Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation. For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged. Cyprien Verseux, a crew member from France, said the simulation shows a mission to Mars can succeed. "I can give you my personal impression which is that a mission to Mars in the close future is realistic. I think the technological and psychological obstacles can be overcome," Verseux said. Christiane Heinicke, a crew member from Germany, said the scientists were able to find their own water in a dry climate.
Tasmanian devils are evolving genetic resistance to a contagious and deadly cancer that's been pushing the endangered species to the brink of extinction, an international team of scientists has found. Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a nearly 100 percent fatal cancer first detected 20 years ago, has wiped out an estimated 80 percent of the Australian marsupials, according to a news release from Washington State University. Because Tasmanian devils often display aggression by biting each other's faces, DFTD -- one of only three known transmissible cancers -- is easily spread among the animals, WSU said.
A "strong signal' from outer space is catching the attention of scientists, particularly those at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. The signal was detected by a telescope in Russia, according to writer Paul Gilster, who runs the website Centauri Dreams. It comes from the direction of a star called HD 164595, which is about 95 light years from Earth. There is no evidence yet that this signal comes from an alien civilization. But the signal is powerful enough that the researchers working on the RATAN-600 telescope, which detected the signal, are now "calling for permanent monitoring of this target." Yet while the findings have generated buzz, not everyone is impressed
LOS ANGELES – The famous human ancestor known as Lucy walked the Earth, but it was her tree climbing that might have led to her demise, a new study suggests. An analysis of her partial skeleton reveals breaks in her right arm, left shoulder, right ankle and left knee — injuries that researchers say resulted from falling from a high perch such as a tree. Lucy likely died quickly, said John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who published the findings Monday in the journal Nature. "I don't think she suffered," Kappelman said. But several other researchers, including Lucy's discoverer, disagree. They contend most of the cracks in Lucy's bones are well documented
The incident, while rare, is not without precedent in other parts of the world, where lightning bolts have killed large numbers of cattle, elk and other animals that were clustered together during a thunderstorm. This area is home to about 2,000 reindeer at this time of the year, the agency said. Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.
SpaceX has a taker for the first flight of one of its recycled rockets. The Luxembourg-based company SES — a longtime SpaceX launch customer — said Tuesday it will send its next communications satellite up on a previously flown Falcon rocket. It will be the first true reuse of a rocket previously used for an orbital mission. The launch will take place sometime this fall from Cape Canaveral. "Thanks for the longstanding faith in SpaceX," SpaceX chief Elon Musk said via Twitter. "We very much look forward to doing this milestone flight with you." The chief technology officer at SES, Martin Halliwell, said SpaceX's testing for the upcoming mission gives his company "full confidence." SES was the
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found. Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to increase immunization rates, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama. In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients' parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination.
A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird's-eye view of a vast tomato field in California's Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region. Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of
Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The natural world is under siege by climate change. Rising temperatures are pushing plants and animals outside their current range. To keep pace with climate change, species will need a path to follow northward or up in elevation, minimally interrupted by human development. This map shows that path (well, paths actually) in the most beautiful way possible. It uses the dreamy Earth wind map for inspiration. But rather than using temperature, wind and sea level pressure data, Dan Majka, a web developer at The Nature Conservancy, used data from two studies to show all the feasible paths that mammals, birds and amphibians can use to find their way to a more suitable climate as their habitat becomes
Dogs distinguish words and intonation in the same region of the brain as humans, according to a new study of how man's best friend interprets our language. Published Monday in the journal Science, the report by researchers at Budapest's Eotvos Lorand University shows the canine brain is capable of interpreting both what we say and how we say it. Dogs, like humans, use the brain's left hemisphere to interpret words and regions of the right hemisphere to analyze intonation.
The undersea search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have missed the wreckage, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, leading the search, admitted Tuesday to The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast can also reveal the Dutch company providing one of the search vessels, Fugro, admitted as far back as June that there were gaps in sonar coverage of the ocean floor that needed further investigation. As a result, a search that has so far cost $180 million and that was expected to end this summer could now be extended into next year. This will be encouraging news for the families of the passengers and crew on the flight who feared that the search was being prematurely curtailed. The ATSB says that a
A powerful signal has been spotted coming from the vicinity of a sunlike star, and now astronomers are trying to figure out what it means. In May 2015, researchers using a radio telescope in Russia detected a candidate SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) signal that seems to originate from HD 164595, a star system that lies about 94 light-years from Earth, the website Centauri Dreams reported over the weekend. The astronomers have not yet published a study about the detection; they plan to discuss it next month at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to Centauri Dreams' Paul Gilster, who wrote that one of the team members forwarded him the IAC presentation.
A blue fire tornado sounds like it could be an alarming natural disaster, but this phenomenon could actually offer a way to burn fuel with reduced carbon emissions, a new study finds. A fire tornado, or fire whirl, can occur during urban and wildland fires, threatening life, property and the surrounding environment. Traditional, yellow fire whirls gain their color from radiating soot particles, according to study co-author Elaine Oran, a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland.
In the middle of nowhere, New Mexico, is a structure which rises from the scrubby floor of the Southwest desert like something from Tatooine, Luke's home planet in "Star Wars." It's a hangar for spacecraft, complete with an astronaut lounge. This is Spaceport America, New Mexico, Earth, ZIP code 87654-3210. Here, someday, paying customers will ride to the edge of space in a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. The spaceport covers 27 square miles of state land, built at a cost of $220 million from New Mexico taxpayers betting on the future. "This is the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, the first spaceport anywhere in the world that was designed from the ground up to be a commercial facility,"
About 30,000 cases of precut vegetables are being recalled in many Southeastern states because they could be contaminated with Listeria. This week, the food manufacturer Country Fresh announced a recall of several of its vegetable products — including precut onions, mushrooms and peppers — after one of its products being sold in a Georgia grocery store tested positive for Listeria bacteria. The recall affects products sold at a number of grocery stores — including Walmart, Harris Teeter and Winn-Dixie — in nine Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).
From The New York Times: A new, blue, whirling shape of fire, inspired by bourbon, could one day help clean up oil spills.. Watch the original video on Times Video: http://nyti.ms/2bTU9KO
An ancient tablet recently unearthed in Tuscany has revealed its first secret: the engraved name of a goddess linked to fertility. The 500-pound stone slab, or stele, was unearthed earlier this year at Poggio Colla, a sixth century B.C. site built by the Etruscans. The stele bears a long inscription in a language that has not been used for 2,500 years, project archaeologist Gregory Warden, a professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in April. Now, translation is underway and archaeologists have discovered that the tablet references the goddess Uni. [Photos: The Tomb of an Etruscan Prince] "We can at this point affirm that this discovery is one of the most
Sixty percent of the groundwater in a river basin supporting more than 750 million people in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh is not drinkable or usable for irrigation, researchers said Monday. The biggest threat to groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, named after the Indus and Ganges rivers, is not depletion but contamination, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Up to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet), some 23 percent of the groundwater stored in the basin is too salty, and about 37 percent "is affected by arsenic at toxic concentrations," they said.
Six scientists have completed a yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in a dome in near isolation. For the past year, the group in the dome on a Mauna Loa mountain could go outside only while wearing spacesuits. On Sunday, the simulation ended, and the scientists emerged.
Dolores Seiler, who just turned 85 years old this June, is currently on the waiting list to take a journey to space. Seiler has signed up for her trip through World View Enterprises, a balloon-based space-tourism company that will start taking passengers to space in a capsule that is attached to a 40-million-cubic-foot helium balloon (approximately the size of an NFL football field). The company is still in the process of finalizing its system before it officially launches, which could be sometime in 2018, according to Andrew Antonio, director of marketing at World View.
In the wake of the news that former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was caught (once again) sexting with a woman who is not his wife, the country let out a collective sigh. But Weiner's case is unusual, because his behavior looks more like a sexual compulsion or addiction, said Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington and co-author of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples," (Harmony, 2013). "It's about this kind of thrill that he gets showing his body to some anonymous woman, and you call it an addiction or a compulsion when they can't stop it even in the face of catastrophic consequences," Schwartz told Live Science.
You've might have been living in the Anthropocene epoch, and you probably didn't know it. The new geological epoch started in about 1950 and is defined by the effects humans have had on the Earth, according to a group of experts who presented Monday a recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, the Guardian reported. A host of factors have apparently taken Earth into this new epoch. "The warming temperature, higher sea levels, ash from fossil fuels, plastic waste, a dramatic increase in erosion, the spread of animal species around the world and radioactive particles left around the world from nuclear bomb tests would all contribute to permanent changes
Scientists have discovered that three existing drugs — used for cancer, hepatitis C and for parasitic infections — appear to be promising against the Zika virus. The experiments that led to the discovery were conducted only in lab-grown human cells in petri dishes, but the results were dramatic. Zika is so devastating that the damage it does has been thought to be irreversible. But the researchers said some of the tested compounds allowed cells not only to live longer in the face of infection but also in some cases to fully recover. The news, reported in Nature Medicine on Monday, is an exciting but only a very preliminary step toward a treatment. The researchers will have to test the drugs in