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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
In the Sonoran Desert, a body laid gently on its side, its arms crossed, its knees bent toward its chest, tells the story of someone who was loved and respected, whose community mourned her once she was gone. The University of Arizona bioarchaeologist studies “atypical” burials — bodies tossed haphazardly into graves headfirst, their bones broken, their limbs splayed. In a new study in the journal Current Anthropology, Watson and doctoral student Danielle Phelps argue that these burials are a sign of the violent circumstances surrounding deaths that happened thousands of years ago. “These people were buried very differently than the rest of the community, and we're trying to understand why that is,” Watson said in a news release.
A subversive influx of mild, dense salt water is undermining the vast ice shelves of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and threatening to destabilize the entire region, thereby raising sea levels worldwide by at least four, and possibly as much as 15 feet.
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. Maps have always been a way that we were able to conceptualize the topography of our universe, and now the use of GIS has given us more insight into the inequality embedded in our country than ever before. 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)
Children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience disruptions in the structure of the neural networks inside their brains, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology. The findings could help in the development of treatments for the disorder, researchers said. PTSD is a mental health problem that occurs in the wake of one or more traumatic experiences. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PTSD, as the multiple neurochemical and hormonal effects associated with childhood trauma can lead to lasting changes in brain structure and function. Brain imaging with MRI is a promising tool for identifying vulnerable patients and allowing interventions to
Now that General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt has moved to Boston, he doesn’t want anyone else to leave. Speaking Tuesday night at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Joint Visiting Committee Symposium, which brings together and educates the hospital’s donors and community ambassadors, Immelt said he moved his company to Boston to be immersed in "a sea of ideas." Now he wants to make sure the people behind Boston’s health care ecosystem aren’t leaving. “One of our hypotheses in moving here was … this was kind of a wasted ecosystem — if you look at Silicon valley, Sand Hill Road, everything around Stanford. There’s no reason all of that couldn't be, in some shape or form, here,” Immelt said. “I think
Government support and lower costs will power stronger-than-expected global growth in renewable energy over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday. After a record 2015, global renewable electricity capacity will grow by 825 gigawatts by 2021, a massive 42-percent rise, the IEA said. The IEA has been criticised in some quarters for being over-cautious about renewables.
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
The genetic codes of people living in a region of the Pacific called Melanesia have given researchers a clue: their DNA suggests the presence of an extinct hominid ancestor. On Oct. 20, Ryan Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, presented findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics that took a deep dive into the genes of the people of Melanesia, according to Science News. Members of the population, which hails from the South Pacific, and encompasses Papua New Guinea and its surrounding islands, carry genetic evidence that does not come from “typical” Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestry. Instead, it comes
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.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — 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
SALISBURY, Md. — Frank Turano stalks among clumps of leafy sugar beet plants in a field about the size of a tennis court. He is on the hunt for flaws and having an easy time of it. He presses his fingertips into a mushy beet half-buried in the mud and suffering from root rot. A few paces away, he folds open a leaf on a stunted specimen to reveal a plague of dark spots, a tell-tale sign of a fungus called cercospora. "As a breeder, I like that," Turano says. "That's our competition." The beet plants bred by his company, meanwhile, appear to be largely free of disease. And they're producing tubers up to twice the size of the commercial varieties growing in the same rows. Turano, the head scientist
The problem with providing a “rough, first-draft of history” is that so few people ever see the later drafts. And so it goes with Gaétan Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant who died in 1984 and soon thereafter was identified by the media as “Patient Zero” in the North American HIV/AIDS epidemic. Journalist Randy Shilts cast Dugas as such in his 1987 book, And the Band Played On; although other reports had avoided the mischaracterization, the moniker stuck. Scientists have returned to this episode in a rigorous new Nature paper that traces the actual origin of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. back to the early 1970s. About 35 million people have died from AIDS-related causes since the disease
Post written byVincent Ialenti and Annie Tomlinson The authors are National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellows and PhD students at Cornell University. Nuclear technologies have long evoked grand images—from billowing mushroom clouds to massive concrete cooling towers looming above nuclear power plants. This bigness has been engrained in our very language. A person can, for example, take the “nuclear option” – the most extreme course of action – when making a difficult decision. In anger, a person might “go nuclear,” exploding into rage. In many ways, nuclear technologies earned their reputations for their huge scale. Since the 1950s, the size of nuclear power reactors has grown from
More corals are dying and others are succumbing to disease and predators after the worst-ever bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, scientists said Wednesday. A swathe of corals bleached in the northern third of the 2,300-kilometre (1,429-mile) long biodiverse site off the Queensland state coast died after an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year as sea temperatures rose. "In March, we measured a lot of heavily bleached branching corals that were still alive, but we didn't see many survivors this week," Andrew Hoey of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said in a statement.
This Halloween weekend’s top astronomical event features something that you won’t see in the sky. What’s all of the hoopla about? Well, simply put, the Moon reaches New phase this weekend on October 30th at 17:38 Universal Time (UT), marking the start of lunation 1161. This is the second New Moon for the month, as the first fell on October 1st, just 11 minutes into the month as reckoned in Universal Time. Now, this isn’t at all rare or unusual; the synodic period of the Moon (that is, the time it takes to return to a similar phase, such as New back to New) is 29.5 days long, a period that shoehorns well in to a 31 day month like October, or occasionally, a 30 day month. More Fun With Calendars
MOSUL, Iraq, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Sulfur dioxide is emanating from a fire at a mine in northern Iraq. As new satellite images show, the noxious gas is diffusing across the region's lower atmosphere. The fire ignited last week at a sulfur extraction and processing facility near Mosul, Iraq. Since then, a plume of sulfur dioxide has grown in size. An image captured by NASA's Aqua satellite shows wind pushing the plume toward the southeast. The plume is gray-white in color as a result of the abundance of reflective sulfate aerosols. Large releases of sulfate aerosols can have a local cooling effect, because they reflect sunlight. The phenomenon can happen on a larger scale in the wake of significant
There are more than 30 million research papers out there, and more than 3,000 papers are published every day. Put simply, you haven’t a chance in hell to read all of them. So what’s a poor researcher to do when set a challenge in a brand new field of research? Once the wave of blind panic and urge to drink copious amounts of gin has dissipated, you reach for a technology solution. Iris believes it has just the thing. The company launched a public beta to show off its technology this week. “We’re of course really excited with the first results,” says Anita Schjøll Brede, the company’s CEO. “But to be honest we’re running a marathon here. Our ultimate goal is an AI Scientist and we’re not done
Assuming you don’t get caught, taking the first step toward dishonesty can cause you to be more and more dishonest when similar opportunities present themselves in the future. In an experiment we carried out with colleagues Stephanie Lazzaro and Dan Ariely—published in Nature Neuroscience—we gave 80 people the opportunity to lie again and again on a financial task in order to gain money at another person’s expense. This escalation of dishonesty was observed only when participants lied for their own benefit, not when they did so solely for the benefit of others. Outside the laboratory, there are many reasons for why dishonesty may escalate—incentives may become larger or past lies might need to be covered up.
In a land where centaurs thunder around enchanted forests, giant deer have magic trees growing out their heads and the preferred mode of travel involves hopping on the back of an undead flying horse, it is surprising (and unfortunate) that they have still not invented David Attenborough. Deprived of his dulcet tones, the world of Harry Potter got Newt Scamander. A nervous, twitchy fellow who unleashes chaos upon New York after accidentally releasing a zoo’s worth of magical creatures out of his suitcase. In honour of this travesty, we’ve rounded up 17 of the most fantastic beasts we could find from the Harry Potter books, its movies, and the texts of Newt Scamander himself. Check them out below