Science

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

    Here's why Italy is prone to devastating earthquakes

    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. The Mediterranean nation is particularly prone to earthquakes for a mix of geographical reasons, Jennifer Weston, a seismologist with the International Seismological Center in England, told Mashable.

  • LiveScience.com

    It's Splitsville: Divorce May Be Seasonal, Study Finds

    The rates of divorce filings may peak twice a year, a new study from one state suggests. In a 14-year study of divorce filings in Washington state, researchers found that the rates of such filings consistently peaked in March and August. "People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past," study co-author Julie Brines, an associate sociology professor at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

  • Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

  • Associated Press

    Scientists: Puffin chicks starving with less food available

    Atlantic puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine have had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the majority of chicks starving to death in burrows, scientists said. A drop in the puffins' food supply is to blame, said Tony Diamond, director of the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research at the University of New Brunswick. In a typical year, 60 percent of the puffin nests with eggs produce chicks that fly off the nest, and this year, the success rate was 12 percent, the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2bCwkaf) reported.

  • LiveScience.com

    Here's How Many US Mothers Breastfeed

    The percentage of U.S. mothers who breast-feed their newborns continues to rise, but many stop breast-feeding before their infant is 6 months old, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2013, 81.1 percent of U.S. mothers said they started out breast-feeding their baby. Breast-feeding rates were highest in Utah, where 94.4 percent of mothers said they breast-fed their newborns in 2013.

  • 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.

  • What are the origins of life? There's a rocket for that
    Reuters Videos

    What are the origins of life? There's a rocket for that

    NASA scientists are putting the finishing touches on a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with Asteroid Bennu in 2018 to find clues about the origins of life.

  • New "Smart" Plastic Could Give Your Whole House Transitions Lenses
    Popular Mechanics

    New "Smart" Plastic Could Give Your Whole House Transitions Lenses

    Researchers from the University of Austin have developed a new process for making "smart tinting" plastic that could help save on heating and cooling bills. Paired with a sunlight sensor, you could easily get Transitions for your whole house.

  • A lengthening crack is threatening to cause an Antarctic ice shelf to collapse
    Mashable

    A lengthening crack is threatening to cause an Antarctic ice shelf to collapse

    A large rift is widening across an increasingly fragile Antarctic ice shelf, scientists found. About 10 to 12 percent of the Larsen C Ice Shelf is expected to break off during such an event, leaving the larger ice shelf even more vulnerable to melting from increasing air and ocean temperatures. The iceberg and ice shelf melting would not, however, increase sea levels, since the ice is already resting in the ocean, like an ice cube in a glass.

  • Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases
    Alice Sholl

    Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases

    It’s this attribute which means that perfume could also be used as ‘trace evidence’ along with these other materials. Scientists wrote in the journal Science and Justice that analysing fragrances could be particularly useful in cases where a crime has involved close physical contact, such as a sexual assault. “We’ve shown that first, perfume does transfer, and second, we can identify when that transfer has happened,” said director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences Dr Ruth Morgan.

  • Breadwinner Men May Have More Money, But Poorer Health
    LiveScience.com

    Breadwinner Men May Have More Money, But Poorer Health

    Men who earn more money than their wives may be rolling in the bucks, but they tend to have poor health and heightened anxiety, new research shows. Researchers analyzed surveys from 9,000 young married men and women in the United States taken annually over a 15-year period, and evaluated each participant's response on income, health and psychological wellness. The findings suggest that men who are primary breadwinners — and who, in essence, fulfill the culturally held expectation that husbands should bring home more money than their wives — are actually worse off than men who earn salaries that are more equal to those of their wives.

  • Back in touch! NASA has just made contact with a lost spacecraft after nearly two years
    Digital Trends

    Back in touch! NASA has just made contact with a lost spacecraft after nearly two years

    Such an incident could potentially mean years of work lost, and that not only relates to the blood, sweat and tears expended keeping the spacecraft in operation far from Earth, but also the massive amount of preparation needed to get the thing off the ground in the first place. In October 2014, the situation looked serious for NASA engineers working on the Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission when they lost touch with one of two sun-studying spacecraft eight years after launch. The breakdown occurred while NASA was testing a set of important procedures designed to keep the satellites operating throughout an upcoming four-month communications blackout caused by interference from the sun.

  • Scientists have figured out how to make wires 60,000x smaller than a human hair
    Mashable

    Scientists have figured out how to make wires 60,000x smaller than a human hair

    Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have found a way to make electrical wires that are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.  The secret? The "microbial nanowires," or little hair-like protein filaments, or pili, produced

  • LiveScience.com

    Not So Sweet: New Sugar Limits for Kids Announced

    Kids in the United States are sweet on sugar, but a major health organization is issuing new guidelines to curb children's consumption of sugary foods and beverages. In the first of three new recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA), a panel of health and nutrition experts suggested that children ages 2 to 18 consume no more than 6 teaspoons (30 milliliters) of added sugar a day, according to the organization's statement published today (Aug. 22) in the journal Circulation. "There is little room in a child's diet for added sugars, because they need calories from vegetables, fruits, protein sources, whole grains and dairy to grow up healthy," said Dr. Miriam Vos, the chairperson of the committee that wrote the scientific statement, and an associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

  • Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam
    AFP

    Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

    A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. "It's great news for this particular species because had we not found this new population, they were in grave danger of being wiped out within a decade," spokeswoman for FFI in Vietnam, Akofa Wallace, told AFP Tuesday.

  • Researchers develop next-gen laser based on fluorescent jellyfish proteins
    Fox News

    Researchers develop next-gen laser based on fluorescent jellyfish proteins

    Researchers at Scotland's University of St. Andrews have demonstrated the world's first polariton laser based on lab-grown, fluorescent jellyfish proteins -- which could help trigger major advances in fields like optical computing. "I've always been fascinated by the material properties of fluorescent proteins," said Malte Gather, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, who helped invent the laser. "They have a very special molecular structure that is unlike the structure of any of the synthetic materials that we use." Polariton lasers are different in their physics from conventional lasers, and potentially more efficient at generating light at low energy levels. However, they have previously

  • Seals wear tiny hats to study Antarctic oceans
    CNET

    Seals wear tiny hats to study Antarctic oceans

    The Antarctic is freezing cold, and ice both above and below the surface of the water can block routes and prove hazardous for boats and equipment. Autonomous underwater vehicles are making some progress, but a team of researchers also turned to another solution to gather data -- the animals that inhabit the Antarctic. Led by Guy Williams of the University of Tasmania, Australia, the team this week released the results of their research in the journal Nature Communications, the ABC has reported. The team wished to study the effect of melting ice shelves on Antarctic bottom water in East Antarctica's Prydz Bay. If something happens to the bottom water, it affects the entire globe. Previous studies

  • A 66-million-year-old T. rex is about to fly from Chicago to Amsterdam
    Mashable

    A 66-million-year-old T. rex is about to fly from Chicago to Amsterdam

    The world's oldest found Tyrannosaurus rex is about to take flight. Trix, a 66-million-year-old female fossil found in Montana, will board a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Chicago to Amsterdam on Tuesday. Trix even has her own passport, whose headshot accurately captures the mood of most people in long airport security lines.

  • LiveScience.com

    Sea Anemone Proteins Could Help Fix Damaged Hearing

    When it comes to creatures with keen hearing ability, sea anemones are not at the top of the list. The finding comes from a study done in mice and could be an early step toward finding a treatment for people with hearing loss, the researchers said. In mammals, including humans, sound is translated from vibrations in the air into nerve signals that can be sent to the brain by highly specialized cells called hair cells.

  • Synthetic DNA Does Math Using Analog Circuits
    IBTimes

    Synthetic DNA Does Math Using Analog Circuits

    Unlike electrical circuits that rely on voltage as signals, “DNA circuits use the concentrations of specific DNA strands” to convey information, according to a statement on the Duke website. When performing a calculation, the digital DNA circuits require “special circuitry to convert” the “concentrations of specific DNA molecules” to a binary code. In contrast, the analog DNA circuit measures the varying concentrations directly.

  • A 24-year-old has a solution for one of NASA's biggest problems
    Business Insider

    A 24-year-old has a solution for one of NASA's biggest problems

    When it comes to sending rockets to Mars, the biggest hurdle NASA has faced is the amount of energy needed to carry a very small payload over such a long distance. Modern technology doesn't allow for us to get enough there to start a full Martian colony. But 24-year-old engineering student Gary Li believes he's found a solution with an efficient self-healing plasma rocket. Follow TI: On Facebook

  • Hoax or Secret Code? Copies of Unreadable Manuscript to Be Published
    LiveScience.com

    Hoax or Secret Code? Copies of Unreadable Manuscript to Be Published

    Armchair cryptographers, rejoice: A Spanish publisher plans to release replicas of the Voynich Manuscript, a book that no one knows how to read. Discovered by an antique bookseller in 1912 by the name of Wilfrid Voynich, the 600-year-old Voynich Manuscript is housed today in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. It's filled with script in a language that's never been seen in any other known text —which, depending on whom you talk to, means it's nonsense or a secret code just waiting to be cracked.

  • This Tree Started Growing During the Viking Age
    LiveScience.com

    This Tree Started Growing During the Viking Age

    The tree, dubbed "Adonis" by the scientists who discovered it, is a Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) that took root in A.D. 941, high in the Pindus mountains of Greece. "It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years," Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the leader of the expedition that found the tree, said in a statement. Researchers first discovered the tree during a research trip run by the Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO), which was analyzing tree rings for evidence of the region's past climate.

  • Environmentalist Vandana Shiva Explains Where The Food We Eat Really Comes From
    Refinery 29 UK

    Environmentalist Vandana Shiva Explains Where The Food We Eat Really Comes From

    Dr Vandana Shiva is an Indian scientist, environmental activist and world leading expert on food sustainability. At the age of 63, she has spent four decades studying where our food comes from, who is reaping the benefits of various farming methods, and what certain "developments" in agriculture are doing to the environment. In her new book, Who Really Feeds The World?, Shiva lays the problems with our current food system before us, and it's not looking good.

  • What are the origins of life? There's a rocket for that
    Reuters

    What are the origins of life? There's a rocket for that

    NASA scientists are putting the finishing touches on a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with Asteroid Bennu in 2018 to find clues about the origins of life. "We are days away from encapsulating into our rocket faring and lifting this spacecraft on to the Atlas V vehicle and beginning the journey to Bennu and back," Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator of the mission told Reuters at the Kennedy Space Center. The $1 billion mission, known as OSIRIS-REx, is scheduled for launch on Sept. 8, 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.