Science

  • Rhode Island School of Design Works With NASA on Mars Suit
    ABC News

    Rhode Island School of Design Works With NASA on Mars Suit

    When scientists are trying to figure out how to live in near-isolation in a dome to simulate a Mars mission, the last thing they'll need is an ill-fitting space suit. So one of the nation's top design schools has come to the rescue. Staff members and students at the Rhode Island School of Design have come up with a new, adjustable suit that closely resembles an actual space suit. Real space suits are designed to work in zero gravity, meaning they're too expensive and too heavy to use at the NASA-funded Mars simulation mission in Hawaii. The simulated space suits that are used instead wear out quickly and aren't all that comfortable. They're small and provide poor ventilation. The new suit, unveiled

  • Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on
    AFP

    Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on

    Seventy-five years after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans, a group of forensic scientists in Hawaii is still working to identify the remains of the dead. A jumble of skulls, bones and teeth deemed unidentifiable in the years following the devastating attack are now being linked to missing sailors and Marines, thanks to advances in DNA testing. The Pentagon last year ordered the exhumation of remains belonging to 388 Americans who were killed aboard the USS Oklahoma, an enormous battleship that took multiple torpedo hits and keeled over in her Pearl Harbor berth, trapping hundreds of men inside.

  • It’s likely Earth’s hottest year on record — and some people are already talking about cooling
    Washington Post

    It’s likely Earth’s hottest year on record — and some people are already talking about cooling

    As a powerful El Niño event, one that helped push the planet to some of its warmest temperatures on record, fades away, some voices are now heralding a new bout of sudden planetary cooling. It started last week with an article in The Daily Mail, and then rippled to a Breitbart article that itself received a tweet from the House Science Committee. The original Daily Mail article, by David Rose, asserted that “global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.” The assertion, the article said, was based on measurements of the planet’s atmosphere by satellites – and moreover, measurements that were taken “over land,” thus excluding the planet’s oceans. Breitbart then said (in its headline) that this temperature “plunge” had been met by “icy silence from climate alarmists.” “The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare,” argued author James Delingpole.

  • Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump
    AFP

    Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump

    Native Americans and their supporters expressed cautious optimism Monday after the US Army nixed plans for a controversial oil pipeline crossing in North Dakota, with many fearing their victory could be short lived. While the decision marks a win for the months-long protest movement that stood its ground even as the freezing winter set in, it could be undone when Donald Trump moves into the White House in January if his administration chooses to grant the pipeline the final permit it needs. "There are still some remaining questions," said Dallas Goldtooth, one of the leaders of the protest camp in the North Dakota plains, where thousands have camped to block the planned route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Associated Press

    Southern Madagascar to suffer drought impact into 2017

    Some rain fell in southern Madagascar last week, a rare piece of good news for a drought-hit region where nearly 1 million people face severe hunger because of failed harvests. Farmers in the south started some seed-planting because of the recent rainfall, but those seeds could be wasted if there is no more rain to help crops grow, Joshua Poole, the Madagascar representative for Catholic Relief Services, said Tuesday. Many households in southern Madagascar are begging and selling land and belongings to survive, according to the U.N. World Food Programme.

  • Testosterone Use May Increase Blood-Clot Risk Temporarily
    LiveScience.com

    Testosterone Use May Increase Blood-Clot Risk Temporarily

    Men who use prescription testosterone may face an increased risk of blood clots in the first six months of using the hormone, a new study from the United Kingdom finds. For comparison, the study also included more than 900,000 men in the U.K. who had not been diagnosed with a blood clot during that time period. The results showed that the men using testosterone had a 63 percent higher risk of blood clots in the first six months of therapy than the men who had never used testosterone.

  • Malaria ravaged the ancient Roman Empire 2,000 years ago
    International Business Times UK

    Malaria ravaged the ancient Roman Empire 2,000 years ago

    Malaria was already devastating the Roman Empire, 2,000 years ago, researchers have discovered. The disease caused widespread deaths among communities spread out across the Italian peninsula just like it does today in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is one of the world's most chronic infectious diseases. Although its incidence has decreased by 37% since 2000, 214 million people still remain infected globally. The life-threatening illness is caused by plasmodium parasites transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. While historical written sources allude to fevers resembling malaria killing people in the ancient Greece and Roman Empires, it was not clear whether

  • Google Maps imagery is about to get even better thanks to a new eye in the sky
    Digital Trends

    Google Maps imagery is about to get even better thanks to a new eye in the sky

    Just when you thought Google Maps couldn’t get any better, up pops imagery specialist DigitalGlobe with the first aerial picture from its recently launched WorldView-4 satellite. Snapped from 617 kilometers (383 miles) above Earth at the end of last month, the pin-sharp picture shows Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, a venue that played a part in the 1964 Olympics and which is set to see more action in the 2020 Games. The WorldView-4 joins four other DigitalGlobe satellites orbiting Earth, each one beaming high-res imagery back to a range of clients in fields that include not only map makers but also defense and intelligence agencies, environmental organizations, and, when required, disaster and emergency responders.

  • AP PHOTOS: Top feature photos of 2016 from Associated Press
    Washington Post

    AP PHOTOS: Top feature photos of 2016 from Associated Press

    Associated Press photographers captured sunrises, sunsets and magical moments in between in a selection of 2016’s top feature photos. Some of the stunning images include a launch of a Soyuz spacecraft bringing a new group of astronauts to the International Space Station and another of a Soyuz descending through the clouds with a crew on board making the return trip home. Two of the world’s most famous landmarks are included as the AP shot a surreal image of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer silhouetted by the rising sun in July ahead of the 2016 Olympics. A highlight of 2016’s feature photos may be a picture that captures the delight of a young girl as she watches an owl feed at a London museum in March.

  • It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head
    Hello Giggles

    It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head

    Your family also loves anchovy pizza—growing up, that’s all you ever ordered. You want to celebrate your team’s recent accomplishments, so you order something they’ll surely love: anchovy pizza. The false-consensus effect is a cognitive bias that was coined by researcher Lee Ross and his colleagues in 1976.

  • Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey
    AFP

    Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey

    Asian countries dominated the top places in a key survey released Tuesday of high-school skills, but the report criticised science teaching in many countries. The PISA survey of 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies found that the quality of science lessons was more important than equipment or even staffing levels. Singapore came top of the table for its teaching of science, reading and mathematics.

  • Uber Creates AI Lab, Buying Startup Geometric Intelligence
    Bloomberg

    Uber Creates AI Lab, Buying Startup Geometric Intelligence

    Uber Technologies Inc. agreed to buy startup Geometric Intelligence Inc. to help the ride-hailing company create a new artificial-intelligence research lab.  The startup had 15 employees and was developing new machine-learning techniques inspired by cognitive science that rely on less data. Chief Executive Officer Gary Marcus, an author and professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, will head the new research effort, called Uber AI Labs. The lab will report to Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer. It will try to improve the algorithms Uber uses to match drivers with passengers, and seek new techniques for building self-driving cars. An Uber spokesman declined to say

  • Bear hunt resumes, firearms only, after upright bear's death
    Associated Press

    Bear hunt resumes, firearms only, after upright bear's death

    Hunters have headed out across parts of the state for the second half of this year's bear hunt following the apparent death of a bear that walked upright like a human. Hunters killed 562 bears during October's six-day hunt, which was limited to bows and arrows and muzzle-loading guns, and 23 percent of them were previously tagged bears. New Jersey approved resuming the bear hunt in 2003 after more than 30 years.

  • In 1985, a Freak Accident Caused a Russian Nuclear Submarine to Explode (And the Radiation Still Lingers)
    The National Interest

    In 1985, a Freak Accident Caused a Russian Nuclear Submarine to Explode (And the Radiation Still Lingers)

    In 1985, a Soviet submarine undergoing a delicate refueling procedure experienced a freak accident that killed ten naval personnel. The fuel involved was not diesel, but nuclear, and the resulting environmental disaster contaminated the area with dangerous, lasting radiation. The incident, which remained secret until after the demise of the USSR itself, was one of many nuclear accidents the Soviet Navy experienced during the Cold War. The Soviet Union’s nuclear war planners had a difficult time targeting the United States. While the United States virtually encircled the enormous socialist country with nuclear missiles in countries such as Turkey and Japan, the Western Hemisphere offered no refuge

  • Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris
    AFP

    Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris

    Authorities in Russia's Siberian region of Tuva on Monday were examining several pieces of the Progress cargo spaceship found after it crashed last week having failed to reach orbit. Two pieces, including a large spherical object, were found by herders over the weekend, while another was discovered in the courtyard of a residential house on Monday, said the region's head Sholban Karaa-ool, warning people not to touch any metal debris. Regional sanitation officials "inspected the spot where two pieces of the spacecraft were found in the Ulug-Khem district, on the side of the mountain and near a yurt," Kara-ool said on his official website.

  • The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed
    Mashable

    The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed

    A brand new satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth's surface has just opened its eyes. The details in the new photo are impressive, especially considering that the image was taken from 617 kilometers, or about 383 miles, above the planet.

  • Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms
    International Business Times

    Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms

    Both Google and OpenAI announced plans to open-source their deep learning code Monday. Elon Musk’s OpenAI released Universe, a software platform for measuring and training an AI’s general intelligence across games, websites and other applications. DeepMind may have defeated a world champion at the difficult game Go, but to advance its learning further, Alphabet says that AI agents require more detailed environments to help with AI research.

  • Driving home from night shift may be safer with light therapy
    Fox News

    Driving home from night shift may be safer with light therapy

    Exhausted shift workers may be safer driving home at night when they're exposed to bright light before they hit the road, a small study suggests. To test the effect of light therapy on driving, researchers did a series of three experiments with 19 adults. In two scenarios, participants spent a night being sleep-deprived in a lab and then spent 45 minutes in dim or bright light before a driving test. For a third test, people got a good nights' sleep at home and then went to the lab for 45 minutes of bright light exposure before a driving test. More on this... After sleep deprivation in the lab, five people exposed to dim light therapy got in car accidents during the driving simulations. None of

  • Flying Robotic Ambulance Completes First Solo Test Flight
    LiveScience.com

    Flying Robotic Ambulance Completes First Solo Test Flight

    Completing such missions in rough terrain or combat zones can be tricky, with helicopters currently offering the best transportation option in most cases. Earlier this month, Israeli company Urban Aeronautics completed a test flight for a robotic flying vehicle that could one day go where helicopters can't. On Nov. 14, the company flew its robotic flyer, dubbed the Cormorant, on the craft's first solo flight over real terrain.

  • Scientists Battle In Court Over Lucrative Patents For Gene-Editing Tool
    NPR.org

    Scientists Battle In Court Over Lucrative Patents For Gene-Editing Tool

    The high-stakes fight over who invented a technology that could revolutionize medicine and agriculture heads to a courtroom Tuesday. A gene-editing technology called CRISPR-cas9 could be worth billions of dollars. But it's not clear who owns the idea. U.S. patent judges will hear oral arguments to help untangle this issue, which has far more at stake than your garden-variety patent dispute. "This is arguably the biggest biotechnology breakthrough in the past 30 or 40 years, and controlling who owns the foundational intellectual property behind that is consequentially pretty important," says Jacob Sherkow, a professor at the New York Law College. The CRISPR-cas9 technology allows scientists to

  • Stunning NASA Photo Shows How Icebergs Are Made
    Travel+Leisure

    Stunning NASA Photo Shows How Icebergs Are Made

    Researchers flying above the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica on November 10 captured an image that shows the progressive break of the massive ice block. NASA shared that there will eventually be an iceberg that pulls from the shelf, and the 300-foot-wide crack that's seen in this photo is all a part of that process. The IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep, according to a statement from NASA.

  • Associated Press

    Australia considers charging power generators for pollution

    Australia will consider making electrical power companies pay for greenhouse gas pollution they create, three years after the government scrapped the national carbon tax, a Cabinet minister said Monday. The conservative government rejected all polluter-pays options in 2014 when it repealed Australia's 3-year-old carbon tax levied against the nation's biggest industrial polluters.

  • Will President Trump quash scientific progress in America?
    The Week

    Will President Trump quash scientific progress in America?

    The election of Donald Trump has the global scientific community in panic mode. "I am simply stunned," Neal Lane, a Democrat who led the National Science Foundation and served as White House science adviser under President Bill Clinton, told Science. "Trump's election does not bode well for science or most anything else of value." Recently, a group of more than 2,000 scientists wrote an open letter imploring the president-elect not to neglect scientific inquiry during his tenure. Much of this panic stems from Trump's perceived lack of interest in science and fact-based evidence. After all, this is a man who once called climate change a "hoax" created by the Chinese. But what could a Trump presidency

  • High-jumping robot could aid in earthquakes, building collapses
    AFP

    High-jumping robot could aid in earthquakes, building collapses

    An agile jumping robot that was inspired by some of the animal world's best leapers could one day help in rescue efforts after earthquakes or building collapses, US scientists said Tuesday. Known as Salto, the 10-inch (26-centimeter) tall robot can jump higher than a bullfrog and almost as high as a galago, or bush baby, a small primate found in Africa. Salto does hold the crown in vertical-jumping agility, which researchers define as the ratio of the maximum jump height to the time it takes to complete one jump.