Science

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Italy quake struck notorious seismic hotspot
    AFP

    Italy quake struck notorious seismic hotspot

    The deadly earthquake that struck central Italy before dawn Wednesday occurred in a notorious seismic hotspot, and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists said. The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the quake occurred 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Norcia, measuring 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale and striking at a shallow depth of only 10 km (6.2 miles).

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Reuters

    GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

    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.

  • 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.

  • For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed
    Associated Press

    For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed

    A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao. Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • LiveScience.com

    Mental Toll of Bad Jobs Lasts Decades

    If your job causes stress and anxiety in your life, it may seem obvious that it may be bad for your health. A new study shows that people who had low levels of job satisfaction in their 20s and 30s may have an increased risk of mental health problems in their 40s. "We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s," lead author Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, said in a statement.

  • Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people
    Mashable

    Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people

    American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology "from like 700 BC." He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable. Attitudes are changing as people become more familiar with the idea of implants.

  • Town & Country

    British Hedgehog Population Is in Danger of Collapse

    Humans are likely to blame, with developers building on traditional habitats and farmers changing landscapes, but British citizens are stepping up to do what they can for the spiny little beasts. Some hold official, paying positions (a job in Ipswich garnered approximately 150 applications this summer), while others, like Linda Cleme, volunteer their time, working to rehabilitate hedgehogs. "I've got very fond of hedgehogs because they don't cause any harm to people," she told the Wall Street Journal.

  • Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?
    Consumer Reports

    Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?

    To be safe, you might want to have a spotter with you before you cover your eyes with the goggles and make the leap into virtual space. According to psychology professor Jim Blascovich, co-author of “Infinite Reality: The Hidden Blueprint of Our Virtual Lives” (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2012), it may be powerful enough to distract even young burn victims and significantly reduce their pain.

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

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

    Monsanto Co (MON.N) 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.

  • Was Cincinnati Zoo right to delete Twitter account?
    FOX News Videos

    Was Cincinnati Zoo right to delete Twitter account?

    Four4Four Tech: Cincinnati Zoo reacts to Harambe meme onslaught; Tokyo Olympics eye smartphone gold, Tim Cooks fifth anniversary as Apple CEO, does Amazon have a cheap music service up its sleeve?

  • Associated Press

    Scientists: Puffin chicks starving with less food available

    Atlantic puffin chicks on Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine have had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the majority of chicks starving to death in burrows, scientists said. A drop in the puffins' food supply is to blame, said Tony Diamond, director of the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research at the University of New Brunswick. In a typical year, 60 percent of the puffin nests with eggs produce chicks that fly off the nest, and this year, the success rate was 12 percent, the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2bCwkaf) reported.

  • 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

  • Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam
    AFP

    Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

    A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. "It's great news for this particular species because had we not found this new population, they were in grave danger of being wiped out within a decade," spokeswoman for FFI in Vietnam, Akofa Wallace, told AFP Tuesday.

  • Power Station Worker's Private Collection Yields Bronze Age Treasures
    LiveScience.com

    Power Station Worker's Private Collection Yields Bronze Age Treasures

    A man who spent many years collecting metal artifacts from the ocean near the power plant where he worked in Israel secretly amassed a huge collection of valuable and ancient treasures. Archaeologists were recently given the trove of artifacts after the man, who had worked for years at the Orot Rabin Power Station in Hadera, on the coast of Israel, passed away and his family began sorting through his belongings. "The finds include a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze Age," which are more than 3,500 years old, Ayala Lester, a curator with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement.