Science

  • ABC News

    Underwater Expedition off California Reveals Sunken Warship

    An underwater expedition along the California coast has revealed for the first time a sunken World War II-era aircraft carrier once used in atomic tests in the Pacific. The expedition led by famed oceanographer Robert Ballard captured on Tuesday the wreckage of the USS Independence, located half a mile under the sea in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Scientists aboard the ocean research ship E/V Nautilus lowered two submersibles to the ocean floor to find a Hellcat fighter plane, anti-aircraft guns, hatches and the ship's name on the hull. The Independence was deliberately scuttled in 1951. Samples of marine life growing on the ship will be brought onboard to be tested for possible

  • 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.

  • ABC News

    Rosetta Space Probe Sees Bright Flares, Landslide on Comet

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has captured images of a bright burst of light on the comet it is orbiting, apparently caused by a landslide. The dramatic light flashes were recorded Feb. 19 and accompanied by rising temperatures and sharp increases in dust, gas and plasma released from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Eberhard Gruen of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, said Thursday that a landslide on the comet's surface was most likely responsible. The flashes would have been generated by light reflecting from dust particles kicked up by the landslide. The European Space Agency plans to crash-land Rosetta on the comet's surface Sept. 30, more than

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird
    Associated Press

    Auction house to sell composite skeleton of a dodo bird

    The dodo bird is extinct — but one collector can now have their own dodo skeleton. Summers Place Auctions is selling what it describes as a rare composite skeleton of a dodo bird, a creature once found on the island of Mauritius. Although individual bones of the flightless bird come up for sale occasionally, Summers Place director Rupert van der Werff says this is the first time a nearly complete skeleton has come up for sale since the early 20th century.

  • LiveScience.com

    In Babies, Zika Can Linger for Months, Brazilian Case Suggests

    A baby in Brazil who became infected with Zika in the womb still had the virus in his body for months after he was born, according to a new report of the case. The baby's mother, who lived in São Paulo, showed symptoms of Zika when she was 26 weeks pregnant, according to the report, published today (Aug. 24) in the New England Journal of Medicine. When the baby was born, he was diagnosed with microcephaly, or an abnormally small head and brain.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter
    Washington Post

    A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter

    Much of the universe is made of dark matter, the unknowable, as-yet-undetected stuff that barely interacts with the "normal" matter around it. In the Milky Way, dark matter outnumbers regular matter by about 5 to 1, and very tiny dwarf galaxies are known to contain even more of the stuff. But now scientists have found something entirely new: a galaxy with the same mass as the Milky Way but with only 1 percent of our galaxy's star power. About 99.99 percent of this other galaxy is made up of dark matter, and scientists believe it may be one of many. The galaxy Dragonfly 44, described in a study published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, is 300 million light years away. If scientists

  • GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
    Reuters

    GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

    A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition. Technical clearance for indigenously developed GM mustard seeds was given on Aug. 11 by the panel of government and independent experts, following multiple reviews of crop trial data generated over almost a decade, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The decision to go ahead is likely to be made public soon by the environment ministry's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, and is expected eventually to move to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desk via Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

  • Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water
    Digital Trends

    Fern-inspired ‘Nanofur’ can soak up oil spills without absorbing water

    You only need to think back to the BP oil spill of 2010 to realize what an enormous potential problem such spillages are. “We — and other scientists worldwide — would like to increase the absorption capacity of artificial oil absorbers as this is a serious problem for the environment,” Hendrik Hölscher, one of the researchers involved with the study, told Digital Trends. Nanofur took its inspiration from water ferns, which are capable of absorbing oil while remaining water-repellent, due to the hairy microstructure of their leaves.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap
    Associated Press

    Meet Octobot, a robot that's a real softie, and cheap

    It looks like a tiny octopus and is designed to mimic that slithery creature to get through cracks and tight places, making it ideal as a rescue robot. A team at Harvard University has created a robot — actually about 300 of them, since they are so cheap to make — that is opposite of the common view of a robot.

  • Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam
    AFP

    Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

    A new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. "It's great news for this particular species because had we not found this new population, they were in grave danger of being wiped out within a decade," spokeswoman for FFI in Vietnam, Akofa Wallace, told AFP Tuesday.

  • Space.com

    Why Did It Take So Long to Find Proxima b?

    Over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered more than 3,200 exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. They've found gas giants; rocky, Earth-like planets; and "Tatooine"-like planets with two suns. They've detected alien worlds as far as 13,000 light-years away from Earth. But until now, scientists had missed an Earth-size, possibly even habitable, planet that was, at least cosmically speaking, right under our noses. Astronomers announced today (Aug. 24) that they've discovered an alien planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf just over 4 light-years away that is the nearest star to the sun. So why did it take scientists so long to introduce us to our neighbor? It's not

  • 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.

  • Next Big Future: Russia's sodium lead cooled fast nuclear reactors
    nextbigfuture.com

    Next Big Future: Russia's sodium lead cooled fast nuclear reactors

    Russia has reached two more milestones in its endeavour to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) - part of Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL - has completed acceptance tests of components for its ETVS-14 and ETVS-15 experimental fuel assemblies with mixed nitride fuel for the BREST and BN fast neutron reactors. MSZ has also announced the start of research and development work on the technical design of the "absorbent element" of the core of the BREST-OD-300 reactor. Russia plans to construct 11 new nuclear power reactors (not including 5 under construction) by 2030 - including two BN-1200 sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. The BN-1200 units are to be built at the

  • Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases
    Alice Sholl

    Perfume Could Soon Be Used To Help Solve Sexual Assault Cases

    It’s this attribute which means that perfume could also be used as ‘trace evidence’ along with these other materials. Scientists wrote in the journal Science and Justice that analysing fragrances could be particularly useful in cases where a crime has involved close physical contact, such as a sexual assault. “We’ve shown that first, perfume does transfer, and second, we can identify when that transfer has happened,” said director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences Dr Ruth Morgan.