Genetic tests confirm that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale only rarely seen alive by Japanese fishermen roams the northern Pacific Ocean, according to research published this week. The testing shows the black whales, with bulbous heads and beaks like porpoises, are not dwarf varieties of more common Baird's beaked whales, a slate-gray animal. Japanese researchers sampled three black beaked whales that washed up on the north coast of Hokkaido, the country's most northern island, and wrote about them in a 2013 paper. The challenge to confirm the existence of the new animal was finding enough specimens from a wider area for testing and matching genetic samples, said Phillip Morin, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research molecular biologist.
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.
A Chinese rocket body streaking across the night sky over the Western United States lit up social media as people shared photos and video of the bright object. The Chinese CZ-7 re-entered the atmosphere Wednesday night, U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn confirmed. That's when people in Nevada, Utah and California took to social media to report a small fireball streaking across the sky. Photographer Ian Norman was taking pictures of the night sky with friends in Alabama Hills, California, near the eastern Sierra Nevada, when he saw the light and started recording, thinking the flash was a meteor. "It was really strange to see something that bright," he said Thursday. "I thought
Well, this is the autopsy report of Mary Vail. Reporter: Investigative reporter jerry Mitchell has been dredging up a secret that folks here in Lake Charles have been whispering about for half a century. Ruled by the coroner an accidental death, but now it's all being reeled up through the depths of time into the daylight.
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(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
An ancient potters' workshop dating back to Roman times has been discovered in Galilee, in northern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that excavations in Shlomi, a town near the Lebanon border, have revealed a ceramic factory where storage jars and vessels for wine and oil would have been made 1,600 years ago. Archaeologists working at the site said this workshop is notable for its carefully constructed rock-cut kiln.
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.
Uber Technologies Inc. is expanding its road-mapping effort to Mexico, as part of a larger strategy to build up its map data for its ride-hailing service and to rely less on potential competitors like Google. Uber says the map imagery its specialized cars are collecting in Mexico will help run its current service by finding the best pick-up and drop-off spots for drivers and riders to meet, for example. But Uber also needs detailed maps -- preferably its own -- if it wants to continue growing its autonomous car network. The company is already testing self-driving cars on the roads in Pittsburgh, and started driving mapping cars in parts of the U.S. last year. A year ago, Uber hired former Google
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION — A U.S. spy agency satellite is safely in orbit after an 8:37 a.m. Thursday blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On top of the rocket was a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite, the third of four that United Launch Alliance is expected to launch this year. At the National Reconnaissance Office's request to preserve the mission’s secrecy, ULA blacked out its launch broadcast five minutes into the flight, after the rocket’s nose cone had separated from the spacecraft. Amateur satellite trackers who have studied National Reconnaissance Office missions believe Thursday's, labeled NROL-61, may be launching the first in a new series of communications relay satellites known as the Satellite Data System and by the code name Quasar.
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
Divers searching the wreck of a 17th-century Swedish warship on the bed of the Baltic say they have found de Brie. Sifting through the ancient timbers of the Kronan, a ship that sank in 1676 off the Swedish coast, they found not diamonds as they had hoped... but a cheese. Inside a watertight pot was a semi-firm 340-year-old "dairy product" smelling of yeast and Roquefort cheese, expedition leader Lars Einarsson told AFP on Thursday.
China’s Defense Ministry confirmed today that it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television, depicting a successful missile intercept test conducted in 2010. According to Yang Yujun, spokesman of the People’s Republic of China’s Defence Ministry, the development of missile defense capabilities is an essential part of the country’s national security strategy. “It will improve the self-defense capability of China and is not targeting any particular country and will not affect international strategic stability,” Yujun said, adding that China would consider taking unspecified measures to maintain strategic balance in the region. China is unimpressed by Washington claims that the introduction of THAAD poses no threat to China.
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.
Chinese scientists believe they have discovered the deepest "blue hole" on the planet. "Dragon Hole," in the Paracel Islands—which are disputed islands claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam—is reported to be 987 feet deep, according to Chin's state-run news agency Xinhua. The blue hole—a giant pit in the sea that is known for its distinctive blue color—previously thought to be the deepest is Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Dragon Hole is more than 300 feet deeper than Dean's Blue Hole. Scientists have already found 20 species of fish in the hole, according to the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection. The institute enlisted a robot, equipped with a depth sensor, to explore
Stephen Hawking, the celebrated physicist, argues that money was a key factor in the outcome of the EU referendum in The Guardian. The 74-year-old, who argued for Britain’s continued membership of the EU in the run-up to the vote, insists that human’s attitude towards wealth —“the way we understand it and the way we share it”—plays a central role in society, and big political decisions are no exception. He also expresses concern surrounding the significant reduction in funding for scientific research in post-Brexit Britain. “One of the reasons I believed it would be wrong to leave the EU was related to grants. British science needs all the money it can get, and one important source of such
The latest El Nino weather phenomenon, which was one of the most powerful on record, has ended but could be replaced by its stormy sister La Nina in the coming months, the UN meteorological agency said Thursday. "Atmospheric indicators that had shown strong El Nino patterns early in 2016 returned to near-average in June and July," the World Meteorological Organization said. El Nino affects rainfall patterns and causes both drought and flooding.
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
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.
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.
Scientists’ conventional opinion about cancer was that it’s a relatively recent phenomenon caused by the stresses of modern life. Dietary changes, behavioral changes and man-made changes to our environment have subjected humans to toxins that contribute to cancers. But new findings from researchers at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand published in the South African Journal of Science challenges that assumption. Paleontologists found a benign tumor in a specimen from a 12- or 13-year-old boy that dates back almost 2 million years. More significantly, they also found a malignant tumor on a little toe bone of a left foot that’s 1.7 million years old. Previously, the oldest discovered
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.
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.
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.
(CNN)- There's a good chance that if flesh-eating dinosaurs were still around today, we wouldn't just have to worry about their sharp teeth. Scientists recently uncovered a record-setting footprint in Bolivia. It is the biggest print from a carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered worldwide. Until now, the largest track from a meat-eating dinosaur measured at 110 centimeters and was discovered in New Mexico, according to paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia. Grover Marquina, a tour guide, was trekking through the Maragua Crater about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Sucre when he stumbled upon the fossilized footprint on July 19. The indentation exceeds 115 centimeters -- nearly 4 feet wide
It turns out the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge brought in more than just views on the internet. “Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations led to this important discovery,” John Landers, the University of Massachusetts Medical School professor who led the research said in a statement. Next month, the ALS Association is launching a new campaign, Every Drop Adds Up, in an effort to recreate the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge.