The case against Steven Barnes in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl seemed circumstantial, at best. You can't convict somebody on similarities, perhaps or maybes,'" Barnes said. He spent the next 20 years in prison before DNA testing exonerated him, becoming one of hundreds of people convicted in whole or in part on forensic science that has come under fire during the past decade. Some of that science — analysis of bite marks, latent fingerprints, firearms identification, burn patterns in arson investigations, footwear patterns and tire treads — was once considered sound, but is now being denounced by some lawyers and scientists who say it has not been studied enough to prove its reliability and in some cases has led to wrongful convictions.
Monday's total solar eclipse will come to Americans in varying degrees of visual clarity, according to ABC News meteorologists, who say that the clearest skies are likely to appear in the Northwest in cities like San Francisco, Salem and Seattle. Some cloud cover is expected in parts of the Midwest, according to ABC News meteorologists path of totality -- namely states like Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. The Southeast coast of the U.S. -- from North Carolina to Georgia -- is among the areas in danger of enduring cloud cover during the eclipse.
When NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 deep into space 40 years ago, each spacecraft brought along a golden record with sights and sounds from Earth, just in case any aliens were to stumble across it.
Civilian researchers say they have located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, the World War II heavy cruiser that played a critical role in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before being struck by Japanese torpedoes. The sinking of the Indianapolis remains the Navy's single worst loss at sea. The expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it located the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean, more than 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) below the surface, the U.S. Navy said in a news release Saturday.
The moon is about to come between the Earth and the sun. For Americans, the line of shadow will travel from the Northwest United States to Charleston, South Carolina over about three hours Monday. Even those who don’t get to see the total eclipse will see something quite remarkable – a “crescent sun.” Perhaps best of all, the eclipse has nothing at all to do with politics. Even though it’s possible they believe it, the movement of the heavenly bodies remains independent of Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump or any other elected official, pundit or media outlet. That’s why the eclipse of the sun is a good reminder that not everything centers on the public figures or media voices who seem to want to remind
Elon Musk, Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, and 114 other leading AI and robotics experts have joined together to ask the UN to ban the use of so-called killer robots in an open letter published today. The group is concerned about the potential use of lethal autonomous weapons and how they might be applied in the future, and they penned a short note released by the Future of Life Institute. The text was made public to kick off the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) in Melbourne, Australia, according to a press release.
Jeremy Hunt has taken on famous scientist Stephen Hawking, firing off tweets defending himself against the professor's earlier criticism. Mr Hunt has been mocked and questioned by social media users, who said he is "trying to school the world's most
Two years ago, a Chinese chip-design expert named Micree Zhan was reading China’s seminal science-fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, while wrestling with how to create a new processor. He had already designed custom chips for the company he co-founded, Bitmain, that had made it into the world’s leading bitcoin miner, allowing it to dominate the new, hyper-competitive industry of unearthing bitcoins. Now he needed a chip that could launch Bitmain onto a new trajectory, one that would help it master a world-altering technology called deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence. While performing his nightly meditation, a practice he has kept up for nearly a decade, it suddenly
You’ve been drawing the sun’s corona ever since you were in pre-K — and that’s probably the last time it made any sense. The sun is the 865,000-mile ball of gas that was the scribbly yellow circle in your drawing. The corona is the veil of luminous plasma streaming millions of miles into space, where you drew straight yellow rays.
As a researcher who works on fruit flies, I often get asked how to get them out of someone’s kitchen. This happens to fly researchers often enough that we sit around at fly conferences (these actually exist) and complain about getting asked this question. Meanwhile, we watch the same fruit flies buzz around our beers instead of discussing pithy and insightful questions about the research that we’re pursuing. But I get it: Fruit flies are annoying. So, fine, here’s how we get rid of them in my lab: We build a trap. It’s not perfect, but it’s okay. 1. Take a small jar (we use small canning jars) and pour in about three-quarters of an inch of cider vinegar. 2. Cap the jar with a funnel. You can
Solar glasses are a must for safe viewing of Monday's total solar eclipse, the first to span coast to U.S. coast in 99 years. And parents beware: Eye doctors urge strict adult supervision for eclipse watchers under 16 years old. There should be absolutely no peeking without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun, called totality. That's the only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection. When totality is ending, then it's time to put them back on. Totality means 100 percent of the sun is covered. That will occur only along a narrow strip stretching from Oregon, through the Midwestern plains, down to
On a recent weekday, Vamsi Komarala guides me up to the rooftop of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, where he teaches physics. Fields of solar panels adorn the buildings. I swipe an index finger across one of the panels to see if weeks of monsoon rains have washed it clean. My finger comes back filthy with grit. Vamsi tells me the panels are washed twice a week, then explains the grime: "That is because in New Delhi, we have a lot of dust." Dust is just one factor. The capital city and much of northern India are routinely shrouded in man-made pollutants. In fact, Delhi vies with Beijing for the dirtiest air in the world. Many of India's 1.3 billion people — a fifth
Pat Rawlings was thinking about next week’s eclipse nearly 30 years ago. Rawlings has spent more than three decades as a space illustrator, creating scenes of human exploration in the cosmos, from spacecraft in orbit to astronauts on alien terrain. While preparing for a trip from his home in Texas to Idaho, where he’ll observe Monday’s eclipse with other space artists in the International Association of Astronomical Artists, he remembered a painting he’d made years ago for this very occasion. In 1989, Rawlings was working on illustrations for a collection of children’s science books by the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Using acrylics, he painted a view of a solar eclipse as seen from the
The solar eclipse set to take place on August 21st is going to be a sight to behold — provided you have the proper protection for your eyes and camera. Looking at the sun can cause permanent damage, but if you’re not careful, you can also destroy your camera. The employees from Dubuque, Iowa’s Every Photo Store decided to demonstrate what would happen if you try and and shoot the eclipse without a filter for your camera. They hooked up a DSLR body to a Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens, and set shutter to six seconds. In that time, the light began to melt the camera’s innards. The takeaway here is that if you’re going to try and get a good shot of the eclipse, use a solar filter. (Here’s some helpful
Immortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it's now the subject of serious investment — both intellectual and financial — by philosophers, scientists, and the Silicon Valley set. Several hundred people have already chosen to be "cryopreserved" in preference to simply dying, as they wait for science to catch up and give them a second shot at life. But if we treat death as a problem, what are the ethical implications of the highly speculative "solutions" being mooted? Of course, we don't currently have the means of achieving human immortality, nor is it clear that we ever will. But two hypothetical options have so far attracted the most interest and attention: rejuvenation
When he lights the burner, the pot is cold. It is ceramic, roughly the size of a small trash can, and essentially fused to the lump of metal inside it, tin blended with antimony and copper, maybe 100 pounds in total. The whole thing is mounted in a steel cart, next to another virtually identical pot, which is also full of cold metal. There is a lit burner under each. In about 30 minutes, those burners will melt that metal to liquid, and the pots will become too hot to stand next to comfortably. And then Alec Giaimio, the cart's owner, will pour that metal onto an engine's connecting rod. "I met an old-timer in this business," he says. "He'd been doing it since 1926. I needed a bearing job on
Earth is constantly breaking heat records. The latest international State of the Climate report noted that 2016 was the hottest year on record, and NASA just announced that July 2017 tied with July 2016 as the hottest July on record. We’ve heard a variation on this theme, well, a few times: 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have all happened since 2001. The whole premise of heat records is abnormality. But as the headlines pile up, it can be difficult to keep in perspective how unprecedented the trend really is. Some scientists call this “shifting baseline syndrome“—when we become numb to the severity of the situation simply because we start to forget where the baseline was before. That’s
British-based scientists have recreated the conditions around black holes using a water bath, shedding new light on the extraction of energy from the astronomical phenomenon. Matthew Stock reports.
A bizarre-looking dinosaur discovered by a young boy in Chile may be the missing link showing how members of one major dinosaur lineage evolved into a completely new dinosaur group, a new study finds. Researchers in the United Kingdom say the species, dubbed Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, explains how some theropods, mostly meat-eating, bipedal dinosaurs, evolved into the herbivorous, long-necked ornithischians. Previously, it was unclear how the "ornithischian group just suddenly appeared and became this well-adapted herbivorous group," said the study's co-lead researcher, Matthew Baron, a doctoral student of paleontology at the University of Cambridge in England.
North American viewers will have front-row seats to the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday. For those unable to step away from work or other important responsibilities, fret not — several websites are live-streaming the solar eclipse for a viewing convenience. NASA will provide two live-streams of the event.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. One picks up a discarded newspaper and chuckles derisively as she reads about the latest “alternative facts” peddled by Donald Trump. The others soon chip in with their thoughts on the U.S. president’s fondness for conspiracy theories.
Clinical trials of CRISPR gene editing, when they start this year (2017), will edit existing cells in adults using an injection of a viral vector. It seems likely that CRISPR, or some improved version of it, will be established to be both safe and effective in the near future. Professor Stephen Hsu provides an analysis of the potential improvement from genetic editing compared to steroids. Gene editing can make the genetically rare – the genetically common Mike Israetel, a professor of exercise science at Temple University, has estimated that doping increases weightlifting scores by about 5 to 10 percent. Compare that to the progression in world record bench press weights: 361 pounds in 1898,
And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: August 20, 1960 -- 57 years ago today -- a date that gives new meaning to the expression "dog days of summer." For that was the day space dogs Belka and Strelka returned alive after orbiting the Earth for a day in a Soviet spacecraft. Belka and Strelka were female strays recruited for space travel on the theory that street dogs were a tougher breed than those pampered house pets. Belka and Strelka had the right stuff all right, becoming the first canine cosmonauts to survive an orbital space flight -- clearing the way for Yuri Gagarin to become the first human cosmonaut the following April. Belka and Strelka never left Earth again. Strelka famously
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives. It's not a good idea to criticize a scientist's ability to do science if you're not that good at, say, science. Climate scientists have borne the brunt of this is recent times, as some politicians have told them that they don't know what they're talking about. On Friday, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt gave Stephen Hawking -- of all scientists -- an F for his analysis of research. Hawking, you see, had penned an article in The Guardian defending the UK's National Health Service. The NHS tries to ensure that, you know, people don't die in the streets when they're sick simply because they don't have enough
TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with a particular genetic cause of autism show structural abnormalities in the brain that are readily detected with noninvasive imaging, according to a new study. It all suggests that brain imaging could one day be used to spot young children most in need of therapy for an autism spectrum disorder, the study authors said. It's estimated that one in 68 U.S. children is "on the spectrum," and symptoms usually appear early in life. The flaws are found in a small piece of the chromosome known as p11.2. In some cases, people are missing the p11.2 portion -- which is known as a deletion. In other cases, there is an extra copy of it (known as a duplication).