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Showing posts from February 20, 2017

Court considers constitutionality of Ohio execution process

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state tries to start carrying out executions once again. At issue is whether a contested ...


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NASA Has Made A Huge Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System

Exoplanets are widely believed to be the best hope of finding life elsewhere in the universe. 


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Blog post details sexism problems at Uber, CEO says heads will roll

Also today: An app may give a clue as to what the Samsung Galaxy S8 will look like, and SpaceX fires up a mission at a classic NASA location.


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Scientists aren’t happy with Trump. So what are they going to do about it?

Pro-science demonstrators filled Boston’s Copley Square on Sunday, February 20. BOSTON — Scientists have long spoken up for causes like the proliferation of nuclear weapons and climate change. On Sunday, hundreds of scientists filled Boston’s Copley Square at a rally, holding signs with statements like “Alternative facts are the square root of negative one.” Thousands are expected to show up at the March for Science in Washington, planned for April 22.


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Here’s a drone’s eye view of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX Rocket launches are always fun to watch, but witnessing SpaceX (or Blue Origin, for that matter) land a rocket is always an awe-inspiring event. This morning, Elon Musk’s company successfully landed its third rocket on the ground after delivering its payload into space, and there was a drone in the sky to capture the moment. It’s a unique vantage point, and SpaceX has released some neat videos in the past of its landings and attempted landings. You can check out landings in a 360-degree view, from onboard cameras, from a plane, or from drones hovering near the landing site. ...


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UK government to set out powers paving way for first space satellite launch

Britain will set out powers this week which would allow the launch of space satellites from the country for the first time, the government said on Monday. Draft legislation, which will also allow for horizontal flights to the edge of space for scientific experiments and the establishment of space ports around Britain, will set out rules and regulations for the sector. Along with funding for commercial space businesses looking to create space launches in Britain, the government said the new powers could see a commercial spaceflight from a UK space port possible by 2020.


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Gene editing mulled for improving livestock

Gene editing, which has raised ethical concerns due to its capacity to alter human DNA, is being considered in the United States as a tool for improving livestock, experts say. The technique is different than that used in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because it does not introduce foreign genes, but rather alters already existing DNA. "Gene editing is one of the newest and most promising tools of biotechnology," Alison Van Eenennaam, an expert in animal genetics and biotechnology at the University of California, Davis, told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


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SpaceX launches space station cargo ship

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from NASA's historic pad 39A Sunday, successfully boosting a cargo ship into orbit for a flight to the space station


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Scientists hold rally in Boston to protest threat to science

BOSTON (AP) — Hundreds of scientists, environmental advocates and their supporters held a rally in Boston on Sunday to protest what they see as increasing threats to science and research in the U.S.


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Finding poison in N. Korea attack may be hardest part

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A paranoid dictator's estranged brother. Two young female assassins. A crowded international airport. And a mysterious poison that kills within hours.


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Small ponds have outsized impact on global warming: study

Tiny natural ponds pose an overlooked danger for speeding up global warming, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In experiments designed to simulate moderate future warming, scientists in Britain found that such ponds -- a metre (three feet) across -- gradually lose the capacity to soak up one kind of greenhouse gas and give off even more of another. After seven years at higher-than-ambient temperatures, "the ability of the ponds to absorb carbon dioxide was reduced by almost half, while methane release nearly doubled," said lead-author Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, a professor at the University of Exeter.


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The future of private space flight

Lawrence Krauss, chair of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, on the future of private space flight.


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Brown recluse spider's exceptionally strong silk inspires new generation of tough materials

Intrigued by the strength of the recluse's silk, researchers from Oxford University and William & Mary began to study the spider and discovered they use a unique ribbon geometry not found in any other arachnid.


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Origami-inspired kevlar shield provides portable, quick-deploy cover for police

Life-saving origami, anyone? Engineers at Brigham Young University have developed an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield capable of quickly unfolding to protect officers from gunfire.


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'Blue Planet 2' Confirmed For New Series, With Sir David Attenborough Returning To Narrate

Sir David Attenborough is to front a new series of ‘Blue Planet’, 16 years on from the original. The nature documentary series will further explore underwater worlds and feature a fresh cast of extraordinary aquatic animals. Filmmakers from BBC’s natural history unit have spent the last four years gathering footage for the new seven-part series, which Sir David will narrate.


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SpaceX successfully lands its third Falcon 9 rocket on solid ground

SpaceX pulled off another successful rocket landing this morning — and this time during the day on the coast of Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket successfully touched down at SpaceX’s ground-based landing zone at Cape Canaveral after launching to space. It’s the third time that SpaceX has landed its rocket on solid ground post-launch, but the first time a ground landing has been done during the daytime.


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NASA teases a major new exoplanet discovery

The space agency is holding a news conference Wednesday to announce a big new find of planets beyond our solar system but still in the same neighborhood of the Milky Way.


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SpaceX Goes Two-for-Two on Launches This Year

Thirteen seconds before liftoff, a panicked voice on the livestream said, “hold, hold, hold!” And so SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch on Saturday morning was scrubbed in the final seconds “out of an abundance of caution,” operators said, because of a potential problem in the rocket’s upper stage.


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Scientists Hold Rally Against Trump In Boston

The rally included hundreds of scientists and crowds holding signs such as “Stand up for science,” “Science is not a liberal conspiracy,” “Science, not silence” and “Climate change is NOT a controversy."


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UK government to set out powers paving way for first space satellite launch

Britain will set out powers this week which would allow the launch of space satellites from the country for the first time, the government said on Monday. Draft legislation, which will also allow for horizontal flights to the edge of space for scientific experiments and the establishment of space ports around Britain, will set out rules and regulations for the sector. Along with funding for commercial space businesses looking to create space launches in Britain, the government said the new powers could see a commercial spaceflight from a UK space port possible by 2020.


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SpaceX launches rocket from historic NASA pad in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off on Sunday from a Florida launch pad once used to send NASA astronauts to the moon, a step forward for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company's goal of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station. The 229-foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 soared off a seaside launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center at 9:39 a.m. EST (1439 GMT) carrying a Dragon cargo ship that holds supplies and science experiments for the station. Nine minutes after blastoff, the main section of the rocket flew back to a landing pad at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the eighth successful touchdown for Space Exploration Technologies Corp.


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60,000-year-old microbes found in Mexican mine: NASA scientist

NASA scientists have discovered living microorganisms trapped inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years in a mine in Mexico. "This has profound effects on how we try to understand the evolutionary history of microbial life on this planet," she said. The mine is famous for its huge crystals, some as long as 50 feet (15 meters).


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Science’s supporters suit up: How to get ready for the global march on Earth Day

BOSTON – Hundreds of science-minded demonstrators converged on Boston over the weekend to test a prototype for the March for Science, a campaign that’s expected to bring out more than a million people around the globe on April 22. Sunday’s “Stand Up for Science” rally took place during the height of this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as a result drew attendees from the AAAS crowd – including Bish Paul, a molecular biologist who got his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and worked at Seattle’s Fred Hutchison Cancer Institute. “We’re not protesting a party,” Paul,… Read More


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SpaceX celebrates successful launch from historic NASA launch pad in Florida

The private company's newest rocket was sent with supplies to the International Space Station.


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‘Baby Came Back!’ SpaceX’s Rocket Safely Returns to Earth in Launch Pad Landing on Historic Site

Rocket launches are always cool to watch. On Sunday, private space company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After sending a cargo spacecraft packed with 5,500 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station, the Falcon 9 returned to earth — and cameras where there to capture its awe-inspiring descent and subsequent landing.


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Gabon's forest elephants slain for ivory at alarming rate

Poachers are killing elephants for their ivory at an alarming rate in the central African nation of Gabon, leading to a loss of 80 percent of the population in the last decade. "Because Gabon is thought to hold the largest remaining population of forest elephants, the implication is that forest elephants are in even more trouble than previously believed," said researcher John Poulsen of Duke University and the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux in Gabon.


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Gabon's forest elephants slain for ivory at alarming rate

Poachers are killing elephants for their ivory at an alarming rate in the central African nation of Gabon, leading to a loss of 80 percent of the population in the last decade. "Because Gabon is thought to hold the largest remaining population of forest elephants, the implication is that forest elephants are in even more trouble than previously believed," said researcher John Poulsen of Duke University and the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux in Gabon.


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SpaceX's Falcon 9 stages successful launch, Dragon heads toward rendezvous with ISS

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 9:38 am, after a technical issue halted a Saturday launch.


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Humanity In The Age Of AI

"We are either kings or pawns of men," said Napoleon Bonaparte. In his famous quote, he describes possibly the biggest challenge facing humanity as we move into a world driven by ever smarter, more manipulative technology. As technology advances, we are quickly becoming slaves to it, unaware of our intentional manipulation.


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Humanity In The Age Of AI

"We are either kings or pawns of men," said Napoleon Bonaparte. In his famous quote, he describes possibly the biggest challenge facing humanity as we move into a world driven by ever smarter, more manipulative technology. As technology advances, we are quickly becoming slaves to it, unaware of our intentional manipulation.


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Tribes lay 9,000-year-old remains of ‘Ancient One,’ a.k.a. Kennewick Man, to rest

After more than 20 years, one of anthropology’s most contentious cases was closed over the weekend with the reburial of the 9,000-year-old remains of Kennewick Man, now better known as the Ancient One. More than 200 people, including members of five Native American tribes, gathered at an undisclosed site on the Columbia River Plateau early Saturday to bury the remains in accordance with centuries-old funerary rituals, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation said in a news release. “This is a big day, and our people have come to witness and honor our ancestor,” said Armand Minthorn, a member of the… Read More


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The Ocean Could Contain A Near Limitless Supply Of Nuclear Fuel

Scientists believe they’ve found a viable way to extract uranium from the oceans, opening up a source of energy that could supply today’s nuclear power stations for 6,000 years. Researchers from Stanford University have developed a technique that, they believe, will give us the option to extract nuclear fuel from seawater. There is an enormous quantity of uranium in the oceans, around 4.5 billion tonnes, in the form of uranyl ions with a positive charge.


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The Ocean Could Contain A Near Limitless Supply Of Nuclear Fuel

Scientists believe they’ve found a viable way to extract uranium from the oceans, opening up a source of energy that could supply today’s nuclear power stations for 6,000 years. Researchers from Stanford University have developed a technique that, they believe, will give us the option to extract nuclear fuel from seawater. There is an enormous quantity of uranium in the oceans, around 4.5 billion tonnes, in the form of uranyl ions with a positive charge.


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Blue screen of death? iPhone freezing? Blame particles from outer space

That crashed computer might not be Microsoft's fault at all, but rather the result of a tiny particle from outer space striking a transistor.


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Study: Struggling college students get a hand to graduate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting through college isn't easy, and it can be even harder for low-income and first generation students with few support resources. A new tool involving big data can help those at risk.


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Facial-recognition software may help save Earth’s most endangered mammals

Lemurs are considered the world's most endangered mammal, but a team of researchers have devised a system called LemurFaceID, which uses facial-recognition software to spot lemurs in their natural habitat.


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David Attenborough will be narrating a new series of Blue Planet this year

Following on the from the success of Planet Earth II (coming soon to a Snapchat app near you), the BBC has announced its latest nature-doc extravaganza: a sequel to the award-winning series The Blue Planet. As the name suggest, the show will focus on the variety of wildlife to be found in the Earth’s seas and oceans. Blue Planet II will air in the UK later this year (hitting US screens some time after presumably), and will feature the narrating talents of naturalist icon David Attenborough.


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This new NASA air traffic control tech aims for flight efficiency

NASA and the FAA teamed up to test this new air traffic control system, which is part of the NextGen program. It will free up space for more flight patterns, enhance pilot communications, save fuel, and improve arrival times for flights.


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Scientists Measure Effect Of High-Energy Electrons On CMB

An image released Monday by the European Southern Observatory shows the first measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect on the Cosmic Microwave Background.


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Human Hibernation Could Halt Cancer, Making It Easier To Fight

A leading scientist has suggested that placing humans into a state of hibernation could be a powerful new tool for fighting cancer, in particular terminal cancers. Professor Marco Durante, from the Trento Institute in Italy, has suggested that if humans could be successfully placed into a hibernation state then it would stop the cancer in its tracks. In addition it would also make radiotherapy far more effective as inactive tissue responds better to this form of treatment.


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