Science

  • SpaceX Unveils Plan for Manned Mars Mission
    Good Morning America

    SpaceX Unveils Plan for Manned Mars Mission

    Humans could set foot on Mars within the next 10 years -- at least if SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has his way. Building such a complex system will cost a lot of money -- so much that Musk hasn’t yet named a dollar figure.

  • Pillar of Obama climate plan has its day in court
    AFP

    Pillar of Obama climate plan has its day in court

    The cornerstone of President Barack Obama's drive to fight global warming underwent close scrutiny Tuesday in a high-stakes day in court. The so-called Clean Power Plan, approved last year, sets state-by-state emissions targets for existing power plants and aims to reduce America's output of CO2 by nearly a third by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. The court's action raised doubts about America's contribution to a historic accord to fight global warming, reached in December in Paris, and infuriated environmentalists around the world.

  • NASA Spots What May Be Plumes Of Water On Jupiter's Moon Europa
    NPR.org

    NASA Spots What May Be Plumes Of Water On Jupiter's Moon Europa

    Scientists have seen what might be plumes of water vapor erupting out of the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, suggesting that its subsurface ocean could be probed without having to drill through miles of ice. That's according to new findings from images captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope that were released Monday and that will be published this week in The Astrophysical Journal. Europa is one of the most intriguing places in the solar system because it's thought to have a vast subterranean ocean with twice as much water as Earth's oceans. This saltwater ocean is a tempting target for astrobiologists who want to find places beyond Earth that could support life. The trouble with exploring

  • A baby with 3 biological parents was born using a new technique — here's what that means
    Business Insider

    A baby with 3 biological parents was born using a new technique — here's what that means

    A baby containing the DNA from three different people was born, New Scientist reports. Three-parent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was approved in the UK back in 2015, but the team from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York performed the procedure in Mexico. The idea is to substitute that faulty mitochondrial DNA in a mother's egg with a third set of DNA from a donor's egg to avoid these inherited conditions.

  • Asia's poor choking on filthy air
    AFP

    Asia's poor choking on filthy air

    Polluted air is a "public health emergency", the World Health Organization said Tuesday, adding nine out of 10 people globally breathe bad air that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year. Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region -- including China -- are the hardest hit, the data showed. South Asia is also badly affected, with the WHO saying poor air quality is responsible for the deaths of more than 600,000 people in India and 37,000 people in Bangladesh every year.

  • Meet the nuclear cattle of Fukushima
    CNN

    Meet the nuclear cattle of Fukushima

    Nuclear Cattle On March 11 2011, a 15-meter tsunami triggered by a 8.9-magnitude earthquake, disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, causing a nuclear accident. Residents within a 20 km radius of the facility were forced to evacuate their homes and leave behind their livelihoods and possessions. Before leaving, some farmers released their cows so they could roam free and survive in the nuclear fallout-affected area. 1,400, however, died from starvation, while the government euthanized 1,500 more. Since 2011, Matsubara has documented both the relationship six farmers have with their surviving herds as well as an ongoing study examining the effects radiation has on large

  • Materials programmed to shape shift
    BBC News

    Materials programmed to shape shift

    Scientists have pre-programmed materials to change their shape over time. Previous shape-shifting materials have needed some external trigger to tell them to transform, like light or heat. Now, a US-based team has encoded a sequence of shape transformations into the very substance of a polymer, with each change occurring at a pre-determined time. Details appear in Nature Communications journal. The principles could be applied in implants that deliver medicine from within the human body and the technology could also see use in heavy industry. Professor Sergei Sheiko from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues introduced two types of chemical bond to their polymer: permanent

  • Weapons autonomy is rocketing
    Foreign Policy Magazine

    Weapons autonomy is rocketing

    By Heather M. Roff, Ph.D. Best Defense guest columnist While we debate whether or not it is a good idea, weapons are steadily becoming more autonomous, most notably in target identification. That’s the core conclusion from a study I just completed in

  • Big Earthquakes May Be More Likely During New and Full Moons
    Scientific American

    Big Earthquakes May Be More Likely During New and Full Moons

    Every two weeks, on the full and new moons, the sun, moon and Earth fall along a nearly straight line. The combination of gravitational forces in this arrangement creates large swings in the tides. But the celestial alignment affects more than the oceans—it also tugs on Earth’s crust, adding to the stress on faults. This makes it more likely that major earthquakes will strike at these times, according to a new study. The idea isn’t new, but scientists have had a hard time testing the earthquake-tide relationship. For instance, three of the largest earthquakes in recent years happened when tidal stress was high. But those big ones are rare and the link seems to break down for smaller events. So

  • One of the original 'power posing' researchers now says its effects aren't real
    Business Insider

    One of the original 'power posing' researchers now says its effects aren't real

    Authored by Dana Carney and Andy Yap, then of Columbia University, as well as Amy Cuddy of Harvard, the study suggested that standing like Wonder Woman for two minutes could raise testosterone levels and reduce stress hormone levels temporarily. Cuddy gave a TED talk on power posing in 2012 that has been viewed 46 million times, and she's built a lucrative business based partly on the research that power posing works. Dana Carney, who today serves as a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, recently published a report renouncing the effects of power posing.

  • Scientists Have Discovered A Way To Kill Superbugs Without Antibiotics
    UPROXX

    Scientists Have Discovered A Way To Kill Superbugs Without Antibiotics

    As antibiotics become more commonplace, whether we need them or not, superbugs are worrying doctors and turning up more and more often. Shu Lam, a graduate student at the University of Melbourne, has a simple solution: Impale the little buggers. Lam is being cautious, noting that she’s only tested it on six superbugs and only done one live trial with mice.

  • SpaceX plans to send people to Mars using its Interplanetary Transport System
    TechSpot

    SpaceX plans to send people to Mars using its Interplanetary Transport System

    SpaceX on Tuesday shared with the world its ambitious plan to send humans to another planet for the first time in history. In the crudest explanation, SpaceX will utilize what it’s calling the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) to get the job done. From the beginning, astronauts and cargo will take off from a traditional launch pad using a rocket system that produces more than 28 million pounds of thrust. Once in a parking orbit, the rocket booster will separate from the spacecraft and head back to Earth. As we’ve seen SpaceX demonstrate multiple times now, the booster will land in an upright position where it’ll immediately be fitted with a propellant tanker and shot back into space. From

  • Ehud Barak backs startup Reporty, touts emergency tech
    FOX News Videos

    Ehud Barak backs startup Reporty, touts emergency tech

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak tells Foxnews.coms James Rogers that startup Reporty Homeland Security will transform emergency systems

  • Dead whales beached in Chile, climate change suspected
    AFP

    Dead whales beached in Chile, climate change suspected

    Several huge whales have washed up dead over recent months on beaches in northern Chile, where scientists suspect they are moving in increasing numbers due to climate change. After the beaching of hundreds of dead whales in the south last year, the trend has now shifted to areas where the phenomenon was previously rare. "We have detected a rise in recorded cases of beached whales on the coast, which is not normal," Sernapesca biologist Gerardo Cerda told AFP on Wednesday.

  • Reuters

    Scientists fix fractures with 3D-printed synthetic bone

    By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have successfully treated broken spines and skulls in animals using 3D-printed synthetic bone, opening the possibility of future personalized bone implants for humans to fix dental, spinal other bone injuries. Unlike real bone grafts, the synthetic material - called hyper-elastic bone - is able to regenerate bone without the need for added growth factors, is flexible and strong, and can be easily and rapidly deployed in the operating room. Giving details in a teleconference, the scientists said the results of their animal trials - published on Wednesday in the Science Translational Medicine journal - were "quite astounding".

  • Barrons

    Amgen: The Blame Game

    This morning, Amgen (AMGN) reported that its cancer drug Kyprolis failed to do what it hoped it would in a late-stage trial. RBC’s Michael Yee and Judy Liu wonder if the design of the trial was to blame: Amgen announced the Clarion study (head to head versus Velcade) did not meet stat sig for progression free survival although survival did show a solid trend (Hr=1.21). This is a surprise since the prior Endeavor second line study was a very big success and today’s result in first line may be due to lack of sufficient powering in our view, given strong trend in survival and deeper responses with Kyprolis should better especially earlier. Furthermore, all 3 key-opinion leaders Amgen hosted emphasized

  • Let's fill a toilet with 240 pounds of mercury and then flush it
    CNET

    Let's fill a toilet with 240 pounds of mercury and then flush it

    Mercury, both beautiful and potentially dangerous, is a heavy metal that's liquid at normal ambient temperatures. It can be poisonous and should be treated with care. So what do you do with several large flasks of the shimmery stuff? You flush it down a toilet, of course. YouTube channel Cody's Lab filmed that exact experiment for us all to watch with wonder. Related stories Flush a functional solid-gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum Iron Throne toilet lets you rule the bathroom The Cody's Lab video, posted on Tuesday, kicks off by discussing just how hard it is to flush a dense lead bullet down a toilet. You need a super-sucker of a loo to get the job done. The bullet test prompted Cody to

  • Fox News Latino

    Evolution of large dinosaurs linked to development of bony cranial ornaments

    London –  The evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs such as "Tyrannosaurus rex" was linked to the development of exaggerated cranial ornaments such as crests and horns, a study published Tuesday said. Researchers from the University of North Carolina concluded in a study published in "Nature Communications" magazine that non-avian theropod species possessing ornaments developed larger body sizes than unadorned lineages. Phyletic giantism _ an evolutionary trend toward large size _ can thus be linked to the possession of cranial ornamentation, the study said. The paper found a clear correlation between the evolution of large-sized bodies and the appearance of osseous ornaments, whose "origin and influence across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals," according to the study.

  • As drought grips Iran, farmers lament loss of a way of life
    Los Angeles Times

    As drought grips Iran, farmers lament loss of a way of life

    Watermelons once sprung from this soil, the giant striped fruit dotting the arid landscape like mushrooms after a rain. “It was such a garden,” farmer Hossain Mirakhouri, 45, recalled of his childhood on this sun-scorched plateau east of Tehran. Now nothing remains of his family’s patch of watermelon, a water-hungry crop that Mirakhouri can no longer afford to grow in increasingly dry conditions. He and his brothers, who farm a 2-acre homestead by hand much as their ancestors did, have switched to growing barley and genetically modified cotton, which they say have lower water requirements.  “The amount of land that is cultivable shrinks year in, year out,” said Mirakhouri, sweat beading on his

  • pjmedia.com

    Instapundit » Blog Archive » FASTER, PLEASE: Killing Resistant Bacteria With Polymers Instead Of Antibiotics. Before we get t…

    FASTER, PLEASE: Killing Resistant Bacteria With Polymers Instead Of Antibiotics. Before we get too carried away, it’s still very early days. So far, Lam has only tested her star-shaped polymers on six strains of drug-resistant bacteria in the lab, and on one superbug in live mice. But in all experiments, they’ve been able to kill their targeted bacteria – and generation after generation don’t seem to develop resistance to the polymers. The polymers – which they call SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers – work by directly attacking, penetrating, and then destabilising the cell membrane of bacteria. Like I said, faster please.

  • SpaceX successfully tests Raptor engine it plans to use on Mars flights
    CNN Money

    SpaceX successfully tests Raptor engine it plans to use on Mars flights

    The test was conducted Sunday at the company's testing facility in McGregor, Texas, according to a SpaceX spokesman. SpaceX isn't the only outfit testing rocket engines with an eye on Mars missions. In June, NASA test fired its Space Launch System booster rocket, which it expects to use on its own Mars missions. Musk started SpaceX with the ultimate goal of transporting humans to Mars, and has spoken about his own dreams of living on the planet and even dying there -- "just not on impact." He has said he expects SpaceX to make an unmanned mission to Mars by 2018, using existing technology. He plans to use the Raptor engine for a manned Mars mission by 2025. SpaceX has yet to carry humans into

  • ZDNet

    MIT, Google have just dreamt up the drop-down meeting cubicle

    Once all the rage, the open-plan office appears to have fallen out of favor in recent times, with studies showing they contribute to a higher number of sick days and decreased productivity due to constant disruptions. According to a Bloomberg report last year, staff at some open-plan offices have resorted to using red and green cups to signal whether they can or cannot be disturbed. On the other hand, the open-office concept has been zealously embraced in Silicon Valley to support greater collaboration, which can boost productivity as long as the endless interruptions don't have the opposite effect. With this goal in mind, MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, in partnership with Google, has come up with

  • Current emissions could already warm world to dangerous levels. We are entering uncharted climate territory
    International Business Times UK

    Current emissions could already warm world to dangerous levels. We are entering uncharted climate territory

    Current greenhouse gas concentrations could warm the world 3-7℃ (and on average 5℃) over coming millennia. That's the finding of a paper published in Nature today. The research, by Carolyn Snyder, reconstructed temperatures over the past two million years. By investigating the link between carbon dioxide and temperature in the past, Snyder made new projections for the future. The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit warming to a "safe" level of well below 2℃ and aim for 1.5℃ by 2100. The new research shows that even if we stop emissions now, we'll likely surpass this threshold in the long term, with major consequences for the planet. What is climate sensitivity? How much the planet will warm

  • Ancient fossils reveal a sticky dinosaur death trap
    Washington Post

    Ancient fossils reveal a sticky dinosaur death trap

    The raptors of the "Jurassic Park" movies were tenacious, nearly unstoppable villains. But if the fleeing humans had been able to find a patch of quicksand, the films might have wrapped up much more quickly. Based upon new findings extracted from a nine-ton block of rock and bone from eastern Utah, some squishy sediment could literally stop even the most rapacious raptors dead in their tracks. The massive chunk of Cretaceous stone is a self-contained monument to an ancient death trap. Carefully pulled out of the ground near Moab by Utah state paleontologist Jim Kirkland and crew late in 2014, the mass has yielded the remains of at least nine Utahraptor of various ages — fuzzy, three-foot-long

  • Can gender bias be coded out of algorithms that power software like Siri?
    Quartz

    Can gender bias be coded out of algorithms that power software like Siri?

    Machine learning algorithms, such as those that power Google’s search or Apple’s Siri, learn by extracting information from large amounts of text, images, or other data. Unfortunately, research has shown that these algorithms not only learn to understand language, they also learn to replicate human biases, including implicit biases that humans aren’t even aware of. In July, researchers from Boston University and Microsoft Research published results of an attempt to forcefully remove bias from the language model (pdf) created by a machine learning algorithm. This is accomplished by identifying gender stereotypical analogies learned by the algorithm, such as “man is to computer programmer as woman is to homemaker,” and then subtly shifting the relationship between those words.