Science

  • Mexico launches drones to protect endangered porpoise
    AFP

    Mexico launches drones to protect endangered porpoise

    Mexico's government has launched drones to back last-ditch efforts to prevent illegal fishing activities that have led to the near extinction of the vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise. The navy and the environment ministry on Thursday unveiled three Arcturus T-20 unmanned aerial vehicles, armed with high-resolution cameras to police the upper Gulf of California day and night. It is the latest step taken by the government to save the vaquita, a species found only in a small area of Mexico's northwest gulf.

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  • Reuters

    USDA confirms unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state

    Genetically modified wheat developed by Monsanto Co, and never approved by federal regulators, has been found growing in a Washington state farm field, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday. The discovery of 22 unapproved genetically modified (GMO) wheat plants has prompted an investigation by federal and state investigators - the third such discovery in three years.

  • Associated Press

    Thousands rush to see Kilauea lava flow reach ocean

    The lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week. Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs.

  • Cosmos Magazine

    English bulldogs' shallow gene pool lands them in deep trouble

    Breeders may try to save the English Bulldog's health – but it will be for nought, according to new research. English bulldogs are among the world’s favourite dogs, but centuries of inbreeding has cursed the pooches with poor health and a shorter life expectancy – and now, new research shows their gene pool is so small only procreation with other breeds can save them. A trio of researchers at the University of California set about revealing just how much genetic diversity is evident in among bulldog populations, and whether there’s enough variety to curb changes that have damaged the breed. "These changes have occurred over hundreds of years but have become particularly rapid over the last few decades,” explains lead researcher Niels Pedersen.

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  • It turns out the United States has just one true species of wolf
    Washington Post

    It turns out the United States has just one true species of wolf

    According to research published Thursday in Science, red wolves and eastern wolves aren't truly wolves at all – they're coyote-wolf hybrids. That confirms something scientists had long debated: Canis lupus, the gray wolf, is actually the only wolf species in the United States. Neither the red nor the eastern wolf has any DNA that can't be tied to gray wolf or coyote origins. All three "species" are actually just gray wolf descendants with varying levels of coyote DNA. The red wolf is actually mostly coyote, according to the study, with just around a quarter of its genes coming from the gray wolf. The eastern wolf is 25 to 50 percent coyote, and even gray wolves carry some small traces of coyote

  • Space Standoff: The next Cold War is already playing out right above our heads
    Digital Trends

    Space Standoff: The next Cold War is already playing out right above our heads

    Right now, miles above your head, there are fleets of robotic, weaponized satellites poised to do battle as the world’s superpowers await the opening salvo in a very real cosmic chess match. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has enjoyed a quarter century of dominance in satellite technology. This advanced web of GPS satellites has given the U.S. military a great advantage on the battlefield.

  • How low-cost tech can help India monitor the air it breathes
    Mashable

    How low-cost tech can help India monitor the air it breathes

    Over the next two years, reports on its air quality remained grim. The country's air pollution levels reached their highest levels in 2015, after being on rise for the last decade. For the first time, India's air was also found to be more polluted than China's. This year, WHO revealed that the country was home to half of the world's most polluted cities.

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  • Newsmax

    Stephen Hawking: Attitudes on Wealth, Money Threaten Humanity

    Physicist Stephen Hawking warns that money and our attitude toward wealth was a key factor in the outcome of the EU Brexit referendum, but it also is a warning that "envy and isolationism" threaten the future of humanity. The June 23 Brexit vote was down to British attitudes towards wealth and money and that it was time for an "honest" debate about "the role that wealth does and doesn't play in our society," Hawking wrote the U.K. Guardian newspaper. Hawking said he was "sad” about the Brexit result. “But if I've learned one lesson in my life it is to make the best of the hand you are dealt," he wrote. "Now we must learn to live outside the EU, but in order to manage that successfully we need

  • Suspicions Fall on Husband After Wife's Tragic River Death: Part 2
    ABC News Videos

    Suspicions Fall on Husband After Wife's Tragic River Death: Part 2

    Well, this is the autopsy report of Mary Vail. Reporter: Investigative reporter jerry Mitchell has been dredging up a secret that folks here in Lake Charles have been whispering about for half a century. Ruled by the coroner an accidental death, but now it's all being reeled up through the depths of time into the daylight.

  • Australia moving up in the world... literally
    AFP

    Australia moving up in the world... literally

    Australia will adjust its latitude and longitude, a government science body says, to put the vast country into alignment with global navigation satellite systems. The nation's coordinates are currently out by more than a metre, Geoscience Australia says, and the discrepancy could cause major headaches for possible new technologies such as driverless cars which require precise location data. "We have to adjust our lines of latitude and longitude... so that the satellite navigation systems that we all use on our smartphones these days can align with all the digital map information," Geoscience's Dan Jaksa told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week.

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  • Scientists are freaking out over this cosmic phenomenon they never thought was possible
    Business Insider

    Scientists are freaking out over this cosmic phenomenon they never thought was possible

    Scientists didn’t think a white dwarf and a red dwarf star system could have such a violent relationship. Video courtesy of NASA, ESO/L. Calçada/University of Warwick, and ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N, Risinger. Follow TI: On Facebook

  • Associated Press

    GMO wheat found in Washington state could affect US trade

    Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that will require labeling of genetically modified ingredients for the first time.

  • LiveScience.com

    Fungal Disease 'Valley Fever' Is Often Misdiagnosed

    A fungal infection called valley fever, which can cause mild to severe lung problems (including holes in the lungs), is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can resemble those of the flu or other illness, experts say. The misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary medications that don't treat the fungal infection, according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The guidelines stress that primary care doctors should consider the possibility of valley fever in patients who have pneumonia or continuing flu-like symptoms if they live in or have visited the western or southwestern United States, where the fungus is found naturally in the soil.

  • WWF calls for crack down on 'tiger farms'
    AFP

    WWF calls for crack down on 'tiger farms'

    The World Wildlife Fund on Thursday urged Asian states to investigate all tiger breeding centres and crack down on any involved in black-market animal trade. On the eve of the International Day of the Tiger, WWF said it was crucial for governments to identify and close so-called "tiger farms", which are distinct from zoos or breeding centres with a legitimate conservation mission. Tiger farms have been linked to the highly lucrative and internationally prohibited trade in tiger parts.

  • NASA’s new space plane is getting ready to take flight
    Washington Post

    NASA’s new space plane is getting ready to take flight

    NASA’s next cargo delivery vehicle—a spunky little space plane that looks like it could be an offspring of the space shuttle—is getting ready to fly. The svelte and snub nosed Dream Chaser will soon be shipped to the Mojave desert in California where it would begin a series of ground tests that would eventually culminate with a flight from an altitude of 2.5 miles high. To get to this point, however, has been a long road for its manufacturer, the Sierra Nevada Corp. The company had originally pursued a NASA contract to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA engineers in Hampton, Va., used a wind tunnel to evaluate the design of Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft.

  • The Navy is funding research for underwater glue that can be ‘switched’ on and off
    Digital Trends

    The Navy is funding research for underwater glue that can be ‘switched’ on and off

    Anyone who has ever made the mistake of wearing a Band-Aid in the shower knows all too well that adhesives which appear to be secure when dry quickly peel off when they get wet. The challenge of creating glue that works underwater is the focus of Bruce Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University. To help him crack this conundrum, Lee has just been awarded three years of funding from the Office of Naval Research as part of its Young Investigator Program award.

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  • Fox News

    'Game of Thrones' ant has dragon-like spikes

    A dragon from "Game of Thrones" has come to life — sort of. A new ant species' dragon-like appearance inspired scientists to name it for the fire-breathing star of the popular fantasy series. The Pheidole drogon's large and distinctive spine reminded researchers of Drogon, one of the dragons on the "Game of Thrones" TV show, adapted from the novels written by George R. R. Martin. The ant's spiny characteristics were captured in detail using 3D-imaging technology, which the researchers employed to help identify and document several new ant species. Their findings were published in two different papers  in the journal PLOS ONE. [StarStruck: Species Named After Celebrities] "This is one of the first

  • Here are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2016, according to the WEF
    Digital Trends

    Here are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2016, according to the WEF

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Scientific American recently tackled that question, releasing a list of the top ten emerging technologies of 2016. To compile the list, the Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies considered criteria that examined the technologies’ potential to improve lives, revolutionize industries, and protect the planet, while recognizing the likelihood that 2016 is a turning point in the development of these technologies. Below are the WEF’s top ten, from first to last.

  • 1.7 million-year-old cancer found, the oldest yet
    Washington Post

    1.7 million-year-old cancer found, the oldest yet

    Scientists’ conventional opinion about cancer was that it’s a relatively recent phenomenon caused by the stresses of modern life. Dietary changes, behavioral changes and man-made changes to our environment have subjected humans to toxins that contribute to cancers. But new findings from researchers at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand published in the South African Journal of Science challenges that assumption. Paleontologists found a benign tumor in a specimen from a 12- or 13-year-old boy that dates back almost 2 million years. More significantly, they also found a malignant tumor on a little toe bone of a left foot that’s 1.7 million years old. Previously, the oldest discovered

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  • Humans are finally starting to understand the octopus, and it’s mind-boggling
    Business Insider

    Humans are finally starting to understand the octopus, and it’s mind-boggling

    With their eight arms and giant egg-shaped head, octopuses are one of the most alien-looking creatures on the planet. We read Katherine Courage's book "Octopus!" and discovered that the octopus is even weirder than it looks. A special thanks to NOAA and professor of marine biology at the Alaska Pacific University, David Scheel, for the amazing footage they contributed to this video. Produced by Jessica Orwig

  • World’s Deepest Blue Hole Discovered in South China Sea
    EcoWatch

    World’s Deepest Blue Hole Discovered in South China Sea

    Chinese scientists believe they have discovered the deepest "blue hole" on the planet. "Dragon Hole," in the Paracel Islands—which are disputed islands claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam—is reported to be 987 feet deep, according to Chin's state-run news agency Xinhua. The blue hole—a giant pit in the sea that is known for its distinctive blue color—previously thought to be the deepest is Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Dragon Hole is more than 300 feet deeper than Dean's Blue Hole. Scientists have already found 20 species of fish in the hole, according to the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection. The institute enlisted a robot, equipped with a depth sensor, to explore

  • Lake Tahoe warming 15 times faster than long-term average
    Associated Press

    Lake Tahoe warming 15 times faster than long-term average

    The average surface temperature of Lake Tahoe has risen faster over the last four years than any time on record — 15 times faster than the long-term warming rate over the past half century, scientists say. Continued warm and dry conditions contributed to several record-breaking measurements at Lake Tahoe in 2015, raising concerns about the ecological impacts of climate change on the second deepest lake in the United States, according to an annual report issued Thursday by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. "Lake Tahoe experienced a year like no other," according to the research center, which started keeping water temperature records in 1970 when it averaged 50.3 degrees.

  • How Older Women Tighten Skin

    How Older Women Tighten Skin

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  • Putrid-Smelling Corpse Flower Finally Blooms: Watch It Live
    LiveScience.com

    Putrid-Smelling Corpse Flower Finally Blooms: Watch It Live

    Normally, the smell of putrefying, decaying flesh wouldn't be cause for celebration, but it is today, with the blooming of the rare but stinky corpse flower at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Corpse flowers bloom only once every seven to 10 years, and this is the first time that this particular plant has blossomed since the NYBG acquired it in 2007, they said. As soon as the bud began to open last night (July 28), NYBG representatives took to Twitter to announce the good news, saying, "Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.

  • Happy 58th Birthday, NASA!
    National Constitution Center

    Happy 58th Birthday, NASA!

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is such a part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine it not existing. It’s also hard to imagine in today’s world of partisan gridlock that the executive and legislative branches created by the Founders could create a major government agency in little less than one year’s time. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act to “provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.” Congress had already passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which became a priority after one shocking event in 1957.

  • The Week

    An orangutan can mimic human speech for the first time

    Researchers from Britain have taught an 11-year-old orangutan named Rocky at the Indianapolis Zoo to imitate human speech in a conversational context. This is the first time an ape has demonstrated such ability, and the scientists involved say Rocky's skills could offer important insight into the development of human language. "This opens up the potential for us to learn more about the vocal capacities of early hominids that lived before the split between the orangutan and human lineages," said lead researcher Adriano Lameria. While it was previously assumed great apes could not intentionally modulate their sounds, Lameria said, this "research proves that orangutans have the potential capacity