Government scientists launched an investigation Thursday into an unusually large number of humpback whale deaths from North Carolina to Maine, the first such "unusual mortality event" declaration in a decade. Forty-one whales have died in the region in 2016 and so far in 2017, far exceeding the average of about 14 per year, said Deborah Fauquier, a veterinary medical officer with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries. The investigation will focus on possible common threads like toxins and illness, prey movement that could bring whales into shipping lanes, or other factors, officials said. Humpbacks can grow to 60 feet long and are found in oceans around the world.
After moving to unstitch climate change rules, US President Donald Trump is turning his sights on America's vast nature preserves, with a view to possibly lifting federal protections brought in over the past two decades. On Wednesday, he is to sign an executive order reviewing decisions by predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to designate public land a "national monument" under a 1906 law known as the Antiquities Act.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has ventured into the never-before-explored region between Saturn and its rings. But flight controllers won't know how everything went until Thursday when they are back in touch with the craft. If Cassini survives this first round, it will make 21 more crossings before its demise in September. Launched in 1997, Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. Because the fuel tank is practically empty, NASA decided on one last dangerous, but science-rich adventure.
Generations of Arkansas rice growers who farmed the flood plains near the Mississippi River had little reason to pay attention to water supplies or their impact on a changing climate. Dan Hooks is different. “If farmers weren’t willing to change, we’d still be using mules,” Hooks said by telephone from Slovak, Arkansas, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of the Mississippi, the biggest U.S. river and a water source for millions of people.
With new technologies and cutting-edge materials, the yachting industry is evolving rapidly, but what does the future hold for superyacht design? Leading industry media company Boat International has identified 13 of the most desirable vessels to take to the waters.
While it's easy to count our number of birthdays to figure out how long we've each been on the planet, researchers at Imperial College London have another age-related metric they think is even more important: A person's "brain age." That means taking into account the wear and tear on a person's brain to help predict individuals at greater risk of suffering poor health and dying earlier. And -- wouldn't you know it -- they've created a machine learning algorithm to help! "The study involves using brain MRI scans to look at the size of people's brain tissue -- gray matter and white matter -- across the lifespan," Dr. James Cole, a research associate who led the study, told Digital Trends. "By building
Last week, the Marine Strandings Network was called in to investigate a dead shark in Cornwall, England. What MSN found was not just any shark: it was the fully intact floating carcass of a 25-foot-long basking shark. Photographer Matthew Facey also visited the sight to photograph the shark.
Burying people in cemeteries is just another way humans are messing with the environment. Agence France-Presse reported bodies buried whole or cremated “leach iron, zinc, sulfur, calcium and phosphorus into the ground that may later be used as farms,
A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago. And maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. With an age that old, the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species. The researchers speculate they could instead have been some species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia, like Neanderthals. No remains
NASA's spacewalking suits are in short supply, and a replacement is still years away despite the nearly $200 million spent on new technology, the space agency's inspector general reported Wednesday. A next-generation suit for spacewalking astronauts is needed for future space travel, including trips to Mars. But a lack of a formal plan and destinations has complicated suit development, according to the report . At the same time, NASA has reduced funding for suit development, putting more priority instead on space habitats. According to the report, NASA is dealing with a variety of design and health risks associated with the spacewalking suits used by astronauts aboard the International Space
El Salvador on Thursday became the first country in the world to ban the mining of metals in what campaigners called a landmark move for environmental protection. The law bans "prospection, exploration, exploitation, extraction or processing of metallic minerals in El Salvador," according to the text published Thursday in the official journal. "This is more than just a novelty," the president of the Salvadoran Ecological Unit, Mauricio Sermeno, told AFP.
A French tourist survived a rare shark attack in New Zealand on Thursday, suffering only moderate injuries, rescuers and locals said. The woman, aged in her 20s, was bodyboarding in the afternoon at Curio Bay in the South Island when the shark attacked her leg, St John Ambulance said. Nick Smart, who runs the Caitlin Surf School, said the woman was in the water with friends when the shark attacked "out of nowhere".
DENVER – Deep snow is melting into Western mountain streams, but some farmers and ranchers on the high plains are struggling amid a lengthy dry spell and the aftermath of destructive wildfires. A swath of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas has been in a drought or near-drought condition for six months, putting some of the winter wheat crop in doubt. The March fires burned nearly 2,100 square miles (5,400 square kilometers) in the four states. Six people died. Agriculture officials say the fires also killed more than 20,000 cattle and pigs and damaged or destroyed about $55 million worth of fences. "The first word you think of is devastating, financially," said David Clawson, a farmer and rancher
Precisely honed lethal stone tools have been discovered in the Sibudu Cave in South Africa dating back to the Middle Stone Age in the region. Sophisticated methods to hone sharper and more deadly stone weapons is thought to have come much later. The previous earliest stone tools of this kind at the site were 65,000 years old.
Scientists in the United States have developed a fluid-filled womb-like bag known as an extra-uterine support device that could transform care for extremely premature babies, significantly improving chances of survival. In pre-clinical studies with lambs, the researchers were able to mimic the womb environment and the functions of the placenta, giving premature offspring a crucial opportunity to develop their lungs and other organs. Around 30,000 babies in the United States alone are born critically early - at between 23 and 26 weeks of gestation, the researchers told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Analysis of mastodon bones found in San Diego has led a team of researchers to believe that human activity was present in North America 130,000 years ago.
Ötzi the Iceman didn't die after being shot with an arrow – it's more likely that he froze to death, scientists have now said. Ötzi, also known as the Tyrolean Iceman, is one of the most famous mummies in the world.
Intense storms in northern Africa have tripled in frequency since the 1980s, new research finds. And scientists say rising temperatures in the Sahara — one of the most rapidly warming regions of the world — are the likely culprit. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, examined satellite records of storms in Africa’s Sahel region, a band that stretches across the continent just north of the Sahara from Mauritania to Sudan. Some of the most intense thunderstorms in the world already occur in the western part of the Sahel, the study’s authors note. Now, the record shows that they’re occurring more and more frequently, and may continue to increase as the climate keeps warming. The
The first space tourists aboard the New Shepard will take off in a six-person capsule and experience four minutes of complete weightlessness above the Earth. Inside the cabin, passengers all sit facing the outside. The windows of the New Shepard are the largest ever flown in space, a spokesperson said at a press conference in Van Horn, Texas.
The farm was built in the wake of a devastating magnitude 9.1 earthquake that rocked Japan in 2011 and led to a temporary food crisis in the affected area. Recently, the facility (and others like it) has become a poster child for indoor farming. There’s now a rapidly expanding movement to bring this type of food production to urban centers all over the globe.
Ambitious plan may take some consumer convincing; Fox News Headlines' Brett Larson reports
An endangered vaquita porpoise was found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, the country's environmental protection authority said Wednesday, bringing to four the number of dead vaquitas found in 2017. There are only 30 remaining vaquitas (Phocoena sinus), scientists warned in February. The remains of the vaquita were found Tuesday, 24 kilometers (15 miles) north of the town of San Felipe, in the state of Baja California on the Barra del Primer Estero beach, the statement read.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will star in the first ever 4K live video broadcast from space on Wednesday. Whitson, who broke the U.S. record for most cumulative time in space on Monday, will speak with Sam Blackman, CEO and co-founder of AWS Elemental, via an Ultra-HD 4K broadcast from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. The astronaut is on her third long-duration stay on the International Space Station – she will have spent more than 650 days in space by the time she returns to Earth in September. The live video broadcast with Whitson will kick off at 1:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday. You can watch the 4K livestream here. The conversation with Whitson is part of an NAB panel
Scientists have attached the head of a smaller rat onto a larger one in the latest study by controversial neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero. Images, which can be seen on Motherboard, show how three rats were used for the operation. One was the donor, the other recipient while the third provided the blood supply between the two.