium and hot-air balloon as he makes a record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop. Konyukhov, 65, was battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo around the world nonstop, his son said on Wednesday July 20, 2016. CANBERRA, Australia — A cold and exhausted 65-year-old Russian balloonist came back to Earth with a bruising thud in the Australian Outback on Saturday after claiming a new record by flying solo around the world nonstop in 11 days, officials said. Fedor Konyukhov landed 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Northam, where he started his journey on July 12, about three hours after he flew over the same town on his return, flight coordinator John Wallington said.

  • Reuters

    China completes world's largest amphibious aircraft: Xinhua

    China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft after seven years of work, which it plans to use to perform marine rescue missions and fight forest fires, the Xinhua news agency reported. The AG600, which is about the size of a Boeing 737 and was developed by state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, Xinhua said quoting the firm. AVIC deputy general manager, Geng Rugang, said the plane was "the latest breakthrough in China's aviation industry." A plan for the development and production of the AG600 received government approval in 2009.

  • Philippines reviewing 'crazy' climate pledges: Duterte
    AFP

    Philippines reviewing 'crazy' climate pledges: Duterte

    The Philippines is reviewing its "crazy" commitment to severely cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the Paris climate deal, new President Rodrigo Duterte has warned. The government of predecessor Benigno Aquino had pledged to the United Nations to cut the Asian country's emissions by 70 percent by 2030 from 2000 levels if it got support from developed nations to convert to clean technologies. "I have misgivings about this Paris (climate deal).... The problem is these industrialised countries have reached their destination," Duterte said in a series of speeches during a visit to the southern island of Mindanao on Friday.

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  • Google, Twitter accused of censoring content about Clinton
    FOX News Videos

    Google, Twitter accused of censoring content about Clinton

    Tech companies allegedly suppressing information critical of the candidate

  • The Cheat Sheet

    7 Ways That 'Star Trek' Changed the World

    The idea that Star Trek has changed the world might sound as farfetched as some of the USS Enterprise’s spacefaring missions, but the truth is that the science fiction series has directly or indirectly impacted both our present and future. It seems like an absurd statement — when creator Gene Roddenberry was first kicking around the idea in 1964, he probably never imagined that Star Trek would still be around in 2016 with reboots in the pipeline. Here are seven ways that Star Trek changed the world. 1.

  • Associated Press

    Scientists work toward storing digital information in DNA

    Her computer, Karin Strauss says, contains her "digital attic" — a place where she stores that published math paper she wrote in high school, and computer science schoolwork from college. Strauss, who works at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, is working to make that sci-fi fantasy a reality. Rather, they aim to help companies and institutions archive huge amounts of data for decades or centuries, at a time when the world is generating digital data faster than it can store it.

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  • Reuters

    'Brain training' cut dementia risk in healthy adults -U.S. study

    By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A computerized brain training program cut the risk of dementia among healthy people by 48 percent, U.S. researchers said on Sunday in reporting an analysis of the results of a 10-year study. The preliminary findings, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto, are the first to show that any kind of intervention could delay the development of dementia in normal, healthy adults. To date, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have largely rejected evidence that computer-based cognitive-training software or "brain games" have any effect on cognitive function.

  • Get Used To These Extreme Summer Heat Waves
    The Huffington Post

    Get Used To These Extreme Summer Heat Waves

    Sweltering heat waves like the ones plaguing the Midwest and Northeast in recent days will become typical summer weather if climate change continues its course, scientists warn.  Temperatures have been in the mid-to-high 90s across the northeast since Thursday, plaguing the New York tri-state area, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C. and beyond. They follow a heat wave that struck the Midwest late last week, slamming Chicago with temperatures in the high 90s that felt more like 105 degrees.  And this comes just a month after triple-digit temperatures scorched the Southwest, breaking temperature records across Arizona and killing four hikers. At this rate, some experts are already saying there’s

  • Associated Press

    Wyoming Vet Lab getting biohazard facility to test wildlife

    Work is underway at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory to add a biohazard facility that will focus on the nasty diseases found in some Wyoming wildlife, like the plague and rabies. Director William Laegreid said the upgraded "biosafety level 3" laboratory will allow veterinarians to keep the main facility open when an animal shows up with a serious disease. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, operated under the University of Wyoming, focuses on diagnosing diseases present in Wyoming wildlife, the Laramie Boomerang reported (http://bit.ly/29TDubl).

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  • Fox News

    148 million years later, dinosaur quarry remains a cold case

    CLEVELAND-LLOYD DINOSAUR QUARRY, Utah –  About 148 million years have passed since dozens of corpses of meat-eating dinosaurs were deposited here, just north of the San Rafael Swell and about 30 miles southeast of Price. What facetiously has been referred to as a "murder mystery" at Cleveland-Lloyd began with excavations in the late 1920s and remains unsolved, even after the uncovering and analysis of more than 12,000 bones. Paleontologists know water likely pooled in this onetime depression. "An early researcher out here once stated that there are almost as many hypotheses for this site as there are annual visitors," said University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh assistant professor Joseph Peterson.

  • What Kind of Rock Would You Be?
    Scientific American Blog Network

    What Kind of Rock Would You Be?

    Shurgoshan asks me, "What kind of rock would you be?" I'd be the schist, of course! I mean, sure, I could've chosen something more serenely sedimentary, with delicate colors and textures. I could've been igneous, firey and explosive. I could've even chosen to be a valuable ore, or a gorgeous semi-precious gemstone. All of those are fabulous choices. But I'm completely schist. I mean, honestly, I'd love being able to introduce myself with comic grandiosity: "I'm the schist!" or mock self-deprecation: "I'm just a little schist." People would ask me how I'm doing, and I could be all, "I feel like schist!" I'm sort of punny that way. If I were schist, I'd have such a history. I'd be very, very old:

  • General Atomics' $40-million gamble on small nukes
    Los Angeles Times

    General Atomics' $40-million gamble on small nukes

    The scientists and engineers at General Atomics think the future of nuclear energy is coming on the back of a flatbed truck. The leadership at the San Diego company, which has been developing nuclear technologies for more than 60 years, has already spent $40 million in the expectation that its ambitious plans for the next generation of reactors will actually work. “We have technology that we think is going to qualitatively change the game," said Christina Back, vice president of nuclear technologies and materials at General Atomics. Called the Energy Multiplier Module, or EM² (EM-squared), the concept is still in the development stage but promises to produce electricity more cheaply, safely and efficiently than the nation’s current fleet of nuclear plants.

  • "Shark Tank" Star Reveals #1 Mortgage Payoff Tip

    "Shark Tank" Star Reveals #1 Mortgage Payoff Tip

    If you're over 40 years old and you own a home, you need to read this. (It's not what you think!)

  • Hyundai analyzes 12 trends that will shape the world of 2030
    Autoblog

    Hyundai analyzes 12 trends that will shape the world of 2030

    Hyundai announced this year the start of Project Ioniq, its attempt at figuring out what the world of 2030 will be like. Of course the project would also use that information to determine how that world will affect the transportation industry. And it happens to share its name with the company's newest eco-friendly model. The first part of Project Ioniq is under way with the Ioniq Lab. This lab will be run by Dr. Soon Jong Lee, a professor at Seoul National University. Lee is also in charge of the Korea Future Design and Research Institute, and ten researchers and ten consultant experts will assist him on the project. Phase one has now yielded what Hyundai sees as 12 "megatrends" that will affect

  • Here's how to catch the Delta Aquarid meteor shower
    The Christian Science Monitor

    Here's how to catch the Delta Aquarid meteor shower

    The Delta Aquarids are flying by this week, and if the night sky above you is clear, you just might catch a glimpse. Meteor showers will peak later this week, foreshadowing the larger Perseid shower in early August. Dark skies will provide an excellent backdrop to view the showers, if you’re in the right place. When comets fly too close to the sun, they partially melt and leave behind pieces of dust and rock. Annual meteor showers, like the Delta Aquarids, are a result of our planet’s passage through comet debris. Chunks of rock hurdle through Earth’s atmosphere at 90,000 miles per hour, burning up upon entry and leaving us with a spectacular view. The Delta Aquarids were first observed in 1870,

  • Instead of asking, “are robots becoming more human?” we need to ask “are humans becoming more robotic?”
    Quartz

    Instead of asking, “are robots becoming more human?” we need to ask “are humans becoming more robotic?”

    For more than 65 years, computer scientists have studied whether robots’ behavior could become indistinguishable from human intelligence. In a book due to be published next year, Being Human in the 21st Century, a law professor and a philosopher argue that we’ve overlooked the equally important, inverse question: Are humans becoming more like robots? In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing put forward what’s now known as the “Turing Test.” Essentially, Turing proposed that a key test of machine thinking is whether someone asking the same questions to both a human and a robot could tell which is which. This has since become an important method to evaluate artificial intelligence, with regular Turing Test competitions to determine the extent of robots’ growing ability to mimic human behavior.

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  • The Cheat Sheet

    The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have Before They Die

    With all the distraction that life provides us, it can be easy to let the things that matter fade into the background. While never pleasant, death has the uncanny ability to peel back the layers and get to the heart of what matters. Being aware of death

  • United Nations Finds That Greenhouse Gases Are Increasing from Agriculture
    The Daily Meal

    United Nations Finds That Greenhouse Gases Are Increasing from Agriculture

    Currently, 21 percent of these emissions come from deforestation and land use changes that are a result of agriculture. The authors estimate that if land clearing for food production continues at its current pace, emissions from land use changes alone could increase by at least 30 percent in 2050.

  • The New Yorker

    Science & Tech Desk

    Today’s important and intriguing science and technology stories.

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  • Mummy Hair Points to a Low-Stress Life in Ancient South America
    Scientific American

    Mummy Hair Points to a Low-Stress Life in Ancient South America

    Several anthropological studies show that, just like other pre-Hispanic natives, those who inhabited the desert in northern Chile faced periods of food shortages, severe weather conditions, crippling diseases and violence. This interpretation “is different from what had been assumed so far,” says Hermann Niemeyer, head of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Chile, and one of the authors of the study. Niemeyer and his colleagues took hair samples from 19 mummies of San Pedro de Atacama, five of them from the Middle Period (400 to 1000 AD) and the rest from the Late Intermediate Period (1000 to 1400 AD), and measured the capillary concentration of cortisol, a hormone released in response to real or perceived threats.

  • What Bees Can Teach Us About Why People Should Run Their Own Lives
    thefederalist.com

    What Bees Can Teach Us About Why People Should Run Their Own Lives

    Individual honey bees aren’t very smart, yet honey bee hives, which may contain tens of thousands of individual bees, show remarkable intelligence. Scientists who study this type of swarm intelligence point out a key ingredient: no one is in charge. The hive functions just fine with no management, just countless interactions between individual bees with each following simple rules of thumb. A system like this is called self-organizing. Life itself is self-organizing. That’s how swarm intelligence works: simple creatures following simple rules, each one acting on local information. No bee sees the big picture. No bee tells any other bee what to do. No fearless leader is required or desired. In

  • Algae blooms intensified by human activity, possibly climate change
    The Columbus Dispatch

    Algae blooms intensified by human activity, possibly climate change

    The stench of decaying algae began rising from coastal waterways in southeastern Florida early this month, shutting down businesses and beaches during a critical tourism season. Officials arrived, surveyed the toxic muck and declared states of emergency in four counties. Residents shook their heads, then their fists, organizing rallies and haranguing local officials. In truth, there was little they could do: The disaster that engulfed the St. Lucie River and its estuary had been building for weeks. In May, a 33-square-mile algae bloom crept over Lake Okeechobee, the vast headwaters of the Everglades. After an unseasonably wet winter, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to discharge water from

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  • TechCrunch

    Metal 3D printing takes flight

    While many designers and engineers find success with 3D-printing parts in plastic for prototyping and low-volume production, producing parts out of metal using similar technology has recently led to the creation of some of the most exciting 3D-printed parts in memory. Although the mainstream consumer adoption of 3D printing might be falling behind on certain expectations, metal 3D printing for product designers and engineers seems to be delivering on all the potential that 3D printing has in store. At its core, “metal 3D printing” is a simplified term for a metal-based additive manufacturing process; primarily either Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Unlike conventional metal fabrication techniques that rely on removing or stamping metals to arrive at an intended design, metal 3D printing builds objects up layer by layer through fusing material together with a programmed laser that literally draws each layer shape until an object has been produced.

  • The chicken is the most underrated member of the animal kingdom
    The Verge

    The chicken is the most underrated member of the animal kingdom

    This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we've written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight. Some people ask, what came first, the chicken or the egg? To me, that question is akin to asking whether basketball or Michael Jordan came first. The answer, in both cases, is that the later thing redefined the earlier thing to the point of fundamentally transforming it. MJ turned the sport of basketball into a global spectacle, while the chicken made the egg a universal staple of human diets everywhere. The smartphone came first, but it was the iPhone that made it matter.

  • A groundbreaking scientist in Cameroon is worried about how little of his funding comes from Africa
    Quartz

    A groundbreaking scientist in Cameroon is worried about how little of his funding comes from Africa

    Last year, Wilfred Ndifon, a Cameroonian scientist, announced that his research into the human body’s immune system had solved a 70-year-old immunological mystery. His discovery promises to make it easier to produce more efficient vaccines. In the long run, Ndifon’s pioneering research could reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases and halt the spread of diseases like malaria and HIV, which plague Africa in particular. But Ndifon, one of the honorees at Quartz’s Africa Innovators summit this week in Nairobi, says despite the benefits of improving healthcare and life expectancy on the continent, he receives very little support from governments in Africa. “What I do would not be possible without