Science

  • Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump
    AFP

    Fate of North Dakota pipeline may fall to Trump

    Native Americans and their supporters expressed cautious optimism Monday after the US Army nixed plans for a controversial oil pipeline crossing in North Dakota, with many fearing their victory could be short lived. While the decision marks a win for the months-long protest movement that stood its ground even as the freezing winter set in, it could be undone when Donald Trump moves into the White House in January if his administration chooses to grant the pipeline the final permit it needs. "There are still some remaining questions," said Dallas Goldtooth, one of the leaders of the protest camp in the North Dakota plains, where thousands have camped to block the planned route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Associated Press

    Study: Warming to trigger 3 times as many downpours in US

    Extreme downpours — like those that flooded Louisiana, Houston and West Virginia earlier this year — will happen nearly three times as often in the United States by the end of the century, and six times more frequently in parts of the Mississippi Delta, according to a new study. Scientists have long pointed out that warmer air holds more moisture, so man-made climate change will increase the frequency of extreme downpours. Study lead author Andreas Prein, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research , said the entire U.S. will average a 180 percent increase in these types of downpours by 2100.

  • Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on
    AFP

    Identifying Pearl Harbor's dead, 75 years on

    Seventy-five years after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans, a group of forensic scientists in Hawaii is still working to identify the remains of the dead. A jumble of skulls, bones and teeth deemed unidentifiable in the years following the devastating attack are now being linked to missing sailors and Marines, thanks to advances in DNA testing. The Pentagon last year ordered the exhumation of remains belonging to 388 Americans who were killed aboard the USS Oklahoma, an enormous battleship that took multiple torpedo hits and keeled over in her Pearl Harbor berth, trapping hundreds of men inside.

  • Malaria ravaged the ancient Roman Empire 2,000 years ago
    International Business Times UK

    Malaria ravaged the ancient Roman Empire 2,000 years ago

    Malaria was already devastating the Roman Empire, 2,000 years ago, researchers have discovered. The disease caused widespread deaths among communities spread out across the Italian peninsula just like it does today in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is one of the world's most chronic infectious diseases. Although its incidence has decreased by 37% since 2000, 214 million people still remain infected globally. The life-threatening illness is caused by plasmodium parasites transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. While historical written sources allude to fevers resembling malaria killing people in the ancient Greece and Roman Empires, it was not clear whether

  • Design Students Work With NASA on Mars Suit
    Associated Press Videos

    Design Students Work With NASA on Mars Suit

    When scientists are trying to figure out how to live in near isolation in a dome to simulate a Mars mission, the last thing they need is an ill-fitting space suit. The Rhode Island School of Design has come up with a new, adjustable suit. (Dec. 6)

  • AP PHOTOS: Top feature photos of 2016 from Associated Press
    Washington Post

    AP PHOTOS: Top feature photos of 2016 from Associated Press

    Associated Press photographers captured sunrises, sunsets and magical moments in between in a selection of 2016’s top feature photos. Some of the stunning images include a launch of a Soyuz spacecraft bringing a new group of astronauts to the International Space Station and another of a Soyuz descending through the clouds with a crew on board making the return trip home. Two of the world’s most famous landmarks are included as the AP shot a surreal image of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer silhouetted by the rising sun in July ahead of the 2016 Olympics. A highlight of 2016’s feature photos may be a picture that captures the delight of a young girl as she watches an owl feed at a London museum in March.

  • Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin to stay in New Zealand until lungs clear
    Reuters

    Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin to stay in New Zealand until lungs clear

    Former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has been advised by doctors to stay in New Zealand until fluid from his lungs clears, days after he was evacuated from the South Pole as his condition worsened. The 86-year-old adventurer who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday because of congestion in his lungs. "I am being very well looked after in Christchurch.

  • Adobrable bush baby inspires super-jumping robot
    Mashable

    Adobrable bush baby inspires super-jumping robot

    Salto is a monopedal and somewhat skeletal 10.2-inch-tall robot that can jump higher and more quickly than most other robots in the world today. A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed the new hopping bot on Tuesday in a study published this week in the new journal Science Robotics. Instead of taking just one big leap, Salto bounces off a wall with impressive force to complete an even bigger jump, much as a parkour expert might bound from a ledge to a wall and then fly through the air to his next perch.

  • It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head
    Hello Giggles

    It’s normal to think most people agree with you, but it might just be in your head

    Your family also loves anchovy pizza—growing up, that’s all you ever ordered. You want to celebrate your team’s recent accomplishments, so you order something they’ll surely love: anchovy pizza. The false-consensus effect is a cognitive bias that was coined by researcher Lee Ross and his colleagues in 1976.

  • In 1985, a Freak Accident Caused a Russian Nuclear Submarine to Explode (And the Radiation Still Lingers)
    The National Interest

    In 1985, a Freak Accident Caused a Russian Nuclear Submarine to Explode (And the Radiation Still Lingers)

    In 1985, a Soviet submarine undergoing a delicate refueling procedure experienced a freak accident that killed ten naval personnel. The fuel involved was not diesel, but nuclear, and the resulting environmental disaster contaminated the area with dangerous, lasting radiation. The incident, which remained secret until after the demise of the USSR itself, was one of many nuclear accidents the Soviet Navy experienced during the Cold War. The Soviet Union’s nuclear war planners had a difficult time targeting the United States. While the United States virtually encircled the enormous socialist country with nuclear missiles in countries such as Turkey and Japan, the Western Hemisphere offered no refuge

  • Bear hunt resumes, firearms only, after upright bear's death
    Associated Press

    Bear hunt resumes, firearms only, after upright bear's death

    Hunters have headed out across parts of the state for the second half of this year's bear hunt following the apparent death of a bear that walked upright like a human. Hunters killed 562 bears during October's six-day hunt, which was limited to bows and arrows and muzzle-loading guns, and 23 percent of them were previously tagged bears. New Jersey approved resuming the bear hunt in 2003 after more than 30 years.

  • Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey
    AFP

    Asian countries dominate, science teaching criticised in survey

    Asian countries dominated the top places in a key survey released Tuesday of high-school skills, but the report criticised science teaching in many countries. The PISA survey of 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies found that the quality of science lessons was more important than equipment or even staffing levels. Singapore came top of the table for its teaching of science, reading and mathematics.

  • Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris
    AFP

    Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris

    Authorities in Russia's Siberian region of Tuva on Monday were examining several pieces of the Progress cargo spaceship found after it crashed last week having failed to reach orbit. Two pieces, including a large spherical object, were found by herders over the weekend, while another was discovered in the courtyard of a residential house on Monday, said the region's head Sholban Karaa-ool, warning people not to touch any metal debris. Regional sanitation officials "inspected the spot where two pieces of the spacecraft were found in the Ulug-Khem district, on the side of the mountain and near a yurt," Kara-ool said on his official website.

  • Flying Robotic Ambulance Completes First Solo Test Flight
    LiveScience.com

    Flying Robotic Ambulance Completes First Solo Test Flight

    Completing such missions in rough terrain or combat zones can be tricky, with helicopters currently offering the best transportation option in most cases. Earlier this month, Israeli company Urban Aeronautics completed a test flight for a robotic flying vehicle that could one day go where helicopters can't. On Nov. 14, the company flew its robotic flyer, dubbed the Cormorant, on the craft's first solo flight over real terrain.

  • Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms
    International Business Times

    Musk And Google Open Their AI Platforms

    Both Google and OpenAI announced plans to open-source their deep learning code Monday. Elon Musk’s OpenAI released Universe, a software platform for measuring and training an AI’s general intelligence across games, websites and other applications. DeepMind may have defeated a world champion at the difficult game Go, but to advance its learning further, Alphabet says that AI agents require more detailed environments to help with AI research.

  • ABC News

    Plans to Restore NASA Mission Control Room Remain in Limbo

    Plans to restore the NASA mission control room that served as the nerve center for the Apollo missions, when man first reached the moon, have been discussed for more than 20 years, but its restoration and preservation remain in limbo with no set date for work to begin. Officials at Johnson Space Center in Houston say the restoration of Mission Operation Control Room 2 is a priority, but note that NASA has other priorities, too — including the space flights managed in the large, active building where the control room is located. The room was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and retired seven years later. The Houston Chronicle ( http://bit.ly/2g87794 ) reports that in the room that

  • The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed
    Mashable

    The first photo from a new Earth-gazing satellite is insanely detailed

    A brand new satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth's surface has just opened its eyes. The details in the new photo are impressive, especially considering that the image was taken from 617 kilometers, or about 383 miles, above the planet.

  • Driving home from night shift may be safer with light therapy
    Fox News

    Driving home from night shift may be safer with light therapy

    Exhausted shift workers may be safer driving home at night when they're exposed to bright light before they hit the road, a small study suggests. To test the effect of light therapy on driving, researchers did a series of three experiments with 19 adults. In two scenarios, participants spent a night being sleep-deprived in a lab and then spent 45 minutes in dim or bright light before a driving test. For a third test, people got a good nights' sleep at home and then went to the lab for 45 minutes of bright light exposure before a driving test. More on this... After sleep deprivation in the lab, five people exposed to dim light therapy got in car accidents during the driving simulations. None of

  • Scientists Battle In Court Over Lucrative Patents For Gene-Editing Tool
    NPR.org

    Scientists Battle In Court Over Lucrative Patents For Gene-Editing Tool

    The high-stakes fight over who invented a technology that could revolutionize medicine and agriculture heads to a courtroom Tuesday. A gene-editing technology called CRISPR-cas9 could be worth billions of dollars. But it's not clear who owns the idea. U.S. patent judges will hear oral arguments to help untangle this issue, which has far more at stake than your garden-variety patent dispute. "This is arguably the biggest biotechnology breakthrough in the past 30 or 40 years, and controlling who owns the foundational intellectual property behind that is consequentially pretty important," says Jacob Sherkow, a professor at the New York Law College. The CRISPR-cas9 technology allows scientists to

  • Associated Press

    Australia considers charging power generators for pollution

    Australia will consider making electrical power companies pay for greenhouse gas pollution they create, three years after the government scrapped the national carbon tax, a Cabinet minister said Monday. The conservative government rejected all polluter-pays options in 2014 when it repealed Australia's 3-year-old carbon tax levied against the nation's biggest industrial polluters.

  • Yes, Your Office’s Open Floor Plan Is Ruining Your Productivity
    Real Simple

    Yes, Your Office’s Open Floor Plan Is Ruining Your Productivity

    If you’ve had trouble concentrating in an open floor-plan office, you’re not alone. Now, at least you’ve got science on your side: A new study suggests that overheard work conversations can decrease productivity—and increase annoyance—of other employees within earshot, more so than random and meaningless background buzz. Open office plans are becoming increasingly common in workplaces, allowing companies to optimize space and, theoretically, encourage dialogue and collaboration among employees.

  • Indonesia expands protection for peatlands
    AFP

    Indonesia expands protection for peatlands

    Indonesia has extended legal protection for its wetlands and peat bogs by expanding a ban on the conversion of these carbon-rich swamps into plantations. The move, if properly enforced, could drastically reduce Indonesia's sizeable carbon footprint and prevent a repeat of the annual forest fires that plague the region, conservationists say. A moratorium on new conversions of certain peatland areas has been in place since 2011 in Indonesia.

  • Stolen Mummy Hand Makes Its Way Home
    LiveScience.com

    Stolen Mummy Hand Makes Its Way Home

    In addition to the eighth-century-B.C. mummy hand, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, also returned intricately painted ancient sarcophagi in a ceremony at the Egyptian embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday (Dec. 1). "While we recognize that cultural property, art and antiquities are assigned a dollar value in the marketplace, the cultural and symbolic worth of these Egyptian treasures far surpasses any monetary value to the people of Egypt," ICE Director Sarah Saldaña said during her remarks. ICE launched "Operation Mummy's Curse" in 2009 to bust a network of antiquities smugglers bringing illicit artifacts from other countries into the United States.

  • Bloomberg

    Yuri Milner on the Breakthrough Prize, Space Exploration

    DST Global founder Yuri Milner joins Bloomberg's Emily Chang from the fifth annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Silicon Valley. More from Bloomberg.comTrump Slams Boeing Air Force One With