LOS ANGELES – The famous human ancestor known as Lucy walked the Earth, but it was her tree climbing that might have led to her demise, a new study suggests. An analysis of her partial skeleton reveals breaks in her right arm, left shoulder, right ankle and left knee — injuries that researchers say resulted from falling from a high perch such as a tree. Lucy likely died quickly, said John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who published the findings Monday in the journal Nature. "I don't think she suffered," Kappelman said. But several other researchers, including Lucy's discoverer, disagree. They contend most of the cracks in Lucy's bones are well documented
Tasmanian devils are evolving genetic resistance to a contagious and deadly cancer that's been pushing the endangered species to the brink of extinction, an international team of scientists has found. Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a nearly 100 percent fatal cancer first detected 20 years ago, has wiped out an estimated 80 percent of the Australian marsupials, according to a news release from Washington State University. Because Tasmanian devils often display aggression by biting each other's faces, DFTD -- one of only three known transmissible cancers -- is easily spread among the animals, WSU said.
(CNN)A crew of intrepid astronauts have emerged after a year on Mars... kind of. Six scientists spent 365 days in a geodesic dome set in a Mars-like environment 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. The simulated habitat was located on the slopes of Mauna Loa, a volcano in Hawaii. The experiment, the longest of its type ever conducted, was designed to test crew cohesion and performance in isolation. It forms an important part of any real mission to Mars as journeys to the red planet will take upwards of six months, before any surface missions even begin, and astronauts will have to spend long periods of time together in a claustrophobic space. "The UH research going on up here is just super
While a scientific consensus has emerged around the reality of climate change, the argument continues online and even in the current U.S. campaign for president, where Republican nominee Donald Trump calls it a “total hoax.” Recently, a scientific study found that human-induced climate change has been going on longer than we think, all the way back to the first half of the 19th century. Even back then, before the mountains of data, analysis and climate models became overwhelming, we were already arguing about the changes in the climate. Research published last week in the journal Nature found that while few official weather records go back further than the 1880s, natural records observed in corals,
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found. Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to increase immunization rates, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama. In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients' parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination.
Dolores Seiler, who just turned 85 years old this June, is currently on the waiting list to take a journey to space. Seiler has signed up for her trip through World View Enterprises, a balloon-based space-tourism company that will start taking passengers to space in a capsule that is attached to a 40-million-cubic-foot helium balloon (approximately the size of an NFL football field). The company is still in the process of finalizing its system before it officially launches, which could be sometime in 2018, according to Andrew Antonio, director of marketing at World View.
Civil engineering is often called the oldest engineering discipline, as humans have been building roads, bridges, and water ducts for thousands of years. The profession is also expected to expand by 8 percent in the next 10 years, as increasing urbanization and an interest in renewable-energy create new projects for civil engineers. Engineering is the STEM sector where the struggle for female representation is the most pronounced: According to statistics compiled by the Society of Women Engineers, only 12 percent of engineers are female.
The incident, while rare, is not without precedent in other parts of the world, where lightning bolts have killed large numbers of cattle, elk and other animals that were clustered together during a thunderstorm. This area is home to about 2,000 reindeer at this time of the year, the agency said. Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.
They aren't saying it's alien, but they are saying it's "interesting." The SETI Institute — the private organization that looks for signals of extraterrestrial life — has announced that it is investigating reports of an unusual radio signal picked up by Russian astronomers. The signal was detected on a much wider bandwidth than the SETI Institute uses in its searches, and the strength of the received signal was "weak," SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak wrote in a blog post. It was unusual, both in its design and its "beam shape," he says. The signal might be coming from a solar system called HD 164595, some 94 light-years away from us, Shostak wrote. It seems to be coming from that direction,
An ancient tablet recently unearthed in Tuscany has revealed its first secret: the engraved name of a goddess linked to fertility. The 500-pound stone slab, or stele, was unearthed earlier this year at Poggio Colla, a sixth century B.C. site built by the Etruscans. The stele bears a long inscription in a language that has not been used for 2,500 years, project archaeologist Gregory Warden, a professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in April. Now, translation is underway and archaeologists have discovered that the tablet references the goddess Uni. [Photos: The Tomb of an Etruscan Prince] "We can at this point affirm that this discovery is one of the most
From The New York Times: A new, blue, whirling shape of fire, inspired by bourbon, could one day help clean up oil spills.. Watch the original video on Times Video: http://nyti.ms/2bTU9KO
Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation. For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged.
Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The soaring price of the EpiPen has garnered controversy recently, but there are alternatives to this well-known allergy treatment device. The EpiPen belongs to a class of medical devices known as epinephrine auto-injectors, which allow people to quickly inject a precise dose of the drug epinephrine. The devices are used to treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be triggered, in people who have the corresponding allergies, by foods, insect stings, medications and certain other substances.
A blue fire tornado sounds like it could be an alarming natural disaster, but this phenomenon could actually offer a way to burn fuel with reduced carbon emissions, a new study finds. A fire tornado, or fire whirl, can occur during urban and wildland fires, threatening life, property and the surrounding environment. Traditional, yellow fire whirls gain their color from radiating soot particles, according to study co-author Elaine Oran, a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland.
The undersea search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have missed the wreckage, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, leading the search, admitted Tuesday to The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast can also reveal the Dutch company providing one of the search vessels, Fugro, admitted as far back as June that there were gaps in sonar coverage of the ocean floor that needed further investigation. As a result, a search that has so far cost $180 million and that was expected to end this summer could now be extended into next year. This will be encouraging news for the families of the passengers and crew on the flight who feared that the search was being prematurely curtailed. The ATSB says that a
A powerful signal has been spotted coming from the vicinity of a sunlike star, and now astronomers are trying to figure out what it means. In May 2015, researchers using a radio telescope in Russia detected a candidate SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) signal that seems to originate from HD 164595, a star system that lies about 94 light-years from Earth, the website Centauri Dreams reported over the weekend. The astronomers have not yet published a study about the detection; they plan to discuss it next month at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to Centauri Dreams' Paul Gilster, who wrote that one of the team members forwarded him the IAC presentation.
"Without corroboration from an independent observatory, a putative signal from extraterrestrials doesn't have a lot of credibility," Vakoch says. Advanced civilization? Paul Gilster of the Tau Zero Foundation, which conducts interstellar research, said that if the signal was artificial, its strength suggested it would have to come from a civilization more advanced than our own. Such a civilization would likely be Type II on the Kardashev scale, an attempt by the Soviet astronomer of the same name to categorize various technological stages of civilizations. "The Kardashev scale is based basically on the energy that that civilization might be able to funnel for its own use," says Maccone. At present,
Sixty percent of the groundwater in a river basin supporting more than 750 million people in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh is not drinkable or usable for irrigation, researchers said Monday. The biggest threat to groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, named after the Indus and Ganges rivers, is not depletion but contamination, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Up to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet), some 23 percent of the groundwater stored in the basin is too salty, and about 37 percent "is affected by arsenic at toxic concentrations," they said.
In Africa this week? The final solar eclipse of 2016 graces the continent on Thursday, September 1st. This eclipse is annular only, as the diminutive Moon fails to fully cover the disk of the Sun. The 99.7 kilometer wide path crosses the African countries of Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. The antumbra (the ‘ring of fire path of the shadow annulus as viewed from Earth) touches down in the southern Atlantic at 7:20 Universal Time (UT) on September 1st, before racing across Africa and departing our fair planet over the Indian Ocean over four hours later at 10:55 UT. Partial phases for the eclipse will be visible across the African
Before society collapses, it slows down. A team of researchers examined the archaeological record that Neolithic European — that is, between 3,000 and 10,000 years — societies left in the years before several different collapses. Sean Downey, a University of Maryland anthropologist and a researcher on the study, said that to understand what it means for a society to slow down, you should imagine a rainforest.
People's reactions to getting stung by a bee or wasp can range from a feeling bit of pain to a suffering a deadly allergy reaction — and now a recent report of one man's case highlights a particularly rare complication of a sting: having a stroke. A stroke occurs when a part of a person's brain is starved of blood, typically because of a blood clot or a leaky blood vessel. Dr. Michael DeGeorgia, who treated the man, told Live Science that he had never before seen a case where a stroke was caused by a wasp sting.
In the wake of the news that former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was caught (once again) sexting with a woman who is not his wife, the country let out a collective sigh. But Weiner's case is unusual, because his behavior looks more like a sexual compulsion or addiction, said Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington and co-author of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples," (Harmony, 2013). "It's about this kind of thrill that he gets showing his body to some anonymous woman, and you call it an addiction or a compulsion when they can't stop it even in the face of catastrophic consequences," Schwartz told Live Science.