Science

  • NASA's "Spinoff" is the Coolest Magazine You've Never Read
    The Drive

    NASA's "Spinoff" is the Coolest Magazine You've Never Read

    Since it was founded in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s goals have been civilian. The agency’s main objective, to explore outside our orbit, was part of a larger mission to provide "the most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States." Consider that a success: Each year, thousands of consumer products benefit from “spin-offs,” integration of technologies and processes originally developed for and by NASA. Aptly titled Spinoff, each issue is 100-plus pages of essential nerd material and trivia fodder, charting the diaspora of space technology.

  • Protected Marine Area Near Hawaii Is Now Twice The Size Of Texas
    NPR.org

    Protected Marine Area Near Hawaii Is Now Twice The Size Of Texas

    President Obama is expanding a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, more than quadrupling it in size and making it the world's largest protected marine area. The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was created by President George W. Bush in 2006. At the time, it was seven times larger than all the other U.S. marine sanctuaries combined and the biggest marine reserve in the world. On Friday, Obama signed a proclamation expanding the monument to more than 580,000 square miles — twice the size of Texas, and once again the world's largest. "The monument designation bans commercial fishing and any new mining, as is the case within the existing monument," The Associated Press notes. "Recreational

  • Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins
    AFP

    Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins

    Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 critically endangered pangolins found hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said Friday. Police discovered the pangolins, known as "scaly anteaters", when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java after local residents became suspicious about the large number of freezers in the property. A total of 657 pangolins, which are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine, were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AFP.

  • Addicted To Coffee? Blame It On Your Genes
    Marie-Claire Dorking

    Addicted To Coffee? Blame It On Your Genes

    Well according to science how much coffee a person needs/wants may be dependent on their genes. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have identified a gene that may play a role in how the body breaks down caffeine. According to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, people who have a certain variation of a gene called PDSS2, will break down caffeine more slowly.

  • Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism
    LiveScience.com

    Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism

    In a study aimed at measuring altruism, researchers "lost" a total of 7,466 letters in 2001 and 2011 in 63 urban areas in the United States and Canada. That changed in 2011, however, when the United States had a 10 percent drop in helping behavior, which did not occur in Canada, suggesting that people in the United States were less altruistic than before, said study researcher Keith Hampton, a professor of media and information at Michigan State University. The project began after Hampton heard an anecdote that altruism was declining in Canada.

  • Newsmax

    Deep-Earth Tremor Detected From Atlantic 'Weather Bomb'

    A deep-Earth tremor detected by Japanese earthquake trackers for the first time was traced to a distant and powerful "weather bomb" in the Atlantic. Their findings, published in the journal Science, could help experts learn more about the Earth's inner structure and improve detection of earthquakes and oceanic storms, reported Agence France-Presse. The storm in the North Atlantic, which struck between Greenland and Iceland, was small but potent and gained punch as pressure quickly mounted. Groups of waves sloshed and pounded the ocean floor during the storm, Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor that usually detects the Earth's crust crumbling during earthquakes, researchers found

  • Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story
    Associated Press

    Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story

    In a Feb. 20, 2015 story about an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, The Associated Press mischaracterized a statement an expert made about proving the cause of an infection. Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he was suggesting an argument hospitals might use when he said, "Proving causation is impossible." Muscarella said an infection can be proven to come from a hospital instrument.

  • Reuters

    Once a jolly SwagBot: Ageing Aussie drovers go high-tech

    By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Mustering cattle across rugged terrain and wide open spaces, Australia's newest drover is a far cry from a man with a big hat, a horse and fancy boots. Australia is the world's third largest cattle exporter but with the age of producers creeping higher, and cattle stations averaging about 400,000 hectares (988,420 acres) of land - nearly four time the size of Hong Kong - rearing livestock can be difficult, even with a sufficient number of cowhands. A labour shortage makes the task harder though, and threatens Australia's hope of boosting its livestock output to profit from rising Asian demand for red meat.

  • We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole
    Popular Mechanics

    We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole

    The wind was howling, the sun blinding, and the temperature cold enough to chill your bones when the six made their final march towards the North Pole. American Commander Robert Peary, his assistant Matthew Henson, and four Inuit men arrived at what was, according to Peary's reading of his sextant, exactly 90 degrees north latitude. It had taken more than two decades for Peary to complete this task.

  • Dead Sea Transforms Deathly Dress Into Gorgeous Salt-Encrusted Jewel
    LiveScience.com

    Dead Sea Transforms Deathly Dress Into Gorgeous Salt-Encrusted Jewel

    A gorgeous new exhibit reveals just how salty the Dead Sea is. Artist Sigalit Landau submerged a 1920s-style long, black dress in Israel's Dead Sea for two months in 2014. Landau has been inspired by the Dead Sea's unique environment for past artwork, including salt-crystal-encrusted lamps, a salty hangman's noose and a crystalline island made of shoes, according to the artist's website.

  • In a fight between environmentalists and farmers, the bees lose. And that stings.
    Washington Post

    In a fight between environmentalists and farmers, the bees lose. And that stings.

    Bees have it rough. It’s not enough that they have to deal with bloodsucking varroa mites, a host of diseases and pathogens, disappearing habitat and a variety of agricultural chemicals designed to kill insects. They have also become pawns in the ag wars, the subject of dueling bee-death narratives. In one of those story lines, pesticides are the culprit. That’s the story from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Food Safety, all of which urge supporters to call for bans on a particular class of pesticides — neonicotinoids, also called neonics — that have been identified as culprits in the health problems honeybees face. Whenever new research shows a link between bees and pesticides,

  • Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore
    Associated Press

    Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore

    Six Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as forest fires blanketed a swath of Southeast Asia in a smoky haze. Singapore's air quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires on Sumatra, where millions of people are already affected by haze, across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Borneo by weather satellites has increased in the past month though they are below levels last year when massive fires in Indonesia caused a regional crisis.

  • Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough
    AFP

    Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough

    A tiny "kitten-sized" marsupial lion that roamed Australia's ancient rainforests some 18 million years ago has been named after veteran British naturalist David Attenborough. The fossil remains of the "microleo attenboroughi" were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area -- believed to be one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world -- in remote north-western Queensland state some years ago by palaeontologists from Sydney's University of New South Wales. "It's around about the size of a grey squirrel... maybe a little bit bigger than kitten-sized," UNSW palaeontologist Anna Gillespie told AFP on Friday, adding that the new species was estimated to weigh about 600 grams (21.2 ounces) and was smaller than other members of an extinct marsupial lion family.

  • LiveScience.com

    Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates

    The research showed that counties in the U.S. with more men than women generally had higher rates of marriage, fewer births outside marriage and fewer single female heads of household — all of which are generally signs of greater family stability, according to the researchers. "There's this numerical expectation that, as men increase in numbers, that means that there are fewer women available, so men are less likely to get married," said Ryan Schacht, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology at the University of Utah. In the study, the researchers looked at U.S. Census data from 2,800 counties in all 50 states, focusing on the relationship between each county's gender ratio (the number of men relative to women) and certain markers of family stability that researchers commonly use in research like this, such as marriage rates and the percentage of households with children who were headed by single women.

  • Smoking, swirling 'ash devil' sweeps through California wildfire
    Mashable

    Smoking, swirling 'ash devil' sweeps through California wildfire

    The Grade Fire blazing across the northern edge of California briefly spun up a spectacularly odd phenomenon known as an "ash devil" on Thursday. The ash devil, which is closely related to "fire whirls," formed in Yreka, California began pulling in burnt ashes and debris from the fire as it spun across the fire area.

  • LiveScience.com

    Deaths from Fentanyl, Drug That Killed Prince, Rise Sharply

    Overdose deaths from the opioid painkiller fentanyl — the same drug that killed singer-songwriter Prince in April — have increased sharply in a number of U.S. states, according to a new report. From 2013 to 2014, eight U.S. states — Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland and North Carolina — had large increases in overdose deaths tied to synthetic opioids. During that same time, the number of drug products that tested positive for fentanyl after being seized by law enforcement officers increased by more than 10 times in the eight states, rising from 293 to 3,340.

  • Kayla Mueller Part 1: The Video That Changed Everything
    ABC News Videos

    Kayla Mueller Part 1: The Video That Changed Everything

    Carl and Marsha Mueller's quiet life in Arizona is shattered when their daughter is kidnapped by terrorists. Monday morning at about 4:00 or 5:00 A.M. Reporter: Her friends had called to say their 25yearold daughter Kayla had gone missing. "Don't worry." Reporter: Marsha and Carl Mueller soon learned from Kayla herself that there was plenty to worry about.

  • Watch Close-Up Footage of a Comet Erupting
    Popular Mechanics

    Watch Close-Up Footage of a Comet Erupting

    This February, something strange happened on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet that the Rosetta probe has been orbiting since 2014. There was an eruption, with gas and dust flying everywhere, and it was caught on film by Rosetta, as the probe floated only 21 miles away. It just so happened that nine of Rosetta's 11 instruments were on at the time, giving scientists an unprecedented look at the disturbance. "Over the last year, Rosetta has shown that, although activity can be prolonged, when it comes to outbursts, the timing is highly unpredictable, so catching an event like this was pure luck," ESA's Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor said in a statement. "By happy coincidence, we

  • Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition
    LiveScience.com

    Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition

    An exploration of a World War II battleground right off U.S. shores is now underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with several nonprofit and private partners to explore the twin wrecks of the freighter SS Bluefieldsand the German U-boat U-576. The German submarine attacked and sank the Bluefields on July 15, 1942, and was then itself sunk by bombs from U.S. Navy air cover and the deck gun of another merchant ship in the convoy, the Unicoi.

  • Alaskans live among bears _ both real and brightly colored
    Associated Press

    Alaskans live among bears _ both real and brightly colored

    Alaska's largest city is home to more than 300 grizzly and black bears — and now more than a dozen multicolored ones. Life-size statues painted by city artists for a public art installation called "Bears on Parade" are popping up as part of an effort to raise awareness that if you live in Anchorage, you live near bears. "The whole point of this was to engage in conversation about bears and their habitat — the food that they eat, where they live," said Brenda Carlson, a tourism official who helped organize the program.

  • Winners declared in SUSY bet
    symmetry magazine

    Winners declared in SUSY bet

    As a general rule, theorist Nima Arkani-Hamed does not get involved in physics bets. “Theoretical physicists like to take bets on all kinds of things,” he says. “I’ve always taken the moral high ground… Nature decides. We’re all in pursuit of the truth. We’re all on the same side.” But sometimes you’re in Copenhagen for a conference, and you’re sitting in a delightfully unusual restaurant—one that sort of reminds you of a cave—and a fellow physicist gives you the opportunity to get in on a decade-old wager about supersymmetry and the Large Hadron Collider. Sometimes then, you decide to bend your rule. “It was just such a jovial atmosphere, I figured, why not?” That’s how Arkani-Hamed found himself

  • NASA probe set to make closest approach yet to Jupiter
    AFP

    NASA probe set to make closest approach yet to Jupiter

    NASA's Juno space probe on Saturday was set to pass the closest it will get to the planet Jupiter during the main phase of its planned mission to the gas giant, the US space agency's officials said. Juno was to swing within some 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) of the solar system's largest planet, the closest any spacecraft has passed, traveling at 130,000 miles per hour (208,000 kilometers per hour) at around 5:51 am (12:51 GMT). It was the first time Juno’s eight scientific instruments and its camera were switched on, marking the science mission's start, officials said in a statement on NASA's website.

  • LiveScience.com

    Why Tesla's Model S Is So Incredibly Fast

    Blink and you'll miss it: The Tesla Model S was just rated the third-fastest accelerating production car in the world, beating out cars such as the Lamborghini Aventador and the Bugatti Veyron. The head-snapping acceleration of the new supercharged Model S raises a question: Just how did engineers at Tesla get the electric, seven-seat family sedan to go so fast? It turns out, one part of the car largely determines the Tesla's impressive performance.

  • Can progress on climate change keep up with its quickening pace?
    Washington Post

    Can progress on climate change keep up with its quickening pace?

    Tom Steyer is founder of the advocacy group NextGen Climate. July was the hottest month in recorded history, by a lot, and August isn’t looking any better.  So how do we interpret that? What does it mean? I’m no scientist. In my 30 years as a businessperson, though, I’ve learned that the best decisions require looking at all of the available data and trends. You seldom have the complete analysis that a scientist would require — events unfold quickly. Instead, businesspeople often must make decisions on the basis of imperfect information. A responsible chief executive knows two things: that a decision not to act is a decision, and that no competent leader risks the health of the entire enterprise

  • LiveScience.com

    Who's Really Happier: Young People or Older People?

    Older adults may not be as physically healthy or mentally sharp as younger and middle-age adults, but they have higher psychological well-being than these other age groups, according to a new survey of people living in San Diego County, California. In the study, the researchers evaluated three key factors in adults across their life spans: their physical health, cognitive health and mental health. The researchers also found that young adults in their 20s and 30s had the lowest scores on measures of psychological well-being of all of the age groups in the study, which included people ages 21 to 99, according to the findings, published in the August issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.