Genetic tests confirm that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale only rarely seen alive by Japanese fishermen roams the northern Pacific Ocean, according to research published this week. The testing shows the black whales, with bulbous heads and beaks like porpoises, are not dwarf varieties of more common Baird's beaked whales, a slate-gray animal. Japanese researchers sampled three black beaked whales that washed up on the north coast of Hokkaido, the country's most northern island, and wrote about them in a 2013 paper. The challenge to confirm the existence of the new animal was finding enough specimens from a wider area for testing and matching genetic samples, said Phillip Morin, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research molecular biologist.
Mexico's government has launched drones to back last-ditch efforts to prevent illegal fishing activities that have led to the near extinction of the vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise. The navy and the environment ministry on Thursday unveiled three Arcturus T-20 unmanned aerial vehicles, armed with high-resolution cameras to police the upper Gulf of California day and night. It is the latest step taken by the government to save the vaquita, a species found only in a small area of Mexico's northwest gulf.
A Chinese rocket body streaking across the night sky over the Western United States lit up social media as people shared photos and video of the bright object. The Chinese CZ-7 re-entered the atmosphere Wednesday night, U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn confirmed. That's when people in Nevada, Utah and California took to social media to report a small fireball streaking across the sky. Photographer Ian Norman was taking pictures of the night sky with friends in Alabama Hills, California, near the eastern Sierra Nevada, when he saw the light and started recording, thinking the flash was a meteor. "It was really strange to see something that bright," he said Thursday. "I thought
The lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week. Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs.
Breeders may try to save the English Bulldog's health – but it will be for nought, according to new research. English bulldogs are among the world’s favourite dogs, but centuries of inbreeding has cursed the pooches with poor health and a shorter life expectancy – and now, new research shows their gene pool is so small only procreation with other breeds can save them. A trio of researchers at the University of California set about revealing just how much genetic diversity is evident in among bulldog populations, and whether there’s enough variety to curb changes that have damaged the breed. "These changes have occurred over hundreds of years but have become particularly rapid over the last few decades,” explains lead researcher Niels Pedersen.
Australia is to shift its longitude and latitude to address a gap between local co-ordinates and those from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). Local co-ordinates, used to produce maps and measurements, and global ones differ by more than 1m. The body responsible for the change said it would help the development of self-driving cars, which need accurate location data to navigate. Australia moves about 7cm north annually because of tectonic movements. Modern satellite systems provide location data based on global lines of longitude and latitude, which do not move even if the continents on Earth shift. However, many countries produce maps and measurements with the lines of longitude and
The Perseids, one of the most popular meteor showers of the year, is coming up in just under a month. Right now, we are in the middle of a meteor shower called the Delta Aquarids, which began around July 12. Tonight and tomorrow, the Delta Aquarids will reach their peak.
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION — A U.S. spy agency satellite is safely in orbit after an 8:37 a.m. Thursday blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On top of the rocket was a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite, the third of four that United Launch Alliance is expected to launch this year. At the National Reconnaissance Office's request to preserve the mission’s secrecy, ULA blacked out its launch broadcast five minutes into the flight, after the rocket’s nose cone had separated from the spacecraft. Amateur satellite trackers who have studied National Reconnaissance Office missions believe Thursday's, labeled NROL-61, may be launching the first in a new series of communications relay satellites known as the Satellite Data System and by the code name Quasar.
Divers searching the wreck of a 17th-century Swedish warship on the bed of the Baltic say they have found de Brie. Sifting through the ancient timbers of the Kronan, a ship that sank in 1676 off the Swedish coast, they found not diamonds as they had hoped... but a cheese. Inside a watertight pot was a semi-firm 340-year-old "dairy product" smelling of yeast and Roquefort cheese, expedition leader Lars Einarsson told AFP on Thursday.
"Have a look at that dark purple blob on the left, there." With those words, scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus uncovered a marine mystery: a small purple orb tucked halfway under a rock off the coast of California. Researchers are so far stumped as to what the colorful, bumpy little ball might be. Their best guess is that it might be a gastropod (a mollusk such as a snail or slug that belongs to the class Gastropoda) called a pleurobranch — and possibly a new species. "None of the known species of California pleurobranch are purple," said Susan Poulton, a spokeswoman for the E/V Nautilus expeditions. [Gallery: See Images of the Mysterious Purple Orb] Oddball creature The odd little
Maps can tell us a great deal about the world we live in. Maps are how we find our way in the world, and how we relate to the other places and things around us. Rebbelib are made of bamboo sticks and cowrie shells, with the shells denoting the locations of islands in the chain.
Felix Vail is awaiting trial on charges of murder for Mary Horton Vail's death, and he pleaded not guilty. Maria: The search for the stranger who broke in. Maria: Uber under fire but claim a claim it makes about its service that may not be true.
(CNN)- There's a good chance that if flesh-eating dinosaurs were still around today, we wouldn't just have to worry about their sharp teeth. Scientists recently uncovered a record-setting footprint in Bolivia. It is the biggest print from a carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered worldwide. Until now, the largest track from a meat-eating dinosaur measured at 110 centimeters and was discovered in New Mexico, according to paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia. Grover Marquina, a tour guide, was trekking through the Maragua Crater about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Sucre when he stumbled upon the fossilized footprint on July 19. The indentation exceeds 115 centimeters -- nearly 4 feet wide
Over the next two years, reports on its air quality remained grim. The country's air pollution levels reached their highest levels in 2015, after being on rise for the last decade. For the first time, India's air was also found to be more polluted than China's. This year, WHO revealed that the country was home to half of the world's most polluted cities.
People will go to great lengths and try some pretty wild stuff in the name of health and life longevity, but the latest so-called "superfood" feels like it's taking the concept a little too far. Enter Cockroach Milk. Before we completely lose you and the very though of cockroaches in your cereal milk haunts your dreams, let's get down to the scientific basics.
SEATTLE (AP) — Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. But critics say not enough is known about their risks, and they want GMOs labeled so people know what's in their food. Several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon
Stephen Hawking, the celebrated physicist, argues that money was a key factor in the outcome of the EU referendum in The Guardian. The 74-year-old, who argued for Britain’s continued membership of the EU in the run-up to the vote, insists that human’s attitude towards wealth —“the way we understand it and the way we share it”—plays a central role in society, and big political decisions are no exception. He also expresses concern surrounding the significant reduction in funding for scientific research in post-Brexit Britain. “One of the reasons I believed it would be wrong to leave the EU was related to grants. British science needs all the money it can get, and one important source of such
The latest El Nino weather phenomenon, which was one of the most powerful on record, has ended but could be replaced by its stormy sister La Nina in the coming months, the UN meteorological agency said Thursday. "Atmospheric indicators that had shown strong El Nino patterns early in 2016 returned to near-average in June and July," the World Meteorological Organization said. El Nino affects rainfall patterns and causes both drought and flooding.
According to research published Thursday in Science, red wolves and eastern wolves aren't truly wolves at all – they're coyote-wolf hybrids. That confirms something scientists had long debated: Canis lupus, the gray wolf, is actually the only wolf species in the United States. Neither the red nor the eastern wolf has any DNA that can't be tied to gray wolf or coyote origins. All three "species" are actually just gray wolf descendants with varying levels of coyote DNA. The red wolf is actually mostly coyote, according to the study, with just around a quarter of its genes coming from the gray wolf. The eastern wolf is 25 to 50 percent coyote, and even gray wolves carry some small traces of coyote
Anyone who has ever made the mistake of wearing a Band-Aid in the shower knows all too well that adhesives which appear to be secure when dry quickly peel off when they get wet. The challenge of creating glue that works underwater is the focus of Bruce Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University. To help him crack this conundrum, Lee has just been awarded three years of funding from the Office of Naval Research as part of its Young Investigator Program award.
The smallest French wheat crop in more than a decade is spurring speculation the European Union’s largest producer will have to boost imports to meet its domestic and export demand. At least one French company is negotiating to bring grain from Romania as heavy rainfall in May and June damaged this year’s crop, according to a trader familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the deal is not yet finalized. French farmers will probably harvest the smallest crop since 2003 and the outlook could still get worst, Offre & Demande Agricole said. French wheat futures for December delivery have jumped more than 7 percent since reaching this year’s low on July 1 on the Euronext exchange in Paris.
China’s Defense Ministry confirmed today that it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television, depicting a successful missile intercept test conducted in 2010. According to Yang Yujun, spokesman of the People’s Republic of China’s Defence Ministry, the development of missile defense capabilities is an essential part of the country’s national security strategy. “It will improve the self-defense capability of China and is not targeting any particular country and will not affect international strategic stability,” Yujun said, adding that China would consider taking unspecified measures to maintain strategic balance in the region. China is unimpressed by Washington claims that the introduction of THAAD poses no threat to China.
For his latest experiment, he got his hands on a large rare earth magnet, and then used thermite to melt down iron to pour down on and near the magnet. The molten iron doesn't react to the magnet-it's only when the iron has cooled that anything seems to happen. The answer is what's known as the Curie point.
It turns out the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge brought in more than just views on the internet. “Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations led to this important discovery,” John Landers, the University of Massachusetts Medical School professor who led the research said in a statement. Next month, the ALS Association is launching a new campaign, Every Drop Adds Up, in an effort to recreate the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Scientists didn’t think a white dwarf and a red dwarf star system could have such a violent relationship. Video courtesy of NASA, ESO/L. Calçada/University of Warwick, and ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N, Risinger. Follow TI: On Facebook