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
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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
Clark Planetarium Director Seth Jarvis said that while the debris may have appeared closer to the Earth when spotted late Wednesday night over Utah and Nevada, it actually was roughly 50 miles up when it began to burn up. There were no reports of any of the debris landing in Utah, or anywhere else in the country for that matter. The breakup of the booster was witnessed throughout the western United States. "This thing basically was a big, empty aluminum can, about the size of a school bus," Jarvis said Thursday. "But it would be really unusual for anything to survive [re-entry]." According to NASA, the rocket was launched on its maiden flight June 25 from China's new Wenchang Space Launch Center
By Susan Kelly CHICAGO (Reuters) - Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier. The anticipated future growth - and perceived weaknesses of the current generation of robots - is attracting deep-pocketed rivals, including Medtronic Inc and a startup backed by Johnson & Johnson and Google.
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.
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.
A recent Pew Research Center survey and accompanying focus group spells out how Americans feel about using biomedical innovation to alter the human body and its performance capacity. The center asked Americans about the use of gene editing, brain chips and synthetic blood enhancements and found that most have little interest in melding man with machine. Let's take a brief look at three interesting findings from Pew's latest survey—and ask yourself where you fall in the mix. First, consider your religious commitment. Do you pray or attend religious services often, occasionally, or not at all? Survey participants who reported practicing a faith less often than others “are more inclined to see
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.
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.
CAPE CANAVERAL — Spike the Gecko blasted off Thursday morning with a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The green lizard is the National Reconnaissance Office’s playful but typically enigmatic mascot for a classified spy mission which had an 8:37 a.m. ET launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on an Atlas V rocket. It may be a few hours before we know whether the launch was a success. But there was upper stage ignition and payload fairing separation. As usual the National Reconnaissance Office, which calls itself the nation’s eyes and ears in space, is not talking about the mission. A launch broadcast will be blacked out minutes into the flight from Launch Complex 41
Good news: China claims it has discovered the world's largest hole. On Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV announced that the newly found "dragon's hole," a 984-foot (300-meter) cavern in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, is now the world's largest hole. With territorial claims by Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, and China, the South China Sea — rich in natural resources and crisscrossed by shipping routes — is one of the most militarized areas on the planet. According to Xinhua, the blue hole is called the "eye" by locals and lies within the disputed Paracel Islands, which is claimed by China and Taiwan and Vietnam.
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.
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.
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 declined to be named because the deal is not yet finalized. French farmers will probably harvest the smallest crop since 2003 and the outlook could still get worst, according to Offre & Demande Agricole. French wheat futures for December delivery have jumped more than 7 percent since reaching this year’s low in July on the Euronext exchange
Cooking oil and graphene, a recently discovered substance stronger than steel, might seem to have little in common, but some theorize both could be made from carbon dioxide emitted by coal- and gas-fired power plants. Teams from Canada, China, Finland, India, Scotland, Switzerland and the U.S. have submitted 47 proposals for the first round of a $20 million contest to put power-plant emissions to profitable use, NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE officials announced Wednesday.