Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998. The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors, unable to come together at the tips. Others curved up or down like crossed sickles. Handel, a U.S. Geological Survey bird specialist, was sure the cause of avian keratin disorder would be found quickly: contaminated birdseed, a poison targeting spruce bark beetles, maybe some sort of bacterium or fungus. Years went by. She found herself losing sleep over a mysterious ailment afflicting 6.5 percent of south-central Alaska's black-capped chickadees and 17 percent
Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. The gender effect is a hot topic in autism research and one that could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating a condition that affects at least 1 in 68 U.S. children.
US billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates urged Britain on Wednesday to step up investment in science and research as it prepares to leave the EU. Gates pledged to continue his own investment in British research and innovation, despite economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit, but said government support was vital to fight global pandemics such as the Zika virus. "As the UK seeks to negotiate its exit from the EU, it is critical that the government steps up its investments in science and innovation if we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow -- and grow the UK's economy," he said.
A satellite image showing peculiar hexagonal clouds over the ocean area known as the Bermuda Triangle is prompting speculation about whether they may represent a recurring phenomenon responsible for decades of unexplained disappearances in the region. The photo appeared in the Science Channel's "What on Earth"? According to the Science Channel, similar cloud formations in the North Sea near the U.K. have been associated with so-called "air bombs" — powerful downdrafts of air that could overpower and destroy ships and airplanes.
At engineering schools throughout the world, professors are turning to virtual reality technology in the classroom. The technology provides 3-D visuals that help engineering students improve their designs, alerting them to flaws before the building process starts . Engineering schools are researching technologies that could transform the way people communicate and interact by -- for instance -- allowing people to visit one another in a virtual space if they can't meet in person.
The national group last week unveiled a new set of guidelines that allow for certain types of media use by younger children and set broader parameters for older kids to keep them well-rested, physically active and socially engaged. "Parents can set expectations and boundaries to make sure their children's media experience is a positive one," she said. The AAP's recommendations were published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics.
Russia is claiming that the Afghanit active protection system (APS) mounted on Moscow’s powerful new T-14 Armata main battle tanks has been proven effective at intercepting depleted uranium-core armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) cannon shells. If Moscow’s claims are accurate, the new Russian active protection system would be a game-changing development in the realm of mechanized warfare. While active protection systems were thought to be effective mostly against incoming anti-tank missiles and rocket propelled grenades, most industry and defense experts had believed that active protection systems were ineffective against kinetic energy (KE) round such as the U.S. Army’s M829A4 120mm APFSDS.
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Glaciers in West Antarctica are shrinking and retreating at record rates, threatening to further accelerate sea level rise. According to researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, melting on the underside of glaciers in West Antarctica is at an all-time high. Researchers have been using satellite data to study the changes in glacial grounding lines, the boundary where a glacier loses contact with the Earth and begins to float in the ocean. A glacier's floating underbelly is called its ice shelf; the majority of glacial melting happens here. As a glacier loses mass to melting, its ice shelf floats higher and higher, pushing its grounding line
An appeals court panel on Monday ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals threatened by sea ice loss. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reverses a lower court ruling that found the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service was improper. At issue was whether the fisheries service can protect species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act when it determines that a currently non-endangered species will lose habitat due to climate change in coming decades.
The wreck of a World War I German submarine has been discovered off the coast of Scotland by marine engineers surveying the route of an undersea power cable. Researchers said they think the wreck is one of two German U-boats sunk by British patrol ships in the Irish Sea in 1918 — including one that was supposedly attacked by a sea monster, according to an internet legend. Marine archeologist and historian Innes McCartney, from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, said the submarine wreck was in reasonably good shape, considering it has spent almost 100 years on the seafloor at a depth of 340 feet (about 100 meters).
The problem with providing a “rough, first-draft of history” is that so few people ever see the later drafts. And so it goes with Gaétan Dugas, an Air Canada flight attendant who died in 1984 and soon thereafter was identified by the media as “Patient Zero” in the North American HIV/AIDS epidemic. Journalist Randy Shilts cast Dugas as such in his 1987 book, And the Band Played On; although other reports had avoided the mischaracterization, the moniker stuck. Scientists have returned to this episode in a rigorous new Nature paper that traces the actual origin of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. back to the early 1970s. About 35 million people have died from AIDS-related causes since the disease
More corals are dying and others are succumbing to disease and predators after the worst-ever bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, scientists said Wednesday. A swathe of corals bleached in the northern third of the 2,300-kilometre (1,429-mile) long biodiverse site off the Queensland state coast died after an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year as sea temperatures rose. "In March, we measured a lot of heavily bleached branching corals that were still alive, but we didn't see many survivors this week," Andrew Hoey of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said in a statement.
"The color change is thought to be an effect of Saturn's seasons," the US space agency said. What happened? Saturn has four seasons. They last about seven Earth years. The planet has photochemical haze, or particles in its atmosphere. Between November 1995 and August 2009, Saturn underwent a "winter polar darkness," according to Hampton University Assistant Professor Kunio Sayanagi. Well, the northern cloud-like barrier, which scientists call a six-sided jet stream, is affected. During the winter, particles are not produced. There's no sunshine. They can't reach the hexagonic jet stream. And the jet stream itself blocks them. "The hexagon jet acts as a barrier and when when there is nothing produced
Across the world, women now consume nearly as much alcohol as men do, according to a new study. The findings show that the gap between men's and women's drinking habits is closing. This is particularly true for women born in the last 15 to 25 years
The brain uses different hemispheres to sort through negative and positive information, says Clifford Nass, in the book he co-authored, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What We Can Learn About Ourselves From Our Machines. In a New York Times interview, Nass - a professor of communications at Stanford University - explains, "Negative emotions generally require more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones." The extra brain power that's required to process negative emotions means we spend more time contemplating the bad stuff and less time on the good stuff. In 1959, psychologist Carl Rogers wrote about unconditional positive regard and how important it is in personal development.
Within the fields of history and journalism, the use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) has greatly changed the way we visualize, understand, and analyze racial bias within the United States and the globe. Maps have always been a way that we were able to conceptualize the topography of our universe, and now the use of GIS has given us more insight into the inequality embedded in our country than ever before. Below are just a few of the projects working to use spatial analysis in order to reveal the historical and current prejudices that people of color face every day. 5. Lynching Maps And The Equal Justice Initiative In 2015, the New York Times profiled the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Biologist Colleen Handel saw her first black-capped chickadee with the heartrending disorder in 1998.The tiny birds showed up at birdfeeders in Alaska's largest city with freakishly long beaks. Some beaks looked like sprung scissors
Now that General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt has moved to Boston, he doesn’t want anyone else to leave. Speaking Tuesday night at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Joint Visiting Committee Symposium, which brings together and educates the hospital’s donors and community ambassadors, Immelt said he moved his company to Boston to be immersed in "a sea of ideas." Now he wants to make sure the people behind Boston’s health care ecosystem aren’t leaving. “One of our hypotheses in moving here was … this was kind of a wasted ecosystem — if you look at Silicon valley, Sand Hill Road, everything around Stanford. There’s no reason all of that couldn't be, in some shape or form, here,” Immelt said. “I think
About 100 demonstrators protested on the steps of New York's City Hall on Nov. 15, 1985, as a City Council committee considered legislation to bar pupils and teachers with the AIDS virus from public schools.
Four4Four Tech: How hackers disrupted the Internet; Apple set for MacBook refresh, 'Skunklock' makes bike thieves vomit, U.S. Army tests self-driving trucks
On current trends, stocks of global wildlife could plunge two-thirds by 2020, an annual decline of two percent, conservation group WWF and the Zoological Society of London warned in their joint biennial Living Planet report. "This should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations," said Ken Norris, director of science at the Zoological Society of London.
The labels on prescription testosterone will now carry a new warning about the serious health risks that have been linked with abuse of these products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the new labels today (Oct. 25), saying that some people abuse testosterone drugs. For example, the agency said, athletes and body builders have been known to take doses that are higher than those prescribed, and to use testosterone together with other anabolic steroids.
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler," said Albert Einstein, who managed to distill the relationship between mass, energy, and light into an equation so brief it could be text slang. CRISPR (Nature has a great overview here) builds ever-so-slightly off a strategy used by bacteria to fend off repeat attacks from viruses. In the human version, scientists use an RNA guide to direct an enzyme, Cas-9, to a specific point in any organism's DNA--where, like an eagle-eyed copy editor, the enzyme snips out an errant letter or sequence as if it were expunging a typo.
The United States and China appear to be keeping an unusually low profile as they push for more dialogue and cooperation on space exploration. The State Department hosted a new round of space cooperation talks in Washington last week with a delegation led by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), but U.S. officials didn’t publicly announce the meeting until Monday, via a tersely worded press release that said a third round of civil space dialogue would be held in China next year. CNSA has yet to make any public mention of the talks, which included Pentagon officials and representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and