Mexico's government has launched drones to back last-ditch efforts to prevent illegal fishing activities that have led to the near extinction of the vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise. The navy and the environment ministry on Thursday unveiled three Arcturus T-20 unmanned aerial vehicles, armed with high-resolution cameras to police the upper Gulf of California day and night. It is the latest step taken by the government to save the vaquita, a species found only in a small area of Mexico's northwest gulf.
Right now, miles above your head, there are fleets of robotic, weaponized satellites poised to do battle as the world’s superpowers await the opening salvo in a very real cosmic chess match. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has enjoyed a quarter century of dominance in satellite technology. This advanced web of GPS satellites has given the U.S. military a great advantage on the battlefield.
(CNN)- Scientists have discovered what's being described as the world's deepest underwater sinkhole in the South China Sea, China's state broadcaster CCTV reported. Called the "Dragon Hole" by locals, it's 987 feet (300 meters) deep, according to researchers who have spent the past year exploring the site. Scientists from the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection used an underwater robot with a depth sensor to determine the size of the sinkhole. Researchers found more than 20 species of fish in the upper part of the sinkhole, which is also known as a blue hole. But below 100 meters, it is largely oxygen-free, meaning life is unlikely to survive there. A "blue hole" is a large
According to research published Thursday in Science, red wolves and eastern wolves aren't truly wolves at all – they're coyote-wolf hybrids. That confirms something scientists had long debated: Canis lupus, the gray wolf, is actually the only wolf species in the United States. Neither the red nor the eastern wolf has any DNA that can't be tied to gray wolf or coyote origins. All three "species" are actually just gray wolf descendants with varying levels of coyote DNA. The red wolf is actually mostly coyote, according to the study, with just around a quarter of its genes coming from the gray wolf. The eastern wolf is 25 to 50 percent coyote, and even gray wolves carry some small traces of coyote
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When it comes to the prototypical villains of ancient literature, the Egyptians are right up there. Nobody, it seemed, really liked the ancient superpower. Ancient Greek romance novels routinely portray them as cunning and duplicitous. The Romans found Cleopatra to be equal parts captivating and conniving and, in the Bible, the Israelites were enslaved by the Pharaohs for centuries. A new at Tel Hazor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest Biblical-era archaeological sites in Israel, may change how we think about the Egyptians. During excavations last week, archeologists discovered a four-thousand-year-old fragment of a large limestone statue of an Egyptian official. Only the lower
Breeders may try to save the English Bulldog's health – but it will be for nought, according to new research. English bulldogs are among the world’s favourite dogs, but centuries of inbreeding has cursed the pooches with poor health and a shorter life expectancy – and now, new research shows their gene pool is so small only procreation with other breeds can save them. A trio of researchers at the University of California set about revealing just how much genetic diversity is evident in among bulldog populations, and whether there’s enough variety to curb changes that have damaged the breed. "These changes have occurred over hundreds of years but have become particularly rapid over the last few decades,” explains lead researcher Niels Pedersen.
The lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week. Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs.
Over the next two years, reports on its air quality remained grim. The country's air pollution levels reached their highest levels in 2015, after being on rise for the last decade. For the first time, India's air was also found to be more polluted than China's. This year, WHO revealed that the country was home to half of the world's most polluted cities.
Australia will adjust its latitude and longitude, a government science body says, to put the vast country into alignment with global navigation satellite systems. The nation's coordinates are currently out by more than a metre, Geoscience Australia says, and the discrepancy could cause major headaches for possible new technologies such as driverless cars which require precise location data. "We have to adjust our lines of latitude and longitude... so that the satellite navigation systems that we all use on our smartphones these days can align with all the digital map information," Geoscience's Dan Jaksa told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is such a part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine it not existing. It’s also hard to imagine in today’s world of partisan gridlock that the executive and legislative branches created by the Founders could create a major government agency in little less than one year’s time. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act to “provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.” Congress had already passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which became a priority after one shocking event in 1957.
A dragon from "Game of Thrones" has come to life — sort of. A new ant species' dragon-like appearance inspired scientists to name it for the fire-breathing star of the popular fantasy series. The Pheidole drogon's large and distinctive spine reminded researchers of Drogon, one of the dragons on the "Game of Thrones" TV show, adapted from the novels written by George R. R. Martin. The ant's spiny characteristics were captured in detail using 3D-imaging technology, which the researchers employed to help identify and document several new ant species. Their findings were published in two different papers in the journal PLOS ONE. [StarStruck: Species Named After Celebrities] "This is one of the first
Normally, the smell of putrefying, decaying flesh wouldn't be cause for celebration, but it is today, with the blooming of the rare but stinky corpse flower at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Corpse flowers bloom only once every seven to 10 years, and this is the first time that this particular plant has blossomed since the NYBG acquired it in 2007, they said. As soon as the bud began to open last night (July 28), NYBG representatives took to Twitter to announce the good news, saying, "Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.
Anyone who has ever made the mistake of wearing a Band-Aid in the shower knows all too well that adhesives which appear to be secure when dry quickly peel off when they get wet. The challenge of creating glue that works underwater is the focus of Bruce Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University. To help him crack this conundrum, Lee has just been awarded three years of funding from the Office of Naval Research as part of its Young Investigator Program award.
Scientists didn’t think a white dwarf and a red dwarf star system could have such a violent relationship. Video courtesy of NASA, ESO/L. Calçada/University of Warwick, and ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N, Risinger. Follow TI: On Facebook
Stephen Hawking has penned a thoughtful appeal for post-Brexit Britain to reconsider the role that wealth plays in society, warning that isolationism and envy could even lead to the end of the human species. In a Guardian essay, the world-renowned physicist made the case for a more comprehensive and generous definition of wealth "to include knowledge, natural resources and human capacity." Noticing that we're living in "perilous times," Hawking lists all the multiple challenges that the planet and human race face: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, and acidification of the ocean. "Such pressing issues will require us to collaborate,
The average surface temperature of Lake Tahoe has risen faster over the last four years than any time on record — 15 times faster than the long-term warming rate over the past half century, scientists say. Continued warm and dry conditions contributed to several record-breaking measurements at Lake Tahoe in 2015, raising concerns about the ecological impacts of climate change on the second deepest lake in the United States, according to an annual report issued Thursday by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. "Lake Tahoe experienced a year like no other," according to the research center, which started keeping water temperature records in 1970 when it averaged 50.3 degrees.
How well do you know your brain? Maybe not as well as you think. According to a new piece on the science and health site Vox, many of the commonly accepted "facts" about the human brain are pure hokum. These are three of them; You can find the full piece here. 1. Listening to Mozart makes babies smarter. I was one of the many people who gave Baby Einstein CDs to my friends with newborns. While the gift may inspire early appreciation for Mozart's genius, it definitely won't help those kids with their SAT scores. The Mozart-makes-you-smarter myth got started in 1993 when a study showed that college students who listened to his music for 10 minutes subsequently did better on a spatial test. But
A fungal infection called valley fever, which can cause mild to severe lung problems (including holes in the lungs), is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can resemble those of the flu or other illness, experts say. The misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary medications that don't treat the fungal infection, according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The guidelines stress that primary care doctors should consider the possibility of valley fever in patients who have pneumonia or continuing flu-like symptoms if they live in or have visited the western or southwestern United States, where the fungus is found naturally in the soil.
Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that will require labeling of genetically modified ingredients for the first time.
NASA has ordered a second mission from SpaceX to send astronauts to the International Space Station. The order is part of the Commercial Crew Program, which was started by NASA six years ago as a way of making sure the United States continues to have human access to space. NASA ordered a first mission from SpaceX back in November of 2015, and it ordered two from Boeing — the other company involved in the CCP — in May and December of 2015.
The World Wildlife Fund on Thursday urged Asian states to investigate all tiger breeding centres and crack down on any involved in black-market animal trade. On the eve of the International Day of the Tiger, WWF said it was crucial for governments to identify and close so-called "tiger farms", which are distinct from zoos or breeding centres with a legitimate conservation mission. Tiger farms have been linked to the highly lucrative and internationally prohibited trade in tiger parts.
Felix Vail is awaiting trial on charges of murder for Mary Horton Vail's death, and he pleaded not guilty. Maria: The search for the stranger who broke in. Maria: Uber under fire but claim a claim it makes about its service that may not be true.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Scientific American recently tackled that question, releasing a list of the top ten emerging technologies of 2016. To compile the list, the Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies considered criteria that examined the technologies’ potential to improve lives, revolutionize industries, and protect the planet, while recognizing the likelihood that 2016 is a turning point in the development of these technologies. Below are the WEF’s top ten, from first to last.
With their eight arms and giant egg-shaped head, octopuses are one of the most alien-looking creatures on the planet. We read Katherine Courage's book "Octopus!" and discovered that the octopus is even weirder than it looks. A special thanks to NOAA and professor of marine biology at the Alaska Pacific University, David Scheel, for the amazing footage they contributed to this video. Produced by Jessica Orwig