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Showing posts from November 4, 2015

Scientists tinker with evolution to save Hawaii coral reefs

COCONUT ISLAND, Hawaii (AP) — Scientists are preparing to transplant laboratory-enhanced coral onto reefs in Hawaii in hopes that the high-performing specimens will strengthen the overall health of the reef.


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NASA to Unveil New Findings About Mars' Atmosphere Thursday

NASA will reveal new results about the atmosphere of Mars this Thursday (Nov. 5), and you can watch the action live. The space agency is hosting a news conference on Thursday at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) to "announce new findings on [the] fate of Mars' atmosphere," according to a NASA media advisory. You can watch the news conference live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.


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Got the Right Stuff? NASA Is Recruiting New Astronauts

Calling all aspiring astronauts: NASA announced today (Nov. 4) that it will be accepting applications starting in December for its next round of astronaut training. Currently, there are 47 active members in NASA's astronaut corp., with the last group of new astronauts selected in 2013. Applications for the new class will be accepted from mid-December through mid-February, and those selected to begin astronaut training will be announced in mid-2017.


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Halloween Asteroid Not So Spooky in New Photos

New photos show the less spooky side of the big asteroid that flew past Earth on Halloween.


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Bad-Rap Bats in Danger of Extinction Around the World (Photos)

Ricardo Antunes is a conservation biologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Julie Larsen Maher is staff photographer for WCS, the first woman to hold the position since the society's founding in 1895. In addition to documenting her field visits, Maher photographs the animals at WCS’s five New York-based wildlife parks: the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.


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Capturing Cacti Before They Disappear: Q&A with Cacti Curator John Trager

Cacti and succulents do. In conditions of less and less water availability, cacti and succulents can continue to cover our gardenscapes, bringing beauty while conserving precious water resources. Zina Deretsky: How are cacti and succulents important in the wild, and in gardens?


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Cosmic Soufflé: The Tricky Art of Spiral Galaxies

Paul Sutter is a visiting scholar at The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP). Julia Child and Alton Brown make it look so easy, but it's a real devil to cook it just so to get that stratospheric tower of deliciousness. So how do you cook a spiral galaxy?


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Space Travel and A Futurist's Thoughts on Trash (Op-Ed)

Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, humans have made the environment's health a secondary consideration, at best. Pollution has reached the point where a cleanup of our environment — on a macro scale with heavy equipment — is impractical, and despite present efforts, humanity is losing the fight to manage trash. Commercial and government-mandated recycling can't cope with the sheer volume of trash, and these programs only excel at processing such material as paper, aluminum and steel.


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Acra at Last? Site of Ancient Jewish Revolt Unearthed

Archaeologists in Jerusalem may have just solved one of the city's greatest geographical mysteries. Excavators recently unearthed what they think are the ruins of the Acra, a fortress constructed more than 2,000 years ago by the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215-164 B.C.). At one time mercenary soldiers and Hellenized Jews controlled the ancient fortress, enforcing a brutal rule over Jerusalem's residents.


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Robin Williams' Death: What Is Lewy Body Dementia?

Although actor Robin Williams died by suicide, the underlying cause of his death was a rare brain disease called Lewy body dementia, according to his widow. The disease caused Williams to experience hallucinations and other debilitating neurological symptoms, including depression, Susan Schneider Williams, widow of the late actor, told People magazine in a recent interview. "It was not depression that killed Robin," Schneider Williams said in the interview.

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Rare Multistate Outbreaks Cause the Most Foodborne Illness Deaths, CDC Says

The reason that a relatively high proportion of deaths come from this small percentage of outbreaks is that the multistate outbreaks tend to involve more lethal types of bacteria contamination, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said at a news conference today (Nov. 3). "Multistate foodborne disease outbreaks are the most deadly type of foodborne outbreak, despite accounting for only a small portion of reported outbreaks in the United States," Frieden said in a statement. The most recent multistate outbreak involves E. coli contamination in food from Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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Anti-Vaccination Websites Use 'Distorted' Science, Researchers Find

Many websites that promote unscientific views about vaccinations use pseudoscience and misinformation to spread the idea that vaccines are dangerous, according to a new study. For example, of the nearly 500 anti-vaccination websites examined in the study, nearly two-thirds claimed that vaccines cause autism, the researchers found. About two-thirds of the websites used information that they represented as scientific evidence, but in fact was not, to support their claims that vaccines are dangerous, and about one-third used people's anecdotes to reinforce those claims, the scientists found.

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Why Do Sand Dune Avalanches Boom, Burp and Sing?

The booming and burping sounds each correspond to different classes of waves within the sand dune, they found. During the investigation, researchers visited Eureka Dunes in Death Valley and Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert — or what the researchers called the "very hot and sandy dunes in California" — for a total of 25 summer days, study lead researcher Nathalie Vriend said in a statement. Vriend completed the research while a doctoral student at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, but now is a research fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in England.


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Alan Alda's Challenge: Can you Explain Sound to an 11-Year-Old?

The winning answer will help not only children across the world understand sound, but also the contest's founder, actor Alan Alda. Alda is known for his work on the TV series "M*A*S*H" and "The West Wing," and now heads the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. In fact, Alda started the competition based on an experience he had at age 11.


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Giant Wyoming Crack Explained: A Landslide Brought It Down

A gaping crack the length of six football fields that opened up in a matter of one to two weeks in northern Wyoming is likely the product of a landslide, geologists said. A hunter looking for antelope discovered the jagged gash near Ten Sleep, a town in rural Wyoming by the Bighorn Mountains, on Oct. 1, reported 9NEWS, a local CBS channel in Wyoming. "I was stunned," Randy Becker, the hunter with SNS Outfitter and Guides who found the crack, told CBS Denver.


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Autumn's Night Skies Offer the Best of Summer ... and Winter

Looking toward the west (to the right in the graphic), you can see the familiar constellations of summer. Above Capricornus, just to the left of Altair, is the tiny constellation Delphinus, the dolphin, one of the few constellations that actually looks like its name. It's worth also exploring the region between Altair and Albireo, where you will find two of the finest deep-sky objects: Brocchi's Cluster, popularly called "the coat hanger," and the Dumbbell Nebula, one of the largest and brightest planetary nebulae.


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Sally Ride's Life Shines in New Photobiography Book for Kids

A new children's photobiography of Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, traces the course of her life in pictures and stories compiled by her partner of 27 years — offering a rare opportunity to get to know the famously private astronaut. "Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space" (Roaring Brook Press, 2015) profusely illustrated with photos and artifacts from Ride's life, O'Shaughnessy draws from all those eras to paint a full picture of her, pointing the way for any young person wondering what the life of an astronaut is like and what it takes to become one. Space.com talked with O'Shaughnessy about writing the biography and what she hopes people will take away from Ride's story.


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