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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Deep Bore Into Antarctica Finds Freezing Ice, Not Melting as Expected

    02/25/2018 10:19:09 AM PST · by MtnClimber · 31 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 16 Feb, 2018 | Douglas Fox
    SURPRISING FINDS The surprises began almost as soon as a camera was lowered into the first borehole, around December 1. The undersides of ice shelves are usually smooth due to gradual melting. But as the camera passed through the bottom of the hole, it showed the underside of the ice adorned with a glittering layer of flat ice crystals—like a jumble of snowflakes—evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it. “It blew our minds,” says Christina Hulbe, a glaciologist from the University of Otago in New Zealand,...
  • Scientists Turn Light Upside Down

    02/25/2018 8:20:33 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    i4u ^ | Feb 25, 2018 | Hira Bashir
    Researchers create a hyperbolic metasurface on which light propagates with completely reshaped wafefronts Light waves usually disperse in cirular or convex wavefronts form, like ripples on water surface created by a stone. But now researchers have found that it is possible to alter light's wavefronts and to give them a completely new shape. To observe the waves as they propagate along the metasurface, researcher created a surface based on boron nitride. The material was selected because it has the ability to manipulate infrared light on extremely small length scales and it requires an extremely precise structuring on the nanometer scale...
  • Costa Rican Scientists Discover New Bacteria

    02/24/2018 9:59:02 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 24 replies
    Tico Times ^ | February 22, 2018 | Katherine Stanley
    You know you’ve made it when you’ve got a strain of Listeria named after you. “Listeria costaricensis” is the official name for a new bacteria identified by scientists from the Biotechnology Research Center at the Costa Rican Institute of Technology (TEC). According to a news release from TEC, the Costa Rican researchers, Johnny Peraza and Kattia Núñez, made the discovery in collaboration with scientists from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Listeria is a group of bacteria composed of 18 species, two of which are pathogens, meaning that they cause serious harm to humans or animals that consume foods contaminated...
  • More sky puppies! Scientists discover two new species of dog-faced bat

    02/24/2018 9:53:11 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 14 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | 15 January 2018 | Micaela Jemison
    Flitting swiftly through the darkness above the tropical forest canopy in Central and South America, a group of cute little bats with dog-like faces have long been hiding a big secret. Now, their secret is out. For more than 50 years, scientists believed that only six species of the fast flying, insect-eating mammals known as dog-faced bats existed. That number has now increased to eight with the discovery of two new species, the Freeman’s dog-faced bat (Cynomops freemani), collected by Smithsonian researchers in Panama in 2012 and the Waorani dog-faced bat (Cynomops tonkigui) from Ecuador. Both new species are described...
  • Here’s How Future Astronauts Could Survive the Radiation of Space

    02/24/2018 4:37:03 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies ^ | Feb. 24, 2018 | Abby Norman
    In an attempt to promote research on this often overlooked area, an international team from the NASA Ames Research Center and others have set out to devise a “roadmap” for what they call “human radioresistance.” It’s their hope that by making use of what modern science can offer by way of genetic editing, screening for individuals who may be genetically predisposed to radioprotection, gene therapy, and even cryopreservation and biobanking, human astronauts of the future could be equipped with radioresistance, perhaps even at the biological level. Aside from exploring these wild possibilities, the purpose of the team’s paper is to...
  • Quasars: Brightest Objects in the Universe

    02/24/2018 11:16:03 AM PST · by Simon Green · 12 replies ^ | 02/23/18 | Nola Taylor
    (The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of ancient and brilliant quasar 3C 273, which resides in a giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. Its light has taken some 2.5 billion years to reach us. Despite this great distance, it is still one of the closest quasars to our home. It was the first quasar ever to be identified, and was discovered in the early 1960s by astronomer Allan Sandage.) Shining so brightly that they eclipse the ancient galaxies that contain them, quasars are distant objects powered by black holes a billion times as massive as our...

    02/23/2018 9:21:36 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 41 replies
    SYFYWire ^ | 22 Feb, 2017 | Phil Plait
    Despite being only 4.3 light-years away from Earth, the trio of stars comprising Alpha Centauri still holds a lot of mysteries. It being the closest star system to us, you'd think we'd have teased out most of its secrets by now, but in fact we're still learning basic stuff about it. We know some of the basics, of course. The system has two stars that orbit each other in a binary, one of which (called Alpha Centauri A) is much like the Sun and the other (Alpha Cen B) is a tad smaller and cooler. Nearby is a third star,...
  • NASA planetary protection officer suggests loosening limits on exploring Mars for life

    02/23/2018 5:17:12 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 29 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | 2/22/18 | Paul Voosen
    Share The twin Viking spacecraft landed on Mars in 1976. They were cleaned to a level required to explore habitable regions. NASA NASA planetary protection officer suggests loosening limits on exploring Mars for life By Paul VoosenFeb. 22, 2018 , 5:25 PM Is there life on the surface of Mars? The clock is ticking on scientists’ window to solve that long-standing question before astronauts—and the microbes that live on them—contaminate the planet. Today, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., of NASA’s planetary science advisory committee, the agency’s new planetary protection officer raised the possibility of opening up a few of...
  • A CDC employee left work sick 10 days ago; he hasn't been seen since

    02/23/2018 1:18:40 PM PST · by Smittie · 73 replies
    ABC News ^ | Feb 22, 2018 | EMILY SHAPIRO
    Timothy Cunningham, 35, a CDC employee, has not been heard from since Feb. 12, police said. Police are asking the public for help finding a missing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee who went home sick 10 days ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Timothy Cunningham, 35, went to work on Feb. 12 and left sick, the Atlanta Police Department said. Cunningham, who studied at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is a commander in the Public Health Service and has been sent to respond to public health emergencies including the Ebola virus and...
  • He Became A Celebrity For Putting Science Before God. Now Lawrence Krauss Faces Allegations [tr]

    02/23/2018 6:02:37 AM PST · by C19fan · 25 replies
    BuzzFeed ^ | February 22, 2018 | Peter Aldhous, Azeen Ghorayshi, and Virginia Hughes
    When Melody Hensley first met Lawrence Krauss, she was a 29-year-old makeup artist at a department store, and he was one of her intellectual idols. She ran an atheist website in her spare time and had just started volunteering for the Center for Inquiry (CFI), a nonprofit group committed to promoting science and reason above faith. She was hoping to build a career in the burgeoning “skeptics” movement, and Krauss was one of its brightest luminaries. At a CFI event in November 2006, Krauss asked Hensley for her card, and later, as she was leaving, asked her if she was...
  • Wild horses are EXTINCT: Domesticated breeds are now the only ones to survive on the planet, [tr]

    02/23/2018 5:44:36 AM PST · by C19fan · 39 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | February 23, 2018 | Joe Pinkstone
    The last 'wild' horses is the world are not truly wild, according to a shock DNA study. Przewalski's horses, a breed thought to be the last 'wild' species, are the descendants of escaped once-domesticated animals. The research turns the mysterious origin of domesticated horses 'upside down', experts claim.
  • We are evolving an 'ultimate hangover' gene that may stop us from becoming addicted to alcohol

    02/23/2018 5:13:39 AM PST · by C19fan · 8 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | February 20, 2018 | Cecile Borkhararia
    Humans may be evolving an 'ultimate hangover' gene to protect against alcoholism. That's according to a new study that looked at a variant of a gene that makes booze intolerable to the body. Scientists claim this gene variant is being favoured by evolution - and, in time, could stop us from drinking alcohol in the future.
  • Dice became more even as our beliefs in fate and chance evolved [tr]

    02/22/2018 11:17:02 PM PST · by sparklite2 · 12 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | February 22, 2018 | Annie Palmer
    Scientists studied more than 100 dice dating back to more than 2,000 years ago They discovered that dice made before 400 AD had major differences in shape, material, size and configuration of numbers, suggesting there was little fairness By Renaissance times, dicemakers realized the object's size affected game play Researchers believe that die changed shape as we started to believe in chance
  • A self-taught astronomer spotted something no scientist had ever seen [Supernova]

    02/22/2018 6:05:33 AM PST · by C19fan · 32 replies
    Washington Post ^ | February 21, 2018 | Sarah Kaplan
    The moment he saw the brilliant light captured by his camera, “it all clicked” for Victor Buso: All the times his parents woke him before sunrise to gaze at the stars, all the energy he had poured into constructing an observatory atop his home, all the hours he had spent trying to parse meaning from the dim glow of distant suns. “In many moments you search and ask yourself, why do I do this?” Buso said via email. This was why: Buso, a self-taught astronomer, had just witnessed the surge of light at the birth of a supernova — something...
  • Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

    02/22/2018 8:54:04 AM PST · by yesthatjallen · 16 replies
    Changing Brains Mean that Adolescents Act Differently From Adults Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents' brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex. Research has also shown that exposure to drugs and alcohol during the teen years can change or delay these developments.Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to: * Act on impulse * Misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions * Get into accidents of all kinds...
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could disappear within our lifetimes

    02/19/2018 8:57:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 67 replies
    “In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time,” Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider. The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it’s rapidly losing steam. “Now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth,” Orton says. “Nothing lasts forever.” Late last year, Juno revealed some surprising information about the huge storm, including how deep into the planet it goes. The data showed that the storm is up to 100 times deeper...
  • OSIRIS-REx Sends Home an Image of the Earth and Moon

    02/21/2018 11:31:43 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Feb 21, 2018 | Matt Williams
    On September 8th. 2016, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) launched from Earth to rendezvous with the asteroid 101955 Bennu. This mission will be the first American robotic spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid, which it will reach by December of 2018, and return samples to Earth for analysis (by September 24th, 2023). Since that time, NASA has been keeping the public apprised of the mission’s progress, mainly by sending back images taken by the spacecraft. The latest image was one of the Earth and Moon, which the spacecraft took using its NavCam 1 imager on...
  • Wreck Claim Triggers Treasure Conflict Dispute Over Sunken Ship

    02/21/2018 7:20:20 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    The Herald (Scotland) ^ | January 30, 1999 | unattributed
    Exclusive reports of the discovery of King Charles I's coronation riches last night triggered a transatlantic treasure war involving two independent expeditions. The group which claims to have found the wreck described the odds that it was the king's ferry as better than even. However, San Diego-based diver Bill Warren, who heads a rival team, said: ''We have really done our homework on this and I am absolutely not convinced.'' Mr Warren, who formed a Scottish company, Golden Quest, for the project, said he had spent seven months dealing with various authorities, including the Crown Estates Commissioners, to secure permission...
  • The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement

    02/21/2018 1:19:10 PM PST · by C19fan · 89 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 21, 2018 | Marcie Bianco
    What does a midlife crisis look like in the 21st century? Frittering away your life savings on a red sports car is so last century. Instead, today’s man who is grappling with the limitations of his mortality spends $90 million on a rocket to launch a $100,000 electric car, helmed by a robot by the name of “Starman,” into space. “We want a new space race,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in a press conference shortly after the launch of his company’s Falcon Heavy rocket — and his Tesla Roadster — into space earlier in February. Like a child, he...
  • Dead Sea Scrolls deciphered: esoteric code reveals ancient priestly calendar

    02/21/2018 8:35:49 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies ^ | February 21, 2018 | by Charlotte Hempel, The Conversation
    Puzzle: fragments of 2,000-year-old scrolls before reassembly. Credit: Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority, The Leon Levy Library of the Dead Sea Scrolls ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ About 1,000 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered just over 70 years ago near Khirbet Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea have been officially published since the turn of the millennium. But in the case of some, all that was left were poorly preserved remains of texts written in a cryptic script – and all that had been released to the world were photos of small pieces of manuscript, in a preliminary order. There have been...