US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged signatories of an international ozone pact to back the phasing-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) -- toxic greenhouse gases thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. "Climate change is happening – and it is happening quicker than most of us ever anticipated," Kerry said. "Week after week, month after month, year after year, we continue to see new evidence, tangible evidence, of the danger climate change poses to our planet.
A 65-year-old Russian adventurer reached the Australian coast on Saturday and was within a few hours of setting a new record for flying solo nonstop around the world, an official said. Fedor Konyukhov's 56-meter (184-foot) -tall helium and hot-air balloon was descending as it crossed the southwest coast directly over the city of Perth at 95 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and at an altitude of less than 7,000 meters (23,000 feet), support crew member Steve Griffin said. When he drifts across 117 degrees longitude east of Perth, he will have shaved two days off the record of 13 days and eight hours set by American businessman Steve Fossett in 2002.
07/22/2016 01:35 pm 13:35:18 | Updated 1 hour ago The past few weeks have been full of several unfortunate violent events: the massacre in Orlando, the killing of black men by police officers, the sniper attack in Dallas, the Bastille Day attack in France, the violent coup attempt in Turkey and the shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While many of us may not have been directly affected by these events, we watched the news as it unfolded on broadcast and social media. Witnessing such violence on media can take a severe toll on us even when our near and dear ones are not directly affected. Surprisingly, what research is beginning to uncover is that impact on young children - especially young gifted
Fifty years ago, a new vision of humanity’s future first graced the world’s consciousness: the vision of Star Trek. The brainchild of creator Gene Roddenberry , it ran contrary to the dominant ethos of its time of a world filled with the pollution and destruction of humans, overrun with selfish, unethical behavior, war, strife and conflict. Instead of a dystopian future where humanity brought about our own destruction, this was a future where technology existed to further the peaceful goals and ideals common to all humans. This was a future where the dream of the United Nations was extended to not just all of Earth, but to a myriad of planets beyond our Solar System: a United Federation of Planets.
A new map of the brain based on scans of 420 people has defined 97 new functional parts of the cortex – the wrinkled grey outer shell – more than doubling previous tallies. The atlas and software, produced by researchers in the US and the Netherlands, combines different imaging and measurement techniques to assign each cortex area a "fingerprint" based on architecture, cell type and function. The work was published in Nature. Mapping the human brain is a centuries-old exercise. The problem is everyone's brain is unique. Until recently, the best scientists could do was assign brain regions by, for instance, cell type. They dissected brains were examined under a microscope and saw different areas
While the fault lines in this region have been known about for some time, most believed the subduction, and thus the major earthquake threat, had long since ended. Studying the motion of the plates and looking for evidence of seismic movements in Bangladesh is extremely difficult. Steckler, the lead author of the study, described the subduction zone as being "filled with sediments from the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta," causing the fault to be "blind, totally covered by sediments, so in places we only infer its existence." This study utilized more than 10 years' worth of data from highly precise GPS receivers placed around northeast India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The results allowed the researchers
China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft after seven years of work, which it plans to use to perform marine rescue missions and fight forest fires, the Xinhua news agency reported. The AG600, which is about the size of a Boeing 737 and was developed by state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, Xinhua said quoting the firm. AVIC deputy general manager, Geng Rugang, said the plane was "the latest breakthrough in China's aviation industry." A plan for the development and production of the AG600 received government approval in 2009.
This will warm your heart.
Over the past several years, scientists have realized that the human microbiome — the catch-all term for the micro-organisms living inside us and on our skin — plays a key role in maintaining health. Our microbes, it turns out, can impact everything from weight to whether a person gets diabetes or cancer. A startup called Indigo is now offering microbe-enhanced crops to farmers. First up: cotton coated with a microbe that can improve yield in drought conditions. Indigo started selling to customers during the spring as they were planting cotton seed; the product is now planted on over 50,000 acres in Texas and four surrounding states. In earlier trials, coated seeds improved yields by 10% compared
Thousands of years ago, travelers and traders carried goods across the vast distances between Europe, the Middle East and Asia along routes that collectively become known as the Silk Road. Named after the silks that were exported from China, the routes helped spread news, art and culture through a large part of the world. Now, a new study focused on a 2,000-year-old Silk Road latrine shows that the routes also helped spread something else – disease. A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and China's Academy of Social Sciences and Gansu Institute for Cultural Relics and Archaeology investigated latrines at the Xuanquanzhi relay station, an archeological site in northwestern China
Brazilian researchers on Thursday said they found signs of the Zika virus in a common mosquito that is a separate species from the insect known to be the primary means of transmission. They warned, however, that further tests are needed to determine whether the species, known as Culex quinquefasciatus, is in fact responsible for transmitting the virus to humans and, if so, to what extent. The scientists, from a leading Brazilian research institute known as the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, discovered the Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes captured in and around the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife, capital of the state that was hit hardest by the Zika outbreak since last year. In March, the same
A new "food-print" model that measures the per-person land requirements of different diets suggests that, with dietary changes, the U.S. could feed significantly more people from existing agricultural land. Using ten different scenarios ranging from the average American diet to a purely vegan one, a team led by scientists from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University estimated that agricultural land in the contiguous U.S. could have the capacity to feed up to 800 million people—twice what can be supported based on current average diets. The researchers found that a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products could feed the most people from the area of land available.
The push to recover used radioactive fuel from the last nuclear power station of its kind is under way. Wylfa nuclear plant's last reactor was turned off after 44 years at an outage ceremony on Anglesey in December. Workers have spent the past six months putting decommissioning plans into action, including a new safety regime. Removing 800 tonnes of spent Magnox fuel will now be the "dominant" focus over the next three years, officials have said. "Once we are fuel free, over 99% of all the radioactivity on the site will have left," said Gordon Malcolm, deputy site director at Wylfa. "Then the whole site moves on to the next phase of work, preparations for care and maintenance... which will last
The findings, presented at the Identification of Dark Matter conference in Sheffield, England, were not unexpected — though they do highlight the challenge of finding the elusive stuff known as dark matter. “I couldn’t say with a straight face that I was expecting to find dark matter with this particular data set,” said Simon Fiorucci, an experimental physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and science coordination manager for LUX. Dark matter can’t be seen, heard or felt – but scientists know something must be there because they watch how its enormous mass turbocharges the spin of galaxies. Everything we can detect in the universe, from Earth to the stars, black holes and distant galaxies – all of it makes up less than 5% of the mass and energy in the universe.
The European Commission on Friday approved imports of Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 Xtend genetically modified soybean variety, after months of delays that had derailed the U.S. seed giant's product launch this spring. Rivals Cargill Inc, Bunge Ltd and CHS Inc, which had also refused to accept the variety without EU import approval, could not be immediately reached for comment. The EU is the second largest importer of soybeans and its approval is not expected to have a major impact on merger talks by German suitor Bayer AG, whose sweetened $64-billion buyout offer of Monsanto was rejected last week, as it had been widely anticipated, analysts said on Friday.
No matter how long it lasts, jet lag is never fun, and researchers still haven't found a "cure" for the bothersome side-effect. It turns out that our internal clocks are a bit laggy — they run a tad longer than 24 hours.
Although it has been common knowledge that Da Vinci conducted the first systematic study of friction (which underpins the modern science of tribology, or the study of friction, lubrication, and wear), we didn't know how and when he came up with these ideas. Hutchings was able to put together a detailed chronology, pinpointing Da Vinci's "aha" moment to a single page of scribbles penned in red chalk in 1493. Almost a century later, Hutchings thought this page was worth a second look.
The Philippines is reviewing its "crazy" commitment to severely cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the Paris climate deal, new President Rodrigo Duterte has warned. The government of predecessor Benigno Aquino had pledged to the United Nations to cut the Asian country's emissions by 70 percent by 2030 from 2000 levels if it got support from developed nations to convert to clean technologies. "I have misgivings about this Paris (climate deal).... The problem is these industrialised countries have reached their destination," Duterte said in a series of speeches during a visit to the southern island of Mindanao on Friday.
Chinese scientists will become the first in the world to inject people with cells modified using gene-editing technology in a groundbreaking clinical trial next month. A team led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University's West China Hospital in Chengdu, received ethical approval from the hospital's review board on July 6 to test gene-edited cells on lung cancer patients next month, according to scientific journal Nature. The cells will be modified using CRISPR-Cas9 -- a new method of genetic engineering that allows scientists to edit DNA with precision and relative ease. "This technique is of great promise in bringing benefits to patients, especially the cancer patients whom we treat every day," Lu told the journal.
Yoldine Nicoleau stuffed a strawberry into a Ziploc bag and smashed it to a pulp. As about 20 other girls joined in, the science lab quickly filled with the sweet smell of fresh fruit and the sound of fists pounding on tables. This is what it takes to extract DNA from grocery store items. It’s also what getting girls interested in science looks, smells and sounds like. “This is fun for me,” said Nicoleau, a rising junior at Miami-Dade’s School for Advanced Studies. “I feel comfortable. I enjoy it. I’m around people who understand me.” For a week this summer, a group of young women from across Miami-Dade County got a hands-on introduction to working in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and
The world's first car made with graphene in its bodywork has been unveiled in Manchester. The vehicle, with graphene in its panels, was made by Briggs Automotive Company in Speke, Liverpool. The BAC Mono spearheads an exhibition to highlight the future technology of graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel. It was developed by scientists at the University of Manchester in 2004 who won the Nobel Prize for it. Graphene is made of sheets of carbon just one atom thick. The BAC Mono has been road-tested and is being displayed at the National Graphene Institute in Manchester as part of the Science in the City festival from July 22-29. James Baker, graphene business director at The University
Her computer, Karin Strauss says, contains her "digital attic" — a place where she stores that published math paper she wrote in high school, and computer science schoolwork from college. Strauss, who works at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, is working to make that sci-fi fantasy a reality. Rather, they aim to help companies and institutions archive huge amounts of data for decades or centuries, at a time when the world is generating digital data faster than it can store it.
The birds lead the way to hidden beehives, which are camouflaged among high tree branches. The tribesmen crack open the hives and share the sweet spoils of victory with their bird friends. For ages people have trained dogs, birds, horses, and other creatures to help us out in various ways.
TüBINGEN, Germany, July 22 (UPI) -- Despite its technological importance to early hunter-gatherers, archaeologists know relatively little about the production and use of rope and twine during the Paleolithic Era. Artifacts recently unearthed in Germany suggest some early humans used specialized ivory tools to make rope. Researchers from the University of Tübingen and the University of Liège recovered a neatly preserved piece of mammoth ivory with intricate carvings. Researchers determined the tool was made 40,000 years ago, around the time the first humans arrived in Europe. Analysis of the ivory suggests the carved notches weren't simply for decoration but were for the explicit purpose of weaving