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Science News

Physicist and ex-Rep. Rush Holt: The March for Science fight isn’t over

Physicist and ex-Rep. Rush Holt: The March for Science fight isn’t overRush Holt Jr., the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, talks to Yahoo News about what science supporters can do now that the March for Science is over.



04/24/2017 - 02:23 PM

 

Astronaut Peggy Whitson Holds Records for Longest Time in Space by an American

Astronaut Peggy Whitson Holds Records for Longest Time in Space by an AmericanWhitson is the first woman to command at NASA, take eight space walks and orbit nearly 250 miles above the Earth.



04/24/2017 - 12:00 AM

 

UNEP chief confident US will not ditch Paris climate deal

UNEP chief confident US will not ditch Paris climate dealThe UN's environment chief is confident that the United States will not pull out of the Paris climate deal and expects a decision from Washington next month. Erik Solheim told AFP in an interview on Monday that even if the United States withdraws, China and the European Union will step in and take the lead to implement the global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



04/24/2017 - 04:56 PM

 

Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bow

Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bowBERNARDS, N.J. (AP) — A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history.



04/24/2017 - 07:15 PM

 

Technology Is Killing Iceland’s Language

Technology Is Killing Iceland’s LanguageTechnology doesn’t speak Icelandic, so it’s in danger of being lost to history.



04/24/2017 - 05:40 PM

 

France probes Peugeot over emissions cheating

France probes Peugeot over emissions cheatingFrance on Monday opened a judicial enquiry into allegations carmaking giant PSA cheated on diesel pollution tests in the latest twist in a huge emissions scandal which hit the industry in 2015. A judicial source told AFP the Paris prosecutor on April 7 opened an investigation into claims that PSA might have rigged controls which could "render its merchandise dangerous for human or animal health". Fraud investigators have levelled similar allegations at PSA's French rival Renault, part government-owned and accused of cheating on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines for over 25 years with the knowledge of top management.



04/24/2017 - 01:32 PM

 

The EPA won't be shutting down its open data website after all

The EPA won't be shutting down its open data website after allScientists and data experts are closely tracking the websites of federal agencies, noting changes to pages dealing with climate change and energy since President Donald Trump took office.  On Monday, they noticed an alarming message posted to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) open data website, indicating it would shut down on Friday, April 28. SEE ALSO: The science march is about 'hope' for a fact-based future Friday is the day the current federal stopgap funding bill expires. The EPA apparently worried that Congress wouldn't pass a new continuing resolution to fund the government, and preemptively planned to end the Open Data service, according to the contractor managing the site, 3 Round Stones in Arlington, Virginia. However, open data advocates may have found that shining a spotlight and harnessing social media can be powerful tools for protecting our national digital resources. Well, let's get to scraping, my friends. pic.twitter.com/8svzlBYSuZ — Steven Rich (@dataeditor) April 24, 2017 The EPA disputes accounts that it ever intended to take down the website. Open Data was made publicly available in 2016 to enable people to easily search decades' worth of federal environmental data. The site hosts information on more than four million EPA-regulated facilities, including coal-fired power plants, steel mills, dry cleaners, and manufacturing sites. Reporters who visited the Open Data website on Monday encountered a pop-up notification advising them that the site would be shut down on Friday. Later attempts to visit the site resulted in "service unavailable" and "proxy error" screens. Bernadette Hyland, a data scientist and CEO of 3 Round Stones, alerted the public to the changes on Sunday via Twitter and in a Medium post, which has since been updated to include a statement from the EPA. .@splcenter Breaking news on @EPA #pollution #opendata going offline https://t.co/I0JtspAfr6 #EndangeredData #environmentalJustice @altUSEPA — Bernadette Hyland (@BernHyland) April 24, 2017 The EPA told 3 Round Stones, "If Congress does not pass a budget, we will be facing a government shutdown and won't be able to give technical direction to continue any work," Hyland wrote in the Medium post, which received over 8,600 page views in 24 hours. A related tweet earned 137,000 impressions. Social media backlash swiftly followed, and reporters flocked to the site to figure out what, if anything, was happening to the troves of federal environmental information hosted there. By Monday afternoon, visitors to Open Data received a different pop-up notification, which clarifies that data on the site will still be available come Friday. Image: screenshot/opendata.epa.gov"The website isn't going anywhere, and this episode has little to nothing to do with contingency plans in case of a shutdown," J.P. Freire, a spokesman for the EPA, said in an email. He accused the site's contractor of sending "inappropriate and unauthorized communications on EPA's behalf." Another EPA spokesman, John Konkus, said "rumors about the website, opendata.epa.gov, are just that — rumors." Hyland, who stands by her original account, said the last 24 hours have been particularly encouraging. Not only did people speak out in defense of data science — but the federal government also responded. It's the best example of "social media working in a positive way to have a positive outcome that I've ever personally experienced," she said in an interview.  She added that last Saturday's March for Science events likely helped inspire some of the public support for Open Data. "I think we benefitted in a way from that momentum," Hyland said. "The need for open access is at the forefront of everybody's awareness." WATCH: The first zero emissions ship looks pretty badass



04/24/2017 - 01:56 PM

 

President Trump speaks with record-breaking astronaut

President Trump speaks with record-breaking astronautOn Monday, Arpil 24, 2017, President Trump speaks to record breaking astronaut Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA currently in space on the International Space Station.



04/24/2017 - 11:26 AM

 

Why Some Creative People Are More Attractive

Why Some Creative People Are More AttractiveShowing a bit of creativity on your online dating profile could make you appear more attractive to potential dates, a new study suggests. In the study, people were asked to rate the attractiveness of individuals in photos who were said to have written a short piece of creative writing to display their creativity. The findings suggest that "creativity can enhance your attractiveness both as a potential date and as a potential social partner [or] same-sex friend," said study author Christopher Watkins, a lecturer in psychology at Abertay University in Scotland.



04/24/2017 - 11:54 AM

 

Converting coal would help China's smog at climate's expense

Converting coal would help China's smog at climate's expenseBEIJING (AP) — China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday.



04/25/2017 - 12:01 AM

 

Weird clouds may have inspired 'The Scream': scientists

Weird clouds may have inspired 'The Scream': scientistsThe psychedelic clouds in Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" have alternatively been interpreted as a metaphor for mental anguish or a literal depiction of volcanic fallout. On Monday, scientists hypothesised that the Norwegian painter's inspiration may in fact have been rare clouds which form in cold places at high altitude. The first version of "The Scream" was released in 1893.



04/24/2017 - 07:30 AM

 

Treasure trove of bronze and copper reveals incredible speed of flash Inca invasion

Treasure trove of bronze and copper reveals incredible speed of flash Inca invasionAround 1450 CE, the Incas attacked so fast that many of the Colla people of the hill fort of Ayawiri in Peru didn't have time to take their valuables with them as they abandoned their homes. Putting a number on how quickly people abandoned settlements hundreds of years ago is tricky using methods like radiocarbon dating, which are not very precise on those time scales.



04/24/2017 - 10:49 AM

 

Science journal retracts 107 'fabricated' research papers by Chinese authors

Science journal retracts 107 'fabricated' research papers by Chinese authorsAn international publisher has retracted 107 research papers by Chinese authors, after finding out that the reports had been "compromised." The articles were published by the Springer Nature publishing company in the journal Tumor Biology, between 2012 and 2016. SEE ALSO: Doctors are treating brain cancer with an electric cap The publisher said it found that the papers, which are required to be peer-reviewed, had been submitted to reviewers who had fake email addresses. "We are retracting these published papers because the peer review process required for publication in our journals had been deliberately compromised by fabricated peer reviewer reports," Springer Nature said in a statement on RetractionWatch.com. The articles were submitted with the names of real researchers, but fabricated email addresses, Peter Butler, editorial director at Springer Nature for cell biology and biochemistry, was quoted in a report by state-run China Daily. After investigating and following up with the real reviewers, the latters confirmed to Springer Nature that they did not do the peer review. The authors involved in the incident all hail from Chinese organisations, with a large majority of the articles involving research in the field of cancer. WATCH: Scientists discovered a rare giant black worm monster in the Philippines



04/24/2017 - 02:41 AM

 

Citizen scientists discover new type of aurora

Citizen scientists discover new type of auroraScientists still don't know what caused the mysterious phenomenon 'Steve'.



04/24/2017 - 09:18 AM

 

Taking the Leap: Archerfish Snag More Prey with Amazing Jumps

Taking the Leap: Archerfish Snag More Prey with Amazing JumpsArcherfish launch well-aimed water jets to stun their insect prey — but that's not the only trick in their hunting arsenal. Recently, scientists captured high-speed video of the leaping fish, documenting the fin and tail techniques that propel the fish upward. Analysis of the archerfish's body movements offered insights into how they could jump so high — more than twice their own body length — to reach their prey.



04/24/2017 - 08:47 AM

 

World's last male rhino getting help from Tinder dating app

World's last male rhino getting help from Tinder dating appNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The world's last male northern white rhino has joined the Tinder dating app as wildlife experts make a last-chance breeding effort to keep his species alive.



04/25/2017 - 11:22 AM

 

Kitty Hawk unveils, begins testing of 'flying car' prototype

Kitty Hawk unveils, begins testing of 'flying car' prototypeTrace Gallagher reports from Los Angeles



04/24/2017 - 04:24 PM

 

Royal Society: We must take action on AI machine learning to safeguard our futures

Royal Society: We must take action on AI machine learning to safeguard our futuresThe Royal Society is calling for governments, academia and industry to work together urgently to ensure that machine learning develops into a technology able to benefit the UK as a whole, as an antidote to fear mongering about the future dangers of artificial intelligence. The UK's science academy has spent a year and a half working on the report, entitled "Machine Learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example", in order to find out how the UK general public views machine learning.



04/24/2017 - 07:00 PM

 

Supporting Science is as American as the Constitution and the Founding Fathers

Supporting Science is as American as the Constitution and the Founding FathersScientific progress and American democracy are inextricably bound for their mutual survival.



04/24/2017 - 03:28 PM

 

Wooden Figurines 'Weave' at Tiny Looms Placed in Ancient Grave

Wooden Figurines 'Weave' at Tiny Looms Placed in Ancient GraveTiny wooden figurines have stood upright "weaving" at appropriately sized looms for more than 2,100 years in a Chinese tomb containing the remains of a middle-age woman, a new study finds. The discovery of the miniature scene astonished archaeologists, who were surveying an area slated for subway construction in Chengdu, a city in China's southwestern Sichuan province, in 2013. The looms may be small — the largest is about the size of a child's toy piano — but they're the earliest evidence on record of looms that could be used to weave patterns, the researchers said.



04/24/2017 - 09:01 AM

 

Tour London's Natural History Museum in VR with David Attenborough

Tour London's Natural History Museum in VR with David AttenboroughYou'll soon be able to take a hands-on tour of London's Natural History Museum with famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough, right from the comfort of your couch. The new project combines interactive virtual-reality (VR) technology with a TV documentary, in which a hologram of Attenborough takes viewers "behind the glass" at the museum. According to Sky, the European entertainment company behind the VR experience, the interactive technology will allow users to hold, tilt and peer inside the museum's collection of objects.



04/24/2017 - 12:53 PM

 

Tinder wants you to swipe right on this rhino to help save his species

Tinder wants you to swipe right on this rhino to help save his speciesThe world's most eligible bachelor is coming to Tinder — and he may not be who you expect. In a new campaign launched Tuesday, Tinder has partnered with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya to introduce users to Sudan, the last known male northern white rhino in existence. The platform hopes to save Sudan's species from extinction. SEE ALSO: 9 incredible ways we're using drones for social good As the last hope for all northern white rhinos, 42-year-old Sudan is one of the most protected animals on the planet, surrounded by armed guards at all times. He lives at the conservancy with the only two female northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu. But he's been unable to breed with Najin and Fatu due to a number of issues, including old age and a low sperm count.  Image: TinderThrough Sudan's Tinder profile — complete with an adorable profile photo — Tinder and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy hope to raise a hefty $9 million to fund in-vitro efforts in lieu of natural breeding to save the northern white rhino. "As a platform that makes millions of meaningful connections every day, raising awareness about Sudan the Rhino and the importance of finding his match seemed like something we could support in a really impactful way," a Tinder spokesperson told Mashable. "We've heard countless stories about Tinder babies, but this would be the first match to save a species." Any users who see ads on Tinder could potentially see Sudan the Rhino in their card stack. When users swipe right on Sudan, they'll receive a message that features a link to donate, which would help fund ongoing research focusing on "assisted reproductive technologies." Scientists are currently testing ways to use in-vitro fertilization on Najin and Fatu, as well as female southern white rhinos with Sudan's stored sperm, hoping to achieve white rhino pregnancies to support population growth.  Southern white rhinos aren't endangered, but they are a different subspecies from northern white rhinos. These offspring, then, wouldn't be 100 percent northern white rhino, but experts say that option is better than extinction. And there are currently 17,000 southern white rhinos in existence, meaning chances of success are much higher. White rhino populations around the globe have been severely threatened by poaching, with hundreds killed each year by illegal hunters. The animals are killed for their horns, which are traded illegally and used in traditional Asian medicines to treat a range of illnesses. They're particularly vulnerable to poaching because they're relatively unaggressive and travel in herds. Sudan at the Ol Pejeta Conservacy in central Kenya.Image: Glyn Edmunds / REX / ShutterstockIf successful, this would be the first time scientists carry out artificial reproduction in rhinos. They hope to establish a herd of 10 northern white rhinos after five years.  "Saving the northern white rhinos is critical if we are to, one day, reintroduce rhinos back into Central Africa," said Richard Vigne, CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. "They contain unique genetic traits that confer upon them the ability to survive in this part of Africa. Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild, which is where their true value will be realized." This isn't Tinder's first foray into supporting social good causes. Recently, the dating app let any user allocate $100 to a women-focused charity on International Women's Day. In 2014, the company partnered with Amnesty International to bring awareness to child and forced marriage around the globe through a series of in-app ads. WATCH: The last Sumatran rhino left the U.S. to save his species



04/25/2017 - 03:00 AM

 

Humans threaten crucial 'fossil' groundwater: study

Humans threaten crucial 'fossil' groundwater: studyHuman activity risks contaminating pristine water locked underground for millennia and long thought impervious to pollution, said a study Tuesday that warned of a looming threat to the crucial resource. This suggests that deep wells, believed to bring only unsullied, ancient water to the surface, are "vulnerable to contaminants derived from modern-day land uses," study co-author Scott Jasechko, of the University of Calgary, told AFP. Groundwater is rain or melted ice which filters through Earth's rocky layers to gather in aquifers underground -- a process that can take thousands, even millions, of years.



04/25/2017 - 03:51 AM

 

‘Flying car’ takes flight, cleared for sale and rec use

‘Flying car’ takes flight, cleared for sale and rec useKitty Hawk unveils its ‘flying car’ aircraft, cleared by FAA and to be made available to public by end of the year. Project backed by Google co-founder Larry Page



04/24/2017 - 02:18 PM

 

Can Collisions Between Protons Create Quark-Gluon Plasma?

Can Collisions Between Protons Create Quark-Gluon Plasma?Scientists associated with the ALICE collaboration at CERN's Large Hadron Collider have observed possible signatures of this hot and dense plasma even in collisions between protons.



04/25/2017 - 04:49 AM

 

Mass starvation looms on the horizon, but robots may come to the rescue

Mass starvation looms on the horizon, but robots may come to the rescueAccording to present estimates, a global food shortage crisis could occur by the year 2050. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon are using drones, robots and AI to revolutionize farming before we hit that point.



04/24/2017 - 06:15 AM

 

Kids Under 12 Shouldn't Take Codeine Drugs, FDA Says

Kids Under 12 Shouldn't Take Codeine Drugs, FDA SaysChildren younger than 12 should not take codeine, a drug found in some cough and pain medicines, according to new rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that further restrict the use of this drug in kids. Parents should read the ingredient labels on pain and cough medicines to make sure that they don't contain codeine or another medication called tramadol before giving the medication to children, the agency said. The FDA said today (April 20) that it is making changes to its requirements for the labels of codeine-containing drugs because of reports that some children experience life-threatening breathing problems, and even die, after taking medicines that contain codeine.



04/24/2017 - 11:55 AM

 

The biggest known database of sarcasm is here. Great

The biggest known database of sarcasm is here. GreatIn spoken English, the difference between a genuine “Can’t wait” and a sarcastic “Can’t wait” is obvious. Online and in written form, not so much. Sarcasm is one of the hardest language concepts for a machine to detect, but to improve natural-language processing (which could, for example, greatly advance the abilities of chatbots) we’re going…



04/24/2017 - 12:21 PM

 

What Has 1,800 Teeth and a Suction Cup? A New Clingfish Species

What Has 1,800 Teeth and a Suction Cup? A New Clingfish SpeciesNettorhamphos radula is a brand-new species found in a specimen jar from the 1970s in the collection of the Western Australian Museum in Welshpool, Australia. "It's the teeth that really gave away the fact that this is a new species," fish taxonomist Kevin Conway, one of the discoverers of the new fish and a professor at Texas A&M University, said in a statement. Clingfish are known for the suction-cup-like disk on their bellies, an appendage that lets them stick to surfaces in the face of forces of up to 150 times their own body weight.



04/24/2017 - 12:46 PM

 

A devastating eruption made thick, silvery 'Venus' hair' grow all over an underwater volcano

A devastating eruption made thick, silvery 'Venus' hair' grow all over an underwater volcanoWavy-haired mats of bacteria cover the ocean floor for kilometres around the Tagoro volcano near the Canary Islands, whose summit lies about 130 metres under the sea surface. This silvery hair-like material turned out to be made of bacteria, according to a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution. The researchers named it Thiolava veneris, Latin for Venus' hair.



04/24/2017 - 11:54 AM

 

How's Your Peripheral Vision?

How's Your Peripheral Vision?Try these tests to find out!



04/24/2017 - 03:26 PM

 

How Elon Musk Started SpaceX

How Elon Musk Started SpaceXThe entrepreneur starts off by defining a goal and understanding what that goal is and why it is a good and valid goal.



04/23/2017 - 09:00 PM

 

How Bright Lights May Help Wake Patients from a Coma

How Bright Lights May Help Wake Patients from a ComaCould shining bright lights on comatose patients to encourage their natural circadian rhythms help them awaken? A small study from Austria says yes. The body's ability to awaken from a coma after severe brain injury is tied to its maintenance of its natural circadian rhythms, according to the study, which included 18 patients in various unconscious states.



04/24/2017 - 10:47 AM

 

Facebook Stories could end up driving younger users away instead of attracting them

Facebook Stories could end up driving younger users away instead of attracting themSimply copying Snapchat might not be enough to keep the biggest social network relevant.



04/24/2017 - 11:35 AM

 

 

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