Science

  • ABC News

    Rosetta Space Probe Sees Bright Flares, Landslide on Comet

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has captured images of a bright burst of light on the comet it is orbiting, apparently caused by a landslide. The dramatic light flashes were recorded Feb. 19 and accompanied by rising temperatures and sharp increases in dust, gas and plasma released from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Eberhard Gruen of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, said Thursday that a landslide on the comet's surface was most likely responsible. The flashes would have been generated by light reflecting from dust particles kicked up by the landslide. The European Space Agency plans to crash-land Rosetta on the comet's surface Sept. 30, more than

  • Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking
    LiveScience.com

    Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

    Powerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
    Associated Press

    Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples

    Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287. King Anawratha, who unified the country formerly known as Burma, and his successors built the temples in a frenzy, believing they would gain spiritual merit.

  • MercuryNews.com

    California shipwreck: World War II aircraft carrier off California coast in 'amazing state' Titanic researcher says

    Famed oceanographer Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic, the Bismarck, the USS Yorktown and John F. Kennedy's PT-109. On Tuesday, he added another accomplishment to his list of documenting the world's greatest shipwrecks: the first images in more than six decades of the USS Independence, an iconic World War II aircraft carrier scuttled in 1951 off the California coast, half a mile under the sea. In a 20-hour-long expedition, Ballard's team, working with officials from the Navy and NOAA -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- revealed breathtaking images of the lost carrier's flight deck, a Hellcat fighter plane, anti-aircraft guns, hatches, ladders and even the letters of the ship's name still visible on the hull, all submerged 30 miles west of Half Moon Bay.

  • Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida
    ABC News

    Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida

    Capybaras, giant rodents that are native to South America, may be establishing themselves as an invasive species in Florida, according to Elizabeth Congdon, the only biologist in North America studying the animal. "Right now, they're considered exotics -- non-native animals that aren't supposed to be here," Congdon told ABC News today. Capybaras were first accidentally introduced to forests in northern Florida after five of them escaped a research facility in the early '90s, said Congdon, an assistant professor at the Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, who warned about the potential threat of the species at an animal behavior conference earlier this month.

  • With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice
    Digital Trends

    With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice

    Seals in tiny hats might conjure up images of the circus or Sea World, but, in Antarctica, elephant seals with hat-like sensors are helping scientists study melting ice. The project to study the temperature and salinity of Antarctica bottom water (AABW) is led by Dr. Guy Williams of the University of Tasmania, and is supported by an international team of researchers who hope to find clues into the immediate effects of climate change.

  • Money Talks News

    Sick of Slow Wi-Fi? MIT Researchers Have a Solution

    A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory think they’ve found a solution that can significantly improve Wi-Fi performance. WiFi signals interfere with each other because there isn’t enough bandwidth on the wireless spectrum to handle all the traffic from the cellphones that are trying to use the spectrum at the same time.

  • Scientists have figured out how to make wires 60,000x smaller than a human hair
    Mashable

    Scientists have figured out how to make wires 60,000x smaller than a human hair

    Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have found a way to make electrical wires that are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.  The secret? The "microbial nanowires," or little hair-like protein filaments, or pili, produced

  • GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
    Reuters

    GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

    By Mayank Bhardwaj and Krishna N. Das NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition. Technical clearance for indigenously developed GM mustard seeds was given on Aug. 11 by the panel of government and independent experts, following multiple reviews of crop trial data generated over almost a decade, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The decision to go ahead is likely to be made public soon by the environment ministry's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, and is expected eventually to move to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desk via Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

  • Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa
    Popular Mechanics

    Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa

    Six scientists are close to wrapping up a year of near isolation in a Mars simulation on a Hawaii mountain. The scientists are housed in a dome on Mauna Loa and can go outside only in spacesuits, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, said this simulation is the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia.

  • Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar
    Foreign Policy Magazine

    Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar

    There are many national security challenges facing the United States, but too often our focus is exclusively on threats from terrorism, geopolitics and cyberattacks. As the country confronts the arrival of the Zika virus and contemplates travel bans to Miami, it’s time to have an adult conversation about the threats posed by biology.

  • LiveScience.com

    In Babies, Zika Can Linger for Months, Brazilian Case Suggests

    A baby in Brazil who became infected with Zika in the womb still had the virus in his body for months after he was born, according to a new report of the case. The baby's mother, who lived in São Paulo, showed symptoms of Zika when she was 26 weeks pregnant, according to the report, published today (Aug. 24) in the New England Journal of Medicine. When the baby was born, he was diagnosed with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head and brain.

  • China reveals images and details of its first Mars rover
    Engadget

    China reveals images and details of its first Mars rover

    China has been aggressively expanding its space program in recent years. It launched the Chang'e 3 mission back in 2013 that carried its Yutu rover, which lasted for two years when it was supposed to last only for three months, to the moon. The country also launched a quantum satellite in mid-August to enable hack-proof communications. The six-wheeled rover it's blasting off to space in 2020 will be larger than Yutu at 441 pounds. It will be equipped with 13 different instruments, including a radar that can drill into the ground and a remote-sensing camera, to take a closer look at the Martian soil and environment. Like Yutu, it's only supposed to gather and beam back data for three months, though

  • What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests
    OneGreenPlanet

    What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests

    Cows have such a peculiar role in modern society. Millions of them are cruelly abused every year at the hands of the animal agriculture industry, but they are also some of the most protected animals. Cattle ranchers look after cows to make sure they are not attacked, and when another animal is seen impeding on their grazing land or injuring them, ranchers will reach out to their local governments to get rid of the “pests.” We’ve seen wild horses driven out of their native land to protect livestock and now, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving forward with plans to exterminate an entire pack of wolves in Washington due to recent attacks on livestock. Admittedly, this was not

  • Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up
    Mashable

    Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up

    In the heart of North Dakota's prairie lands, tribal leaders and their allies are squaring off against a Texas pipeline builder and the federal government. Over a thousands protesters have gathered during the past two weeks in a grassy camp near the town of Cannon Ball to physically block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear the tribe's lawsuit, which claims a federal agency violated multiple statutes for protecting clean water and culturally significant sites by issuing permits to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline's builder.

  • Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap
    Associated Press

    Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap

    It looks like a tiny octopus and is designed to mimic that slithery creature to get through cracks and tight places, making it ideal as a rescue robot. A team at Harvard University has created a robot — actually about 300 of them, since they are so cheap to make — that is opposite of the common view of a robot.

  • Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    By Mayank Bhardwaj NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

  • Next Big Future: Russia's sodium lead cooled fast nuclear reactors
    nextbigfuture.com

    Next Big Future: Russia's sodium lead cooled fast nuclear reactors

    Russia has reached two more milestones in its endeavour to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) - part of Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL - has completed acceptance tests of components for its ETVS-14 and ETVS-15 experimental fuel assemblies with mixed nitride fuel for the BREST and BN fast neutron reactors. MSZ has also announced the start of research and development work on the technical design of the "absorbent element" of the core of the BREST-OD-300 reactor. Russia plans to construct 11 new nuclear power reactors (not including 5 under construction) by 2030 - including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. The BN-1200 units are to be built at the

  • Today is the day we mourn the planet Pluto
    Orlando Sentinel

    Today is the day we mourn the planet Pluto

    It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. The fate of Pluto, reality's Alderaan, well metaphorically at least, was sealed when it lost its status as "Ninth Planet of Our Solar System." Sniff. One of my favorite T-shirts is the one acts as epitaph for Pluto with the words, "Revolve in Peace, 1930-2006." For more than 76 years, Pluto was dubbed planet, but on Aug. 24, 2006, it was demoted to dwarf planet. So today is the 10-year anniversary of its passing. Today is #PlutoDemotedDay Mourn appropriately. Of course now we know that the little planet that could (whether you think of it as dwarf or not) is much more interesting than we ever knew, thanks

  • LiveScience.com

    How Do EpiPens Work?

    The price of EpiPens has increased more than 400 percent since 2007. People who need to keep them on hand — often because they may need the emergency drug in case they have a life-threatening allergic reaction — brought the price increase to light, and eventually it reached Congress: In a letter to Mylan, the company that makes EpiPens, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has now asked the company to explain its pricing. But how do EpiPens work?

  • Scientists may have just found an Earth-like planet near our sun's nearest neighbor — and it’s our best chance of finding alien life
    Business Insider

    Scientists may have just found an Earth-like planet near our sun's nearest neighbor — and it’s our best chance of finding alien life

    On Wednesday, an international team of scientists in the Pale Red Dot campaign announced that the closest star to our solar system might just be our best bet at finding alien life. The star, called Proxima Centauri, is a cool, dim red dwarf four light years away. Using data from European Southern Observatory facilities and other telescopes, the scientists, led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé at Queen Mary University, picked up a small, potentially rocky planet, called Proxima b, that's slightly more massive than Earth.

  • Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild
    AFP

    Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild

    Embraced by kings and freedom fighters alike, Myanmar's peacocks have long been a national symbol of pride and resistance -- but they are becoming ever harder to spot in the wild. Ornithologist Thet Zaw Naing is worried. Every year that goes by, Myanmar's national bird becomes a less familiar sight.

  • One shower could flush 100,000 microbeads into the ocean
    Mashable

    One shower could flush 100,000 microbeads into the ocean

    British MPs have issued a report detailing the damage to the environment wreaked by microbeads used in cosmetic products. The report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee called on the the government to introduce a legislative ban on microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries. Because of their size — typically 0.1 to 0.5 millimetres in length — microbeads can easily go down plug holes and pass through water filtration systems.

  • Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases
    Alice Sholl

    Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases

    It’s this attribute which means that perfume could also be used as ‘trace evidence’ along with these other materials. Scientists wrote in the journal Science and Justice that analysing fragrances could be particularly useful in cases where a crime has involved close physical contact, such as a sexual assault. “We’ve shown that first, perfume does transfer, and second, we can identify when that transfer has happened,” said director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences Dr Ruth Morgan.