On Monday, the President announced the U.S. will establish a “Space Force” as a way for the United States to exercise extraterrestrial dominance, according to Reuters. “Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security,” Trump said at a White House event attended by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin as well as executives of major aerospace companies. “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space.
Hundreds of members of the United Methodist Church have filed claims of child abuse and racism against Attorney General Jeff Sessions under the church’s “Book of Discipline” after he enacted a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that has led to the separation of thousands of parents and children at the U.S. border. Some 640 clergy members and laypersons in the church have written an open letter to the leaders of the two congregations where Sessions, a longtime Methodist, attends church.
The summer solstice is upon us: June 21 will be the longest day of 2018 for anyone living north of the equator. If pagan rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the solstice is still pretty neat. Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude. In 2018, this will occur at exactly 6:07 am Eastern on Thursday the 21st. So set your alarm, or feel free to sleep right through it. Below is a short scientific guide to the longest day of the year. (Though not, as we’ll see, the longest day in Earth’s history — that happened back in 1912.) 1) Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway? Okay, most
GOTHIC, Colo. — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist. More than 40 years ago, the University of Maryland biologist started studying when wildflowers, birds, bees and butterflies first appeared each spring on this mountain. These days, plants and animals are arriving at Rocky Mountain Biological Lab a week or two earlier than they were 30 years ago. The robins that used to arrive in early April now show up in mid-March. Marmots end their winter slumber ever earlier. “If the climate weren’t changing, we wouldn’t see these kind of changes happen,” Inouye said while standing on a bed of wildflowers that are popping up on the first day of May as marmots snoop around nearby. It’s been 30
Scientists in China found a fossil from a giant panda that lived 22,000 years ago. Until they excavated the fossil, reassembled it and analyzed its mitochondrial DNA, biologists had no idea this panda lineage even existed. It's now considered the oldest DNA from giant pandas to date, the researchers said. The panda fossil turned up in Cizhutuo Cave in the Guangxi region of China. No pandas live there today, the researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences wrote in a paper published today (June 18) in the journal Current Biology. An unexpected giant-panda fossil find was exciting, they wrote, because researchers don't have a good sense of the history of the 2,500 giant pandas alive in the
Science has a way of opening our eyes, of surprising us — even on topics we think we understand. Even photosynthesis, the process by which plants and other organisms harvest light for energy, has surprises in store. A recent discovery has confirmed that this most basic and necessary process can occur under much different circumstances, including under longer wavelengths of light. "The new form of photosynthesis made us rethink what we thought was possible. It also changes how we understand the key events at the heart of standard photosynthesis," explains Bill Rutherford, a professor at Imperial College London and lead author of the study that outlined this new photosynethesizing process in a
The United States announced Tuesday it was leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, with Ambassador Nikki Haley calling it “an organization that is not worthy of its name.” It was the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Haley, Trump’s envoy to the U.N., said the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes.
McLean Hospital investigators have released the results of a study that outlines how age, socioeconomic status, and other factors might contribute to social isolation and poorer mental health. In a paper published in the online version of Clinical Psychological Science, the researchers examine how individuals of all ages and walks of life seek and enjoy social interactions. Because studies have linked low social motivation or loss of social motivation with a number of psychiatric illnesses, including depression and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, the study's co-author, McLean Hospital's Laura Germine, Ph.D., believes that data presented in the study could increase our understanding of contributing factors that negatively impact a person's mental health.
An Idaho couple has sued the U.S. government, saying their teenage son still suffers headaches after a predator-killing trap that federal workers mistakenly placed near their home doused him with cyanide. Mark and Theresa Mansfield of Pocatello filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Idaho seeking more than $75,000 in economic damages and more than $75,000 for pain and suffering. The devices, called M-44s, are embedded in the ground and look like lawn sprinklers but spray cyanide when they are set off.
For its third meeting, the National Space Council chose the White House as its venue. This allowed President Trump to stop by the meeting to sign a policy document on space-traffic management and also share a few thoughts. This event was supposed to focus on the relatively sedate topic of space debris, but the freewheeling president had other ideas. Among his remarks, Trump declared that he was pressing ahead with the creation of a Space Force to become the sixth branch of the US military. Additionally, he mused about the high cost of rockets built by Boeing and Lockheed Martin and suggested they should not work together "because the pricing only goes up." Space Force Addressing the space council,
Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in on the technology.
NASA has a plan to protect the Earth from death by asteroid, and the space agency will unveil it to the world today (June 20). But don't panic yet, NASA says there's no known asteroid threat right now. In a 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) teleconference today, NASA scientists will roll out a new report on the space agency's strategy for tracking, and potentially deflecting, near-Earth asteroids that might one day pose a threat to our planet. You can follow the NASA asteroid defense webcast live here, courtesy of NASA Live. The report, called the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan," lays out what NASA will do over the next 10 years to safeguard the Earth from potentially
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is speaking out for the first time about her sister’s suicide. The queen, 47, returned to her royal duties on Tuesday after she took time off following her sister Inés Zorreguieta’s June 6 death. “My dear, gifted little sister Inés was sick too.
The world's first flying, autonomous, artificially intelligent (AI) astronaut assistant will soon get to work in space. Meet CIMON, the first AI-based assistance system for astronauts. CIMON was created by Airbus, in cooperation with IBM, to provide mission and flight assistance aboard the International Space Station. The 11-lb. (5 kilograms) round robot looks like a medicine ball and has an unforgettable face. CIMON has been trained to interact with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst with photos and voice samples from Gerst. The bot is launching this June with other scientific equipment aboard the Dragon spacecraft on SpaceX's 15th resupply mission. Gerst will test CIMON aboard
June 18 (UPI) -- New research suggests certain cyanobacteria could thrive on Mars. The microbes could even be used to provide future space colonies with oxygen. "This might sound like science fiction, but space agencies and private companies around the world are actively trying to turn this aspiration into reality in the not-too-distant future," Elmars Krausz, chemistry professor at Australian National University, said in a news release. "Photosynthesis could theoretically be harnessed with these types of organisms to create air for humans to breathe on Mars." Cyanobacteria are the only photosynthetic prokaryotes capable of producing oxygen. They're the most abundant ground of bacteria on the
Canada passed a landmark bill Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana, becoming the second country to make pot legal nationwide. Canada criminalized pot possession in 1923, but became an early adopter of medical marijuana in 2001. The law allows the federal government to license producers and regulate how they grow, sell and distribute marijuana.
With federal facilities running out of room, the Trump Administration is assessing whether military bases in Texas and Arkansas can house immigrant children who are apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border without an adult relative or separated from parents. The ongoing assessments are due to increasing number of minors under 18 years-old who are being held by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency, which is responsible for caring for the children until they can be given to an adult relative, stated it already holds more than 10,000 children in a network of 100 shelters in 14 states.
David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist. More than 40 years ago, the University of Maryland biologist started studying when wildflowers, birds, bees and butterflies first appeared each spring on this mountain. It's been 30 years since much of the world learned that global warming had arrived.
Dana White, spokeswoman for the Defense Department, said planning for the summer drills has stopped, but there have been no decisions made on any other military exercises with South Korea. Military exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue.
England’s opening match in World Cup 2018 was a dramatic clash between Gareth Southgate’s Young Lions and several million gnats, not to mention Tunisia’s wrestling footballers. England pulled a win out of the bag at the last minute – but only after a gruelling fight with some determined insects.
Jun.19 -- It sounds like science fiction: a device that can reconnect a paralyzed person’s brain to his or her body. But that’s exactly what the experimental NeuroLife system does. Developed by Battelle and Ohio State University, NeuroLife uses a brain implant, an algorithm and an electrode sleeve to give paralysis patients back control of their limbs. For Ian Burkhart, NeuroLife’s first test subject, the implications could be life-changing. (video by Alan Jeffries)
The cause of a mysterious rock formation on Mars that NASA deemed "an enigmatic pile of eroding sediments" and UFO hunters strongly believe is an extraterrestrial spacecraft was likely caused by volcanic activity on the planet billions of years ago, researchers say. The Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) was first observed in the 1960s via the Mariner spacecraft, but NASA scientists could not explain what caused it. Now, a group of researchers have published a study in the Journal of Geophysical Research that suggests it was formed by volcanic eruptions more than 3 billion years ago. “This is a massive deposit, not only on a Martian scale, but also in terms of the solar system, because we do not
Two graduate students developed a method for synthesizing DNA that could make it much faster, cheaper and easier for biologists to create synthetic DNA sequences. Right now, if you want to create a new gene — maybe to make a tomato plant more bug resistant or to add a modification to your army of supersoldier goats — the process is slow and expensive. Bases, the building blocks of genetic code, get added one at a time to a growing strand of DNA. The process sometimes fails, and it always runs out of juice once a sequence reaches just 200 bases (a very short patch of code in genetic terms), according to a statement from the researchers. Want to go longer? Better to write lots of different bits
Billions of years ago, Earth’s atmosphere was much different than it is today. Whereas our current atmosphere is a delicate balance of nitrogen gas, oxygen and trace gases, the primordial atmosphere was the result of volcanic outgassing – composed primarily of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals. In this respect, our planet’s ancient atmosphere has something in common with Mars’ current atmosphere. For this reason, some researchers think that introducing photosynthetic bacteria, which helped covert Earth’s atmosphere to what it is today, could be used to terraform Mars someday. According to a new study by an international team of scientists, it appears that cyanobacteria
An American student arrested in Vietnam during an anti-China protest earlier this month apologized on state television for breaking the law and promised not to participate in further “anti-state activities,” Agence France-Presse reports. Will Nguyen, a 32-year-old graduate student in Singapore, has been detained since June 10 when plain-clothed officers beat and dragged him through the streets amid an anti-China protest in Ho Chi Minh City. “I regret that I caused trouble for people heading to the airport,” Nguyen said in Vietnamese in the televised statement, AFP reports.