Science

  • ABC News

    Underwater Expedition off California Reveals Sunken Warship

    An underwater expedition along the California coast has revealed for the first time a sunken World War II-era aircraft carrier once used in atomic tests in the Pacific. The expedition led by famed oceanographer Robert Ballard captured on Tuesday the wreckage of the USS Independence, located half a mile under the sea in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Scientists aboard the ocean research ship E/V Nautilus lowered two submersibles to the ocean floor to find a Hellcat fighter plane, anti-aircraft guns, hatches and the ship's name on the hull. The Independence was deliberately scuttled in 1951. Samples of marine life growing on the ship will be brought onboard to be tested for possible

  • ABC News

    Astronaut Breaks US Record: 521 Days in Space and Counting

    An astronaut has set a U.S. record for most time spent in space. Jeffrey Williams, commander of the International Space Station, marked his 521st day in orbit Wednesday, a number accumulated over four flights. That surpasses the 520-day record set by Scott Kelly, whose one-year space station mission ended in March. By the time Williams returns to Earth in two weeks, he will have logged 534 days off the planet for NASA. His record won't last long. Space station veteran Peggy Whitson will top that after she flies up in November for a six-month stay. She's already at the 377-day mark for total space time, a record for a woman. Kelly, who's now retired from NASA, called Williams from Mission Control

  • Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida
    ABC News

    Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida

    Capybaras, giant rodents that are native to South America, may be establishing themselves as an invasive species in Florida, according to Elizabeth Congdon, the only biologist in North America studying the animal. "Right now, they're considered exotics -- non-native animals that aren't supposed to be here," Congdon told ABC News today. Capybaras were first accidentally introduced to forests in northern Florida after five of them escaped a research facility in the early '90s, said Congdon, an assistant professor at the Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, who warned about the potential threat of the species at an animal behavior conference earlier this month.

  • Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller
    ABC News Videos

    Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller

    The humanitarian group's USA executive director Jason Cone says they decided not to negotiate for the American hostage's freedom. Kayla was about Doctors Without Borders vehicle when she was captured by crisis in Syria.

  • Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking
    LiveScience.com

    Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

    Powerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • Reuters

    Argentine soy growers fret seed royalties bill might favor Monsanto

    Argentine soy farmers fear they will get shortchanged under a proposal they say would favor U.S. agricultural company Monsanto Co by forcing them to pay royalties on seeds grown on their own farms using the company's genetically modified technology. Farmers in Argentina's Pampas grains belt say they should have to pay only once, or maybe twice, for seeds containing Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO technology. Monsanto says to plant seeds grown with that technology without paying royalties - something that the current law allows - amounts to copyright infringement.

  • With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice
    Digital Trends

    With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice

    Seals in tiny hats might conjure up images of the circus or Sea World, but, in Antarctica, elephant seals with hat-like sensors are helping scientists study melting ice. The project to study the temperature and salinity of Antarctica bottom water (AABW) is led by Dr. Guy Williams of the University of Tasmania, and is supported by an international team of researchers who hope to find clues into the immediate effects of climate change.

  • Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people
    Mashable

    Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people

    American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology "from like 700 BC." He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable. Attitudes are changing as people become more familiar with the idea of implants.

  • Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird
    Associated Press

    Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird

    The dodo bird is extinct — but one collector can now have their own dodo skeleton. Summers Place Auctions is selling what it describes as a rare composite skeleton of a dodo bird, a creature once found on the island of Mauritius. Although individual bones of the flightless bird come up for sale occasionally, Summers Place director Rupert van der Werff says this is the first time a nearly complete skeleton has come up for sale since the early 20th century.

  • ABC News

    Scientific Dig in Weird Wyoming Cave Yields Ice Age Insights

    Paleontologists digging at the bottom of a strange cave in northern Wyoming say they have uncovered a trove of animal bones from the last ice age this summer and have enough funding to head back at the same underground site next year to continue their search. Scientists digging in July and led by Des Moines University anatomy professor Julie Meachen excavated wolf, bison, lion, cheetah and wolverine bones from Natural Trap Cave. The only way into or out of Natural Trap Cave on the arid western slope of the Bighorn Mountains is a 15-foot-wide hole in the ground. The paleontologists and their research assistants have to rappel down into the cave and bring lighting equipment to illuminate it.

  • Astronomers just found a new planet that could potentially support life — and it's really, really close
    Vox.com

    Astronomers just found a new planet that could potentially support life — and it's really, really close

    This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper right of Proxima itself.

  • What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests
    OneGreenPlanet

    What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests

    Cows have such a peculiar role in modern society. Millions of them are cruelly abused every year at the hands of the animal agriculture industry, but they are also some of the most protected animals. Cattle ranchers look after cows to make sure they are not attacked, and when another animal is seen impeding on their grazing land or injuring them, ranchers will reach out to their local governments to get rid of the “pests.” We’ve seen wild horses driven out of their native land to protect livestock and now, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving forward with plans to exterminate an entire pack of wolves in Washington due to recent attacks on livestock. Admittedly, this was not

  • LiveScience.com

    In Babies, Zika Can Linger for Months, Brazilian Case Suggests

    A baby in Brazil who became infected with Zika in the womb still had the virus in his body for months after he was born, according to a new report of the case. The baby's mother, who lived in São Paulo, showed symptoms of Zika when she was 26 weeks pregnant, according to the report, published today (Aug. 24) in the New England Journal of Medicine. When the baby was born, he was diagnosed with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head and brain.

  • Here's why Italy is prone to devastating earthquakes
    Mashable

    Here's why Italy is prone to devastating earthquakes

    UPDATE: Aug. 25, 2016, 8:19 a.m. BST Death toll is at least 247 dead: 190 in Rieti province and 57 in Ascoli Piceno province, according to Italy Civil Protection. Dozens of people were killed in central Italy after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake nearly leveled hilltop towns and trapped residents under piles of rubble. The Wednesday morning earthquake is the latest in a string of deadly seismic events to strike Italy in the past four decades.

  • GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
    Reuters

    GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

    A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition. Technical clearance for indigenously developed GM mustard seeds was given on Aug. 11 by the panel of government and independent experts, following multiple reviews of crop trial data generated over almost a decade, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The decision to go ahead is likely to be made public soon by the environment ministry's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, and is expected eventually to move to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desk via Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

  • Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing
    AFP

    Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing

    New 3D printing technology unveiled this week sharply increases the size of objects that can be produced, offering new possibilities to remake manufacturing in the auto, aerospace and other major industries. One application demonstrated by 3D printing machinery maker Stratasys would allow airlines to pick made-to-order airplane interiors that could be tweaked with the click of a mouse. "We're now talking about parts in feet and meters versus centimeters and inches," said Rich Garrity, Americas president for Stratasys.

  • Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar
    Foreign Policy Magazine

    Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar

    There are many national security challenges facing the United States, but too often our focus is exclusively on threats from terrorism, geopolitics and cyberattacks. As the country confronts the arrival of the Zika virus and contemplates travel bans to Miami, it’s time to have an adult conversation about the threats posed by biology.

  • Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap
    Associated Press

    Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap

    It looks like a tiny octopus and is designed to mimic that slithery creature to get through cracks and tight places, making it ideal as a rescue robot. A team at Harvard University has created a robot — actually about 300 of them, since they are so cheap to make — that is opposite of the common view of a robot.

  • Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa
    Popular Mechanics

    Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa

    Six scientists are close to wrapping up a year of near isolation in a Mars simulation on a Hawaii mountain. The scientists are housed in a dome on Mauna Loa and can go outside only in spacesuits, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, said this simulation is the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia.

  • A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter
    Washington Post

    A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter

    Much of the universe is made of dark matter, the unknowable, as-yet-undetected stuff that barely interacts with the "normal" matter around it. In the Milky Way, dark matter outnumbers regular matter by about 5 to 1, and very tiny dwarf galaxies are known to contain even more of the stuff. But now scientists have found something entirely new: a galaxy with the same mass as the Milky Way but with only 1 percent of our galaxy's star power. About 99.99 percent of this other galaxy is made up of dark matter, and scientists believe it may be one of many. The galaxy Dragonfly 44, described in a study published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, is 300 million light years away. If scientists

  • Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up
    Mashable

    Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up

    In the heart of North Dakota's prairie lands, tribal leaders and their allies are squaring off against a Texas pipeline builder and the federal government. Over a thousands protesters have gathered during the past two weeks in a grassy camp near the town of Cannon Ball to physically block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear the tribe's lawsuit, which claims a federal agency violated multiple statutes for protecting clean water and culturally significant sites by issuing permits to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline's builder.

  • Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?
    Consumer Reports

    Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?

    To be safe, you might want to have a spotter with you before you cover your eyes with the goggles and make the leap into virtual space. According to psychology professor Jim Blascovich, co-author of “Infinite Reality: The Hidden Blueprint of Our Virtual Lives” (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2012), it may be powerful enough to distract even young burn victims and significantly reduce their pain.

  • LiveScience.com

    America's No. 1 Killer Is Changing

    Cancer has passed heart disease as the leading cause of death in nearly half of U.S. states, according to a new report. In 2014, cancer was the leading cause of death in 22 states, including many in the West and Northeast. In the rest of the 28 states, heart disease remained the leading cause of death in 2014.

  • Reuters

    Coastal land expands as construction outpaces sea level rise

    By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The Earth has gained coastal land equivalent to the size of Jamaica in the past 30 years with man-made construction outpacing erosion caused by rising sea levels, mapping data showed on Thursday. Using satellite data with Google Earth, Deltares said coastal regions had gained a net 13,565 square kilometers (5,237 square miles) of land since 1985, roughly the size of Jamaica or the U.S. state of Connecticut. "We expected on average the coast to shrink ... as sea level has risen," said Fedor Baart of Deltares, an author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

  • Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild
    AFP

    Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild

    Embraced by kings and freedom fighters alike, Myanmar's peacocks have long been a national symbol of pride and resistance -- but they are becoming ever harder to spot in the wild. Ornithologist Thet Zaw Naing is worried. Every year that goes by, Myanmar's national bird becomes a less familiar sight.