The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year. The agency says the decision to shut down a communications instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft Wednesday was taken to conserve energy. Rosetta had used the instrument to communicate with its lander, Philae, which touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. During the next two months, Rosetta will use its remaining power to conduct scientific measurements before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30. Data collected by Rosetta and Philae have improved scientists' understanding of comets and the role they played in the
Astronomers say a massive hurricane on Jupiter could be heating up parts of the gas giant's upper atmosphere. The storm — known as the Great Red Spot — is more than twice the size of Earth and has been churning for over a century. Scientists from the United States and Britain say heat from the sun doesn't explain why parts of Jupiter's atmosphere are hundreds of degrees hotter than elsewhere on the planet. The phenomenon was discovered more than 40 years ago and dubbed the giant-planet "energy crisis." In a paper published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, the researchers concluded that the upper atmosphere is probably being blasted from below with sound or gravity waves. The study relied
A nocturnal species of weasel with a robber-mask-like marking across its eyes has returned to the remote ranchlands of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Wildlife officials on Tuesday released 35 black-footed ferrets on two ranches near Meeteetse, a tiny cattle ranching community 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. Black-footed ferrets, generally solitary animals, were let loose individually over a wide area.
By Susan Kelly CHICAGO (Reuters) - Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier. The anticipated future growth - and perceived weaknesses of the current generation of robots - is attracting deep-pocketed rivals, including Medtronic Inc and a startup backed by Johnson & Johnson and Google.
Police officers in the U.S. are more likely to stop or arrest black, Hispanic and Native American people than they are to stop or arrest non-Hispanic white people, a new study finds. The researchers also found that more blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were killed and injured by police over the study period than non-Hispanic whites. "Both blacks and white Hispanics are four times as likely to be killed by the police as white non-Hispanics are," said lead study author Ted Miller, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland.
The latest El Nino weather phenomenon, which was one of the most powerful on record, has ended but could be replaced by its stormy sister La Nina in the coming months, the UN meteorological agency said Thursday. "Atmospheric indicators that had shown strong El Nino patterns early in 2016 returned to near-average in June and July," the World Meteorological Organization said. El Nino affects rainfall patterns and causes both drought and flooding.
The mysterious, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 likely crashed off the coast of Australia or hundreds of miles to the north, researchers in Italy said. The potential crash area overlaps with the underwater zone that investigators are now scouring for hunks of metal debris. Search efforts have so far failed to reveal why and where the airliner wrecked more than two years ago, taking with it 239 passengers and crew members.
A Chinese rocket body streaking across the night sky over the Western United States lit up social media as people shared photos and video of the bright object. The Chinese CZ-7 re-entered the atmosphere Wednesday night, U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn confirmed. That's when people in Nevada, Utah and California took to social media to report a small fireball streaking across the sky. Photographer Ian Norman was taking pictures of the night sky with friends in Alabama Hills, California, near the eastern Sierra Nevada, when he saw the light and started recording, thinking the flash was a meteor. "It was really strange to see something that bright," he said Thursday. "I thought
Good news: China claims it has discovered the world's largest hole. On Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV announced that the newly found "dragon's hole," a 984-foot (300-meter) cavern in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, is now the world's largest hole. With territorial claims by Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, and China, the South China Sea — rich in natural resources and crisscrossed by shipping routes — is one of the most militarized areas on the planet. According to Xinhua, the blue hole is called the "eye" by locals and lies within the disputed Paracel Islands, which is claimed by China and Taiwan and Vietnam. This would surpass the Dean's Blue Hole
Uber Technologies Inc. is expanding its road-mapping effort to Mexico, as part of a larger strategy to build up its map data for its ride-hailing service and to rely less on potential competitors like Google. Uber says the map imagery its specialized cars are collecting in Mexico will help run its current service by finding the best pick-up and drop-off spots for drivers and riders to meet, for example. But Uber also needs detailed maps -- preferably its own -- if it wants to continue growing its autonomous car network. The company is already testing self-driving cars on the roads in Pittsburgh, and started driving mapping cars in parts of the U.S. last year. A year ago, Uber hired former Google
For decades, Japanese fishermen have told stories about the existence of a dark, rare beaked whale that they called karasu — the "raven." But now, scientists say they have genetic proof to back up these tales. Long mistaken for its relative, the Baird's beaked whale, scientists say it represents an entirely new species. "There have been a lot of people out there surveying whales for a long time and never come across this in scientific research," Phillip Morin, research molecular geneticist at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, tells The Two-Way. "So it is a huge thing to discover this; it's kind of baffling that we haven't seen it before." The team's research was published Tuesday in
The chairman of the House Science Committee threatened further action Wednesday after the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking records about their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about man-made climate change. Texas GOP Rep. Lamar Smith said he was disappointed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey refused to comply with subpoenas he issued two weeks ago.
A majority of Americans are worried about scientific advances aimed at enhancing humans' natural abilities, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. In the survey, released today (July 26), researchers got people's opinions on three emerging medical technologies: gene editing to reduce a baby's risk of disease, brain chip implantations to make people smarter, and synthetic blood to improve athletic performance. The survey included a nationally representative sample of about 4,700 American adults.
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.
US military bases along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico will be increasingly vulnerable to floods and power-packed storms as the planet warms, researchers said Wednesday. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists spanned 18 military bases, and found that many risk losing land and strategic assets in the coming decades due to sea level rise. The analysis was based on two different projections of sea level rise and how it may affect US bases from Florida to Maine.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is being credited with helping to raise significant funds that have allowed researchers to identify a gene found to be one of the most common in people with the deadly disease that affects neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The Challenge became a sensation two summers ago and involved participants, including many athletes and celebrities, pouring ice water over their heads to help raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The effort raised more than $100 million in contributions for the ALS Association, which contributed $1 million to the Project MinE research project. "The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world," said Bernard Muller, an entrepreneur who suffers from the progressive disease and helped start the research project.
It's generally assumed that great apes aren't capable of controlling their voices, and that our ability to do so couldn't actually have originated from them. But a Durham University study has turned that notion on its head, with evidence gathered from an adolescent orangutan strongly indicating that the species is, in fact, able to learn new sounds. The research focused on a now 11 year-old orangutan, living at Indianapolis Zoo in Indiana. While being sure not to cause any major disruption to the animal's daily routine, the Durham team visited the great ape, named Rocky, in April and May 2012, and on several occasions since. While with Rocky, the researchers conducted a simple, but extremely
The Wall Street Journal reports that by changing the DNA make-up of tomatoes, researchers were able to target the gene responsible for pectate lyase, the enzyme at fault for softening your ruby red tomatoes by breaking down cell walls. After said enzyme was toyed with, the tomatoes showed no signs of wrinkling after two weeks.
With those words, scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus uncovered a marine mystery: a small purple orb tucked halfway under a rock off the coast of California. "None of the known species of California pleurobranch are purple," said Susan Poulton, a spokeswoman for the E/V Nautilus expeditions. It was found on July 18, during an E/V Nautilusexploration of Arguello Canyon, west of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
University of Washington biology professor Adam Summers no longer has to coax hospital staff to use their CT scanners so he can visualize the inner structures of stingray and other fish. Last fall, he installed a small computed tomography, or CT, scanner at the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island in Washington state and launched an ambitious project to scan and digitize all of more than 25,000 species in the world.
These questions affect parents and children of every race and ethnicity, and though the substance of individual conversations may differ, the underlying advice on how to talk to kids doesn't change, experts said: Meet them where they are, encourage openness and don't expect that a single conversation will cover the topic. "It's OK to make a mistake," in conversation with a child, said Kimberly Seals Allers, the founder of MochaManual.com, an online destination for parents of color. Black parents don't have the luxury of ignoring color, Allers told Live Science.
This will warm your heart.
Cooking oil and graphene, a recently discovered substance stronger than steel, might seem to have little in common, but some theorize both could be made from carbon dioxide emitted by coal- and gas-fired power plants. Teams from Canada, China, Finland, India, Scotland, Switzerland and the U.S. have submitted 47 proposals for the first round of a $20 million contest to put power-plant emissions to profitable use, NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE officials announced Wednesday.
British physics professor Brian Cox taught students at St. Paul's Way Trust School in London on Tuesday how to create fire with methane gas. The school is hosting a science summer school and invited the celebrity physicist, who says he hopes the project will bring in those from different backgrounds. "There is no shortage of enthusiasm for students and young people when you talk about science and engineering," Cox said.