Science

  • ABC News

    SpaceX's 1st Launch Since Rocket Blast Now Bumped to January

    SpaceX's first launch since a rocket explosion at the pad has slipped to January. The company said Wednesday it needs more time. So instead of launching in mid-December, SpaceX will try in early January. SpaceX has been grounded three months since the dramatic accident, which originated in the upper stage of the Falcon rocket. The next Falcon to fly will carry 10 satellites for Iridium Communications, and launch from Southern California. The Falcon and its satellite were destroyed in the massive fireball that erupted Sept. 1 as the rocket was being fueled for a test-firing. The pad remains damaged at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX hopes to switch soon to another pad at NASA's Kennedy

  • Spread by Trade and Climate, Bugs Butcher America's Forests
    ABC News

    Spread by Trade and Climate, Bugs Butcher America's Forests

    In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree. The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. Scientists say they already are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage — and the situation is expected to worsen. "They

  • Rescuers comb Indonesia earthquake rubble for second day
    Associated Press

    Rescuers comb Indonesia earthquake rubble for second day

    Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. More than 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck northeast Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday. The worst damage appears to be in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter, but assessments of the region are still underway.

  • Forbes

    John Glenn, Iconic Kennedy-era Astronaut And Former US Senator, Dies At 95

    John Glenn, the small-town Ohio boy who grew up to be a decorated military aviator and test pilot, an icon of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier as the first American to orbit the earth and a four-term U.S. senator, has died at age 95. Glenn died Thursday at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, surrounded by family members, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Tributes to the man, who’s been celebrated in literature, film and song, included praise from President Barack Obama.

  • Cosmos Magazine

    Australia is very average when it comes to maths and science performance – here’s what needs to change

    As a school student, I awaited the arrival of the end-of-year report with a bracing mix of hope and fear. Now, as Australia’s Chief Scientist, I’m worried once again about school reports. Our proudly first-class country, with a prosperous economy and an egalitarian spirit, must not be fair-to-middling when it comes to science and maths in schools. On the evidence before me, we are. Do I believe that international testing can capture everything of importance in Australian education? No. But do I take these findings seriously? Yes, I do. Be it the international studies Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), or the

  • Trump says he only sleeps a few hours each night — and there could be a scientific explanation why
    Business Insider

    Trump says he only sleeps a few hours each night — and there could be a scientific explanation why

    President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly only needs a few hours of sleep every night.  While on the campaign trail, he said, "You know, I’m not a big sleeper. I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on." Trump's not the only one: Corporate executives like PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and even President Barack Obama rarely — if ever — get what's considered a full night of sleep. While for many of us, getting too little sleep can have some nasty consequences such as headaches and stomach problems, others are able to thrive off of just four-to-six hours of shut-eye, something called "short sleeping."  Short sleepers, a group the Wall Street Journal

  • Denver man sues lab techs after spending 61 days in jail because of mixed-up DNA samples
    Washington Post

    Denver man sues lab techs after spending 61 days in jail because of mixed-up DNA samples

    On July 4, 2014, Shawnnon Hale sat in a Denver area bar, drinking with a group of friends. Little did he know that day would lead him to file a lawsuit against two crime lab investigators two years later. At one point that Independence Day, one of his friends, accompanied by a woman, joined the group. Hale had never met the woman before; none of them had. Nonetheless, she invited the whole group to the rooftop of her apartment complex to watch fireworks explode over the Denver skyline. There, everyone milled around, smoking cigarettes, drinking and talking. “I had never met her,” Hale said. “We went there; everyone was talking and drinking; everyone was having a good time watching the fireworks.”

  • Black Death 'Plague Pit' with 48 Skeletons Is 'Extremely Rare' Find
    LiveScience.com

    Black Death 'Plague Pit' with 48 Skeletons Is 'Extremely Rare' Find

    A 14th-century mass burial pit full of victims of the Black Death has been discovered at the site of a medieval monastery hospital, according to archaeologists. Researchers uncovered 48 skeletons — 27 of which were children — at an "extremely rare" Black Death burial site in Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom, they said. The presence of such a large burial site suggests that the community was overwhelmed by the number of victims of the Black Death, said lead archaeologist Hugh Willmott, a senior lecturer in European historical archaeology at the University of Sheffield.

  • Unruly drivers undermine Paris pollution ban
    AFP

    Unruly drivers undermine Paris pollution ban

    French police struggled to impose anti-pollution measures on motorists around Paris on Thursday as the city remained shrouded in smog during its worst winter pollution in 10 years. Since Tuesday, officials in the Paris region have ordered half of all private cars off the road, alternating between a ban on registration plates ending in odd or even numbers. Traffic jams in the morning rush hour were 415 kilometres (258 miles) around Paris, compared with 300 normally, local road traffic officials reported.

  • New research reveals role of two genetic mutations in subset of acute myeloid leukemia
    News-Medical-Net

    New research reveals role of two genetic mutations in subset of acute myeloid leukemia

    Two genetic mutations known to play a role in many solid cancers might also help explain why a subset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients develop the disease, according to new research from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James). The mutations (which occur in the CCND1 and CCND2 genes) have been previously implicated in solid tumors but this new report represents some of the first data describing the role of these mutations in core binding factor acute myeloid leukemia (CBF-AML), a form of cancer that affects blood-forming tissue (bone marrow). It is well-established that the two primary

  • Cattle shortage leaves Zimbabwe's fields unploughed as rains fall
    Reuters

    Cattle shortage leaves Zimbabwe's fields unploughed as rains fall

    By Andrew Mambondiyani MPUDZI, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After a year of paralyzing El Nino-induced drought, Zimbabwe’s farmers have been relieved to receive substantial rain in recent weeks, with normal to above-normal rainfall predicted for the new growing season. “My cattle survived the drought but they do not have the strength to pull a plough. In this part of Zimbabwe farmers have five-hectare (12-acre) plots, but without animals to draw the ploughs, many have reduced the area under crops this season.

  • Giraffes 'threatened with extinction'
    AFP

    Giraffes 'threatened with extinction'

    Wild giraffe numbers have plummeted by 40 percent in the last three decades, and the species is now "vulnerable" to extinction, a top conservation body warned Thursday. The population of the world's tallest land mammal dropped to below 100,000 in 2015, mainly due to shrinking habitat and illegal hunting, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported. The group added 742 newly-discovered birds to the global species inventory, but said 11 percent were already facing annihilation and 13 previously unknown species have already disappeared in the wild.

  • House of Representatives approves bill to mint coins for moon landing 50th
    Fox News

    House of Representatives approves bill to mint coins for moon landing 50th

    The United States Mint is now somewhere between a "small step" and a "giant leap" closer to striking coins for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted unanimously to pass the "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act," calling for the Mint to produce curved coins in gold, silver and clad to recognize the five decades since astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched on the first lunar landing mission. The bill (H.R.2726) was passed under a suspension of the rules used to quickly approve non-controversial bills. The act was first introduced by Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) in June 2015. "Mr. Speaker, July

  • America’s Lead in Quantum Computing Is ‘Under Siege’
    Defense One

    America’s Lead in Quantum Computing Is ‘Under Siege’

    The United States needs to invest more in quantum computing, a White House assistant director said Tuesday. While the federal government has been funding quantum research for decades—quantum refers to a computing paradigm that relies on particles known as qubits instead of the traditional ones and zeros in classical computing—its global leadership position is “certainly under siege,” Tim Polk, assistant director of cybersecurity within the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said during an event in Washington. “There are significant quantum programs in Canada, in the U.K., in the Netherlands, the [European Union], China,” Polk said at an event hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

  • Supercapacitor Breakthrough Allows Electric Vehicle Charging In Seconds
    HybridCars.com

    Supercapacitor Breakthrough Allows Electric Vehicle Charging In Seconds

    UK technology firm Augmented Optics has revealed a new supercapacitor material it says can accept a charge in an electric vehicle as quickly as refueling a conventional car while threatening to render lithium-ion batteries obsolete. The new material intended to replace conventional batteries is a polymer based on soft contact-lens technology that may dramatically boost the performance of supercapacitors – lightweight electronic components that store and distribute high volumes of power. The new material has been tested by researchers at Great Britain’s University of Surrey and University of Bristol, with their analysis estimating it to be between 1,000 and 10,000-times more effective than current supercapacitors. Dr. Donald Highgate, technical director at Augmented Optics, said the potential is high indeed.

  • Mars One just delayed its (highly unlikely) Mars mission — again
    The Verge

    Mars One just delayed its (highly unlikely) Mars mission — again

    The project has been slower to get off the ground than Mars One anticipated, Landsdorp said. Mars One has been constantly shifting its timelines since it was first announced in 2012. In 2014, two MIT graduate students released a report analyzing the plans for the Mars One colony, arguing it will take a significant amount of money and technological innovations for the project to work.

  • DiCaprio, Trump discuss green job creation
    AFP

    DiCaprio, Trump discuss green job creation

    Leonardo DiCaprio met President-elect Donald Trump to discuss climate change and how renewable, clean energy could boost the economy by creating millions of new jobs, the actor's foundation said Thursday. Terry Tamminen, chief executive of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, said in a statement he and the Hollywood star presented the Republican property tycoon, his daughter Ivanka and other aides with a plan to unleash "a major economic revival" through investments in sustainable infrastructure. "Our conversation focused on how to create millions of secure, American jobs in the construction and operation of commercial and residential clean, renewable energy generation," Tamminen added.

  • Dino tail found preserved in amber, has feathers
    CNET

    Dino tail found preserved in amber, has feathers

    It's now accepted that many dinosaurs -- if not almost all -- were feathered. But evidence clearly and directly associating well-preserved feathers with dinosaur remains has been in scant supply. Not, for the first time, it exists. The smoking gun is a small piece of amber, fossilised tree resin, dating back to the mid-Cretaceous Period, some 99 million years ago. It's about the size and shape of a dried apricot, and was set to be sold in a market in Myanmar for jewellery before paleotologist Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences found it and realised what it was. The team's research has been published in the Current Biology journal. Inside the amber is an ant, plant debris and a small

  • MDMA for PTSD? How Ecstasy Ingredient Works in the Brain
    LiveScience.com

    MDMA for PTSD? How Ecstasy Ingredient Works in the Brain

    The active ingredient in the drug ecstasy is set to be studied in large-scale clinical trials as a treatment for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, the New York Times reported on Nov. 29. The ingredient, MDMA, has been shown to be effective in treating people with PTSD in smaller studies, which were sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit organization that advocates for medical research on psychedelic substances. But how does MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) work in the brain?

  • Thousands of snow geese were killed after landing in a toxic lake
    Mashable

    Thousands of snow geese were killed after landing in a toxic lake

    When a snowstorm hit Montana last week, tens of thousands of southbound snow geese were forced to land in the nearest source of open water. Several thousand geese died soon after settling in the pit, which holds about 45 billion gallons of highly acidic water, according to Montana Resources, one of the mining companies responsible for the Berkeley Pit Superfund site. Witnesses described the scene on Nov. 28 as "700 acres of white birds," Mark Thompson, the environmental affairs manager for Montana Resources, told the Associated Press.

  • Cancer consumes fat to feed its metastatic march in mice
    Engadget

    Cancer consumes fat to feed its metastatic march in mice

    See, metastasizing is an extremely energy-intensive venture. Most cells are biologically programmed to self-destruct if they break free from their surrounding tissue, in fact. However, for a cancer cell to spread not only does it have to survive the trip it must immediately adapt to the new tissue, adjust its protein expression to the new environment and begin propagating before it's attacked by the immune system. In the December edition of the journal Nature, the Barcelona team reports that it discovered this process runs on fats. And to absorb that energy source, the cancer cell uses a molecule called CD36. The team found that when antibodies blocked the CD36, the cancer cells were unable to

  • Oldest smallpox DNA discovered in 17th century child mummy
    CNN

    Oldest smallpox DNA discovered in 17th century child mummy

    Duggan added that there is a lot of uncertainty around our understanding of smallpox, including how the virus developed or when it began infecting humans. But this study is helping to establish an updated timeline of smallpox at a time when exploration, migration and colonization could have helped to spread the virus. The researchers were also able to use this timeline in conjunction with other data to identify more information about the evolution of smallpox. When Edward Jenner developed his vaccine in the 18th century that would eventually lead to its eradication, the data shows that the variola virus split into two strains. "There is some historical evidence that increasingly widespread inoculation

  • International Asteroid Day will be June 30, UN proclaims
    Fox News

    International Asteroid Day will be June 30, UN proclaims

    Citizens of Earth, get out your calendars: June 30, 2017 will be International Asteroid Day, the United Nations proclaimed on Wednesday. The United Nations said that the point of International Asteroid Day is to “raise public awareness of the asteroid impact hazard”-- in other words, to work towards making sure that we all don’t perish during a cataclysmic space rock impact. In the United States at least, NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office takes the lead on keeping track of objects that could hit Earth as well as helping to figure out what to do if they were to detect such a threat. Part of that is the Near Earth Object Program, which in late October announced that they are now keeping track of a multitude of rocks: over 15,000 near-Earth asteroids.

  • Accesswire

    Endurance Confirms Significant Gold Zone at Elephant Mountain, Alaska

    VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / December 8, 2016 / Endurance Gold Corporation (EDG.V)("Endurance") is pleased to announce further assay results from the 2016 drill program on its 100% optioned Elephant Mountain Gold Property in Alaska, located on roads about 76 miles (123 kilometres ("km")) northwest of Fairbanks. As announced on September 27, 2016 three (3) diamond drill holes were completed on the South Zone and one diamond drill hole was completed on the North Zone for a total of 598 metres ("m") drilled. 1.4 km north of the South Zone discovery (announced on October 31, 2016), drilling at the North Zone has successfully confirmed a wide intersection of 0.40 grams per tonne gold ("gpt Au") over 147.1 m including a 0.63 gpt Au over 48.2 m confirming the existence of gold-rich alteration system associated with elevated arsenic.