Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record Monday for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump. The International Space Station's commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American. "This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight," Trump said. His daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office. Whitson said it's "a huge honor" to break such a record. "It's an exciting time" as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s, included in new legislation signed by Trump last month.
Rush Holt speaks at the March for Science in Washington on Saturday. Rush Holt Jr., a former congressman who serves as the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, spoke at the March for Science’s flagship event in Washington over the weekend. Holt, who earned MA and PhD degrees in physics at New York University, represented New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District as a Democrat from 1999 until 2015 when he took the helm of his current group, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society.
When we think of “food waste,” we tend to think of things like throwing out bagged salad we accidentally let expire, tossing leftovers we brought home that we never ate, or disposing of an untouched wedding buffet because the bride left the groom at the alter after discovering he had a secret second family living in Sao Paulo. According to the University of Granada, scientists from the Spanish college, together with Mexican researchers, have figured out a way to turn leftover citrus peels from fruits like oranges and grapefruits into a new absorbent material that’s able to clean wastewater by filtering out heavy metals and organic pollutants. As Modern Farmer points out, peels can be an especially pesky problem for companies who make products like orange juice and orange concentrate that then have to deal with this waste on an industrial scale.
The UN's environment chief is confident that the United States will not pull out of the Paris climate deal and expects a decision from Washington next month. Erik Solheim told AFP in an interview on Monday that even if the United States withdraws, China and the European Union will step in and take the lead to implement the global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history. Crews at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards began taking down the 600-year-old tree that was declared dead after it began showing rot and weakness during the last couple of years.
Languages are constantly evolving, and many have come and gone during the course of human history. “The revered Icelandic language, seen by many as a source of identity and pride, is being undermined by the widespread use of English, both for mass tourism and in the voice-controlled artificial intelligence devices coming into vogue,” the AP said. Iceland is in danger of losing its language because robots cannot speak the island's tongue.
When Sheryl Sandberg’s husband died unexpectedly two years ago, she was devastated. In her new book Option B, coauthored with organizational psychologist Adam Grant, Sandberg recounts her process of discovering resilience in the face of loss and upheaval. The story of Sandberg—Facebook’s chief operating officer, a mother of two, and the author of Lean In—might seem like an outlier. According to the prevailing cultural narrative, change is incredibly hard, whether it involves recovering from the death of a loved one, getting over a breakup, quitting an unhealthy lifestyle, or otherwise turning your life around. But research suggests that we are actually much more adaptable than we give ourselves
France on Monday opened a judicial enquiry into allegations carmaking giant PSA cheated on diesel pollution tests in the latest twist in a huge emissions scandal which hit the industry in 2015. A judicial source told AFP the Paris prosecutor on April 7 opened an investigation into claims that PSA might have rigged controls which could "render its merchandise dangerous for human or animal health". Fraud investigators have levelled similar allegations at PSA's French rival Renault, part government-owned and accused of cheating on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines for over 25 years with the knowledge of top management.
In South America, there are ants capable of farming their own food that are known in the scientific community as Sericomyrmex, or “silky ants.” Researchers from the Smithsonian recently discovered three new species of these fungus-eating insects, which differ from other Sericomyrmex because the female ants are covered in what Phys.org describes as a “white, crystal-like layer” with an as-of-yet unknown function. The scientists from the Smithsonian’s Ant Lab who discovered these soft and mysterious new critters, Ana Ješovnik and Ted R. Schultz, have dubbed one of the species Sericomyrmex radioheadi.
After more than three decades of experimentation, Chinese scientists claim they have made a breakthrough in the country’s space breeding program: Mango seeds sent on a 33-day trip aboard China’s Shenzhou-11 spacecraft reportedly spawned cells that researchers have been able to grow into new tissues, according to China Daily. “We have bred over 1,000 jars of mango seeds after they returned from Shenzhou-11,” Peng Longrong, head of China’s Space Mango Breeding Program, told CCTV.
Trace Gallagher reports from Los Angeles
Many scientific discoveries can be attributed to a happy accident—the discovery of penicillin thanks to moldy petri dishes, for instance. Might our mounting plastic crisis be solved similarly? One scientist and amateur beekeper in Spain has discovered that the larvae of wax moths, which live on beeswax and thus frustrate bees and their keepers, appear to have quite the appetite for plastic, not to mention the highly unusual ability to digest it, reports the Guardian. As the scientist explains in the journal Current Biology, the grubs that she removed from one of her hives and then tossed in a plastic bag chewed their way out in minutes. These critters are often bred as fish bait, and the Times
Huge swaths of Antarctica are awash in draining meltwater during the summer months, the first-ever continent-wide survey of meltwater shows. Although past studies revealed that portions of Antarctica's Western Peninsula were melting at an alarming rate, most scientists believed the rest of the continent did not face extensive melting during Antarctica's ephemeral summer months. "This is not in the future — this is widespread now, and has been for decades," lead author Jonathan Kingslake, a glaciologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a statement.
It’s spring, and we all know what that means: UFO sightings across the country are about to spike. Written by two UFO experts—one a former aerospace analyst and the other a former librarian at the National Academy of Sciences and NASA—the new UFO Sightings Desk Reference compiles 14 years of data culled from the National UFO Reporting Center and the Mutual UFO Network, and analyzes it into more than 370 pages of charts, tables, graphs, and analysis. The resource is the first of its kind and unveils all sorts of interesting trends about close encounters in the U.S., drilling down into timing, geographical location, county—and even shape of unidentified flying objects reported. Los Angeles County alone reported about 3,200 sightings, much more than many other entire states.
Around 1450 CE, the Incas attacked so fast that many of the Colla people of the hill fort of Ayawiri in Peru didn't have time to take their valuables with them as they abandoned their homes. Putting a number on how quickly people abandoned settlements
In 1783, while waiting to hear that the fighting part of the American Revolution was over, he took time to team up with another science aficionado, a not-altogether successful engineer named Thomas Paine, to investigate the phenomena caused by swamp gas in Virginia. Talking through a thick mist thickening swiftly into a hard rain, and talking from a stage beneath the obelisk dedicated to that one famous polymath out of an age famous for producing them, Bill Nye took it upon himself to remind the people who had gathered on Saturday to March For Science, that they were descended in every important way from men of science. The Framers of our Constitution, which has become a model for constitutions of governments everywhere, included Article I, Section 8... Its intent was to motivate innovators and drive the economy by means of just laws.
The psychedelic clouds in Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" have alternatively been interpreted as a metaphor for mental anguish or a literal depiction of volcanic fallout. On Monday, scientists hypothesised that the Norwegian painter's inspiration may in fact have been rare clouds which form in cold places at high altitude. The first version of "The Scream" was released in 1893.
A federal court on Tuesday removed an obstacle to the U.S. government's plan to release more endangered wolves in New Mexico over the state's objections, but it was not clear whether additional animals would be reintroduced under the Trump administration. The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a temporary order issued by a lower court that stopped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from releasing more Mexican gray wolves after New Mexico refused to agree to the plan. The state Game and Fish Department is disappointed, but it will keep pursuing the case in federal court in New Mexico, where it was originally filed, spokesman Lance Cherry said.
Innovations | Perspective It is a warm autumn morning, and I am walking through downtown Mountain View, Calif., when I see it. A small vehicle that looks like a cross between a golf cart and a Jetson-esque, bubble-topped spaceship glides to a stop at an intersection. Someone is sitting in the passenger seat, but no one seems to be sitting in the driver seat. How odd, I think. And then I realize I am looking at a Google car. The technology giant is headquartered in Mountain View, and the company is road-testing its diminutive autonomous cars there. This is my first encounter with a fully autonomous vehicle on a public road in an unstructured setting. The Google car waits patiently as a pedestrian
Mosquitoes choose their prey — you, perhaps — based on a bunch of factors. But there's good news: Some things that might make you attractive to them can actually be changed. Scientific research has found evidence supporting several factors that encourage
The human brain evolved to have two halves — and a new review of previous research suggests that this dual design may confer special benefits. Scientists have long known that the differnt halves of human brains perform different functions. For example, the left half — or left hemisphere — is generally responsible for language and speech, whereas the right one generally handles emotions and facial recognition . (This division of functions is real, and is separate from the popular, but wrong , notion that people who are logical or analytical are "left brained" while those who are creative or artistic are "right brained.") In the new review , published today (April 19) in the journal Neuron, researchers
Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken environmentalist and former New York City mayor, had some harsh words for carbon capture and storage, the unproven technology that proponents say will turn fossil fuels into "clean" energy sources. "Carbon capture is total bullshit" and "a figment of the imagination," Bloomberg said on Monday, addressing a crowd at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance summit in New York. Carbon capture involves taking the emissions from coal and natural gas-burning power plants and industrial facilities, then burying the carbon deep underground or repurposing it for fertilizers and chemicals.
Archerfish launch well-aimed water jets to stun their insect prey — but that's not the only trick in their hunting arsenal. Recently, scientists captured high-speed video of the leaping fish, documenting the fin and tail techniques that propel the fish upward. Analysis of the archerfish's body movements offered insights into how they could jump so high — more than twice their own body length — to reach their prey.
ESA’s Sentinel-1 satellite has been capturing radar data of the massive crack in the Larsen-C ice shelf. When it calves,“ it will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded,” according to the European Space Agency.
Amid the highly Instagrammable sludge of a million Starbucks Unicorn Frappucinos, one true champion has emerged: a one-horned creature that was recently found in Iceland. Farmers at the Hraunkot farm in southern Iceland spotted a ram with one horn in the mountains, the Iceland Monitor reported Monday, and he has been named Einhyrningur, which translates to "unicorn." "The shepherds saw him through binoculars and had no idea what this thing was," his owner, Erla Þórey Ólafsdóttir, told the Monitor. "Thought at first it was a billy goat with this high horn. Then when they got closer they saw it to be a sheep, with such a peculiar horn. Both horns grow together like one and split at the end."