Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998. The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors, unable to come together at the tips. Others curved up or down like crossed sickles. Handel, a U.S. Geological Survey bird specialist, was sure the cause of avian keratin disorder would be found quickly: contaminated birdseed, a poison targeting spruce bark beetles, maybe some sort of bacterium or fungus. Years went by. She found herself losing sleep over a mysterious ailment afflicting 6.5 percent of south-central Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent
A University of Maine professor has died while conducting research in Antarctica. The university says 50-year-old Gordon Hamilton died Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding hit a crevasse and he fell 100 feet. He had been in Antarctica doing research for the National Science Foundation. His work focused on the role of ice and glaciers in the climate system. Hamilton began working at the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute in 2000. He served as an assistant research professor, taught undergraduate and graduate courses and worked with a statewide initiative on science, technology, engineering and math programs for high school students. UMaine provost Jeffery Hecker released a statement
On Sunday evening, Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul and nerd hero behind Tesla Motors, hosted a special two-hour Q&A session on Reddit. The AMA, which lasted roughly two hours, was intended as a supplement to the presentation he gave on during last month’s International Astronautical Congress. Which, in turn, meant questions were limited to the fledgling commercial rocket program, and Interplanetary Transport System, not Musk's electric car company or recently consolidated renewable energy firm, SolarCity.
"When we lie for personal gain, our amygdala produces a negative feeling that limits the extent to which we are prepared to lie," said Tali Sharot, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London. A decreased amygdala response, in other words, may help explain the "slippery slope" of lying, said Sharot, one of the authors of "The Human Brain Adapts to Dishonesty," just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The scientists involved in this research tapped Neurosynth, a platform that culls thousands of maps of brain activity, to identify parts of the brain associated with emotion. While the amygdala, located deep in our temporal lobes, wasn't the exclusive region highlighted, it predominated, researchers said.
Taken from aboard a Nazi-built V2 rocket on Oct. 24, 1946, the black and white photo shows a smattering of clouds casting shadows down upon our planet. Since 1946, Earth imaging has become an integral part of government as well as private work.
Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. The gender effect is a hot topic in autism research and one that could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating a condition that affects at least 1 in 68 U.S. children.
Russia is claiming that the Afghanit active protection system (APS) mounted on Moscow’s powerful new T-14 Armata main battle tanks has been proven effective at intercepting depleted uranium-core armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) cannon shells. If Moscow’s claims are accurate, the new Russian active protection system would be a game-changing development in the realm of mechanized warfare. While active protection systems were thought to be effective mostly against incoming anti-tank missiles and rocket propelled grenades, most industry and defense experts had believed that active protection systems were ineffective against kinetic energy (KE) round such as the U.S. Army’s M829A4 120mm APFSDS.
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has passed an ominous milestone, ushering the planet into "a new era" of climate change, the UN said Monday. For the first time on record, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere averaged 400 parts per million (ppm) in 2015, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. CO2, the main greenhouse gas driving climate change, has previously passed the 400 ppm threshold on certain months in specific locations but never on a globally averaged basis, WMO said.
One of the biggest accomplishments that a professor can achieve is reaching tenure, a process that is surely expedited by having your paper recognized by a scientific conference. Unfortunately, how Christoph Bartneck got to that point leaves more questions than answers, reports The Guardian. An associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Bartneck received an invitation from the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
If you were trying to catch up on the latest news or check out what was trending on Twitter this morning, you might have received a message that said that your browser couldn't connect to the server. Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and even news sites such as CNN experienced a widespread outage early today due to a so-called DDoS cyberattack that affected many users on the East Coast of the United States, according to several news outlets. The culprit behind the outage is what's known as a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, which was mounted against a company called Dyn DNS.
Modern air travel provides a “social microcosms of class-based society,” states a paper published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The authors of the study, Katherine DeCellesa and Michael Norton, of the University of Toronto and Harvard Business School, examined a record of all onboard “air rage” incidents from a large, international airline, to ask if the growing prevalence of air rage—antisocial behavior by airline passengers that become abusive or unruly, compromising safety and antagonizing other passengers and crew members—can be explained by increased seating inequality during flights. Recent years have seen progressively stronger indicators of class-based seating in airplanes, with first-class cabins becoming comparatively more luxurious than coach, and claiming larger and larger portions of the total shared space in the plane.
The national group last week unveiled a new set of guidelines that allow for certain types of media use by younger children and set broader parameters for older kids to keep them well-rested, physically active and socially engaged. "Parents can set expectations and boundaries to make sure their children's media experience is a positive one," she said. The AAP's recommendations were published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics.
Scientists are investigating why a hexagon-shaped spot on Saturn’s north pole changed from blue four years ago to gold today. The spot has been somewhat of a mystery to scientists, who speculate that it is a six-sided jetstream, with the shape being formed by winds that extend deep into the planet’s atmosphere. The changing colors were noticed when researchers compared side-by-side images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera four years apart, according to NASA. The hexagon-like spot is thought to be 20,000 miles wide and has a polar cyclone at its center. The formation was first observed by Voyagers 1 and 2 more than 30 years ago and is believed to be a permanent feature related to Saturn’s
The United States and China appear to be keeping an unusually low profile as they push for more dialogue and cooperation on space exploration. The State Department hosted a new round of space cooperation talks in Washington last week with a delegation led by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), but U.S. officials didn’t publicly announce the meeting until Monday, via a tersely worded press release that said a third round of civil space dialogue would be held in China next year. CNSA has yet to make any public mention of the talks, which included Pentagon officials and representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998.The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors
Within the fields of history and journalism, the use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has greatly changed the way we visualize, understand, and analyze racial bias within the United States and the globe. Below are just a few of the projects working to use spatial analysis in order to reveal the historical and current prejudices that people of color face every day. 5. Lynching Maps and the Equal Justice Initiative: In 2015, the New York Times profiled the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) collection of data on historical lynchings from 1877 to 1950 within 12 Southern states. 4. Urban Wire’s School Segregation Map: Beginning in 2014, non-white students outnumbered the number of white students within our nation’s public schools.
Government support and lower costs will power stronger-than-expected global growth in renewable energy over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday. After a record 2015, global renewable electricity capacity will grow by 825 gigawatts by 2021, a massive 42-percent rise, the IEA said. The IEA has been criticised in some quarters for being over-cautious about renewables.
The "Bermuda Triangle" is the stuff of legend — in both senses of the word. The area of the Atlantic Ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda has seen its share, or maybe more than its share, of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, leading to a popular theory that some paranormal force is at work in the triangular body of water. Two meteorologists tell the Science Channel that hexagonal cloud patterns, 20 to 55 miles across, are likely to blame for the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. "These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence, 'air bombs,'" said Dr. Randy Cerveny at Arizona State University. "They're formed by what are called microbursts. They're blasts of
Google has a new doodle on their homepage today, celebrating the, er, 384th birthday of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch textile salesman considered the first microbiologist. Van Leeuwenhoek designed a single-lens microscope which he used to observe what he famously called "little animals" - single cell organisms that we now know as bacteria and other microbes. The famous phrase came from a letter to the Royal Society of London, in which van Leeuwenhoek marveled at what he had seen in a sample of water from a nearby lake. On its Doodle page, Google says, "In his rooms on the Market Square in Delft, Netherlands, van Leeuwenhoek was a DIY-er supreme.
Famed billionaire and wannabe space cadet Elon Musk took to Reddit to do a surprise AMA yesterday. It was supposed to be a follow-up to SpaceX's recent announcement about how it plans to return Elon Musk to his place of birth, and also create a permanent Mars colony along the way. Given that Musk insisted questions stick on the topic of SpaceX and its recent announcement, much of the conversation was centered around highly technical details.
A man in Maryland died just days after he developed a rare infection from a type of flesh-eating bacteria that live in ocean water. The man, Michael Funk, 67, had a cut on his leg that came into contact with the salty water in a bay near his home in Ocean City, according to Nature World News. The cut allowed a type of bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus to enter his bloodstream.
TUCSON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Researchers say ancient graves unearthed in the American Southwest suggest the region played host to violent tribal feuds thousands of years ago. A new study -- published this week in the journal Current Anthropology -- details the discovery of several dozen bodies found unceremoniously deposited in burial sites between 2100 B.C. and A.D. 50. The burial sites were unearthed in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and featured many who had met violent ends. The remains also showed evidence of post-mortem injuries, likely inflicted as they were tossed haphazardly into the grave pits. Over several years, James Watson -- lead author of the new study and
About 2,500 years ago, mourners buried a man in an elaborate grave, and covered his chest with a shroud made of 13 cannabis plants, according to a new study. The grave is one of a select few ancient Central Eurasian burials that archaeologists have found to contain cannabis. This particular grave, located in northwestern China, sheds new light on how prehistoric people in the region used the plant in rituals, the researchers said. Archaeologists came to the site and quickly discovered a bounty of artifacts buried in the graves — bows, arrows and the remains of domesticated animals, including goats, sheep and a horse skull — indicating that these ancient people engaged in both hunting and animal husbandry, the researchers said.
An appeals court panel on Monday ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals threatened by sea ice loss. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reverses a lower court ruling that found the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service was improper. At issue was whether the fisheries service can protect species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act when it determines that a currently non-endangered species will lose habitat due to climate change in coming decades.
Sixty-eight may not seem that old, but for Snooty the manatee, it's a world record. Snooty is now the world's oldest manatee living in captivity, the Guinness World Records recently announced. The sea cow was brought to South Florida Museum as an 11-month-old calf in 1949.