In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree. The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. Scientists say they already are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage — and the situation is expected to worsen. "They
John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth and a legendary figure in the American space flight program, has died, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said. Glenn was one of America's first and most celebrated astronauts and had a long public career that included two space flights, 24 years as a senator from Ohio and a run for the presidency. He will go down in history as the first American to orbit the earth, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts.
SpaceX's first launch since a rocket explosion at the pad has slipped to January. The company said Wednesday it needs more time. So instead of launching in mid-December, SpaceX will try in early January. SpaceX has been grounded three months since the dramatic accident, which originated in the upper stage of the Falcon rocket. The next Falcon to fly will carry 10 satellites for Iridium Communications, and launch from Southern California. The Falcon and its satellite were destroyed in the massive fireball that erupted Sept. 1 as the rocket was being fueled for a test-firing. The pad remains damaged at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX hopes to switch soon to another pad at NASA's Kennedy
WASHINGTON — As the 114th Congress winds to a close, several space-related bills seeking passage, including a NASA authorization bill, are in danger of running out of time. The top priority for Congress is passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. The CR currently funding government agencies at fiscal year 2016 levels expires Dec. 9. Appropriators are expected to introduce a new CR Dec. 6 that would continue funding the government into 2017. Originally, the new CR would extend through March, but congressional leaders said Monday it would likely run through April, giving Congress more time to finalize revised spending bills that take into account priorities of the
Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. More than 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck northeast Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday. The worst damage appears to be in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter, but assessments of the region are still underway.
In order to enter the next phase of the competition, Independence-X must secure a contract to launch Henry into orbit--something that only four out of the competition's sixteen teams have done. Among the four are SpaceIL from Israel--which announced last year that its lander will be hitching a ride on a Falcon 9 rocket constructed byElon Musk's SpaceX--and Moon Express from the U.S. The latter will be launching its lander on Rocket Lab's Electron vehicle, which boasts a battery-powered rocket engine printed on 3D parts. Independence-X said it has a launch provider in the pipeline and is working on finalizing the process with an intention of making an announcement in January. "I feel both worried and confident at the same time as this is the first attempt of its kind in Southeast Asia," Yamin remarked.
(Reuters) President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly only needs a few hours of sleep every night. While on the campaign trail, he said, "You know, I’m not a big sleeper. I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find
Poultry keepers have been told to keep their birds inside to protect them from a highly-infectious strain of avian flu in Europe. Chicken, turkey and duck owners must keep them indoors for 30 days or take steps to separate them from wild birds. The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 countries including Germany and France. The government's chief vet Prof Nigel Gibbens said the risk to humans was low and no UK cases had been found. The precautionary measures announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) apply to farmers and anyone in England who keeps any birds, even those with a few chickens in their back garden. Similar restrictions
On July 4, 2014, Shawnnon Hale sat in a Denver area bar, drinking with a group of friends. Little did he know that day would lead him to file a lawsuit against two crime lab investigators two years later. At one point that Independence Day, one of his friends, accompanied by a woman, joined the group. Hale had never met the woman before; none of them had. Nonetheless, she invited the whole group to the rooftop of her apartment complex to watch fireworks explode over the Denver skyline. There, everyone milled around, smoking cigarettes, drinking and talking. “I had never met her,” Hale said. “We went there; everyone was talking and drinking; everyone was having a good time watching the fireworks.”
French police struggled to impose anti-pollution measures on motorists around Paris on Thursday as the city remained shrouded in smog during its worst winter pollution in 10 years. Since Tuesday, officials in the Paris region have ordered half of all private cars off the road, alternating between a ban on registration plates ending in odd or even numbers. Traffic jams in the morning rush hour were 415 kilometres (258 miles) around Paris, compared with 300 normally, local road traffic officials reported.
John Glenn, who died Thursday at age 95, was lauded as a hero of the American space program on Feb. 20, 1962, when he became the nation's first astronaut to orbit the earth. The accomplishment galvanized Americans and evened up the space race with the Soviets. In sometimes fanciful language, The Associated Press reported on the liftoff that took Glenn "towards his intended rendezvous with the stars." The AP is republishing excerpts of its original coverage. With a mighty shriek of its engines, an Atlas missile blasted off today to boost astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. into a journey around the Earth. The huge missile spilled a torrent of flame over the launching pad. Ponderously the 125-ton monster
'Once in a lifetime find' The findings, which shed fresh light on how dinosaurs looked, are published in the December issue of Current Biology. Ryan McKellar, a paleontologist at the Royal Saskatchwan Museum in Canada and co-author of the paper, says he was blown away when Xing first showed him the piece of amber. "It's a once in a lifetime find. The finest details are visible and in three dimensions." Fragments of dinosaur-era bird wings have been found preserved in amber before but this is the first time part of a mummified dinosaur skeleton has been discovered, McKellar said. The tail section belongs to a young coelurosaurian -- from the same group of dinosaurs as the predatory velociraptors
Tsunami warnings for several Pacific islands, including those in Hawaii, were canceled Friday after authorities determined that a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck near the Solomon Islands did not pose a broad tsunami threat. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) were still possible along the coast of the Solomon Islands and smaller tsunami waves could hit Papua New Guinea. There were reports of some power outages in the Solomon Islands, although there were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries from the quake.
A 14th-century mass burial pit full of victims of the Black Death has been discovered at the site of a medieval monastery hospital, according to archaeologists. Researchers uncovered 48 skeletons — 27 of which were children — at an "extremely rare" Black Death burial site in Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom, they said. The presence of such a large burial site suggests that the community was overwhelmed by the number of victims of the Black Death, said lead archaeologist Hugh Willmott, a senior lecturer in European historical archaeology at the University of Sheffield.
A new type of underwater robot has made it possible to peer deep inside the USS Arizona, the sunken naval battleship that was bombed 75 years ago at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Arizona was hit four times by Japanese bombers on Dec. 7, 1941 and eventually sank. Since then, nobody has seen inside the Arizona below its second deck.
By Andrew Mambondiyani MPUDZI, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After a year of paralyzing El Nino-induced drought, Zimbabwe’s farmers have been relieved to receive substantial rain in recent weeks, with normal to above-normal rainfall predicted for the new growing season. “My cattle survived the drought but they do not have the strength to pull a plough. In this part of Zimbabwe farmers have five-hectare (12-acre) plots, but without animals to draw the ploughs, many have reduced the area under crops this season.
Wild giraffe numbers have plummeted by 40 percent in the last three decades, and the species is now "vulnerable" to extinction, a top conservation body warned Thursday. The population of the world's tallest land mammal dropped to below 100,000 in 2015, mainly due to shrinking habitat and illegal hunting, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported. The group added 742 newly-discovered birds to the global species inventory, but said 11 percent were already facing annihilation and 13 previously unknown species have already disappeared in the wild.
See, metastasizing is an extremely energy-intensive venture. Most cells are biologically programmed to self-destruct if they break free from their surrounding tissue, in fact. However, for a cancer cell to spread not only does it have to survive the trip it must immediately adapt to the new tissue, adjust its protein expression to the new environment and begin propagating before it's attacked by the immune system. In the December edition of the journal Nature, the Barcelona team reports that it discovered this process runs on fats. And to absorb that energy source, the cancer cell uses a molecule called CD36. The team found that when antibodies blocked the CD36, the cancer cells were unable to
John Glenn, the first American to fly into orbit around the planet Earth and later a US senator for 24 years, died Thursday at a cancer hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He was 95 and the last of the living Mercury Seven astronauts. Although he made history as an astronaut, that did not define Glenn as an American. Before joining NASA, he was a marine fighter pilot and decorated hero during World War II and the Korean War. After NASA he served four terms as a US senator, often focusing on issues not related to spaceflight, such as the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. "Overall, I think his legacy is one of public service," said John Logsdon, a space historian. Born on July 18, 1921, in central
Significant research is going into improved ways of storing electricity, including alternatives to the currently dominant lithium-ion battery-cell chemistry in electric cars. A plastic based on the polymer used in soft contact lenses could be the key to better supercapacitors, an advance that could in turn be applied to electric cars, reports Bloomberg. The material borrowed from contact lenses was used to replace the electrolyte in supercapacitors.
Duggan added that there is a lot of uncertainty around our understanding of smallpox, including how the virus developed or when it began infecting humans. But this study is helping to establish an updated timeline of smallpox at a time when exploration, migration and colonization could have helped to spread the virus. The researchers were also able to use this timeline in conjunction with other data to identify more information about the evolution of smallpox. When Edward Jenner developed his vaccine in the 18th century that would eventually lead to its eradication, the data shows that the variola virus split into two strains. "There is some historical evidence that increasingly widespread inoculation
A jumping robot — whose design was inspired by small primates known as bush babies — can spring off walls to gain height faster than any previous robot and could one day help rapidly scan urban disaster zones, researchers say. Despite being just 10 inches (26 centimeters) tall and weighing only 0.2 pounds (100 grams), the one-legged robot, named Salto, can leap up more than 3.2 feet (1 meter) high from a standing position. Salto is not the highest-jumping robot out there — some bots can jump to heights of more than 10 feet (3 meters), but those bots have to wind up for several minutes before they leap, whereas Salto can jump again almost immediately, the researchers said.
The United States needs to invest more in quantum computing, a White House assistant director said Tuesday. While the federal government has been funding quantum research for decades—quantum refers to a computing paradigm that relies on particles known as qubits instead of the traditional ones and zeros in classical computing—its global leadership position is “certainly under siege,” Tim Polk, assistant director of cybersecurity within the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said during an event in Washington. “There are significant quantum programs in Canada, in the U.K., in the Netherlands, the [European Union], China,” Polk said at an event hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
When a snowstorm hit Montana last week, tens of thousands of southbound snow geese were forced to land in the nearest source of open water. Several thousand geese died soon after settling in the pit, which holds about 45 billion gallons of highly acidic water, according to Montana Resources, one of the mining companies responsible for the Berkeley Pit Superfund site. Witnesses described the scene on Nov. 28 as "700 acres of white birds," Mark Thompson, the environmental affairs manager for Montana Resources, told the Associated Press.