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 south-central Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent
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.
Gordon Hamilton, a prominent climate scientist who studied Earth's melting ice sheets, died Saturday, when his snowmobile went into a crevasse in Antarctica, according to the National Science Foundation. He was 50 years old. Hamilton was a researcher with the NSF-managed U.S. Antarctic Program studying the stability of the ice shelves near McMurdo Station, a research center on Ross Island, 2,500 miles south of New Zealand. He and his team were camped in a heavily-crevassed area known as the McMurdo shear zone, where the Ross and McMurdo ice shelves meet. Three miles wide and more than 125 miles long, this perilous zone bisects the compacted snow road to the station. The ice there is hundreds
If you believe what has been touted by several news outlets over the past week, UNESCO seems to have given short shrift to the Temple Mount, the most holy site in Jerusalem. During that time, media outlets all over the world have published stories saying that UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), an agency of the UN that deals with cultural heritage issues, has denied that the Temple Mount was ever the home of Jewish temples. The situation stems from an Oct. 12 resolution that was passed by UNESCO's executive board, comprising representatives from 58 states.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
New research shows that the part of the brain that is activated during dishonesty responds less and less as we “get used” to cheating — and that could make us lie even more. Brain scans of the participants confirmed that lying can be a slippery slope: people did lie more over time. When we deceive someone, the part of the brain that regulates emotion — called the amygdala — is activated, and we often feel shame or guilt.
Between 2000 and 2013, there were more than 18,000 reports of snakebites in children in the U.S., the researchers wrote in their study, which was published Oct. 20 in the journal Pediatrics. About half the snakebites that were reported were from venomous snakes, according to the study. Bites from cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) accounted for 6 percent of bites, while 3 percent came from coral snakes and 1 percent came from exotic venomous snakes, the researchers found.
A Science Channel show is making waves about the Bermuda Triangle this week. It appears to have claimed that the mystery of the region is solved — except that’s not at all what the scientist interviewed intended. The “What on Earth” segment portrays Randall Cerveny, director of the meteorology department at Arizona State University, as having discovered the secret to the mysterious disappearances, sinkings and crashes that have occurred in the famous region east of the Bahamas. Or at least, he appears to think he has the answer, when in reality he has no interest in anything having to do with the Bermuda Triangle. “The editing on this was horrendous,” Cerveny told The Washington Post. “I was
Sixty-eight may not seem that old, but for Snooty the manatee, it's a world record. Snooty is now the world's oldest manatee living in captivity, the Guinness World Records recently announced. The sea cow was brought to South Florida Museum as an 11-month-old calf in 1949.
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 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.
"The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn's seasons," the US space agency said. What happened? Saturn has four seasons. They last about seven Earth years. The planet has photochemical haze, or particles in its atmosphere. Between November 1995 and August 2009, Saturn underwent a "winter polar darkness," according to Hampton University Assistant Professor Kunio Sayanagi. Well, the northern cloud-like barrier, which scientists call a six-sided jet stream, is affected. During the winter, particles are not produced. There's no sunshine. They can't reach the hexagonic jet stream. And the jet stream itself blocks them. "The hexagon jet acts as a barrier and when when there is nothing produced
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.
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.
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.
Milk from Tasmanian devils could be used in the fight against antibiotic-resistant superbugs, new research from Australia finds. The devils are marsupials, meaning that their teensy young hop into their parents' pouches after birth to finish developing, and in a new study, researchers found that the marsupial's milk contains several powerful peptides called cathelicidins, which can act as natural antibiotics. Humans have one cathelicidin, but Tasmanian devils have six, and their fellow marsupial opossums have 12, according to the researchers.
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.
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.
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.
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Children's brains undergo noticeable changes after just one season of football, even if they were never diagnosed with a concussion, according to a new imaging study. While there is no way to know whether the changes may lead to health problems down the road, the researchers found that the degree of change seen in the brain's white matter tracts was tied to the amount of exposure a child had to head impacts during play. "It’s really another study that suggests there are changes in the brain associated with all of these head impacts," said lead author Dr. Christopher Whitlow, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"When we lie for personal gain, our amygdala produces a negative feeling that limits the extent to which we are prepared to lie," said Tali Sharot, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London. A decreased amygdala response, in other words, may help explain the "slippery slope" of lying, said Sharot, one of the authors of "The Human Brain Adapts to Dishonesty," just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The scientists involved in this research tapped Neurosynth, a platform that culls thousands of maps of brain activity, to identify parts of the brain associated with emotion. While the amygdala, located deep in our temporal lobes, wasn't the exclusive region highlighted, it predominated, researchers said.