Mexico's government has launched drones to back last-ditch efforts to prevent illegal fishing activities that have led to the near extinction of the vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise. The navy and the environment ministry on Thursday unveiled three Arcturus T-20 unmanned aerial vehicles, armed with high-resolution cameras to police the upper Gulf of California day and night. It is the latest step taken by the government to save the vaquita, a species found only in a small area of Mexico's northwest gulf.
Right now, miles above your head, there are fleets of robotic, weaponized satellites poised to do battle as the world’s superpowers await the opening salvo in a very real cosmic chess match. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has enjoyed a quarter century of dominance in satellite technology. This advanced web of GPS satellites has given the U.S. military a great advantage on the battlefield.
(CNN)- Scientists have discovered what's being described as the world's deepest underwater sinkhole in the South China Sea, China's state broadcaster CCTV reported. Called the "Dragon Hole" by locals, it's 987 feet (300 meters) deep, according to researchers who have spent the past year exploring the site. Scientists from the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection used an underwater robot with a depth sensor to determine the size of the sinkhole. Researchers found more than 20 species of fish in the upper part of the sinkhole, which is also known as a blue hole. But below 100 meters, it is largely oxygen-free, meaning life is unlikely to survive there. A "blue hole" is a large
When it comes to the prototypical villains of ancient literature, the Egyptians are right up there. Nobody, it seemed, really liked the ancient superpower. Ancient Greek romance novels routinely portray them as cunning and duplicitous. The Romans found Cleopatra to be equal parts captivating and conniving and, in the Bible, the Israelites were enslaved by the Pharaohs for centuries. A new at Tel Hazor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest Biblical-era archaeological sites in Israel, may change how we think about the Egyptians. During excavations last week, archeologists discovered a four-thousand-year-old fragment of a large limestone statue of an Egyptian official. Only the lower
Breeders may try to save the English Bulldog's health – but it will be for nought, according to new research. English bulldogs are among the world’s favourite dogs, but centuries of inbreeding has cursed the pooches with poor health and a shorter life expectancy – and now, new research shows their gene pool is so small only procreation with other breeds can save them. A trio of researchers at the University of California set about revealing just how much genetic diversity is evident in among bulldog populations, and whether there’s enough variety to curb changes that have damaged the breed. "These changes have occurred over hundreds of years but have become particularly rapid over the last few decades,” explains lead researcher Niels Pedersen.
The lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week. Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs.
Over the next two years, reports on its air quality remained grim. The country's air pollution levels reached their highest levels in 2015, after being on rise for the last decade. For the first time, India's air was also found to be more polluted than China's. This year, WHO revealed that the country was home to half of the world's most polluted cities.
Physicist Stephen Hawking warns that money and our attitude toward wealth was a key factor in the outcome of the EU Brexit referendum, but it also is a warning that "envy and isolationism" threaten the future of humanity. The June 23 Brexit vote was down to British attitudes towards wealth and money and that it was time for an "honest" debate about "the role that wealth does and doesn't play in our society," Hawking wrote the U.K. Guardian newspaper. Hawking said he was "sad” about the Brexit result. “But if I've learned one lesson in my life it is to make the best of the hand you are dealt," he wrote. "Now we must learn to live outside the EU, but in order to manage that successfully we need
Australia will adjust its latitude and longitude, a government science body says, to put the vast country into alignment with global navigation satellite systems. The nation's coordinates are currently out by more than a metre, Geoscience Australia says, and the discrepancy could cause major headaches for possible new technologies such as driverless cars which require precise location data. "We have to adjust our lines of latitude and longitude... so that the satellite navigation systems that we all use on our smartphones these days can align with all the digital map information," Geoscience's Dan Jaksa told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week.
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is such a part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine it not existing. It’s also hard to imagine in today’s world of partisan gridlock that the executive and legislative branches created by the Founders could create a major government agency in little less than one year’s time. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act to “provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.” Congress had already passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which became a priority after one shocking event in 1957.
Genetic tests confirm that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale only rarely seen alive by Japanese fishermen roams the northern Pacific Ocean, according to research published this week. The testing shows the black whales, with bulbous heads and beaks like porpoises, are not dwarf varieties of more common Baird's beaked whales, a slate-gray animal. Japanese researchers sampled three black beaked whales that washed up on the north coast of Hokkaido, the country's most northern island, and wrote about them in a 2013 paper. The challenge to confirm the existence of the new animal was finding enough specimens from a wider area for testing and matching genetic samples, said Phillip Morin, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research molecular biologist.
Scientists’ conventional opinion about cancer was that it’s a relatively recent phenomenon caused by the stresses of modern life. Dietary changes, behavioral changes and man-made changes to our environment have subjected humans to toxins that contribute to cancers. But new findings from researchers at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand published in the South African Journal of Science challenges that assumption. Paleontologists found a benign tumor in a specimen from a 12- or 13-year-old boy that dates back almost 2 million years. More significantly, they also found a malignant tumor on a little toe bone of a left foot that’s 1.7 million years old. Previously, the oldest discovered
Anyone who has ever made the mistake of wearing a Band-Aid in the shower knows all too well that adhesives which appear to be secure when dry quickly peel off when they get wet. The challenge of creating glue that works underwater is the focus of Bruce Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University. To help him crack this conundrum, Lee has just been awarded three years of funding from the Office of Naval Research as part of its Young Investigator Program award.
How well do you know your brain? Maybe not as well as you think. According to a new piece on the science and health site Vox, many of the commonly accepted "facts" about the human brain are pure hokum. These are three of them; You can find the full piece here. 1. Listening to Mozart makes babies smarter. I was one of the many people who gave Baby Einstein CDs to my friends with newborns. While the gift may inspire early appreciation for Mozart's genius, it definitely won't help those kids with their SAT scores. The Mozart-makes-you-smarter myth got started in 1993 when a study showed that college students who listened to his music for 10 minutes subsequently did better on a spatial test. But
The average surface temperature of Lake Tahoe has risen faster over the last four years than any time on record — 15 times faster than the long-term warming rate over the past half century, scientists say. Continued warm and dry conditions contributed to several record-breaking measurements at Lake Tahoe in 2015, raising concerns about the ecological impacts of climate change on the second deepest lake in the United States, according to an annual report issued Thursday by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. "Lake Tahoe experienced a year like no other," according to the research center, which started keeping water temperature records in 1970 when it averaged 50.3 degrees.
A dragon from "Game of Thrones" has come to life — sort of. A new ant species' dragon-like appearance inspired scientists to name it for the fire-breathing star of the popular fantasy series. The Pheidole drogon's large and distinctive spine reminded researchers of Drogon, one of the dragons on the "Game of Thrones" TV show, adapted from the novels written by George R. R. Martin. The ant's spiny characteristics were captured in detail using 3D-imaging technology, which the researchers employed to help identify and document several new ant species. Their findings were published in two different papers in the journal PLOS ONE. [StarStruck: Species Named After Celebrities] "This is one of the first
A fungal infection called valley fever, which can cause mild to severe lung problems (including holes in the lungs), is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can resemble those of the flu or other illness, experts say. The misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary medications that don't treat the fungal infection, according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The guidelines stress that primary care doctors should consider the possibility of valley fever in patients who have pneumonia or continuing flu-like symptoms if they live in or have visited the western or southwestern United States, where the fungus is found naturally in the soil.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Scientific American recently tackled that question, releasing a list of the top ten emerging technologies of 2016. To compile the list, the Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies considered criteria that examined the technologies’ potential to improve lives, revolutionize industries, and protect the planet, while recognizing the likelihood that 2016 is a turning point in the development of these technologies. Below are the WEF’s top ten, from first to last.
NASA has ordered a second commercial crew ferry ship from SpaceX, NASA announced Friday, as the agency continues its ongoing push to develop U.S.-built spacecraft to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, ending sole reliance on Russian Soyuz vehicles. Not counting planned test flights, Boeing was awarded contracts last year to build two post-certification CST-100 "Starliner" ferry ships and the second order for a SpaceX piloted Dragon capsule completes the minimum number guaranteed under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program. The current contracts include options for up to four additional spacecraft from each company. SpaceX, which launches supplies and
Normally, the smell of putrefying, decaying flesh wouldn't be cause for celebration, but it is today, with the blooming of the rare but stinky corpse flower at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Corpse flowers bloom only once every seven to 10 years, and this is the first time that this particular plant has blossomed since the NYBG acquired it in 2007, they said. As soon as the bud began to open last night (July 28), NYBG representatives took to Twitter to announce the good news, saying, "Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.
Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that will require labeling of genetically modified ingredients for the first time.
The crew of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus has posted a YouTube video of their discovery of a mysterious purple orb-shaped creature living very near the bottom of the Pacific Ocean not far off the coast of Los Angeles. In addition to footage of the creature, the researchers can be heard making observations and engaging in a discussion about whether or not to capture it and bring it aboard for further study. The Nautilus is a ship operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, which was set up by Robert Ballard with the goal of conducting both scientific research and capturing images of an undersea world that most people never get to see. Recently, the current crew of eaight has been investigating the tectonically active area off the coast of California, looking for organisms that likely live nowhere else.
With their eight arms and giant egg-shaped head, octopuses are one of the most alien-looking creatures on the planet. We read Katherine Courage's book "Octopus!" and discovered that the octopus is even weirder than it looks. A special thanks to NOAA and professor of marine biology at the Alaska Pacific University, David Scheel, for the amazing footage they contributed to this video. Produced by Jessica Orwig
Felix Vail is awaiting trial on charges of murder for Mary Horton Vail's death, and he pleaded not guilty. Maria: The search for the stranger who broke in. Maria: Uber under fire but claim a claim it makes about its service that may not be true.