Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, describes her current work bringing space-age techniques to foreign countries and the limits of human achievement if we were properly committed.
“We are a city that’s on the frontlines of climate change,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said by phone one sweltering July afternoon. This reality became painfully clear for Hoboken when, on Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge put around 80 percent of the city underwater, leaving most residents without power for weeks. Sandy caused more than $100 million in private property damages in this small community, while in neighboring New York City, 48 people lost their lives.
On Aug. 21, the moon will block out the sun completely, as seen from the United States, following a narrow band across the country while the shadow of the moon moves from the west coast to the east. The total solar eclipse will the first across the entirety of the contiguous United States since June 8, 1918 — almost 100 years ago. Understandably, there is much excitement around the astronomical event, with viewing parties already being planned in various places along the eclipse’s path, which starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina. If you plan to watch the eclipse too, either by traveling to a place from where it is visible in its entirety, or by remaining where you are to see a partial
Japan’s likely discovery of melted fuel inside the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant is seen as a critical step in hastening the $72 billion, 40-year cleanup of one of the worst atomic disasters in history. Images released on Saturday by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest utility and owner of the plant, showed for the first time what is likely melted fuel at the bottom of the containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at Fukushima. Pictures released Friday showed fuel possibly hanging from the top of the pressure vessel inside the same reactor.
Two frozen bodies uncovered in the Swiss Alps this week are only the latest secret shrinking glaciers around the world have given up. Cold, dark, and oxygen-starved, the depths of glaciers are equivalent to the "sci-fi of cryo-preservation in nature," said Dr. Twila Moon, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The lowest moment for scuba diver Xisco Gracia came when he made sure he had his knife on him. If he was going to die trapped in an underwater cave, he wanted it to be quick. “I wanted to have it as a last resort,” he told the BBC this week of his April ordeal. Gracia was trapped in that underwater cave for 60 hours, not knowing whether his diving partner, who he had sent to get help, even made it out of the maze below the Spanish island of Mallorca. Gracia’s ordeal began as a routine expedition. As a geology teacher, Gracia made a habit of spending his weekends mapping the island’s underwater cave routes. He was a skilled cave diver and had done everything right that day. But that didn’t prevent
St. Louis, Missouri broke a record high this weekend with temperatures soaring to 108 degrees F Saturday, July 22nd. An article caught my attention earlier in the week by Jon Erdman. It discussed a video of prisoners in St. Louis screaming for help in their sweltering facility earlier in the week when temperatures were “just” in the nineties. Imagine being in a building with the temperature at 108 deg F without adequate air conditioning. The inmates at the 1966 medium-security facility in Missouri did not have to imagine it. They lived it, and they probably are not alone. A 2016 Washington Times article noted that only 30 of 109 prison units in Texas were fully air-conditioned at the time of
President Trump’s disdain for science apparently knows no bounds. He has now nominated climate change skeptic Sam Clovis, a talk radio host, to serve as the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist — a slap in the face of the scientific community and a disservice to those responsible for the integrity of the USDA’s research. The Senate should should reject the nomination. Naming an anti-science blowhard to a job meant for a scientist would be like Ford picking a CEO who rides a horse to work. If confirmed as the Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary of research, education and economics, Clovis would be responsible for implementing the department’s mission of providing leadership on agriculture
Three times a week, on a quiet block of Stock Island on the Florida Keys, 25,000 of the world's deadliest creatures are released into the wild. While these are mosquitoes — the creature responsible for more human deaths each year than any other on the planet — they're all males: It's only the females that bite. "This is a very robust mosquito that is causing crazy diseases that are very impactful on people's lives," said Andrea Leal, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.
The new chip is made of carbon nanotubes (sheets of 2D graphene morphed into nanocylinders) and resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells, which charge the resistance of solid dielectric materials. It might sound a bit complex, but what it basically means is that the RRAM and carbon nanotubes are stacked vertically over one another, creating a 3D architecture that lets a single chip fulfill multiple functions. Computers made with such a design could handle incredible amounts of bandwidth — the type we’re likely going to need in complex computing structures that use A.I. and autonomous systems.
The GLOBE program, an educational initiative supported by NASA, has launched an app to encourage those along the path of the solar eclipse to help contribute their findings. With just a little bit of effort, you can participate in an actual scientific study.
The fidget spinner trend is still going strong, but kids are really starting to get bored of conventional fidget spinners. After all, what’s the fun in having practically the exact same spinners everyone else in school or camp has? If you’re looking to
The lab-coat liberals are marching on Washington. Dismayed by President Donald Trump’s perceived hostility to climate science and other areas of research, a surge of scientists is entering the public arena and running for political office for the first time. What began with rogue Twitter accounts and protest marches has graduated into candidacies in House races in places as varied as California, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York. The handful of scientists who have formally announced their candidacies so far — and the others who are preparing to join them — have cast themselves as a counterforce to the Trump administration’s dismissal of climate science and de-prioritization of innovation funding.
A punishing drought that stretches across much of the U.S. Northern Plains could cause farmers to lose 64 million bushels of wheat production this year, according to federal officials. The federal government has declared numerous counties in the three-state region to be disaster areas and authorized haying and grazing on land meant for conservation to help alleviate the conditions. Federal agriculture officials have labeled as poor or very poor more than half of Montana's 2017 crops of spring wheat, lentils and durum.
Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, famously compared emotions—”a joy, a depression, a meanness”—to “unexpected visitors.” His advice was to let them in laughing, but that’s not what we do. Instead, we pretend not to notice, or even hide. We want to bury resentment and anger, or trade loneliness in for the more fashionable gratitude. In a cultural age that’s decidedly pro-positivity, the pressure to suppress or camouflage negative feelings is real. However, psychological studies have shown that acceptance of those negative emotions is the more reliable route to regaining and maintaining peace of mind. Whether practiced through the lens of ancient Eastern philosophies, or in increasingly popular
The thatched roof held back the sun's rays, but it could not keep the tropical heat at bay. As everyone at the research workshop headed outside for a break, small groups splintered off to gather in the shade of coconut trees and enjoy a breeze. I wandered from group to group, joining in the discussions. Each time, I noticed that the language of the conversation would change from an indigenous language to something they knew I could understand, Bislama or English. I was amazed by the ease with which the meeting's participants switched between languages, but I was even more astonished by the number of different indigenous languages. Thirty people had gathered for the workshop on this island in
Out here, in West Pokot County, Kenya, the landscape looks like Mars — red clay, rocks, and in the distance, a mountain so bare, it looks like a giant boulder. Stephen Long'uriareng, 80, has walked two hours to bring her two cows and goats to this watering hole. It's really just a dam carved out the earth, where the rain water mixes with mud and turns into a dark brown color. This is not the place Long'uriareng remembers from her youth. "This whole place used to be green with a lot of pasture. There was nothing being experienced like drought," she said. In fact, nomadic herders have lived off the vast expanses of grass in the Rift Valley for centuries. For years, nothing much changed around here.
STANFORD — The streets and walkways on the Stanford campus are empty. Your footsteps echo, as the wind hums. But you’re feeling a bit tense, as if you’re not alone. You’re right. Buried underneath the ground are fiber optic cables listening to you walk past. It’s part of a project called the Big Glass Microphone, aimed at demonstrating just what a three-mile stretch of underground cables can detect. And now that researchers know that fiber optics can be used to sense human movement, they’re wondering whether it points to a future of surveillance without the need for fancy cameras and other technology. As unnerving as it sounds, the technology could eventually have beneficial real-world applications
Three Apollo 11 astronauts went to the moon (two landed) and safely returned to Earth in July 1969. NASA knew the mission was very risky, so the White House prepared remarks in case the astronauts died. President Nixon's speechwriter, William Safire, drafted the backup speech, titled "IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER", which was publicly released 30 years later.
August 21 is a big day in the American celestial calendar, its the 2017 solar eclipse. Referred to by some as the “Great American Eclipse” its track across the entire continental United States gives millions the opportunity to see the sun disappear for a few minutes — in some places, completely — behind the moon. What makes the 2017 solar eclipse all the more special is it’s a total eclipse, which blocks out the sun more completely than a more common annular eclipse.
Game of Thrones is back for its penultimate season, and as ever, it promises to break the hearts of viewers up and down the land – and maybe, just maybe, give them a little bit of rare hope too. I’ll admit it: I’m a casual viewer of the series, not a dedicated fan. I watch it when I can, while lamenting the fact that I’m too far behind the curve to properly catch up. The Internet – something which I’m never quite able to pull myself away from – spoils stuff far too quickly anyway. Nevertheless, I recognize that it’s a seminal TV series, with a rich backstory and a diverse mythological world, fleshed out by the original novels. It’s got dragons, White Walkers, Children of the Forest, and dragonglass.
Research is the lifeblood of modern universities, but there are very few ways for those behind the academic output to show the real creativity and emotion that underpins it. Researchers are creative by nature – and at Swansea University we wanted to give them the opportunity to communicate their work in a different way, as art. The striking images entered into the competition are the hook to draw the audience in, but the text is the researcher’s opportunity to engage with people.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich neurobiologists present a new theory for the origin of the grid cells required for spatial orientation in the mammalian brain, which assigns a vital role to the timing of trains of signals they receive from neurons called place cells. Nerve cells in the brain known as place cells and grid cells, respectively, play a crucial role in spatial navigation in mammals. Individual place cells in the hippocampus respond to only a few spatial locations. The grid cells in the entorhinal complex, on the other hand, fire at multiple positions in the environment, such that specific sets are consecutively activated as an animal traverses its habitat. These activation
To what lengths would you go to stay forever young? For vampires, just a sip of human blood is enough to do the trick. And according to some scientists, young blood could potentially work for the rest of us, reports MIT Technology Review. The hopeful notion that we can turn back the clock and combat aging isn’t new, and the possible anti-aging procedure that's gaining steam isn’t really that new either. The procedure that some think can be used for anti-aging purposes — or at least the regeneration of old and deteriorated tissues — is what’s called parabiosis. Parabiosis is an experimental surgery that was first utilized in the 1864 by physiologist Paul Bert, according to Nature. Bert sought
Nevada's new toad species is already on the brink of extinction. Conservationists are preparing an emergency petition to have the Dixie Valley toad listed as an endangered species to protect it from a proposed geothermal energy project at the edge of its isolated home in Churchill County. Nevada researchers only recently identified the Dixie Valley toad, the first new species of toad found anywhere in the U.S. in 50 years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2vbK02S ).