Science

  • ABC News

    In Drought, Drones Help California Farmers Save Every Drop

    A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird's-eye view of a vast tomato field in California's Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region. Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of

  • OpEd: Billionaires are racing to the stars, but who really owns outer space?
    CNBC

    OpEd: Billionaires are racing to the stars, but who really owns outer space?

    Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Authority announced that Moon Express, a space exploration business owned by private U.S. citizens, had been approved to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2017. Moon Express reportedly aims to land a robotic vehicle (an MX-1 lander) on the moon to maneuver it about the lunar surface and to beam images and data back to Earth. The mission is apparently a first step toward the venture's overall goal of developing and mining mineral resources of the moon .

  • Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway
    Mashable

    Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway

    The incident, while rare, is not without precedent in other parts of the world, where lightning bolts have killed large numbers of cattle, elk and other animals that were clustered together during a thunderstorm. This area is home to about 2,000 reindeer at this time of the year, the agency said. Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.

  • LiveScience.com

    More Parents Are Refusing Vaccinations, But Their Reasons Are Changing

    Parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found. Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to increase immunization rates, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama. In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients' parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination.

  • Rocket Lab nearing completion of world's first private orbital launch site
    CNBC

    Rocket Lab nearing completion of world's first private orbital launch site

    Rocket Lab , whose technology aims to propel small satellites into orbit at a fraction of the current industry prices, has nearly completed construction of the world's first private launch site. Located on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, the site was designed to "enable the highest frequency of space launches in history," according to Rocket Lab, a U.S. company with a New Zealand subsidiary. Ten-year old Rocket Lab will be charging $4.9 million per launch, a significant discount to SpaceX's $62 million price tag, and hopes to conduct weekly operations.

  • How did Lucy, our early human ancestor, die?
    CNN

    How did Lucy, our early human ancestor, die?

    What happened to Lucy? Lucy was small, about 3½ feet tall and 60 pounds. Analysis of her skeleton and teeth shows she had reached maturity, but not unlike chimpanzees, her species matured young. Kappelman estimates she was 15 or 16 years old. Given her size, predators such as hyenas, jackals and saber-toothed cats would have posed a threat to Lucy. So Lucy most likely turned to the trees, Kappelman said. It's possible she scaled them only from time to time for safety or that she nested in them every night. Based on data on the nesting habits of chimps, an average of 46 feet above the ground makes them feel safe. She stood up straight, with feet, knees and hips that are similar to ours. If you

  • Strong typhoon Lionrock aims for Japan's northeast
    AFP

    Strong typhoon Lionrock aims for Japan's northeast

    A strong typhoon was on course Tuesday for a direct hit on northeastern Japan, with authorities warning of heavy rain and high waves along the Pacific coast. Typhoon Lionrock was 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the city of Choshi, as of 9 am (0000 GMT). Packing wind gusts up to 180 kilometres per hour, the storm was moving north at 30 kilometres per hour and expected to make landfall in the northeast later in the day.

  • First secret from ancient stone tablet revealed
    CBS News

    First secret from ancient stone tablet revealed

    An ancient tablet recently unearthed in Tuscany has revealed its first secret: the engraved name of a goddess linked to fertility. The 500-pound (227 kilograms) stone slab, or stele, was unearthed earlier this year at Poggio Colla, a sixth century B.C. site built by the Etruscans. The stele bears a long inscription in a language that has not been used for 2,500 years, project archaeologist Gregory Warden, a professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in April. Now, translation is underway and archaeologists have discovered that the tablet references the goddess Uni. [Photos: The Tomb of an Etruscan Prince] “We can at this point affirm that this discovery is

  • French environment minister announces partnerships in Iran
    AFP

    French environment minister announces partnerships in Iran

    France's environment minister signed Sunday a plan for French firms to help tackle Iran's environmental problems, but criticised the refusal of her country's banks to work with the Islamic republic. Segolene Royal met in Tehran with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and a group of ministers, agreeing to work together on the water shortage, energy efficiency and pollution problems facing Iran.

  • We've Been Arguing About Climate Change For Centuries
    Forbes

    We've Been Arguing About Climate Change For Centuries

    While a scientific consensus has emerged around the reality of climate change, the argument continues online and even in the current U.S. campaign for president, where Republican nominee Donald Trump calls it a “total hoax.” Recently, a scientific study found that human-induced climate change has been going on longer than we think, all the way back to the first half of the nineteenth century. Even back then, before the mountains of data, analysis and climate models became overwhelming, we were already arguing about the changes in the climate. Research published last week in the journal Nature found that while few official weather records go back further than the 1880s, natural records observed

  • The New York Times - Harnessing the Firenado
    New York Times

    The New York Times - Harnessing the Firenado

    From The New York Times: A new, blue, whirling shape of fire, inspired by bourbon, could one day help clean up oil spills.. Watch the original video on Times Video: http://nyti.ms/2bTU9KO

  • ABC News

    Feds Turn to Space Experts NASA for Small-Drone Traffic Plan

    As the unmanned aircraft industry continues to evolve, the United States is depending on its space agency to help manage small drone traffic close to the Earth. NASA is currently entering the second phase of a four-step plan to draw up rules of the skies for drones that weigh 55 pounds or less and fly no higher than 500 feet. The project is meant to develop performance standards for drones that would be used for commercial purposes by companies such as Amazon and Google. The agency is hoping to present its research to the Federal Aviation Administration before 2020, John Cavolowsky, director of NASA's Airspace Operations and Safety Program, told attendees at a drone summit in North Dakota last week.

  • LiveScience.com

    EpiPen Alternatives Exist, and They May be Cheaper

    The soaring price of the EpiPen has garnered controversy recently, but there are alternatives to this well-known allergy treatment device. The EpiPen belongs to a class of medical devices known as epinephrine auto-injectors, which allow people to quickly inject a precise dose of the drug epinephrine. The devices are used to treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be triggered, in people who have the corresponding allergies, by foods, insect stings, medications and certain other substances.

  • Scientists exit Hawaii dome after yearlong Mars simulation
    ap.org

    Scientists exit Hawaii dome after yearlong Mars simulation

    Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation. For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged.

  • Astronomers have detected an 'interesting' and possibly alien radio signal coming from a sun-like star
    Business Insider

    Astronomers have detected an 'interesting' and possibly alien radio signal coming from a sun-like star

    "An international team of researchers has announced the detection of 'a strong signal in the direction of HD164595,'" book author Paul Gilster wrote at his blog Centauri Dreams, noting that a Russian radio telescope called RATAN-600 detected the signal on May 15, 2015. The signal's discoverers are urging the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to take a long, hard look at HD 164595. Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, said that's exactly what the organization started doing Sunday night after it heard about the alleged signal.

  • More than 300 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
    AFP

    More than 300 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway

    More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lightning in southern Norway, officials said Monday, in the largest such incident known to date. The 323 reindeer, including 70 young, were found on Friday by a gamekeeper on the Hardangervidda plateau, a national park where Europe's largest herd of some 10,000 wild reindeer roam freely. The animals stay close together in bad weather and these ones were hit by lightning," an official from the Norwegian Environment Agency, Kjartan Knutsen, told AFP.

  • Russian man volunteers for first human head transplant
    CBS News

    Russian man volunteers for first human head transplant

    While severing someone’s head and attaching it to another person’s body sounds like something straight out of a science fiction or horror movie, some real-life scientists say they are planning to do just that – as early as next year. Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero made headlines last year when he announced his plans to perform the first human head transplant in 2017. Since then, he’s recruited Chinese surgeon Dr. Xiaoping Ren to work with him, and now has found a volunteer patient for the procedure: a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov. In its September issue, The Atlantic profiles Spiridonov and the two scientists who hope to perform the experimental – and highly controversial – procedure.

  • LiveScience.com

    Anthony Weiner: Do Cheaters Always Do It Again?

    In the wake of the news that former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was caught (once again) sexting with a woman who is not his wife, the country let out a collective sigh. But Weiner's case is unusual, because his behavior looks more like a sexual compulsion or addiction, said Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington and co-author of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples," (Harmony, 2013). "It's about this kind of thrill that he gets showing his body to some anonymous woman, and you call it an addiction or a compulsion when they can't stop it even in the face of catastrophic consequences," Schwartz told Live Science.

  • All That Plastic In The Ocean Is Going To Leave Behind Fossils
    The Huffington Post

    All That Plastic In The Ocean Is Going To Leave Behind Fossils

    Plastic pollution has become so ubiquitous it may serve as evidence that humanity has launched the planet into a new geological epoch. For nearly two decades, scientists have suggested that the world entered the Anthropocene, an epoch defined by human meddling, sometime in the 20th century. A group of scientists at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday formally proposed recognizing the period that began around 1950 as a new epoch. The move underscores the extent to which humans as a species have already polluted the natural world, and the pace at which it continues to worsen. “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have

  • 'Strong signal' stirs interest in hunt for alien life
    AFP

    'Strong signal' stirs interest in hunt for alien life

    A "strong signal" detected by a radio telescope in Russia that is scanning the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life has stirred interest among the scientific community. "No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study," said Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website which covers peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration. The observation is being made public now, but was actually detected last year by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, he said.

  • The connected cow business is about to jump over the moo-n
    Digital Trends

    The connected cow business is about to jump over the moo-n

    Connected cows are already a thing, but recently the intersection of barnyards and bits has been breeding a whole herd of applications. The current $1.27 billion “Connected Cow and Farm” business is slated to grow eight-fold to $10.75 billion by 2021, says research firm Arcluster, as reported in The Register. Arun Nirmal is Arcluster’s research director.

  • The Quiet Work of a Civil Engineer
    The Atlantic

    The Quiet Work of a Civil Engineer

    Civil engineering is often called the oldest engineering discipline, as humans have been building roads, bridges, and water ducts for thousands of years. The profession is also expected to expand by 8 percent in the next 10 years, as increasing urbanization and an interest in renewable-energy create new projects for civil engineers. Engineering is the STEM sector where the struggle for female representation is the most pronounced: According to statistics compiled by the Society of Women Engineers, only 12 percent of engineers are female.

  • NPR.org

    A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

    Typically superheroes spend their summertime helming big budget franchises for movie studios. This year, with blockbuster season winding down and schools opening their doors, Marvel's following up its summer at the multiplex by giving its superheroes a new assignment. Last week, the publisher unveiled the last of five special covers featuring disciplines that guide school curricula nationwide — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, also known as STEAM. It's part of an effort, the company says, to encourage young readers to double-down on their studies and explore fields said to lead to better jobs. "We plan to continue to motivate our fans to explore their passions in the fields of

  • Year-long Mars isolation experiment in Hawaii ends
    AFP Videos

    Year-long Mars isolation experiment in Hawaii ends

    Six people who were isolated on a remote site in Hawaii for one year to help NASA plan for a mission to Mars emerge from their dome, happy to breathe fresh air and meet new people.

  • 60% of key S.Asian water basin not usable: study
    AFP

    60% of key S.Asian water basin not usable: study

    Sixty percent of the groundwater in a river basin supporting more than 750 million people in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh is not drinkable or usable for irrigation, researchers said Monday. The biggest threat to groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, named after the Indus and Ganges rivers, is not depletion but contamination, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Up to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet), some 23 percent of the groundwater stored in the basin is too salty, and about 37 percent "is affected by arsenic at toxic concentrations," they said.