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Showing posts from December 30, 2016

Anthropologists to examine mummified body found in Detroit garage

A body that had decomposed to the point of mummification was found in a car in the garage of a Detroit home, and medical examiners have called for an anthropologist to conduct a special autopsy of the remains, authorities said on Friday. The desiccated corpse was discovered by a man who was house shopping and ventured into the home's garage on Thursday afternoon, spotting the body inside an early 1990s-model Plymouth sedan, police and coroner's officials said. How long the body had been in the garage and the circumstances of the individual's death remained unknown, said Lloyd Jackson, a spokesman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

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Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, Departs Space Agency

NASA's chief scientist is leaving the agency after more than three years on the job, as NASA refreshes the leadership of its science programs. Ellen Stofan left NASA this month after serving as chief scientist since August 2013. Agency spokesman Dwayne Brown was not immediately able to provide an exact departure date, or plans to select a new chief scientist.


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'Leap Second' Will Make New Year's Eve Just a Little Bit Longer

World clocks will officially add a "leap second" at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is the time standard set by highly precise atomic clocks. The extra second of party time is designed to reconcile two ways of keeping time: atomic clocks, and clocks based on the Earth's rotation. "Earth is slowing down over geological time, and that can lead to a problem when you've got a ton of clocks," Demetrios Matsakis, chief scientist at the U.S. Naval Observatory's Time Service Department,  told Live Science last year.


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Cheetahs Are Racing Toward Extinction

The cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, is headed toward extinction, largely due to unprecedented habitat loss, scientists announced in a new study. The research revealed that only 7,100 cheetahs remain globally and that the speedy animal has lost 91 percent of its historic habitat range. In Zimbabwe, where the cheetah distribution is well-documented, the population has plummeted from 1,200 individuals in 2000 to about 170 individuals in 2016, according to the study.


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Ancient Stone Bowl Unearthed in Jerusalem Perplexes Experts

It's unclear whether a mysterious 2,100-year-old stone bowl fragment recently unearthed in Jerusalem belonged to royalty or a commoner, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced late last week. The fragment — made from chalk, a type of limestone — is small enough to fit in a person's hand. Although the name itself is Greek, many Jews used it during the Hellenistic period, The Times of Israel reported.


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Earth Scientists Are Freaking Out. NASA Urges Calm.

At a time when NASA earth scientists are concerned their research may be scuttled by the incoming Trump administration, the space agency's top science official is preaching pragmatism and unity. The names of the two key Trump administration figures who will have the most significant impact on NASA's future — the new NASA administrator and the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — have not been announced. To put that in scientific terms, all the rumor and discussion swirling around the scientific community about NASA's future under a Trump presidency is noise, "not signal," said Thomas Zurbuchen, who took over as the leader of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in October.


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