Science

  • ABC News

    Rosetta Space Probe Sees Bright Flares, Landslide on Comet

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has captured images of a bright burst of light on the comet it is orbiting, apparently caused by a landslide. The dramatic light flashes were recorded Feb. 19 and accompanied by rising temperatures and sharp increases in dust, gas and plasma released from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Eberhard Gruen of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, said Thursday that a landslide on the comet's surface was most likely responsible. The flashes would have been generated by light reflecting from dust particles kicked up by the landslide. The European Space Agency plans to crash-land Rosetta on the comet's surface Sept. 30, more than

  • ABC News

    NASA Nears the End of Its Splashdown Tests for Mars Craft

    NASA has conducted the second to last splashdown test for its Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. Scientists at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday used a pendulum and explosives to fling a test capsule into a pool of water at about 25 mph. The 11-foot craft disappeared behind a bowl-shaped splash before bouncing buoyantly against safety netting. More than 500 instruments gauged aspects of the impact, including the level of strain on the carbon fiber heatshield and aluminum cabin. Crash test dummies were also inside to measure safety designs. Orion sailed through its first unmanned test flight in 2014, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Another unmanned

  • Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins
    AFP

    Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins

    Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 critically endangered pangolins found hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said Friday. Police discovered the pangolins, known as "scaly anteaters", when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java after local residents became suspicious about the large number of freezers in the property. A total of 657 pangolins, which are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine, were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AFP.

  • Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
    Associated Press

    Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples

    It was a time of conquest and conversions. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287.

  • Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism
    LiveScience.com

    Nicer Up North: Canadians Top Americans in Altruism

    In a study aimed at measuring altruism, researchers "lost" a total of 7,466 letters in 2001 and 2011 in 63 urban areas in the United States and Canada. That changed in 2011, however, when the United States had a 10 percent drop in helping behavior, which did not occur in Canada, suggesting that people in the United States were less altruistic than before, said study researcher Keith Hampton, a professor of media and information at Michigan State University. The project began after Hampton heard an anecdote that altruism was declining in Canada.

  • First Great White Shark Nursery Discovered By Ocearch Team Off Long Island Coast
    International Business Times

    First Great White Shark Nursery Discovered By Ocearch Team Off Long Island Coast

    A team of fishermen and scientists working for an ocean research organization has reportedly discovered the first known birthing site for great white sharks on the North Atlantic Coast. Ocearch founder and leader of the expedition, Chris Fischer, has termed this development as “probably the most significant discovery we’ve ever made on the ocean,” according to CBS. Great white sharks are tracked by Ocearch by putting tags on their dorsal fins. When these sharks rise to the surface, a satellite is pinged. On other expeditions, the team had gone days without finding even one shark but this summer was different with the organization tagging and releasing nine great white sharks within a week. Finding

  • Reuters

    Once a jolly SwagBot: Ageing Aussie drovers go high-tech

    Mustering cattle across rugged terrain and wide open spaces, Australia's newest drover is a far cry from a man with a big hat, a horse and fancy boots. Australia is the world's third largest cattle exporter but with the age of producers creeping higher, and cattle stations averaging about 400,000 hectares (988,420 acres) of land - nearly four time the size of Hong Kong - rearing livestock can be difficult, even with a sufficient number of cowhands. A labour shortage makes the task harder though, and threatens Australia's hope of boosting its livestock output to profit from rising Asian demand for red meat.

  • Addicted To Coffee? Blame It On Your Genes
    Marie-Claire Dorking

    Addicted To Coffee? Blame It On Your Genes

    Well according to science how much coffee a person needs/wants may be dependent on their genes. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have identified a gene that may play a role in how the body breaks down caffeine. According to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, people who have a certain variation of a gene called PDSS2, will break down caffeine more slowly.

  • Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water
    Digital Trends

    Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water

    You only need to think back to the BP oil spill of 2010 to realize what an enormous potential problem such spillages are. “We — and other scientists worldwide — would like to increase the absorption capacity of artificial oil absorbers as this is a serious problem for the environment,” Hendrik Hölscher, one of the researchers involved with the study, told Digital Trends. Nanofur took its inspiration from water ferns, which are capable of absorbing oil while remaining water-repellent, due to the hairy microstructure of their leaves.

  • Found: Dragonfly 44, a strange galaxy made mostly of dark matter
    Fox News

    Found: Dragonfly 44, a strange galaxy made mostly of dark matter

    A galaxy called Dragonfly 44 has caught scientists’ attention for a fascinating reason: it’s made almost completely of dark matter. Astronomers used two telescopes on Maunakea, Hawaii to study the dim galaxy, and by measuring the velocities of the stars in it, they calculated its mass. While Dragonfly 44 has about the same mass as the Milky Way, it has fewer than a hundredth the number of stars. All told, the strange galaxy is 99.9 percent dark matter— only a tiny bit of it is considered to be typical matter, like stars and other objects visible to light. Astronomer estimate that Dragonfly 44 is about a trillion times as massive as our own sun. “Ultimately what we really want to learn is what

  • Kayla Mueller Part 5: Kayla's Sacrifice Allows Sex Slave to Escape
    ABC News Videos

    Kayla Mueller Part 5: Kayla's Sacrifice Allows Sex Slave to Escape

    Even after being raped by ISIS leader, Kayla foregoes her chance to run to save others. There's the Christmas tree. And there's my mom on Christmas eve. Reporter: With Kayla missing now for two christmases in a row, the family's only joy came in the

  • Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story
    Associated Press

    Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story

    In a Feb. 20, 2015 story about an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, The Associated Press mischaracterized a statement an expert made about proving the cause of an infection. Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he was suggesting an argument hospitals might use when he said, "Proving causation is impossible." Muscarella said an infection can be proven to come from a hospital instrument.

  • Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition
    LiveScience.com

    Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition

    An exploration of a World War II battleground right off U.S. shores is now underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with several nonprofit and private partners to explore the twin wrecks of the freighter SS Bluefieldsand the German U-boat U-576. The German submarine attacked and sank the Bluefields on July 15, 1942, and was then itself sunk by bombs from U.S. Navy air cover and the deck gun of another merchant ship in the convoy, the Unicoi.

  • 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.

  • Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore
    Associated Press

    Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore

    Six Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as forest fires blanketed a swath of Southeast Asia in a smoky haze. Singapore's air quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires on Sumatra, where millions of people are already affected by haze, across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Borneo by weather satellites has increased in the past month though they are below levels last year when massive fires in Indonesia caused a regional crisis.

  • LiveScience.com

    Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates

    The research showed that counties in the U.S. with more men than women generally had higher rates of marriage, fewer births outside marriage and fewer single female heads of household — all of which are generally signs of greater family stability, according to the researchers. "There's this numerical expectation that, as men increase in numbers, that means that there are fewer women available, so men are less likely to get married," said Ryan Schacht, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology at the University of Utah. In the study, the researchers looked at U.S. Census data from 2,800 counties in all 50 states, focusing on the relationship between each county's gender ratio (the number of men relative to women) and certain markers of family stability that researchers commonly use in research like this, such as marriage rates and the percentage of households with children who were headed by single women.

  • Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough
    AFP

    Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough

    A tiny "kitten-sized" marsupial lion that roamed Australia's ancient rainforests some 18 million years ago has been named after veteran British naturalist David Attenborough. The fossil remains of the "microleo attenboroughi" were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area -- believed to be one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world -- in remote north-western Queensland state some years ago by palaeontologists from Sydney's University of New South Wales. "It's around about the size of a grey squirrel... maybe a little bit bigger than kitten-sized," UNSW palaeontologist Anna Gillespie told AFP on Friday, adding that the new species was estimated to weigh about 600 grams (21.2 ounces) and was smaller than other members of an extinct marsupial lion family.

  • Stormy 'weather bomb' reveals Earth's inner secrets
    The Christian Science Monitor

    Stormy 'weather bomb' reveals Earth's inner secrets

    For the first time ever, a team of scientists in Japan has detected a rare kind of earthquake on the ocean floor. Microseisms are faint earthquake tremors caused by “the sloshing of the ocean’s waves on the solid Earth floor during storms,” the American Association for the Advancement of Science explains in a press release. And there are two kinds of microseisms: P-wave microseisms (the faint tremors that animals can detect before an earthquake), which have been charted before, and S-wave microseisms (the strong tremors that humans detect during an earthquake). Scientists study P- and S-waves because they unlock information about the Earth’s interior. When P- and S-waves travel through the Earth

  • MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water
    Fox News

    MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water

    Foam, specially-coated copper, and bubble wrap are components of a simple but innovative new device that can boil water without electricity, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on Monday. The system, which MIT compares to a sponge, can heat water to 212 degrees under just the heat of the sun, and could be used for applications like sterilizing medical tools in settings without electricity. Bubble wrap covers the top of the puck-like device to help trap the sun’s heat— an idea that one of the researchers on the project got from his teenage daughters’ science fair project, according to MIT. “This device offers a totally new design paradigm for solar steam generation,” Tao Deng, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University who was not part of the research, said in a statement.

  • 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.

  • For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed
    Associated Press

    For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed

    A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao. Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.

  • LiveScience.com

    How Do EpiPens Work?

    The price of EpiPens has increased more than 400 percent since 2007. People who need to keep them on hand — often because they may need the emergency drug in case they have a life-threatening allergic reaction — brought the price increase to light, and eventually it reached Congress: In a letter to Mylan, the company that makes EpiPens, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has now asked the company to explain its pricing. But how do EpiPens work?

  • Soft, Rubbery 'Octobot' Can Move Without Batteries
    LiveScience.com

    Soft, Rubbery 'Octobot' Can Move Without Batteries

    The researchers say soft robots can adapt more easily to some environments than rigid machines, and this research could lead to autonomous robots that can sense their surroundings and interact with people. As the fuel gives off oxygen, pressure from the gas builds up in the controller and eventually causes some valves to open and others to close, inflating chambers in half the robot's arms and forcing them to move.

  • Kayla Mueller Part 6: ISIS Says Kayla Is Killed in Bombing
    ABC News Videos

    Kayla Mueller Part 6: ISIS Says Kayla Is Killed in Bombing

    Muellers say President Obama gave sincere apology, said he'd donate to foundation for Kayla. Make more happen. My immediate reaction is heartbreak. She was an outstanding young woman and a great spirit. And I think that spirit will live on. Reporter:

  • Alaskans live among bears _ both real and brightly colored
    Associated Press

    Alaskans live among bears _ both real and brightly colored

    Alaska's largest city is home to more than 300 grizzly and black bears — and now more than a dozen multicolored ones. Life-size statues painted by city artists for a public art installation called "Bears on Parade" are popping up as part of an effort to raise awareness that if you live in Anchorage, you live near bears. "The whole point of this was to engage in conversation about bears and their habitat — the food that they eat, where they live," said Brenda Carlson, a tourism official who helped organize the program.