Science

  • ABC News

    NASA Nears the End of Its Splashdown Tests for Mars Craft

    NASA has conducted the second to last splashdown test for its Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. Scientists at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday used a pendulum and explosives to fling a test capsule into a pool of water at about 25 mph. The 11-foot craft disappeared behind a bowl-shaped splash before bouncing buoyantly against safety netting. More than 500 instruments gauged aspects of the impact, including the level of strain on the carbon fiber heatshield and aluminum cabin. Crash test dummies were also inside to measure safety designs. Orion sailed through its first unmanned test flight in 2014, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Another unmanned

  • Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida
    ABC News

    Capybaras, Giant Rodents Native to South America, Could Become Invasive Species in Florida

    Capybaras, giant rodents that are native to South America, may be establishing themselves as an invasive species in Florida, according to Elizabeth Congdon, the only biologist in North America studying the animal. "Right now, they're considered exotics -- non-native animals that aren't supposed to be here," Congdon told ABC News today. Capybaras were first accidentally introduced to forests in northern Florida after five of them escaped a research facility in the early '90s, said Congdon, an assistant professor at the Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, who warned about the potential threat of the species at an animal behavior conference earlier this month.

  • Vox Sentences: We may have found a Plan(et) B
    Vox.com

    Vox Sentences: We may have found a Plan(et) B

    Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. Scientists from the European Southern Observatory and the "Pale Red Dot" project (I know, right?) announced Wednesday they've discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri that's within the right distance from its star to support life.

  • Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day
    International Business Times UK

    Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day

    Two big earthquakes struck Europe and Asia on the same day this week, killing hundreds and razing entire towns to the ground. Rescuers in central Italy are continuing to search for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings, after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Umbria region of the country in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The death toll has surpassed 240, officials have confirmed, with many more people missing. Hours later, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Myanmar, damaging historic buildings in the city of Bagan and killing at least one person. Both countries, Myanmar in particular, are prone to quakes as they are located on major fault lines. Although we know

  • 1st Look at World War II-Era Aircraft Carrier Sunk in the Pacific
    LiveScience.com

    1st Look at World War II-Era Aircraft Carrier Sunk in the Pacific

    More than 60 years after a World War II-era aircraft carrier sunk to the bottom of the sea, the word "Independence" could still be made out on its surface. By exploring the wreck with robotic subs, scientists are getting their first look at this decades-old ship, which was a target during atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the 1940s. The exploration is already revealing secrets: Scientists operating the underwater robot discovered a fighter plane within the sunken aircraft carrier that, according to records, should not have been there.

  • Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
    Associated Press

    Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples

    It was a time of conquest and conversions. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287.

  • Reuters

    Argentine soy growers fret seed royalties bill might favor Monsanto

    Argentine soy farmers fear they will get shortchanged under a proposal they say would favor U.S. agricultural company Monsanto Co by forcing them to pay royalties on seeds grown on their own farms using the company's genetically modified technology. Farmers in Argentina's Pampas grains belt say they should have to pay only once, or maybe twice, for seeds containing Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO technology. Monsanto says to plant seeds grown with that technology without paying royalties - something that the current law allows - amounts to copyright infringement.

  • ABC News

    Scientific Dig in Weird Wyoming Cave Yields Ice Age Insights

    Paleontologists digging at the bottom of a strange cave in northern Wyoming say they have uncovered a trove of animal bones from the last ice age this summer and have enough funding to head back at the same underground site next year to continue their search. Scientists digging in July and led by Des Moines University anatomy professor Julie Meachen excavated wolf, bison, lion, cheetah and wolverine bones from Natural Trap Cave. The only way into or out of Natural Trap Cave on the arid western slope of the Bighorn Mountains is a 15-foot-wide hole in the ground. The paleontologists and their research assistants have to rappel down into the cave and bring lighting equipment to illuminate it.

  • Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people
    Mashable

    Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people

    American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology "from like 700 BC." He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable. Attitudes are changing as people become more familiar with the idea of implants.

  • With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice
    Digital Trends

    With tiny hats, elephant seals help researchers study Antarctica’s melting ice

    Seals in tiny hats might conjure up images of the circus or Sea World, but, in Antarctica, elephant seals with hat-like sensors are helping scientists study melting ice. The project to study the temperature and salinity of Antarctica bottom water (AABW) is led by Dr. Guy Williams of the University of Tasmania, and is supported by an international team of researchers who hope to find clues into the immediate effects of climate change.

  • Italy quake struck notorious seismic hotspot
    AFP

    Italy quake struck notorious seismic hotspot

    The deadly earthquake that struck central Italy before dawn Wednesday occurred in a notorious seismic hotspot, and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists said. The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the quake occurred 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Norcia, measuring 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale and striking at a shallow depth of only 10 km (6.2 miles).

  • LiveScience.com

    How Do EpiPens Work?

    The price of EpiPens has increased more than 400 percent since 2007. People who need to keep them on hand — often because they may need the emergency drug in case they have a life-threatening allergic reaction — brought the price increase to light, and eventually it reached Congress: In a letter to Mylan, the company that makes EpiPens, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has now asked the company to explain its pricing. But how do EpiPens work?

  • What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests
    OneGreenPlanet

    What?! Washington State Plans to Kill Entire Pack of Wolves Because of Cattle Interests

    Cows have such a peculiar role in modern society. Millions of them are cruelly abused every year at the hands of the animal agriculture industry, but they are also some of the most protected animals. Cattle ranchers look after cows to make sure they are not attacked, and when another animal is seen impeding on their grazing land or injuring them, ranchers will reach out to their local governments to get rid of the “pests.” We’ve seen wild horses driven out of their native land to protect livestock and now, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving forward with plans to exterminate an entire pack of wolves in Washington due to recent attacks on livestock. Admittedly, this was not

  • Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller
    ABC News Videos

    Why Doctors Without Borders Refused to Negotiate for ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller

    The humanitarian group's USA executive director Jason Cone says they decided not to negotiate for the American hostage's freedom. Kayla was about Doctors Without Borders vehicle when she was captured by crisis in Syria.

  • Associated Press

    Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore

    Six Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as forest fires blanketed a swath of Southeast Asia in a smoky haze. Singapore's air quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires on Sumatra across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Borneo by weather satellites has increased in the past month though they are below levels last year when massive fires in Indonesia caused a regional crisis.

  • Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    By Mayank Bhardwaj NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

  • Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar
    Foreign Policy Magazine

    Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar

    There are many national security challenges facing the United States, but too often our focus is exclusively on threats from terrorism, geopolitics and cyberattacks. As the country confronts the arrival of the Zika virus and contemplates travel bans to Miami, it’s time to have an adult conversation about the threats posed by biology.

  • Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa
    Popular Mechanics

    Yearlong Mars Simulation Nears End on Mauna Loa

    Six scientists are close to wrapping up a year of near isolation in a Mars simulation on a Hawaii mountain. The scientists are housed in a dome on Mauna Loa and can go outside only in spacesuits, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, said this simulation is the second-longest of its kind after a mission that lasted 520 days in Russia.

  • A smudgy galaxy far, far away may be 99.99 percent dark matter
    The Christian Science Monitor

    A smudgy galaxy far, far away may be 99.99 percent dark matter

    Like many great science stories, it all began with a smudge. A group of astronomers at Yale University and the University of Toronto were peering through a telescope they had built from camera parts when they saw something that could change the universe. "We planned to study the outskirts of galaxies to see what exists around them, but by accident we saw all these little smudges," Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University told The Washington Post.  No, their scrappy, self-made Dragonfly Telephoto Array telescope wasn't defective. It had picked up on what could represent an entirely new class of massive objects: a galaxy 320 million light-years away that is 99.99 percent dark matter. To confirm their

  • Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking
    LiveScience.com

    Italy Earthquake: Complex Geology Drives Frequent Shaking

    Powerful earthquakes like the 6.2-magnitude temblor that rocked central Italy early this morning (Aug. 24) are surprisingly common in the region, geologists say. The shaking was caused by movement in the Tyrrhenian Basin, a seismically active area beneath the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the ground is actually spreading apart, said Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • LiveScience.com

    America's No. 1 Killer Is Changing

    Cancer has passed heart disease as the leading cause of death in nearly half of U.S. states, according to a new report. In 2014, cancer was the leading cause of death in 22 states, including many in the West and Northeast. In the rest of the 28 states, heart disease remained the leading cause of death in 2014.

  • Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up
    Mashable

    Protests to block North Dakota oil pipeline are heating up

    In the heart of North Dakota's prairie lands, tribal leaders and their allies are squaring off against a Texas pipeline builder and the federal government. Over a thousands protesters have gathered during the past two weeks in a grassy camp near the town of Cannon Ball to physically block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear the tribe's lawsuit, which claims a federal agency violated multiple statutes for protecting clean water and culturally significant sites by issuing permits to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline's builder.

  • Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016
    Singapore Business Review

    Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016

    Blame it on output declines in almost all clusters. Singapore’s total manufacturing performance in July 2016 slipped 3.6% largely due to falloffs in almost all of industrial clusters. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, output went down 4.

  • For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed
    Associated Press

    For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed

    A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao. Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    NEW DELHI  •  Monsanto Co. has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies. The company is also at loggerheads with India over how much it can charge for its genetically modified cotton seeds, costing it tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue every year. The unprecedented decision to pull the application,