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Showing posts from February 15, 2017

Fossils show quick rebound of life after ancient mass extinction

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fossils including sharks, sea reptiles and squid-like creatures dug up in Idaho reveal a marine ecosystem thriving relatively soon after Earth's worst mass extinction, contradicting the long-held notion life was slow to recover from the calamity. Scientists on Wednesday described the surprising fossil discovery showing creatures flourishing in the aftermath of the worldwide die-off at the end of the Permian Period about 252 million years ago that erased roughly 90 percent of species.


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AP, HHMI collaborate on expanded science, health coverage

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is partnering with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education to expand its coverage of science, medicine and health journalism.


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Unearthed essay on alien life reveals Churchill the scientist

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill shows Britain's wartime leader was uncannily prescient about the possibility of alien life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The 11-page article was drafted on the eve of World War Two in 1939 and updated in the 1950s, decades before astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets in the 1990s. The hunt for life on other worlds has taken off in the last 20 years as observations have suggested the Milky Way alone may contain more than a billion Earth-size planets that could be habitable. Churchill was already thinking along similar lines nearly 80 years ago, writing that "with hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each containing thousands of millions of suns, the odds are enormous that there must be immense numbers which possess planets whose circumstances would not render life impossible".


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Unearthed essay on alien life reveals Churchill the scientist

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill shows Britain's wartime leader was uncannily prescient about the possibility of alien life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The 11-page article was drafted on the eve of World War Two in 1939 and updated in the 1950s, decades before astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets in the 1990s. The hunt for life on other worlds has taken off in the last 20 years as observations have suggested the Milky Way alone may contain more than a billion Earth-size planets that could be habitable. Churchill was already thinking along similar lines nearly 80 years ago, writing that "with hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each containing thousands of millions of suns, the odds are enormous that there must be immense numbers which possess planets whose circumstances would not render life impossible".

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Unearthed essay on alien life reveals Churchill the scientist

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill shows Britain's wartime leader was uncannily prescient about the possibility of alien life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The 11-page article was drafted on the eve of World War Two in 1939 and updated in the 1950s, decades before astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets in the 1990s. The hunt for life on other worlds has taken off in the last 20 years as observations have suggested the Milky Way alone may contain more than a billion Earth-size planets that could be habitable. Churchill was already thinking along similar lines nearly 80 years ago, writing that "with hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each containing thousands of millions of suns, the odds are enormous that there must be immense numbers which possess planets whose circumstances would not render life impossible".


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Endangered Antelopes Face 'Catastrophic' Die-Off

A critically endangered species of antelope is dying by the thousands from a deadly infectious disease outbreak in Mongolia, and scientists fear there could be "catastrophic consequences" for the threatened animals and their ecosystem. Since December 2016, about 2,500 Mongolian saiga (Saiga tatarica mongolica) — a unique subspecies of saiga antelope — have died from a livestock virus. Scientists estimate the Mongolian saiga population to be about 10,000, meaning the deadly outbreak has killed about 25 percent of the endangered steppe-dwelling antelope.


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Looming Octopus 'Dances' in Winning Underwater Photo

A vibrant and striking photo of an octopus spreading its tentacles in an Indian Ocean tide pool won diver Gabriel Barathieu the title of Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) 2017. Over just two days, a panel of three judges pared down the entries to 100 finalists, according to UPY jury chair Peter Rowlands, publisher of Underwater Photography magazine. "From my own point of view, I have been captivated not only by the winning images but also by the stories behind how those images were achieved," Rowlands said in the statement.


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Ancient 'Nessie' Delivered Live Baby Sea Monsters

Until now, researchers had thought that the fearsome marine reptile known as Dinocephalosaurus laid eggs, just as birds and crocodiles (its distant relatives) do. "This is the first-ever evidence of live birth in an animal group previously thought to lay eggs exclusively," said the study's lead researcher, Jun Liu, an associate professor of paleontology at the Hefei University of Technology in China. Researchers discovered the specimen of the pregnant Dinocephalosaurus in southwestern China's Luoping Biota National Geopark in 2008.


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India launches record 104 satellites at one go

India successfully launched 104 satellites in a single mission on Wednesday, setting what its space agency says is a world record of launching the most satellites at one go. Of the 104, 101 are foreign satellites to serve international customers as the South Asian nation seeks a bigger share of the $300 billion global space industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his congratulations on the launch conducted by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that went off smoothly and was carried live on national TV news channels.


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