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
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.
If you believe what has been touted by several news outlets over the past week, UNESCO seems to have given short shrift to the Temple Mount, the most holy site in Jerusalem. During that time, media outlets all over the world have published stories saying that UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), an agency of the UN that deals with cultural heritage issues, has denied that the Temple Mount was ever the home of Jewish temples. The situation stems from an Oct. 12 resolution that was passed by UNESCO's executive board, comprising representatives from 58 states.
"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.
Gordon Hamilton, a prominent climate scientist who studied Earth's melting ice sheets, died Saturday, when his snowmobile went into a crevasse in Antarctica, according to the National Science Foundation. He was 50 years old. Hamilton was a researcher with the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program studying the stability of the ice shelves near McMurdo Station, a research center on Ross Island, 2,500 miles south of New Zealand. He and his team were camped in a heavily-crevassed area known as the McMurdo shear zone, where the Ross and McMurdo ice shelves meet. Three miles wide and more than 125 miles long, this perilous zone bisects the compacted snow road to the station. The ice there is hundreds
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.
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.
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
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.
New research shows that the part of the brain that is activated during dishonesty responds less and less as we “get used” to cheating — and that could make us lie even more. Brain scans of the participants confirmed that lying can be a slippery slope: people did lie more over time. When we deceive someone, the part of the brain that regulates emotion — called the amygdala — is activated, and we often feel shame or guilt.
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.
A Science Channel show is making waves about the Bermuda Triangle this week. It appears to have claimed that the mystery of the region is solved — except that’s not at all what the scientist interviewed intended. The “What on Earth” segment portrays Randall Cerveny, director of the meteorology department at Arizona State University, as having discovered the secret to the mysterious disappearances, sinkings and crashes that have occurred in the famous region east of the Bahamas. Or at least, he appears to think he has the answer, when in reality he has no interest in anything having to do with the Bermuda Triangle. “The editing on this was horrendous,” Cerveny told The Washington Post. “I was
Dominant hand preference in humans is a trait that scientists are still trying to understand, but new evidence may show that whatever its purpose, the existence of dominant hands might stretch back way further than previously thought. A study published in Journal of Human Evolution finds proof for right handedness in Homo habilis, a pre-human homo species that existed 1.8 million years ago. "This is an exciting paper because it strongly suggests right-handed tool use in early Homo around 1.8 million years ago," Debra Guatelli-Steinberg, an anthropologist at the Ohio State University, told Christian Science Monitor.
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.
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.
"The Terranauts" (Ecco), by T.C. BoyleEight scientists living under glass for two years in a self-sustaining, closed ecosystem constructed in the Arizona desert.Sound familiar?T.C. Boyle's latest novel was inspired by history, taking readers inside the
Few regions of the world are as unstable in the face of advancing climate change as frozen West Antarctica, where rapidly melting glaciers have scientists on edge about the potential for huge amounts of future sea-level rise. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the most rapid ice losses observed in the region in the past 15 years - and it supports a growing scientific belief that warm ocean water is behind the melting. "[The study] seems to provide a strong piece of evidence to support a general hypothesis about what's happening in the Amundsen Sea," said Ala Khazendar , a polar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the new paper's lead author. Much of the focus on West Antarctica
Pro- and anti-whaling nations clashed at a key meeting Monday where Japan sought to ease a 30-year-old moratorium on commercial hunts while others pushed for an Atlantic whale sanctuary. Host Slovenia urged compromise the sake of the marine mammals -- some species of which were hunted to near-extinction in the 20th century -- but member states of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) soon split into familiar factions. Japan, which conducts a yearly whale hunt in the name of science, which its detractors say is for meat, insisted that stocks of some species have recovered sufficiently to make them fair game.
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.
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
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.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project had intended to find out how quickly water levels rose in the Black Sea after the last Ice Age, but the team ended up discovering a whole lot more than they had bargained for, Quartz reports. While examining the seabeds, the scientists found dozens and dozens of previously undiscovered shipwrecks — 41 in all. "The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys," the project's principal investigator, Jon Adams, said in a statement. Many of the shipwrecks were in spectacular condition due to the low oxygen levels that exist nearly 500 feet below the surface. "Certainly no one has achieved
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
There are more than 30 million research papers out there, and more than 3,000 papers are published every day. Put simply, you haven’t a chance in hell to read all of them. So what’s a poor researcher to do when set a challenge in a brand new field of research? Once the wave of blind panic and urge to drink copious amounts of gin has dissipated, you reach for a technology solution. Iris believes it has just the thing. The company launched a public beta to show off its technology this week. “We’re of course really excited with the first results,” says Anita Schjøll Brede, the company’s CEO. “But to be honest we’re running a marathon here. Our ultimate goal is an AI Scientist and we’re not done