Science

  • ABC News

    NASA Nears the End of Its Splashdown Tests for Mars Craft

    NASA has conducted the second to last splashdown test for its Orion spacecraft as the agency prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. Scientists at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday used a pendulum and explosives to fling a test capsule into a pool of water at about 25 mph. The 11-foot craft disappeared behind a bowl-shaped splash before bouncing buoyantly against safety netting. More than 500 instruments gauged aspects of the impact, including the level of strain on the carbon fiber heatshield and aluminum cabin. Crash test dummies were also inside to measure safety designs. Orion sailed through its first unmanned test flight in 2014, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. Another unmanned

  • Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day
    International Business Times UK

    Two big earthquakes hit Italy and Myanmar on the same day

    Two big earthquakes struck Europe and Asia on the same day this week, killing hundreds and razing entire towns to the ground. Rescuers in central Italy are continuing to search for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings, after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Umbria region of the country in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The death toll has surpassed 240, officials have confirmed, with many more people missing. Hours later, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Myanmar, damaging historic buildings in the city of Bagan and killing at least one person. Both countries, Myanmar in particular, are prone to quakes as they are located on major fault lines. Although we know

  • Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins
    AFP

    Indonesia seizes hundreds of frozen pangolins

    Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 critically endangered pangolins found hidden in freezers and arrested a man for allegedly breaking wildlife protection laws, police said Friday. Police discovered the pangolins, known as "scaly anteaters", when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java after local residents became suspicious about the large number of freezers in the property. A total of 657 pangolins, which are consumed as a luxury dish in China and used in traditional medicine, were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AFP.

  • Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
    Associated Press

    Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples

    It was a time of conquest and conversions. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287.

  • US National Parks from Space: 100 Years of Nature (Photos)
    SPACE.com

    US National Parks from Space: 100 Years of Nature (Photos)

    To celebrate the centennial of the U.S National Park Service, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA has taken hundreds of images of national parks from his vantage point in low Earth orbit, aboard the International Space Station. Here, a series of Williams' photographs are assembled into this composite image of the Grand Canyon.

  • Reuters

    Argentine soy growers fret seed royalties bill might favor Monsanto

    Argentine soy farmers fear they will get shortchanged under a proposal they say would favor U.S. agricultural company Monsanto Co by forcing them to pay royalties on seeds grown on their own farms using the company's genetically modified technology. Farmers in Argentina's Pampas grains belt say they should have to pay only once, or maybe twice, for seeds containing Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO technology. Monsanto says to plant seeds grown with that technology without paying royalties - something that the current law allows - amounts to copyright infringement.

  • Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition
    LiveScience.com

    Lost WWII Ships Explored in Underwater Expedition

    An exploration of a World War II battleground right off U.S. shores is now underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with several nonprofit and private partners to explore the twin wrecks of the freighter SS Bluefieldsand the German U-boat U-576. The German submarine attacked and sank the Bluefields on July 15, 1942, and was then itself sunk by bombs from U.S. Navy air cover and the deck gun of another merchant ship in the convoy, the Unicoi.

  • Obama creates world's largest protected area
    Mashable

    Obama creates world's largest protected area

    Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument will now span 582,578 square miles near the Northern Hawaiian Islands, the Obama administration announced on Friday. The administration was able to expand the monument, which President George W. Bush first designated in 2006, using Obama's executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The islands, described as "America's Galapagos," encompass the most intact tropical marine region under U.S. control.

  • We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole
    Popular Mechanics

    We Still Don't Know Who Was First to the North Pole

    The wind was howling, the sun blinding, and the temperature cold enough to chill your bones when the six made their final march towards the North Pole. American Commander Robert Peary, his assistant Matthew Henson, and four Inuit men arrived at what was, according to Peary's reading of his sextant, exactly 90 degrees north latitude. It had taken more than two decades for Peary to complete this task.

  • Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016
    Singapore Business Review

    Singapore’s manufacturing output dips 3.6% in July 2016

    Blame it on output declines in almost all clusters. Singapore’s total manufacturing performance in July 2016 slipped 3.6% largely due to falloffs in almost all of industrial clusters. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, output went down 4.

  • Newsmax

    Deep-Earth Tremor Detected From Atlantic 'Weather Bomb'

    A deep-Earth tremor detected by Japanese earthquake trackers for the first time was traced to a distant and powerful "weather bomb" in the Atlantic. Their findings, published in the journal Science, could help experts learn more about the Earth's inner structure and improve detection of earthquakes and oceanic storms, reported Agence France-Presse. The storm in the North Atlantic, which struck between Greenland and Iceland, was small but potent and gained punch as pressure quickly mounted. Groups of waves sloshed and pounded the ocean floor during the storm, Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor that usually detects the Earth's crust crumbling during earthquakes, researchers found

  • Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough
    AFP

    Mini Australian 'lion' named for David Attenborough

    A tiny "kitten-sized" marsupial lion that roamed Australia's ancient rainforests some 18 million years ago has been named after veteran British naturalist David Attenborough. The fossil remains of the "microleo attenboroughi" were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area -- believed to be one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world -- in remote north-western Queensland state some years ago by palaeontologists from Sydney's University of New South Wales. "It's around about the size of a grey squirrel... maybe a little bit bigger than kitten-sized," UNSW palaeontologist Anna Gillespie told AFP on Friday, adding that the new species was estimated to weigh about 600 grams (21.2 ounces) and was smaller than other members of an extinct marsupial lion family.

  • Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story
    Associated Press

    Correction: Hospital Superbug Outbreak story

    In a Feb. 20, 2015 story about an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, The Associated Press mischaracterized a statement an expert made about proving the cause of an infection. Lawrence Muscarella, a health care and sterilization expert, said he was suggesting an argument hospitals might use when he said, "Proving causation is impossible." Muscarella said an infection can be proven to come from a hospital instrument.

  • Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

    Monsanto Co has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker. A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

  • LiveScience.com

    Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates

    The research showed that counties in the U.S. with more men than women generally had higher rates of marriage, fewer births outside marriage and fewer single female heads of household — all of which are generally signs of greater family stability, according to the researchers. "There's this numerical expectation that, as men increase in numbers, that means that there are fewer women available, so men are less likely to get married," said Ryan Schacht, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology at the University of Utah. In the study, the researchers looked at U.S. Census data from 2,800 counties in all 50 states, focusing on the relationship between each county's gender ratio (the number of men relative to women) and certain markers of family stability that researchers commonly use in research like this, such as marriage rates and the percentage of households with children who were headed by single women.

  • Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people
    Mashable

    Meet the cyborg bringing biohacking to the people

    American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology "from like 700 BC." He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable. Attitudes are changing as people become more familiar with the idea of implants.

  • Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore
    Associated Press

    Indonesia steps up fire response as haze blankets Singapore

    Six Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as forest fires blanketed a swath of Southeast Asia in a smoky haze. Singapore's air quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires on Sumatra, where millions of people are already affected by haze, across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. The number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Borneo by weather satellites has increased in the past month though they are below levels last year when massive fires in Indonesia caused a regional crisis.

  • MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water
    Fox News

    MIT scientists invent solar-powered sponge that can boil water

    Foam, specially-coated copper, and bubble wrap are components of a simple but innovative new device that can boil water without electricity, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on Monday. The system, which MIT compares to a sponge, can heat water to 212 degrees under just the heat of the sun, and could be used for applications like sterilizing medical tools in settings without electricity. Bubble wrap covers the top of the puck-like device to help trap the sun’s heat— an idea that one of the researchers on the project got from his teenage daughters’ science fair project, according to MIT. “This device offers a totally new design paradigm for solar steam generation,” Tao Deng, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University who was not part of the research, said in a statement.

  • Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?
    Consumer Reports

    Can Virtual Reality Make You Sick?

    To be safe, you might want to have a spotter with you before you cover your eyes with the goggles and make the leap into virtual space. According to psychology professor Jim Blascovich, co-author of “Infinite Reality: The Hidden Blueprint of Our Virtual Lives” (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2012), it may be powerful enough to distract even young burn victims and significantly reduce their pain.

  • Coffee consumption associated with new gene variant that affects how body processes caffeine
    International Business Times UK

    Coffee consumption associated with new gene variant that affects how body processes caffeine

    A specific gene variant may curb coffee consumption, researchers have said. People who inherit it may need less cups to feel the caffeine 'hit'. Many studies have been dedicated recently to coffee's impact on the body, the effects of caffeine and whether different people responded differently to the world's most popular hot beverage. Some researchers had identified genes associated with coffee habits or had worked to explain the biological mechanisms of caffeine metabolism. The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, builds up on these previous findings to investigate differences in coffee consumption, and whether it could be inscribed in our DNA. Genes and coffee questionnaire

  • Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing
    AFP

    Auto, aerospace industries warm to 3D printing

    New 3D printing technology unveiled this week sharply increases the size of objects that can be produced, offering new possibilities to remake manufacturing in the auto, aerospace and other major industries. One application demonstrated by 3D printing machinery maker Stratasys would allow airlines to pick made-to-order airplane interiors that could be tweaked with the click of a mouse. "We're now talking about parts in feet and meters versus centimeters and inches," said Rich Garrity, Americas president for Stratasys.

  • For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed
    Associated Press

    For 10 years, possibly biggest pearl was hidden under bed

    A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao. Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.

  • Reuters

    Coastal land expands as construction outpaces sea level rise

    By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The Earth has gained coastal land equivalent to the size of Jamaica in the past 30 years with man-made construction outpacing erosion caused by rising sea levels, mapping data showed on Thursday. Using satellite data with Google Earth, Deltares said coastal regions had gained a net 13,565 square kilometers (5,237 square miles) of land since 1985, roughly the size of Jamaica or the U.S. state of Connecticut. "We expected on average the coast to shrink ... as sea level has risen," said Fedor Baart of Deltares, an author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

  • LiveScience.com

    How Do EpiPens Work?

    The price of EpiPens has increased more than 400 percent since 2007. People who need to keep them on hand — often because they may need the emergency drug in case they have a life-threatening allergic reaction — brought the price increase to light, and eventually it reached Congress: In a letter to Mylan, the company that makes EpiPens, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has now asked the company to explain its pricing. But how do EpiPens work?