The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year. The agency says the decision to shut down a communications instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft Wednesday was taken to conserve energy. Rosetta had used the instrument to communicate with its lander, Philae, which touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. During the next two months, Rosetta will use its remaining power to conduct scientific measurements before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30. Data collected by Rosetta and Philae have improved scientists' understanding of comets and the role they played in the
The ALS Association is crediting money raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge for the discovery of a gene they say is among the most common that contribute to the progressive disease. Those who accepted the challenge allowed buckets of ice water to be dumped on their heads to raise awareness of ALS. The challenge became a viral sensation in 2014 and raised more than $100 million for the association. Some of that money helped fund a global effort to help find genetic drivers of the condition called Project MinE. The ALS Association says a paper published this week in the journal Nature Genetics reveals Project MinE researchers have identified the NEK1 gene's connection to ALS. It says understanding
Police officers in the U.S. are more likely to stop or arrest black, Hispanic and Native American people than they are to stop or arrest non-Hispanic white people, a new study finds. The researchers also found that more blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were killed and injured by police over the study period than non-Hispanic whites. "Both blacks and white Hispanics are four times as likely to be killed by the police as white non-Hispanics are," said lead study author Ted Miller, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland.
Israel's national museum is set to display a 2,200-year-old Egyptian mummy of a man who was afflicted with some modern-day illnesses such as osteoporosis and tooth decay, the museum said on Tuesday. The mummy is the only such relic in Israel, named the "Protective Eye of Horus," after a pharaonic deity. It was kept for decades at a Jesuit institute in Jerusalem before it was loaned to the Israel Museum.
Spanish troops intervened Tuesday as a wildfire near the eastern city of Valencia spread to a nature reserve after laying waste to some 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land, regional authorities said.
The mysterious, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 likely crashed off the coast of Australia or hundreds of miles to the north, researchers in Italy said. The potential crash area overlaps with the underwater zone that investigators are now scouring for hunks of metal debris. Search efforts have so far failed to reveal why and where the airliner wrecked more than two years ago, taking with it 239 passengers and crew members.
A footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found. The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find. The print was found some 64 kilometers (40 miles) outside the city of Sucre in central Bolivia by a tourist guide earlier this month.
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A nocturnal species of weasel with a robber-mask-like marking across its eyes has returned to the remote ranchlands of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Wildlife officials on Tuesday released 35 black-footed ferrets on two ranches near Meeteetse, a tiny cattle ranching community 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. Black-footed ferrets, generally solitary animals, were let loose individually over a wide area.
The first name on your family tree—in fact, on the family tree of every living creature—should technically be LUCA. As the New York Times explains, the acronym stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor, an organism that lived about 4 billion years ago and became the ancestor of all life forms. Now, a new study in Nature Microbiology provides what its authors say is evidence that settles the debate about where this first life began: near hydrothermal vents, like those found near deep-sea volcanoes. Researchers at Germany's Heinrich Heine University say their genetic sleuthing has revealed that LUCA was tailor-made to live in such an environment—it was essentially "a heat-loving microbe that fed on hydrogen gas and lived in a world devoid of oxygen," in the words of Science.
Super volcanic eruptions are so catastrophically powerful that they could devastate the entire planet. In a worst case scenario, these kinds of eruptions can eject 1000s of cubic kilometers of magma and ash in the matter of days or few months. That much ash in the atmosphere could block out the light and heat of the sun for years or decades. Unlike most volcanic eruptions, what makes super-eruptions different is that they are unable to erupt easily.
These questions affect parents and children of every race and ethnicity, and though the substance of individual conversations may differ, the underlying advice on how to talk to kids doesn't change, experts said: Meet them where they are, encourage openness and don't expect that a single conversation will cover the topic. "It's OK to make a mistake," in conversation with a child, said Kimberly Seals Allers, the founder of MochaManual.com, an online destination for parents of color. Black parents don't have the luxury of ignoring color, Allers told Live Science.
NEWS BRIEF Using remote sensing technologies, U.S. archaeologists have unlocked a lost piece of early North American history—all without actually digging. The fort of San Marcos, located in present-day Parris Island, South Carolina, was one of five forts that existed in 1577 in the Spanish colonial town of Santa Elena, the remains of which were first uncovered almost 40 years ago. After two years of research, Chester DePratter of the University of South Carolina and Victor Thompson of the University of Georgia were able to uncover the missing fort by employing ground-penetrating radar, soil testing, and monitoring magnetic fields to detect the landscape of the ancient settlement. The 16th-century
Solar Impulse 2 made history on Tuesday as the first airplane to circle the globe powered only by the sun, opening up new possibilities for the future of renewable energy. Cheers and applause broke out as it touched down before dawn in Abu Dhabi after the final leg of a marathon trip which began on March 9 last year. Swiss explorer and project director Bertrand Piccard was in the cockpit during the more than 48-hour flight from Cairo, crossing the Red Sea, the vast Saudi desert and the Gulf.
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Futuristic technologies that promise to improve people's strength and smarts by editing genes, implanting brain chips or super-charging blood have raised more concern than enthusiasm among Americans, a poll showed on Tuesday. The survey by the Pew Research Center included more than 4,700 US adults, and is considered a nationally representative sample. The prospect of brain implants that could increase intelligence and focus also raised concern for 69 percent of people, as did the potential of synthetic blood that could improve speed, strength and stamina (63 percent).
The chairman of the House Science Committee threatened further action Wednesday after the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking records about their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about man-made climate change. Texas GOP Rep. Lamar Smith said he was disappointed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey refused to comply with subpoenas he issued two weeks ago.
Carrier, who saw himself as the Thomas Edison of air conditioners, changed the world with his invention—but its original aims were much smaller than that. The air conditioner, built to both cool a room and reduce humidity, was originally created to keep moist air in a printing plant from wrinkling magazine pages. Research he produced for the company saved them $40,000 a year, and Carrier was put in charge of a new department of experimental engineering, where he designed his first air-conditioner for the printing plant.
Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will address the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia today (July 27), presumably about gun violence in America. In January 2011, Giffords was shot in the head during a meeting with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. She survived, but six other people present at the event were killed. Since that tragic event, both Giffords and Kelly have been outspoken advocates of the need for more gun control, and it appears they will address this topic today at the DNC. "Gabby & I are excited to speak at @DemConvention on Wed. about why @HillaryClinton will make our country safer," Kelly said
Just this week, 14 dogs were found dead in a truck in Ohio after the vehicle's air conditioning unit failed, according to the South Bend Tribune. The incident underscores the need for owners to pay careful attention to their pets during hot weather, said Genny Carlson, executive director of the Humane Society of St. Joseph County, which is investigating the case. "This serves as a reminder for people with pets, children and elderly relatives that being in a car without proper ventilation or a working air conditioner can be dangerous, and to take the proper precautions," Carlson told the news outlet cleveland.com.
Past earthquakes that damaged ancient temples perched high in the Himalayas could be harbingers of dangerous quakes to come, new research suggests. "The supporting pillars and temple structures are tilted with respect to their original positions.
Migaloo’s dazzling pearly skin has made him the most famous white whale in the world—and he has just been spotted again this year off of Australia’s east coast near Byron Bay. Migaloo (Aboriginal for “whitefella”) was photographed for the first time on June 28th, 1991 and was determined to be an adult male after a small piece of his skin was sampled and genetically fingerprinted. Until 2004, it was thought Migaloo was the only white humpback whale, but another white whale calf was spotted in Australian waters, so now it seems there are at least two in this area of the world. Researchers are unsure if the whale spotted this week was Migaloo, or the other white whale sometimes called “Migaloo Junior,” but using the tail shape for identification, some are sure this is indeed Migaloo.
British physics professor Brian Cox taught students at St. Paul's Way Trust School in London on Tuesday how to create fire with methane gas. The school is hosting a science summer school and invited the celebrity physicist, who says he hopes the project will bring in those from different backgrounds. "There is no shortage of enthusiasm for students and young people when you talk about science and engineering," Cox said.
US military bases along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico will be increasingly vulnerable to floods and power-packed storms as the planet warms, researchers said Wednesday. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists spanned 18 military bases, and found that many risk losing land and strategic assets in the coming decades due to sea level rise. The analysis was based on two different projections of sea level rise and how it may affect US bases from Florida to Maine.