The case against Steven Barnes in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl seemed circumstantial, at best. You can't convict somebody on similarities, perhaps or maybes,'" Barnes said. He spent the next 20 years in prison before DNA testing exonerated him, becoming one of hundreds of people convicted in whole or in part on forensic science that has come under fire during the past decade. Some of that science — analysis of bite marks, latent fingerprints, firearms identification, burn patterns in arson investigations, footwear patterns and tire treads — was once considered sound, but is now being denounced by some lawyers and scientists who say it has not been studied enough to prove its reliability and in some cases has led to wrongful convictions.
Solar glasses are a must for safe viewing of Monday's total solar eclipse, the first to span coast to U.S. coast in 99 years. And parents beware: Eye doctors urge strict adult supervision for eclipse watchers under 16 years old. There should be absolutely no peeking without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun, called totality. That's the only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection. When totality is ending, then it's time to put them back on. Totality means 100 percent of the sun is covered. That will occur only along a narrow strip stretching from Oregon, through the Midwestern plains, down to
The sight of torch-wielding, chanting white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, jarred the country over the weekend, a national distress that only deepened when a counter-protester died and 19 others were wounded in a car attack there on Saturday. An alleged white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged in that attack. White supremacy — the view that white people are racially superior — and neo-Nazism are nothing new, of course.
Civilian researchers say they have located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, the World War II heavy cruiser that played a critical role in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before being struck by Japanese torpedoes. The sinking of the Indianapolis remains the Navy's single worst loss at sea. The expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it located the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean, more than 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) below the surface, the U.S. Navy said in a news release Saturday.
JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri State Parks officials on Friday said they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses and viewers the agency sold across the state meet safety standards and are warning people not to use them when viewing Monday's eclipse. Renee Bungart, spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources, which oversees Missouri State Parks, said it's unclear how many of the PMS Promo Mart glasses and viewers were sold, but the agency purchased 25,000. Those who bought that type of eclipse eyewear from parks and historic sites can return them for a full refund. "Missouri State Parks apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause but we want to take all possible steps to make sure everyone
For many people, adding anything to a single malt whisky is close to sacrilege, but it's generally acknowledged that adding a drop or two of water to lesser blends enhances the flavor. The question is, why? At Sweden's Linnaeus University, researchers Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman have come up with an answer from a molecular perspective. When whisky is distilled, it has a strength of 70 percent alcohol per volume, but this is watered down to 40 percent to improve the flavor as well as protecting the drinker's stomach lining. To further improve the taste, many whisky drinkers will add a little more water before taking a sip. According to Karlsson and Friedman, why this works wasn't understood
Jeremy Hunt has taken on famous scientist Stephen Hawking, firing off tweets defending himself against the professor's earlier criticism. Mr Hunt has been mocked and questioned by social media users, who said he is "trying to school the world's most
You’ve been drawing the sun’s corona ever since you were in pre-K — and that’s probably the last time it made any sense. The sun is the 865,000-mile ball of gas that was the scribbly yellow circle in your drawing. The corona is the veil of luminous plasma streaming millions of miles into space, where you drew straight yellow rays.
As a researcher who works on fruit flies, I often get asked how to get them out of someone’s kitchen. This happens to fly researchers often enough that we sit around at fly conferences (these actually exist) and complain about getting asked this question. Meanwhile, we watch the same fruit flies buzz around our beers instead of discussing pithy and insightful questions about the research that we’re pursuing. But I get it: Fruit flies are annoying. So, fine, here’s how we get rid of them in my lab: We build a trap. It’s not perfect, but it’s okay. 1. Take a small jar (we use small canning jars) and pour in about three-quarters of an inch of cider vinegar. 2. Cap the jar with a funnel. You can
The effort, led by physics professor Arnd Pralle, PhD, of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, focused on a technique called “magneto-thermal stimulation.” It’s not exactly a simple process — it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field. When those magnetic inputs are applied, the particles heat up, causing the neurons to fire. Despite only being tested on mice, the research could have far-reaching implications in the realm of brain research. This groundbreaking research could very well be an important step towards that future.
On Monday, people in a seventy-mile-wide swath of the United States will witness one of nature’s great spectacles: the total solar eclipse. The event will attract swarms of eclipse chasers—or, as some of them prefer to be called, “umbraphiles,” derived from “umbra,” the technical term for the darkest part of the moon’s shadow. New York City will not be a prime destination; here, the moon will obscure only seventy-two per cent of the sun. But the city is distinguished nevertheless: three men currently claiming the record for the most total solar eclipses seen (thirty-three) are all New Yorkers. “I’m not out for record-setting. It’s just something that happens,” Glenn Schneider, one of the triumvirate,
An adult Asian carp found in a Chicago waterway near Lake Michigan this summer began its life far downstream and apparently got around a series of electric barriers intended to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes, officials said Friday. Autopsy results and a scientific analysis showed the silver carp, which was caught June 22, was a 4-year-old male that originated in the Illinois/Middle Mississippi watershed, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, a coalition of government agencies. It could have hatched anywhere along a roughly 200-mile (320-kilometer) stretch of the Illinois River before migrating northwest, said Charlie Wooley, the Midwest deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Immortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it's now the subject of serious investment — both intellectual and financial — by philosophers, scientists, and the Silicon Valley set. Several hundred people have already chosen to be "cryopreserved" in preference to simply dying, as they wait for science to catch up and give them a second shot at life. But if we treat death as a problem, what are the ethical implications of the highly speculative "solutions" being mooted? Of course, we don't currently have the means of achieving human immortality, nor is it clear that we ever will. But two hypothetical options have so far attracted the most interest and attention: rejuvenation
Eclipse mania is building and so is demand for the glasses that make it safe to view the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years. Complicating the rising demand from last-minute shoppers was a recent recall by Amazon that forced libraries and health centers around the country to recall glasses they gave away or sold. The ones still for sale on Amazon were going for steep prices Friday, around $11-$12 each.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. One picks up a discarded newspaper and chuckles derisively as she reads about the latest “alternative facts” peddled by Donald Trump. The others soon chip in with their thoughts on the U.S. president’s fondness for conspiracy theories.
Silver Logic Labs (SLL) is in the people business. Technically, it’s an AI startup, but what it really does is figure out what people want. At first glance they’ve simply found a better way to do focus-groups, but after talking to CEO Jerimiah Hamon we’ve learned there’s nothing simple about the work he’s doing. The majority of AI in the world is being taught to do boring stuff. The machines are learning to analyze data, and scrape websites. They’re being forced to to sew shirts and watch us sleep. Hamon and his team created an algorithm that analyzes the tiniest of human movements, using a camera, and determines what that person is feeling. Don’t worry if your mind isn’t blown right now – it
For the past six months, ABC News' "20/20" traveled the country tracking political violence and following extremists.
No. Crispr-Cas9 (no E), if you haven’t been paying attention, is a precise gene editing tool that’s taken the world by storm, promising everything from healthier, hangover-free wine to cures for genetic diseases. On Wednesday and Thursday, the University of California, Berkeley welcomed about 300 people—scientists, CEOs, farmers, regulators, conservationists, and interested citizens—to its campus to take a hard look at the wünderenzyme known as Cas9. You can bet it was the first Crispr conference to sandwich a Cargill executive between a septagenarian organic farmer and an environmental justice warrior. Serious conversations about who should get to do what with Crispr have been largely confined to ivory towers and federal agencies.
A bizarre-looking dinosaur discovered by a young boy in Chile may be the missing link showing how members of one major dinosaur lineage evolved into a completely new dinosaur group, a new study finds. Researchers in the United Kingdom say the species, dubbed Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, explains how some theropods, mostly meat-eating, bipedal dinosaurs, evolved into the herbivorous, long-necked ornithischians. Previously, it was unclear how the "ornithischian group just suddenly appeared and became this well-adapted herbivorous group," said the study's co-lead researcher, Matthew Baron, a doctoral student of paleontology at the University of Cambridge in England.
Wonkblog | Analysis You can pinpoint the exact moment this summer that eclipse maps jumped the shark. At 4:43 p.m. Aug. 1, the Boston Globe tweeted out a map overlaying the path of the eclipse on a map of the 2016 county-level election results. “The path of viewing spots for this month’s solar eclipse cuts overwhelmingly through places that voted for Trump,” the Globe noted. The Globe's map prompted a torrent of ridicule. Aside from geographic coincidence, the eclipse's path of totality is not at all related to the results of the 2016 election. As the article dutifully noted, Trump won 84 percent of the country's 3,100+ counties — draw any arbitrary line across the country and you are virtually
On a recent weekday, Vamsi Komarala guides me up to the rooftop of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, where he teaches physics. Fields of solar panels adorn the buildings. I swipe an index finger across one of the panels to see if weeks of monsoon rains have washed it clean. My finger comes back filthy with grit. Vamsi tells me the panels are washed twice a week, then explains the grime: "That is because in New Delhi, we have a lot of dust." Dust is just one factor. The capital city and much of northern India are routinely shrouded in man-made pollutants. In fact, Delhi vies with Beijing for the dirtiest air in the world. Many of India's 1.3 billion people — a fifth
Within Earth’s orbit, there are literally thousands of what are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), more than fourteen thousands of which are asteroids that periodically pass close to Earth. Since the 1980s, these objects have become a growing source of interest to astronomers, due to the threat they sometimes represent. But as ongoing studies and decades of tracking the larger asteroids has shown, they usually just pass Earth by. More importantly, it is only on very rare occasions (i.e. over the course of millions of years) that a larger asteroid will come close to colliding with Earth. For example, this September 1st, the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) known as 3122 Florence, will pass by Earth,
When he lights the burner, the pot is cold. It is ceramic, roughly the size of a small trash can, and essentially fused to the lump of metal inside it, tin blended with antimony and copper, maybe 100 pounds in total. The whole thing is mounted in a steel cart, next to another virtually identical pot, which is also full of cold metal. There is a lit burner under each. In about 30 minutes, those burners will melt that metal to liquid, and the pots will become too hot to stand next to comfortably. And then Alec Giaimio, the cart's owner, will pour that metal onto an engine's connecting rod. "I met an old-timer in this business," he says. "He'd been doing it since 1926. I needed a bearing job on
The solar eclipse set to take place on August 21st is going to be a sight to behold — provided you have the proper protection for your eyes and camera. Looking at the sun can cause permanent damage, but if you’re not careful, you can also destroy your camera. The employees from Dubuque, Iowa’s Every Photo Store decided to demonstrate what would happen if you try and and shoot the eclipse without a filter for your camera. They hooked up a DSLR body to a Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens, and set shutter to six seconds. In that time, the light began to melt the camera’s innards. The takeaway here is that if you’re going to try and get a good shot of the eclipse, use a solar filter. (Here’s some helpful
A scrappy white dwarf star flying through the Milky Way galaxy may have survived a supernova explosion and if it’s what scientists think, it would give them evidence to back up a new idea about what these massive space blasts look like. A study in the journal Science identified the little star, saying it “is low-mass, is moving quickly and has an unusual composition.” The authors are suggesting it could be debris left over from a type Iax (one-a-x) supernova, a small version of these explosions. Although they all involve stars blowing up, there are different kinds of supernovas.