• ABC News

    UMaine Professor Dies Conducting Research in Antarctica

    A University of Maine professor has died while conducting research in Antarctica. The university says 50-year-old Gordon Hamilton died Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding hit a crevasse and he fell 100 feet. He had been in Antarctica doing research for the National Science Foundation. His work focused on the role of ice and glaciers in the climate system. Hamilton began working at the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute in 2000. He served as an assistant research professor, taught undergraduate and graduate courses and worked with a statewide initiative on science, technology, engineering and math programs for high school students. UMaine provost Jeffery Hecker released a statement

  • The Drive

    Highlights From Elon Musk's Reddit AMA

    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.

  • Associated Press

    Court: US agency acted reasonably to protect seals

    An appeals court panel on Monday ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals threatened by sea ice loss. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reverses a lower court ruling that found the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service was improper. At issue was whether the fisheries service can protect species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act when it determines that a currently non-endangered species will lose habitat due to climate change in coming decades.

  • Telling small lies leads down a slippery slope to big lies, study finds

    Telling small lies leads down a slippery slope to big lies, study finds

    Telling little fibs leads down a slippery slope to bigger lies — and our brains adapt to escalating dishonesty, which makes deceit easier, a new study shows. Neuroscientists at the University College London's Affective Brain Lab put 80 people in scenarios where they could repeatedly lie and get paid more based on the magnitude of their lies. The researchers then used brain scans to show that our mind's emotional hot spot — the amygdala — becomes desensitized or used to the growing dishonesty, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

  • Experts claim 'air bombs' explain Bermuda Triangle mystery
    The Week

    Experts claim 'air bombs' explain Bermuda Triangle mystery

    The "Bermuda Triangle" is the stuff of legend — in both senses of the word. The area of the Atlantic Ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda has seen its share, or maybe more than its share, of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, leading to a popular theory that some paranormal force is at work in the triangular body of water. Two meteorologists tell the Science Channel that hexagonal cloud patterns, 20 to 55 miles across, are likely to blame for the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. "These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence, 'air bombs,'" said Dr. Randy Cerveny at Arizona State University. "They're formed by what are called microbursts. They're blasts of

  • Science conference accepts paper written using iOS auto-complete
    Digital Trends

    Science conference accepts paper written using iOS auto-complete

    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.

  • How a DDoS Cyberattack Caused Widespread Internet Outage

    How a DDoS Cyberattack Caused Widespread Internet Outage

    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.

  • Russia claims active protection system for Armata tanks can successfully intercept uranium core cannon shells which would make Armata invulnerable to other Tanks

    Russia claims active protection system for Armata tanks can successfully intercept uranium core cannon shells which would make Armata invulnerable to other Tanks

    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.

  • Air rage as a study in contrasts
    Scientific American Blog Network

    Air rage as a study in contrasts

    Modern air travel provides a “social microcosms of class-based society,” states a paper published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The authors of the study, Katherine DeCellesa and Michael Norton, of the University of Toronto and Harvard Business School, examined a record of all onboard “air rage” incidents from a large, international airline, to ask if the growing prevalence of air rage—antisocial behavior by airline passengers that become abusive or unruly, compromising safety and antagonizing other passengers and crew members—can be explained by increased seating inequality during flights. Recent years have seen progressively stronger indicators of class-based seating in airplanes, with first-class cabins becoming comparatively more luxurious than coach, and claiming larger and larger portions of the total shared space in the plane.

  • ABC News

    Researchers Link Virus to Alaska Birds With Deformed Beaks

    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 southcentral Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent of

  • US, China Silent on Space Talks, Except to Say There Will Be More
    VOA News

    US, China Silent on Space Talks, Except to Say There Will Be More

    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

  • Girls & autism: It can be subtle, or absent for some at risk
    Associated Press

    Girls & autism: It can be subtle, or absent for some at risk

    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.

  • Concentration of CO2 in atmosphere hits new high: UN

    Concentration of CO2 in atmosphere hits new high: UN

    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.

  • Forbes

    Five GIS Projects That Are Changing The Way We Understand Racism

    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.

  • FaceTime away: Doctors ease screen time limits for children

    FaceTime away: Doctors ease screen time limits for children

    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.

  • Ancient Roman Battlefield Uncovered in Jerusalem

    Ancient Roman Battlefield Uncovered in Jerusalem

    Archaeologists say they've found evidence of a battlefield from the Roman emperor Titus' siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Recent excavations revealed a section of the so-called "Third Wall" of Jerusalem that Titus' army breached on its way to conquering the city, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Outside the wall, the archaeologists found that the ground was littered with large ballista stones (stones used as projectiles with a type of crossbow) and sling stones, suggesting that this area had been under heavy fire from Roman siege engines.

  • Evidence Of Right Handedness Found In Homo Habilis Fossil
    Popular Mechanics

    Evidence Of Right Handedness Found In Homo Habilis Fossil

    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.

  • Ancient graves offer evidence of blood feuds, researchers say

    Ancient graves offer evidence of blood feuds, researchers say

    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

  • Associated Press

    USGS: Oklahoma quake likely caused by wastewater disposal

    The third-largest earthquake in Oklahoma was likely triggered by underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production, the U.S. Geological Survey found in a report issued Monday. The magnitude 5.1 quake that struck northwest of Fairview in February was likely induced by distant disposal wells, the agency said. The USGS report indicated that in the area around where the Fairview quake occurred, the volume of fluid injected had increased sevenfold over three years.

  • The most interesting things we learned from Elon Musk’s surprise AMA
    BGR News

    The most interesting things we learned from Elon Musk’s surprise AMA

    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.

  • Battle lines harden at global whaling meeting

    Battle lines harden at global whaling meeting

    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.

  • What El Niño can teach us about the way climate change drives infectious disease
    Washington Post

    What El Niño can teach us about the way climate change drives infectious disease

    Many scientists agree that climate change will likely influence the spread of infectious diseases, from mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika to the bacteria found in contaminated food and water. It’s a relationship that’s largely been studied in developing nations, where the cumulative effects of global warming are likely to be more severe. The study finds short-term shifts in climate and weather patterns, brought on by El Niño, have a history of influencing disease outbreaks in the United States — and these temporary changes may give us an important glimpse into what the effects of climate change may bring in the future. “There’s this idea that the vulnerabilities are really only in low-income countries,” said David Fisman, the study’s lead author and a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

  • Forbes

    Smaller Nuclear Weapons And Power Plants Under Development Hold Promise And Peril

    Post written byVincent Ialenti and Annie Tomlinson The authors are National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellows and PhD students at Cornell University. Nuclear technologies have long evoked grand images—from billowing mushroom clouds to massive concrete cooling towers looming above nuclear power plants. This bigness has been engrained in our very language. A person can, for example, take the “nuclear option” – the most extreme course of action – when making a difficult decision. In anger, a person might “go nuclear,” exploding into rage. In many ways, nuclear technologies earned their reputations for their huge scale. Since the 1950s, the size of nuclear power reactors has grown from

  • The first photo of Earth from space was taken 70 years ago

    The first photo of Earth from space was taken 70 years ago

    Taken from aboard a Nazi-built V2 rocket on Oct. 24, 1946, the black and white photo shows a smattering of clouds casting shadows down upon our planet. Since 1946, Earth imaging has become an integral part of government as well as private work.

  • Man Dies of Flesh-Eating Bacteria from Ocean: What Is Vibrio Vulnificus?

    Man Dies of Flesh-Eating Bacteria from Ocean: What Is Vibrio Vulnificus?

    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.