Toxic smog has found itself in the dock in China, as the authorities are taken to court over a problem that has choked entire regions, put public health at risk and forced the closure of schools and roads. At the helm is a group of human rights lawyers, who despite increasing government hostility to their work on some of China's most sensitive cases, say popular feeling is behind them when it comes to pollution that is literally off the charts. "Chinese people aren’t too concerned about societal problems and things that aren't happening to them personally, but this issue is different: everyone is a victim and is personally influenced by breathing polluted air," lawyer Yu Wensheng told AFP.
A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck deep under Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing damage and blackouts but no tsunami hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for nearby islands. The mid-afternoon quake struck at a depth of 167 kilometers (103 miles) beneath the eastern province of Bougainville, where Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands meet in a continuous South Pacific archipelago, said Chris McKee, assistant director of Papua New Guinea Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby.
Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of the Maldives in 2008 but lives in exile in London after he was jailed on terrorism charges he says were politically motivated. In the past he has accused Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 years and is still regarded as the power behind the throne, of being behind his downfall.
The Russian government’s influence over Donald Trump may be the least of our problems. No, not Putin and the oligarchs, but a little-known line of early 20th-century Russian occult philosophers called the cosmists. While here in America, Frank Baum was busy spreading the optimistic can-do memes of Calvinism through his book the Wizard of Oz, the cosmists were inventing an equally positivist spiritual system that combined the ideas of Marxism with those of Russian Orthodoxy — all in a perfected, technologized future.
Ohio's agriculture leaders say thousands of farmers have completed training that will be required for putting fertilizer on fields, but many more face a September deadline to finish the program aimed at combating the toxic algae fouling Lake Erie. The first of its kind requirement is one of several steps Ohio has taken to reduce the farm runoff that feeds algae in the state's lakes and rivers. State lawmakers put the measure in place in 2014, just months before algae in Lake Erie contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan.
Before Rachel Carson became the mother of the modern environmental movement, she was stuck in a job that paid the bills but left her restless. It was in that role that Carson learned about DDT — a potent pesticide that farmers sprayed indiscriminately over their crops. The PBS documentary Rachel Carson draws on the biologist's own writings, letters and recent scholarship to tell her inspiring life story.
Since last summer’s announcement of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride Mission Breakout, everybody’s been anxiously awaiting a look inside. Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Designer Joe Rohde and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada gave a tour of the new ride to a handful of folks. Although the ride is still in the early stages, this early look is not only a glance at the Mission Breakout’s development, but also a chance to see the future of Marvel in theme parks.
How colleges are retaining female undergraduates in engineering and computer science January 22, 2017 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today With a math-professor father and a mother who is a NASA engineer, Rachel Holladay was primed for a life exploring science and technology. Still, even with excellent grades in science and related subjects, she soon learned that her abilities... This content is available exclusively to Chronicle subscribers
"Elephant's skin can cure skin diseases like eczema," one shop owner, who requested anonymity, told AFP next to a counter brimming with porcupine quills and snake skins. Another young man touting his wares nearby promised a paste made from ground up elephant teeth would "cure pimples and remove black spots".
Having apparently taken note of Elon Musk’s plan for a super-fast “Hyperloop” transportation system, engineers in South Korea are now working on their own remarkably similar technology. The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) recently revealed plans for a near-supersonic “train” that’d be capable of whisking passengers between Seoul and the southern Korean city of Busan 200 miles away in just half an hour.
Senior Department of Energy executives, several of whom were “Acting” Obama Administration appointees in roles that normally require Senate advice and consent, made decisions that paused unique research into the biological effects of low dose radiation in the United States. Early research results from the program are arguably sufficient to support decisions with globally important economic, medical and environmental implications, but there is enormous opportunity for returns from continuing the effort to understand exactly how living organisms respond over time to various doses and dose rates of ionizing radiation. Here is a representative statement heard during discussions with leading radiation biology experts about the elimination of the LDRRP.
Albert Einstein was one of the most important physicists of all time. Scientists have been keen to figure out why — because if they can, it may open the door to the hardest challenge in politics right now: changing minds. Psychologists have been circling around a possible reason political beliefs are so stubborn: Partisan identities get tied up in our personal identities.
A U.S.-based company called SpaceWorks that develops technologies for space exploration is venturing into uncharted territory for scientists. It is attempting to develop hibernation pods or human stasis pods that could enable humans to partake in interstellar space missions. “Our goal is to get from days and weeks to months,” SpaceWorks President John A. Bradford was quoted as saying to Quartz.
Conspiracy theorists, people against vaccination and those who believe climate change is not happening are typically interested in science, but process information in a different way, psychologists say. Science sceptics tend to follow a particular argument or message by cherry-picking the information that supports their established view, psychologist Matthew Hornsey of the University of Queensland, Australia, argues in a paper presented at a meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Antonio, US.
Domesticating a wild-animal species is not a simple process. It typically has involved a long history of hunting, followed by efforts to manage wild populations. One method, for example, included periodically setting fires to vegetation to encourage the growth of the plants favored by the species that was targeted to tame. Young animals could be captured, confined and eventually selectively bred for characteristics that made them more manageable. If it worked, they would end up with a more or less docile animal that they could ride, milk or slaughter for food. Domesticated animals played an important part in the development of many Old World cultures, but for various historical and biological
On July 16, 1962, French geologist Michel Siffre entered a darkened cave where he planned to remain for two months. Tracking the days according to his sleep patterns (one night’s sleep equals one day), he believed his underground stay was ending on Aug. 20. Instead, when he emerged it was Sept. 14 — 25 days later. The new book “Why Time Flies” by New Yorker writer Alan Burdick explores our perception of time. Siffre spent extended periods underground three times, the last in his 60s, and showed how skewed our brain’s sense of time is without the stimuli of natural light. “Like many scientists, Siffre wondered how a human would manage in such places, isolated from other people and from the sun,”
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. That’s (almost) the reality of a planet whose H2O — or at least 97 percent of it — is nonpotable ocean. Much of the remainder is trapped in glaciers, ice caps and soil. In other words, accessible freshwater is scarce — and getting scarcer. But some scientists say this may be changing. As desalination technology advances, the sea may hold the answer to the world’s water crisis. But at what cost? The desal concept isn’t new — even the ancient Romans used clay filters to separate salt from water in order to make it potable. But there’s never been more incentive for large-scale implementation. Nearly three billion people currently live without access
Some of the greatest scientific discoveries have been accidental. To that list, Israeli scientists have added one more. They’ve discovered for the first time an instance of viruses leaving messages for other viruses. What makes the discovery remarkable is that scientists expect such communication systems to exist among other kinds of viruses. If true, we’ll have one more route to attack devastating viruses, such as HIV or herpes. The search began when Rotem Sorek of Weizmann Institute of Science and his colleagues were looking for “bacterial chatter.” They were studying how viruses attacked a bacterial species called Bacillus subtilis and they knew that, under certain situations, these bacteria
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” - Thich Nhat Hanh One of the most magnificent geologic features in the world is the Ausangate Mountain of the Peruvian Andes. The mountain is striped with colors ranging from turquoise to lavender to maroon and gold. However, this “painted mountain” is notoriously difficult to find and get to, requiring several days of hiking to reach its peak deep within the Andes by way of Cusco. The painted Ausangate mountain is also considered to be holy and believed to be the deity of Cusco by local Peruvians. It is a site of daily worship and offerings by local
One of them has been the removal of all mentions of climate change (among other issues) on WhiteHouse.gov. For months, scientists, programmers, and hackers have been specifically archiving data and research findings from organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s a last ditch effort to preserve the previous administration’s focus on acknowledging the reality of climate change, let alone doing anything about it.
Well that was fast. It was only one month ago that we learned Google parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is sending up another batch of Earth-imaging "Terra Bella" satellites. The mission is slated to take place sometime in late 2017 -- but now, it turns out, by the time those satellites reach orbit, Alphabet may not even own them anymore. Spinning on a dime As The Wall Street Journal reports, Alphabet has entered into discussions to sell its entire Terra Bella operation -- the whole kit and kaboodle -- to rival satellite-imaging start-up Planet Labs. This is a surprising reversal, to say the least. In fact, Alphabet only just finished buying Terra Bella in 2014, paying $500
Magnetic media, in the form of disk and tape drives, has been the dominant way of storing bits. But the speed and low power of flash memory has been displacing it from consumer systems, and various forms of long-term memory are in development that are even faster. But a new paper suggests that magnetic media may still be competitive—you just have to stop reading and writing it with magnets. Using a specific form of garnet and some ultrafast laser pulses, a Dutch-Polish team of researchers performed what they suspect is the fastest read/write of magnetic media ever. And, for good measure, the process was extremely energy efficient. Heat is actually a problem for both hard drives and flash. Although
NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan is the last person to leave footprints on the moon, and they are still there more than 44 years later. Cernan died this week in Houston at the age of 82.
If you had your finger on the shutter of a camera that’s currently orbiting Jupiter, what kind of pictures would you try to take? To bring its faraway Juno mission closer to the masses, NASA is now offering space enthusiasts the chance to vote on the kind of images snapped by the JunoCam as it passes close by the gas giant early next month. “We’re looking forward to people visiting our website and becoming part of the JunoCam imaging team,” said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona.
Jan. 21 (UPI) -- British scientists conducting a long term study found a link between exposure to the popular weed killer Roundup and severe liver damage in test rats. The study, published in the journal Nature, was completed at King's College London, where researchers concluded even in "extremely low doses," rats exposed to Roundup through their drinking water developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, over a two-year period. NAFLD can lead to increased risk of more serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, denied the research is accurate and insisted the product poses no risk to humans.