Scientists are making strides in growing food in space, and their efforts could be critical to eventually supporting a permanent human colony on Mars. "We can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday in a long-awaited speech detailing his vision for sending humans to Mars by 2025. The billionaire engineer said the Red Planet is "resource rich" with water ice and compounds necessary to support plants, such as nitrogen. Experts say astronauts could pack enough packaged or freeze-dried food to get to Mars and back, although living on the planet for extended periods would get increasingly difficult without regular food-supply missions.
Earth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050, seven of the world's top climate scientists warned Thursday. "Climate change is happening now, and much faster than anticipated," said Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the body charged with distilling climate science for policy makers. Since 1990, devastating weather-related events -- floods, drought, more intense storms, heat waves and wild fires -- due to climate change have doubled in number, Watson and the other scientists said in a report.
A controversial technique that uses DNA from three parents has resulted in the first-ever birth of a child, a team of American scientists in Mexico confirmed Tuesday. The technology allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies and, while not approved in the United States, is legal in the United Kingdom. New Scientist reported that the baby, a boy, was born five months ago to Jordanian parents. The child was at risk of inheriting a severe neurological disorder called Leigh syndrome, which typically kills individuals within a few years of birth. In using DNA from three individuals, researchers were able to remove some of the mother’s DNA from an egg and leave out the disease-causing
Remains thought to be those of U.S. troops who died in the Mexican-American War have been flown to a military mortuary in Delaware in an effort to determine whether they belonged to militia members of a Tennessee regiment known as "The Bloody First." An Army twin-engine turbotrop bearing two aluminum cases topped by American flags arrived Wednesday afternoon at Dover Air Force Base, home to the nation's largest military mortuary. White-gloved members of the 3rd Infantry "Old Guard" unit, which stands vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery near the nation's capital, solemnly transferred the cases to a vehicle bound for the mortuary. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage. More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, that pool of workers is shrinking. A recent Pew Research report found that more Mexican immigrants are now leaving the U.S. than coming into the country, citing tougher enforcement of immigration laws and the slow economic recovery here in the U.S. (The report accounted for both documented and undocumented immigrants). With fewer workers, farm owners say costs are rising and they often must leave unpicked fruit to rot in the fields. Many producers are even opting to leave the U.S. for countries with lower costs and fewer
By Kate Kelland and Alissa de Carbonnel LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's food safety watchdog will release data from some of the scientific studies it reviewed in its assessment of glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto's widely used herbicide Roundup and subject of a fierce row over possible cancer risk. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on Thursday it had decided to release the raw data as part of its "commitment to open risk assessment". EFSA had received several requests for data in relation to its glyphosate assessment, including from members of the European parliament.
An unexpected sugary snack can give bees a little buzz and appears to lift their mood, even making them optimistic, according to research Thursday that suggests pollinators have feelings, too. Since emotions are subjective and difficult to measure -- particularly in animals -- researchers looked at how bees' behavior changed after they were given a sip of sucrose solution. "Bees given a 60 percent sucrose reward to induce a positive affective state flew faster to the cylinder than non-rewarded bees," said the study in the journal Science, led by Clint Perry at the University of London.
Elon Musk had his head in another world yesterday when he spoke to the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. His speech was meant to announce the hardware he wants to develop to get humans permanently settled on Mars. Amid the questions from the audience, which included self-promotional goofballs and awe-struck fanboys, a woman from Russia got applause by griping that SpaceX doesn't hire people from outside the United States. "You are going interplanetary," she said. "When will you go international?" Musk explained that he'd like to bring in international talent, as he does at Tesla, but that U.S. laws restrict him from doing so. The answer shut up the questioner, but some were
Victoria Orphan has a problem. The geobiologist wants to understand how tiny microorganisms interact with their physical environment. But the organisms she wants to study are not exactly easy to access: They live on the ocean floor. Orphan’s quest to study those elusive microbes has taken her deep into one of Earth’s last frontiers — and her latest frontier is life as a MacArthur grant winner. There are compelling reasons for studying archaea and bacteria at the bottom of the sea. Both kinds of organisms play a fundamental role in gobbling up methane, a greenhouse gas that gets trapped at the bottom of the ocean in the form of an ice-like substance. Those substances, called methane hydrates,
South Africa's all-female "Black Mambas" anti-poaching team had never lost a rhino since they were formed in 2013, but the killing of two animals earlier this month shattered their proud record. The two rhinos, one of which was pregnant, were shot dead and their horns hacked off by poachers on a full moon night, underlining the crisis that threatens the species. The Black Mambas are made up of 36 unarmed female rangers, aged from 19 to 33, based at the Balule Game Reserve in Limpopo province on the edge of Kruger National Park.
Land Rover knows how to build up to a new model reveal. While other companies are content with video teasers or social media campaigns, the British SUV brand can always be counted on to go above and beyond. The bricks, a record 5,805,846 to be precise, were needed to build a 13-meter-high replica of London's iconic Bridge, in and around which the new Discovery made its entrance.
The roots of lethal violence between humans can be found in their evolutionary tree, researchers have said. Violent behaviour directed towards members of the same species has been documented in other primates, and may have been inherited by humans throughout their evolution. The consequences of such behaviours can however be mitigated by society. The philosophical question about whether humans are inherently violent, or if murder, conflict and violence depend on cultural factors is an ancient debate. Already in the 18th century, French thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that violence was shaped by our environment. Since then, social scientists have attempted to explain how human interpersonal
NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Elon Musk wants to make traveling to Mars a reality. "I really have no other purpose than to make life interplanetary," Musk said while speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico on Tuesday. Utilizing SpaceX, Musk's space exploration company he aims to make the cost of one ticket to Mars less than $200 thousand. Astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author Neil deGrasse Tyson joined Wednesday morning's "Squawk Box" on CNBC to comment on the ambitious goal of Elon Musk. "He's putting his money where his mouth is," Tyson said. Adding that anyone can simply give talks, or write books about space exploration, but that talk is cheap. "If you're a
BURNING through the darkness, the fires would have lit up the cave around where the young child lay. The remains of a series of small fires discovered within a dolomite hillside 93 kilometres north of Madrid, Spain, could be the first firm evidence that Neanderthals held funerals. The blackened hearths surround a spot where the jaw and six teeth of a Neanderthal toddler were found in the stony sediment. Puzzlingly, within each of these hearths was the horn or antler of a herbivore, apparently carefully placed there. In total, there were 30 horns from aurochs and bison as well as red deer antlers, and a rhino skull nearby. Advertisement Archaeologists believe the fires may have been lit as some
Our corner of the Milky Way galaxy may be a bigger deal than scientists thought. The galaxy is shaped like a disk, with four major arms of stars, dust and gas spiraling out from the center. Our solar system lies at the edge of what's called the Local Arm, which resembles a separate piece of an arm. Historically, the Local Arm "didn't get much respect.... People thought it was just a tiny little thing," says Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But a new paper he co-authored concludes it is bigger than scientists thought. Researchers calculated that it stretches more than 20,000 light-years long, maybe about four times what scientists had thought
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Google-owned British AI firm DeepMind on Wednesday announced a non-profit organization called "Partnership on AI" focused on helping the public understand the technology and practices in the field. The move comes amid concerns that new artificial intelligence efforts could spin out of control and end up being detrimental to society. Academics, non-profit groups, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the board of the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI).
Potsdam Police Chief Mark Murray takes us back to the scene of the crime to show Elizabeth Vargas how police think Garrett Phillips' killer escaped. Enter the apartment. Don't always. For Specter here the door was open is on responsive don't show floor
Scientists coming up with shape-shifting materials is cool, but you know what’s even cooler? Materials that shape-shift on demand. That’s what a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Akron describe
British sculptor Antony Gormley puts people's relationships with urban construction at the forefront of his latest exhibition "Fit", creating a sort of labyrinth in a London gallery space. "Sleeping Field", one of the installations at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery, is made up of hundreds of iron sculptures, which at first look like small high-rise buildings but on closer inspection resemble resting bodies. "Gormley has configured the gallery space into 15 discrete chambers to create a series of dramatic physiological encounters in the form of a labyrinth," it said.
Longer, lighter, roomier and much more sophisticated, the new Land Rover Discovery takes the iconic British brand to a new level of competitiveness in the SUV market. The design of the latest generation, just unveiled at the Paris auto show, is deliberately a more radical departure than previous evolutionary changes in order to give the model a more universal appeal. Going on sale next spring, the 2017 Discovery will be priced from $49,990 for the Discovery SE with a 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, to $73,950 for the First Edition version with the same powertrain. The least expensive diesel version is the $58.950 Td6 model with 254-hp. Among the key elements of the new Discovery are its ‘smart’
For SpaceX, it's back to square one -- or more precisely, square zero. A little over three weeks ago, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket undergoing pre-launch testing at Cape Canaveral exploded on its launch pad. Along with the rocket, and an on-board Israeli satellite, the explosion sent SpaceX's year-long streak of successful launches up in smoke, resetting it to zero. Now the question is: How long will it take SpaceX to return to space? How long to get back to square one? A competitor chimes in Last week, a controversial headline from Reuters implied that United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Tory Bruno had predicted SpaceX would be out of commission for between nine and 12 months. Such an apparent assertion
It can be irritating when bread goes stale and chips lose their crunch if you leave them out too long. But instead of throwing them away, you can revive them to their former freshness in a matter of minutes. The video above by the American Chemical Society's Reactions team explains the chemistry behind the staling process. And as you may have guessed, it has a lot – but not all – to do with moisture. The starch in bread, for instance, is made up of two molecules: amylose and amylopectin. After baking bread, the tessellating structures of amylopectin traps moisture. But that structure breaks down slowly over time, releasing the moisture and hardening the bread. When chips are fried, on the other
Most hikers would hightail it upon spotting two snakes fighting on a path. Arkansas hiker Dawn Kelly decided to record the snakes on her smartphone instead, creating the kind of video most of us would rather watch from a safe distance. The unusual thing about this snake battle royale, however, isn't that Kelly managed to record it unscathed, but that the two snakes, a copperhead and a cottonmouth, shouldn't have been fighting at all. According to Alabama Auburn University herpetologist David Steen, male snakes often fight in something called a "combat dance" over female snakes. But until now, no one has recorded evidence of two different species of male snakes fighting, according to the BBC.
Watermelons once sprung from this soil, the giant striped fruit dotting the arid landscape like mushrooms after a rain. “It was such a garden,” farmer Hossain Mirakhouri, 45, recalled of his childhood on this sun-scorched plateau east of Tehran. Now nothing remains of his family’s patch of watermelon, a water-hungry crop that Mirakhouri can no longer afford to grow in increasingly dry conditions. He and his brothers, who farm a 2-acre homestead by hand much as their ancestors did, have switched to growing barley and genetically modified cotton, which they say have lower water requirements. “The amount of land that is cultivable shrinks year in, year out,” said Mirakhouri, sweat beading on his