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Showing posts from October 28, 2016

SpaceX says rocket accident probe focusing on fueling system flaw

(Reuters) - SpaceX said on Friday its investigation of the cause of a Sept. 1 explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket is focusing on a possible flaw in the fueling system. The space launch company led by billionaire Elon Musk said it has not confirmed the cause of a failure in the fueling system.


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Scientist: Breach dams to save orcas off Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Researchers who track the endangered population of orcas that frequent Washington state waters say three whales are believed dead or missing since summer.


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'Frankenstein' predicted concept key to modern biology: study

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" foreshadowed a key concept in evolutionary biology formally defined by scientists a century after the man-made monster shambled across the pages of the 19th century novel, an academic study published on Friday found. The study, titled "Frankenstein and the Horrors of Competitive Exclusion" and published in BioScience, takes its inspiration from a pivotal scene in the 1816 gothic story when the monster identified only as the "Creature" asks its creator, Victor Frankenstein, to create him a mate and allow the two to go live in "the vast wilds of South America." Unlike in the 1933 movie "Bride of Frankenstein," the book's Victor Frankenstein ultimately decides against repeating his experiment, fearing the two could breed a new race of creatures that would ultimately drive humanity extinct.

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Jesus' Tomb Opened for First Time in Centuries

The original rock where Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried in Jerusalem has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in centuries. According to an exclusive report by National Geographic, a partner in the project at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the original rock surface has been covered with marble slabs since at least 1555, and possibly longer. During a conservation project to shore up the shrine surrounding the tomb, a team from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece realized that they would need to access the substructure of the shrine to restore it, said Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.


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'Frankenstein' predicted concept key to modern biology - study

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" foreshadowed a key concept in evolutionary biology formally defined by scientists a century after the man-made monster shambled across the pages of the 19th century novel, an academic study published on Friday found. The study, titled "Frankenstein and the Horrors of Competitive Exclusion" and published in BioScience, takes its inspiration from a pivotal scene in the 1816 gothic story when the monster identified only as the "Creature" asks its creator, Victor Frankenstein, to create him a mate and allow the two to go live in "the vast wilds of South America." Unlike in the 1933 movie "Bride of Frankenstein," the book's Victor Frankenstein ultimately decides against repeating his experiment, fearing the two could breed a new race of creatures that would ultimately drive humanity extinct.


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Robo Beer Run: Self-Driving Truck Delivers Budweiser

Well, rather than begging your designated driver to go on a beer run, you may be able to call on a self-driving truck to keep the fridge stocked. A self-driving truck, developed by the Uber-owned startup Otto, recently made the first autonomous commercial delivery by driving 120 miles (200 kilometers) across Colorado to deliver 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer. On Oct. 20, the truck departed the Anheuser-Busch facility in Loveland, Colorado, and drove itself on Interstate 25 through Denver — alongside regular car traffic — to Colorado Springs.


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NASA's Pluto Probe Beams Back Final Data from Historic Flyby

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has finally finished beaming home all of the data it gathered during its historic July 2015 flyby of Pluto. The last piece of flyby data reached mission control at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, early Tuesday morning (Oct. 25), NASA officials said.


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Ancient Battle Left 'Sea Monster' With Tooth Stuck in Its Face

About 75 million years ago, a mosasaur — a dolphin-like, predatory, marine reptile that lived during the dinosaur age — bit another mosasaur so hard that it left its tooth behind, embedded in its foe's face, new research finds. Now, paleontologists are studying the remains of the victim, a creature that sustained not one, but two attacks on its face, likely from different adversaries, said paleontologist Takuya Konishi, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. "The specimen represents the first direct, unequivocal evidence of nonlethal biting, and not predation, between mosasaurs," Konishi told Live Science, here at the 76th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.


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Hairy Liaisons: Ancient Chimps and Bonobos Hooked Up

Chimpanzees and bonobos are two species separated by about 2 million years and one impassible river that divides their range. Chimps and bonobos split off from a common ancestor between 1.5 million and 2 million years ago, and the two species share about 99.6 percent of their DNA, making them close relatives. The finding echoes the recent discoveries that ancient humans sometimes interbred with their close relatives Neanderthals and Denisovans, said study co-author Christina Hvilsom, who studies great-ape genetics and conservation at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark.


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Ancient Bird Coughed Up 'Fishy' Pellet 120 Million Years Ago

About 120 million years ago, a bird dunked its beak into the water, caught a fish and, after digesting the meal, coughed up a pellet full of fish bones. The bird died moments later, but now its fossils are the oldest evidence of a bird pellet on record, a new study reported. The pellet — the first that is unambiguously from a bird that lived during the Mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs — indicates that the ancient bird had a two-chambered stomach, much like birds do today, the researchers said.


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European space lander left crater on surface of Mars in crash-landing

Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that Europe's ill-fated Mars lander left a small crater on the Red Planet's surface, backing up scientists' theory that the craft hit the ground at high speed. The disc-shaped, 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of the Russian-European ExoMars program to search for evidence of life on Mars, was destroyed last week when its thrusters stopped firing too soon during its descent to the surface. Scientists believe that the Schiaparelli lander plummeted to the ground from a height of 2 to 4 km (1.2 to 2.5 miles), hitting the ground at more than 300 km/h instead of touching down softly as it was supposed to.


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