The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year. The agency says the decision to shut down a communications instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft Wednesday was taken to conserve energy. Rosetta had used the instrument to communicate with its lander, Philae, which touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. During the next two months, Rosetta will use its remaining power to conduct scientific measurements before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30. Data collected by Rosetta and Philae have improved scientists' understanding of comets and the role they played in the
Police officers in the U.S. are more likely to stop or arrest black, Hispanic and Native American people than they are to stop or arrest non-Hispanic white people, a new study finds. The researchers also found that more blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were killed and injured by police over the study period than non-Hispanic whites. "Both blacks and white Hispanics are four times as likely to be killed by the police as white non-Hispanics are," said lead study author Ted Miller, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland.
The chairman of the House Science Committee threatened further action Wednesday after the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking records about their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about man-made climate change. Texas GOP Rep. Lamar Smith said he was disappointed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey refused to comply with subpoenas he issued two weeks ago.
Spanish troops intervened Tuesday as a wildfire near the eastern city of Valencia spread to a nature reserve after laying waste to some 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land, regional authorities said.
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The mysterious, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 likely crashed off the coast of Australia or hundreds of miles to the north, researchers in Italy said. The potential crash area overlaps with the underwater zone that investigators are now scouring for hunks of metal debris. Search efforts have so far failed to reveal why and where the airliner wrecked more than two years ago, taking with it 239 passengers and crew members.
A nocturnal species of weasel with a robber-mask-like marking across its eyes has returned to the remote ranchlands of western Wyoming where the critter almost went extinct more than 30 years ago. Wildlife officials on Tuesday released 35 black-footed ferrets on two ranches near Meeteetse, a tiny cattle ranching community 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. Black-footed ferrets, generally solitary animals, were let loose individually over a wide area.
A footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found. The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find. The print was found some 64 kilometers (40 miles) outside the city of Sucre in central Bolivia by a tourist guide earlier this month.
NEWS BRIEF Using remote sensing technologies, U.S. archaeologists have unlocked a lost piece of early North American history—all without actually digging. The fort of San Marcos, located in present-day Parris Island, South Carolina, was one of five forts that existed in 1577 in the Spanish colonial town of Santa Elena, the remains of which were first uncovered almost 40 years ago. After two years of research, Chester DePratter of the University of South Carolina and Victor Thompson of the University of Georgia were able to uncover the missing fort by employing ground-penetrating radar, soil testing, and monitoring magnetic fields to detect the landscape of the ancient settlement. The 16th-century
A streak of light burst across the night sky late Wednesday, generating a frenzy and prompting questions: Was it a meteor or meteor shower? A fireball or smoldering satellite? From witness accounts, the glowing trail was spotted in Nevada, Utah and across California -- and perhaps elsewhere. A spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command said the agency would not provide details until Thursday morning. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., told The Times that the fireball was debris from a Chinese rocket launched June 25. Based on tracking data provided by the Joint Space Operations Center, McDowell said the Long March 7 rocket reentered
Almost all living things need oxygen to survive. The Earth’s atmosphere is currently around 21 percent oxygen, but it didn’t always provide that big of a breath of fresh air to its inhabitants. Millions and billions of years ago, oxygen levels were much lower, but exactly how low was unclear. Now, a remarkable discovery has been made by a team at Brock University in Canada by studying 815-million-year-old air bubbles, preserved in rock salt. They’ve found that oxygen levels were five times what was originally thought at that time. Their results show that oxygen existed in abundance well before the appearance of complex animals, and it calls into question the evolution of these life forms, long
Israel's national museum is set to display a 2,200-year-old Egyptian mummy of a man who was afflicted with some modern-day illnesses such as osteoporosis and tooth decay, the museum said on Tuesday. The mummy is the only such relic in Israel, named the "Protective Eye of Horus," after a pharaonic deity. It was kept for decades at a Jesuit institute in Jerusalem before it was loaned to the Israel Museum.
Futuristic technologies that promise to improve people's strength and smarts by editing genes, implanting brain chips or super-charging blood have raised more concern than enthusiasm among Americans, a poll showed on Tuesday. The survey by the Pew Research Center included more than 4,700 US adults, and is considered a nationally representative sample. The prospect of brain implants that could increase intelligence and focus also raised concern for 69 percent of people, as did the potential of synthetic blood that could improve speed, strength and stamina (63 percent).
Past earthquakes that damaged ancient temples perched high in the Himalayas could be harbingers of dangerous quakes to come, new research suggests. "The supporting pillars and temple structures are tilted with respect to their original positions.
With antibiotic-resistant super bugs on the rise, researchers are on an urgent hunt for other bacteria that might yield chemicals we can harness as powerful drugs. Scientists once found most of these helpful bacteria in soil, but in recent decades this go-to search location hasn't delivered. Now, researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany say that to find at least one promising candidate, we need look no further than our own noses. The scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature that a species of bacteria inside the human nose produces a substance capable of killing a range of bacteria, including the strain of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus known as MRSA. The Tübingen team
Super volcanic eruptions are so catastrophically powerful that they could devastate the entire planet. In a worst case scenario, these kinds of eruptions can eject 1000s of cubic kilometers of magma and ash in the matter of days or few months. That much ash in the atmosphere could block out the light and heat of the sun for years or decades. Unlike most volcanic eruptions, what makes super-eruptions different is that they are unable to erupt easily.
These questions affect parents and children of every race and ethnicity, and though the substance of individual conversations may differ, the underlying advice on how to talk to kids doesn't change, experts said: Meet them where they are, encourage openness and don't expect that a single conversation will cover the topic. "It's OK to make a mistake," in conversation with a child, said Kimberly Seals Allers, the founder of MochaManual.com, an online destination for parents of color. Black parents don't have the luxury of ignoring color, Allers told Live Science.
It took a group of researchers from five different countries including India, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and France but we’ve finally learned (and it should come as no surprise because they’re indestructible) that cockroaches are the fountain of youth. The highly disgusting, Diploptera punctata AKA Pacific Beetle Cockroach — which is the only known viviparous cockroach. Meaning that like humans, the Pacific Beetle Cockroach gives birth to live babies rather than hatching eggs.
Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will address the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia today (July 27), presumably about gun violence in America. In January 2011, Giffords was shot in the head during a meeting with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. She survived, but six other people present at the event were killed. Since that tragic event, both Giffords and Kelly have been outspoken advocates of the need for more gun control, and it appears they will address this topic today at the DNC. "Gabby & I are excited to speak at @DemConvention on Wed. about why @HillaryClinton will make our country safer," Kelly said
Migaloo’s dazzling pearly skin has made him the most famous white whale in the world—and he has just been spotted again this year off of Australia’s east coast near Byron Bay. Migaloo (Aboriginal for “whitefella”) was photographed for the first time on June 28th, 1991 and was determined to be an adult male after a small piece of his skin was sampled and genetically fingerprinted. Until 2004, it was thought Migaloo was the only white humpback whale, but another white whale calf was spotted in Australian waters, so now it seems there are at least two in this area of the world. Researchers are unsure if the whale spotted this week was Migaloo, or the other white whale sometimes called “Migaloo Junior,” but using the tail shape for identification, some are sure this is indeed Migaloo.
University of Washington biology professor Adam Summers no longer has to coax hospital staff to use their CT scanners so he can visualize the inner structures of stingray and other fish. Last fall, he installed a small computed tomography, or CT, scanner at the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island in Washington state and launched an ambitious project to scan and digitize all of more than 25,000 species in the world.
Carrier, who saw himself as the Thomas Edison of air conditioners, changed the world with his invention—but its original aims were much smaller than that. The air conditioner, built to both cool a room and reduce humidity, was originally created to keep moist air in a printing plant from wrinkling magazine pages. Research he produced for the company saved them $40,000 a year, and Carrier was put in charge of a new department of experimental engineering, where he designed his first air-conditioner for the printing plant.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is such a crazy, turbulent storm that it creates sound waves that travel hundreds of miles up and actually heat the planet's upper atmosphere. That's the conclusion of scientists who found a striking hotspot right above the Great Red Spot. They describe their finding Wednesday in the journal Nature. The Great Red Spot is a vast storm about 10,000 miles wide — around 1.5 times the size of Earth. "It's the largest storm in the solar system," says James O'Donoghue, a researcher at Boston University's Center for Space Physics. "I guess, really, it's the largest storm we know about anywhere, so far." This storm has screaming winds that blow up to 350 miles per hour, he says.
US military bases along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico will be increasingly vulnerable to floods and power-packed storms as the planet warms, researchers said Wednesday. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists spanned 18 military bases, and found that many risk losing land and strategic assets in the coming decades due to sea level rise. The analysis was based on two different projections of sea level rise and how it may affect US bases from Florida to Maine.