Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $77,023
87%  
Woo hoo!! And now less than $11k to go!! Let's git 'er done!! Thank you all very much!!

Science (General/Chat)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • World Has Many More Trees Than Previously Thought, New Report Says

    09/02/2015 11:23:33 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    WSJ ^ | Mark Armao
    There are just over three trillion trees in the world, a figure that dwarfs previous estimates, according to the most comprehensive census yet of global forestation. Using satellite imagery as well as ground-based measurements from around the world, a team led by researchers at Yale University created the first globally comprehensive map of tree density. Their findings were published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. A previous study that drew on satellite imagery estimated that the total number of trees was around 400 billion. The new estimate of 3.04 trillion is multiple times that number, bringing the ratio of trees...
  • Obama Rebuffed As Superpowers Refuse To Sign Arctic Climate Agreement

    09/02/2015 8:46:13 AM PDT · by rktman · 26 replies
    canadafreepress.com ^ | 9/2/2015 | Dr. Benny Peiser
    On Sunday and Monday, foreign ministers and other international leaders met in Anchorage, Alaska to attend the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic. As a sign of the importance the United States placed on the Alaska forum, President Barack Obama attended. He used the conference as a platform for urging swifter action to combat climate change. After the conference, the representatives of the Arctic Council members signed a joint statement affirming “our commitment to take urgent action to slow the pace of warming in the Arctic.”
  • This nuclear power plant has been dubbed California’s potential Fukushima [Watch Video]

    09/02/2015 8:07:56 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 09/02/2015
    Diablo Canyon is the last operating nuclear power plant in California — and arguably the most controversial. The plant sits along the scenic Central Coast and is surrounded by fault lines — one of which runs as close as 2,000 feet to the nuclear reactors. Many fear that a single earthquake could cause a repeat of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, when a tsunami devastated a nuclear plant. But despite decades of public protest, the plant's operator PG&E insists that the facility is not only seismically sound, but essential.
  • Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers

    09/02/2015 6:32:50 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 38 replies
    New York Times ^ | 09/02/2015 | By MATT RICHTEL and CONOR DOUGHERTY
    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google, a leader in efforts to create driverless cars, has run into an odd safety conundrum: humans. Last month, as one of Google’s self-driving cars approached a crosswalk, it did what it was supposed to do when it slowed to allow a pedestrian to cross, prompting its “safety driver” to apply the brakes. The pedestrian was fine, but not so much Google’s car, which was hit from behind by a human-driven sedan. Google’s fleet of autonomous test cars is programmed to follow the letter of the law. But it can be tough to get around if...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Flare and the Galaxy

    09/02/2015 4:20:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | September 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this person throwing a lightning bolt? No. Despite appearances, this person is actually pointing in the direction of a bright Iridium flare, a momentary reflection of sunlight off of a communications satellite in orbit around the Earth. As the Iridium satellite orbits, reflective antennas became aligned between the observer and the Sun to create a flash brighter than any star in the night sky. Iridium flares typically last several seconds, longer than most meteors. Also unlike meteors, the flares are symmetric and predictable. The featured flare involved Iridium satellite 15 and occurred over southern Estonia last week. In...
  • Quantum computer that 'computes without running' sets efficiency record

    09/01/2015 10:33:43 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 29 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 8/31/15 | Lisa Zyga
    (Phys.org)—Due to quantum effects, it's possible to build a quantum computer that computes without running—or as the scientists explain, "the result of a computation may be learned without actually running the computer." So far, however, the efficiency of this process, which is called counterfactual computation (CFC), has had an upper limit of 50%, limiting its practical applications. Now in a new paper, scientists have experimentally demonstrated a slightly different version called a "generalized CFC" that has an efficiency of 85% with the potential to reach 100%. This improvement opens the doors to realizing a much greater variety of applications, such...
  • Philistines introduced sycamore, cumin and opium poppy into Israel during the Iron Age

    09/01/2015 2:15:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Science Daily ^ | August 28, 2015 | Bar-Ilan University
    The team compiled a database of plant remains extracted from Bronze and Iron Ages sites in the southern Levant, both Philistine and non-Philistine... The species they brought are all cultivars that had not been seen in Israel previously... edible parts of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) which originates in western Europe; the sycamore tree (Ficus sycomorus), whose fruits are known to be cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean, especially Egypt, and whose presence in Israel as a locally grown tree is first attested to in the Iron Age by the presence of its fruit; and finally, cumin (Cuminum cyminum), a spice...
  • First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth's energy budget

    09/01/2015 12:56:32 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 3 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 9/1/15
    The first-ever global map of antineutrino flux, which accounts for natural and human-made sources of antineutrinos, with the latter making up less than 1 percent of the total flux. Credit: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency/AGM2015 The neutrino and its antimatter cousin, the antineutrino, are the tiniest subatomic particles known to science. These particles are byproducts of nuclear reactions within stars (including our sun), supernovae, black holes and human-made nuclear reactors. They also result from radioactive decay processes deep within the Earth, where radioactive heat and the heat left over from the planet's formation fuels plate tectonics, volcanoes and Earth's magnetic field....
  • 'Birmingham Koran' fragment could shake Islam, carbon-dating suggests it is OLDER than Muhammad

    09/01/2015 6:46:13 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 28 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 09/01/2015 | By JENNIFER NEWTON
    The 'Birmingham Koran' fragment that could shake Islam after carbon-dating suggests it is OLDER than the Prophet Muhammad Fragments of the oldest Koran were discovered last month in BirminghamCarbon dating found the pages were produced between 568AD and 654AD But several historians now say that the parchment may predate MuhammadThey believe that this discovery could rewrite the early history of Islam Fragments of the world's oldest Koran, found in Birmingham last month, may predate the Prophet Muhammad and could even rewrite the early history of Islam, according to scholars.The pages, thought to be between 1,448 and 1,371 years old, were...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice

    09/01/2015 4:19:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From where do these neutrinos come? The IceCube Neutrino Observatory near the South Pole of the Earth has begun to detect nearly invisible particles of very high energy. Although these rarely-interacting neutrinos pass through much of the Earth just before being detected, where they started remains a mystery. Pictured here is IceCube's Antarctic lab accompanied by a cartoon depicting long strands of detectors frozen into the crystal clear ice below. Candidate origins for these cosmic neutrinos include the violent surroundings of supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies, and tremendous stellar explosions culminating in gamma ray bursts...
  • Bronze Age Greek city found underwater

    08/31/2015 11:34:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Spero Forum ^ | August 27, 2015 | Martin Barillas
    Along the shore near the site, archaeologists have found more than 6,000 objects, including fragments of the red ceramics that are characteristic of the area. Beck called the area an “archaeologist’s paradise.” Beck points out that other civilizations were extant at the time, such as Egypt and the nascent civilizations at the islands of Crete and Santorini. The researchers expect that future research at Lambayanna will shed new light on a dense network of coastal settlements stretched throughout the Aegean Sea. Of the structures found by the researchers, Beck said “There must have been a brick superstructure above a stone...
  • A Life in Games

    08/31/2015 3:18:21 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 1 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 8/28/15 | Siobhan Roberts
    A Life in Games John Horton Conway claims to have never worked a day in his life. This adaptation from the biography Genius at Play shows how serious advances such as the surreal numbers can spring out of fun and games. Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise ApplewhiteJohn Horton Conway at Princeton University in 2009. By: Siobhan RobertsAugust 28, 2015 Comments (6) Gnawing on his left index finger with his chipped old British teeth, temporal veins bulging and brow pensively squinched beneath the day-before-yesterday’s hair, the mathematician John Horton Conway unapologetically whiles away his hours tinkering and thinkering — which...
  • Norway Scientists Find Cause of Coeliac Disease

    08/31/2015 1:44:38 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 36 replies
    Norwegian scientists have discovered the cause of coeliac disease, the auto-immune disorder which causes gluten intolerance in about one in a hundred people Professor Ludvig Sollid and his team at the University of Oslo have discovered that coeliac sufferers have one of two defective human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) which cause the immune system to see gluten molecules as dangerous, triggering an immune response which causes severe inflammation and other symptoms. “When a person who has coeliac disease eats gluten, the immune system reacts to gluten as if it were a virus or a bacterium,” Sollid told Norway’s NRK. “It attacks...
  • "Supergiant" Natural gas discovery could be largest ever

    08/31/2015 7:43:02 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 41 replies
    CNN Money ^ | 08/31/2015 | David Goldman
    In what could be the largest natural gas discovery in history, Italian energy company Eni says it has unearthed a "supergiant" gas field in the Mediterranean Sea covering about 40 square miles. The gas field could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Eni says that's the energy equivalent of about 5.5 billion barrels of oil. The company won't know the field's true size until it begins to develop it. Found in the deep waters off the northern coast of Egypt, Eni claims the gas field to be the largest ever in the Mediterranean and possibly...
  • Israeli Company That Turns Tumors Into Ice Balls Now Sets Its Sight On Lung Cancer

    08/31/2015 7:39:46 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies
    NO CAMELS: Israel Innovation News ^ | 08/31/2015 | By Adam Van Heerden
    We’ve told you before about IceCure’s amazing tumor-freezing technology that destroys breast tumors by freezing them into ice balls. Now the company has set its sights on another killer – lung cancer. The Israeli biomedical company that pioneered the application of cryoablation (a process which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue) as a treatment for benign breast tumors (fibroadenomas), intends to expand its technology to the treatment of lung cancer, with a new clinical trial to begin in Japan.Related articles The Israeli Blind Mole Rat May Hold The Key To Curing CancerIsraeli Doc Teaches Dogs To Sniff...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto in Enhanced Color

    08/30/2015 9:58:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | August 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the...
  • Scientists Discover Mechanism Behind “Strange” Earthquakes

    08/30/2015 8:38:47 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 21 replies
    USC ^ | 8/29/2015 | Robert Perkins
    It’s not a huge mystery why Los Angeles experiences earthquakes. The city sits near a boundary between two tectonic plates — they shift, we shake. But what about places that aren’t along tectonic plate boundaries? For example, seismicity on the North American plate occurs as far afield as southern Missouri, where earthquakes between 1811 and 1812 estimated at around magnitude 7 caused the Mississippi River to flow backward for hours. Until now, the cause of that seismicity has remained unclear. While earthquakes along tectonic plate boundaries are caused by motion between the plates, earthquakes away from fault lines are primarily...
  • Israeli ‘Bionic Organs-on-a-Chip’ to End Animal Testing

    08/30/2015 12:39:57 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    INN ^ | 8/17/2015, 9:32 AM | (Arutz Sheva Staff)
    A partnership between scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a German research institute may have found the solution to make animal experiments a thing of the past. Animal testing has been condemned for being cruel and morally dubious, but in recent years it also has been understood that such tests fail to predict human responses to drugs, and as regulations tighten massive investment has been turned to the field of alternative testing. Hebrew University announced on Monday that its cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI-BB) in Germany has borne breakthrough results, and together the...
  • The mystery of the ‘alien plughole’ on Mars: Scientists discover strange terraced crater...

    08/30/2015 9:36:16 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | By Ellie Zolfagharifard
    An 'alien plughole' on Mars that has baffled scientists could have a simple explanation. Astronomers claim the strange crater, which has a terraced rather than bowl pattern, has been created by water ice. To confirm their theory, researchers found an enormous slab of water ice just beneath the crater, measuring 130ft (40 metre) thick. 'Craters should be bowl shaped, but this one had terraces in the wall,' says Ali Bramson, a graduate student in the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Terraces can form when there are layers of different materials in the planet's subsurface, such as dirt, ice...
  • Keep Your Dogs out of Warm Lakes: Pythiosis Risk

    08/30/2015 6:36:36 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 19 replies
    Science Daily ^ | August 25, 2015
    University of Florida scientists warn against letting your dog swim in warm water bodies after they found several lakes with a pathogen that can make canines sick. Animals, including dogs and horses, can contract pythiosis from swimming spores, said Erica Goss, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of plant pathology. About 10 cases of humans getting sick from this disease have also been reported in the U.S. In addition to keeping their animals out of lakes, people should avoid ponds and other standing water that contains grass and aquatic vegetation, particularly in the hot months, Goss said.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

    08/30/2015 2:26:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | August 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it...
  • The Supervolcano Under Yellowstone is Alive and Kicking

    08/29/2015 5:30:26 PM PDT · by markomalley · 51 replies
    Nautilus ^ | 8/29/15 | Shannon Hall
    The wind shifts. The stench of rotten eggs makes it nearly impossible to breathe and the hot fog clouds my view. I hold my breath and close my eyes, imagining the fog growing thicker, crushing me. Then without warning the wind clears and I’m enveloped once again in the cold, dry air. The heat feels like a lost dream. I shiver as I analyze my surroundings. Before me lies a steaming blue spring with concentric rings of green, yellow and dark red. I turn around to see another pool. But the rising fog is so dense, I can only guess...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Seagull Nebula

    08/29/2015 11:16:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). Dominated by the reddish glow of atomic hydrogen, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Puppis A Supernova Remnant

    08/29/2015 11:13:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues. Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, triggered by the collapse of the massive star's core, would have reached Earth about 3,700 years ago. The Puppis A remnant is actually seen through...
  • Archaeologists making exciting discoveries in Laconia

    08/28/2015 5:10:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Ekathimerini ^ | Aug 28, 2015 | Unattributed
    Ongoing excavations at a site in the southern Peloponnese are offering rare insight into the ancient past of Laconia, about which very little physical evidence exists, the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency cited the Culture Ministry as saying on Tuesday. Covering an expanse of 3.5 hectares, the site on Aghios Vassilios Hill near the village of Xirokambi on the Sparta plain has been under excavation since 2009 and is believed to contain valuable evidence that will shed light on life in the area during the 17th to 16th centuries BC, the announcement said. A palace complex found on the site and...
  • Bungling builders destroy 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb - and replace it with concrete PICNIC TABLE

    08/28/2015 5:06:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Mirror (UK) ^ | Friday, August 28, 2015 | Sam Webb
    The tomb was a relic of the first settlers in the Spanish Cristovo de Cea region and was originally built some 4000 years before the birth of Christ. Every builder, tradesman and DIY enthusiast knows the embarrassment of making a howler on the job, whether it's taps installed the wrong way round or a wonky shelf. But few will know the sheer panic these Spanish workmen probably felt when they discovered they had smashed up a 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb and replaced it with a concrete picnic table. The tomb was a relic of the first settlers in the Cristovo de...
  • Reprogramming Cancer Cells Back to Normal Cells

    08/28/2015 10:15:36 AM PDT · by Mellonkronos · 10 replies
    Neuroscience News ^ | August 26, 2015
    [If this pans out, it would not only be one of the great advances in medical history but also would show what genetic research can actually do!]Cancer researchers dream of the day they can force tumor cells to morph back to the normal cells they once were. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy. The finding, published in Nature Cell Biology, represents “an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer,” says the study’s senior investigator, Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department...
  • Feds approve paper airplane drone flights

    08/28/2015 6:54:47 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 6 replies
    The Hill ^ | 08/27/15 | Keith Laing
    Feds approve paper airplane drone flights By Keith Laing - 08/27/15 05:40 PM EDT The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of a paper airplane that is a drone. The agency issued the approval for flights of a drone that is described as a "smartphone-controlled paper airplane." In doing so, it waived requirements for FAA approval of drone flights that are operated outside of restricted airspace and below 200 feet. The agency said the flights were approved for "aerial photography and videography" purposes. The makers of the paper airplane drone, Connecticut-based Tailor Toys PowerUp, tout the paper airplane...
  • Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

    08/27/2015 2:38:18 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 27 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 8/26/2015 | Carnegie Institution, Robert Hazen
    New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos. Minerals form from novel combinations of elements. These combinations can be facilitated by both geological activity, including volcanoes, plate tectonics, and water-rock interactions, and biological activity, such as chemical reactions with oxygen and organic material.
  • Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test

    08/27/2015 11:41:03 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    Nature ^ | Monya Baker
    Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted. In the biggest project of its kind, Brian Nosek, a social psychologist and head of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, and 269 co-authors repeated work reported in 98 original papers from three psychology journals, to see if they independently came up with the same results. The studies they took on ranged from whether expressing insecurities perpetuates them to differences in how children and adults respond to fear stimuli, to effective ways to teach arithmetic. According to the replicators'...
  • The Gas (and Ice) Giant Uranus

    08/27/2015 11:24:07 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    Uranus, which takes its name from the Greek God of the sky, is a gas giant and the seventh planet from our Sun. It is also the third largest planet in our Solar System, ranking behind Jupiter and Saturn. Like its fellow gas giants, it has many moons, a ring system, and is primarily composed of gases that are believed to surround a solid core. Though it can be seen with the naked eye, the realization that Uranus is a planet was a relatively recent one. Though there are indications that it was spotted several times over the course of...
  • NASA Completes Its Third Cessna Crash Test

    08/27/2015 6:49:49 AM PDT · by Purdue77 · 34 replies
    Popular Science ^ | 8/28/2015 | Atherton
    NASA Completes Its Third Cessna Crash Test. Popular Science (8/26, Atherton) reports on Wednesday’s crash test of a Cessna aircraft by NASA as part of a study to try to improve emergency location transmitters (ELTs). This third test involved “a tail-first crash into soil, which flipped the plane but didn’t crush it in on its crash-test-dummy occupants so much.”
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Large Cloud of Magellan

    08/26/2015 11:33:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies...
  • Ceres’ “Pyramid” Gets a Closer Look, But Bright Spots Remain a Mystery

    08/26/2015 4:43:21 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    Universe Today ^ | August 26, 2015 | Nancy Atkinson
    The Dawn spacecraft is now orbiting just 1,470 kilometers (915 miles) above Ceres’ surface, and the science team released these latest images. Above is a closest view yet of the so-called ‘pyramid’ on Ceres, although the closer Dawn gets, the less this feature looks like a pyramid. It’s actually more like a conical mountain with a flat top, almost like a butte. ... The mountain is located in the southern hemisphere, and stands 6 kilometers (4 miles) high. Visible on the sides of the mountain are narrow braided fractures and an intriguing bright area. Only time will tell if this...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Collinder 399: The Coat Hanger

    08/26/2015 8:30:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this coat hanger a star cluster or an asterism? This cosmic hang-up has been debated over much of last century, as astronomers wondered whether this binocular-visible object is really a physically associated open cluster or a chance projection. Chance star projections are known as asterisms, an example of which is the popular Big Dipper. Recent precise measurements from different vantage points in the Earth's orbit around the Sun have uncovered discrepant angular shifts indicating that the Coat Hanger is better described as an asterism. Known more formally as Collinder 399, this bright stellar grouping is wider than the...
  • Screw salads: They're not helping you and may be hurting the planet

    08/26/2015 6:10:30 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 35 replies
    National Post ^ | August 25, 2015 | Tamar Haspel, Washington Post
    As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases. In each of those cases, there’s some truth in the finger-pointing, but none of them is a clear-cut villain. There’s one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing...
  • European Chestnut Leaf Extract Disarms Staphylococcus aureus [and MRSA]

    08/25/2015 7:41:16 PM PDT · by CutePuppy · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | 2015 August 23 | Sci-News.com
    Leaves of the European chestnut (Castanea sativa) contain ingredients with the power to block the virulence and pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus without detectable resistance, a new study has found. Rather than killing Staphylococcus aureus, the chestnut leaf extract — rich in oleanene and ursene derivatives (pentacyclic triterpenes) — works by taking away bacteria's weapons, essentially shutting off the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause tissue damage. "We have demonstrated in the lab that our extract disarms even the hyper-virulent MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains capable of causing serious infections in healthy athletes," said Dr Cassandra Quave of...
  • Has Apple Found The Holy Grail Of Electric Vehicles?

    08/25/2015 2:10:54 PM PDT · by Swordmaker · 39 replies
    Seeking Alpha ^ | Aug. 25, 2015 11:17 AM ET
    Summary Apple's much rumored electric vehicle may use fuel cell technology from U.K. startup Intelligent Energy. Intelligent Energy's technology doesn't require high pressure hydrogen storage and can be refueled by swapping out self-contained modules. Apple may already have exclusive rights to the technology, and use this as leverage to partner with an auto manufacturer such as BMW. By now, the weight of the evidence that Apple is working on a car has become overwhelming, but an announcement out of the UK of a hydrogen fuel cell powered iPhone may shed the most light yet on Apple's automobile project. The technology...
  • How a Volcanic Eruption in 1815 Darkened the World but Colored the Arts

    08/25/2015 11:30:14 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    NY Times ^ | August 24, 2015 | William J. Broad
    In April 1815, the most powerful volcanic blast in recorded history shook the planet in a catastrophe so vast that 200 years later, investigators are still struggling to grasp its repercussions. It played a role, they now understand, in icy weather, agricultural collapse and global pandemics — and even gave rise to celebrated monsters. Around the lush isles of the Dutch East Indies — modern-day Indonesia — the eruption of Mount Tambora killed tens of thousands of people. They were burned alive or killed by flying rocks, or they died later of starvation because the heavy ash smothered crops.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Meteors and Milky Way over Mount Rainier

    08/25/2015 8:49:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Despite appearances, the sky is not falling. Two weeks ago, however, tiny bits of comet dust were. Featured here is the Perseids meteor shower as captured over Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA. The image was created from a two-hour time lapse video, snaring over 20 meteors, including one that brightened dramatically on the image left. Although each meteor train typically lasts less than a second, the camera was able to capture their color progressions as they disintegrated in the Earth's atmosphere. Here an initial green tint may be indicative of small amounts of glowing magnesium atoms that were knocked off...
  • Why women sleep worse than men

    08/24/2015 7:20:48 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 31 replies
    Globe and Mail ^ | August 24, 2015 | Shelley White
    Like millions of Canadian mothers, Dawn Trudeau’s sleep troubles began when her daughter was born. “You’re getting up at all hours for feedings and whatnot, and I had a hard time getting her to sleep through the night,” says the Ottawa-based, 46-year-old social media marketer and blogger at TheModernMomBlog.com. “My husband is great, and he would help in a minute but he just did not hear the baby crying,” she says. Even after her daughter started sleeping through the night consistently at age 4, Ms. Trudeau says her sleeping problems persisted to the point of insomnia. “I kind of got...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dione, Rings, Shadows, Saturn

    08/24/2015 5:35:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening in this strange juxtaposition of moon and planet? First and foremost, Saturn's moon Dione was captured here in a dramatic panorama by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting the giant planet. The bright and cratered moon itself spans about 1100-km, with the large multi-ringed crater Evander visible on the lower right. Since the rings of Saturn are seen here nearly edge-on, they are directly visible only as a thin horizontal line that passes behind Dione. Arcing across the bottom of the image, however, are shadows of Saturn's rings, showing some of the rich texture that could not...
  • Newest Unknown Monkey 'Found' (Meet the 'Titis')

    08/23/2015 11:10:54 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies
    Emirates 24/7 ^ | Saturday, August 22, 2015
    An undated handout photo obtained on August 20, 2015 shows a Callicebus urubambensis or Urubamba brown titi monkey on the left bank of the Río Urubamba, near the Colonia Penal del Sepa, Peru. (AFP) For nearly a century the carcass of a small, reddish-brown monkey from South America gathered dust in a windowless backroom of the American Natural History Museum in New York City. Like a morgue corpse in a drawer with the wrong toe tag, it was a victim of mistaken identity. No one realised during all those years that it was, in fact, a specimen of an unknown...
  • Calgary is stunned by SNOWFALL in the middle of summer

    08/23/2015 4:45:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 46 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | 23 August 2015 | Chris Pleasance
    For most people, seeing snow falling in the middle of summer might come as a bit of a surprise. But not for the residents of Calgary, who happily watched the white stuff falling all of yesterday and barely batted an eyelid. ... While the heaviest flurries took place across the Rockies, particularly in Banff, but by early afternoon it had begun snowing across lower ground, including in Calgary. By the following day, however, things returned to normal with a full day of sunshine, though temperatures were still a little low at 60F (15C). The forecast for the rest of the...
  • A newfound link between brain injuries and ADHD

    08/23/2015 10:03:56 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 12 replies
    Maclean's ^ | August 20, 2015 | Cathy Gulli
    Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have just released a study showing a “significant association” between two increasingly common — and perplexing — medical conditions: traumatic brain injury such as concussions, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the study found that 12.5 per cent of adults with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were also diagnosed with ADHD or screened positive for the disorder during a self-report test developed by the World Health Organization. Previous research has revealed similar results in children. “The odds of...
  • Why gratitude could be good for your health

    08/23/2015 9:51:12 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 3 replies
    Maclean's ^ | August 14, 2015 | Cathy Gulli
    On New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago, Janice Kaplan gathered in Times Square with her husband and a million strangers. A woman turned to Kaplan, a journalist based in New York City, and mused, “Why pretend anything is going to be different just because a ball dropped?” The woman’s flip remark reverberated with Kaplan, albeit in a surprising way. “I knew that how I felt about the 12 months ahead would probably have less to do with what happened than with the mood, spirit and attitude I brought to each day,” Kaplan reflected. She’d recently left a high-profile...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images

    08/23/2015 3:29:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those strange blue objects? Many of the brightest blue images are of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here typically appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens. A gravitational lens can create several images of background galaxies, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a distant street light. The distinctive shape of this background galaxy -- which is probably just forming -- has allowed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Little Planet Curiosity

    08/22/2015 10:40:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A curious robot almost completely straddles this rocky little planet. Of course, the planet is really Mars and the robot is the car-sized Curiosity Rover, posing over its recent drilling target in the Marias Pass area of lower Mount Sharp. The 92 images used to assemble the little planet projection, a digitally warped and stitched mosaic covering 360x180 degrees, were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the Curiosity mission sol (martian day) 1065. That corresponds to 2015 August 5, three Earth years since Curiosity landed on the surface of the Red Planet. The composite selfie...
  • Decapitated victims discovered at excavation in Mexico

    08/21/2015 5:53:52 PM PDT · by markomalley · 9 replies
    Spero News ^ | 8/21/15 | Martin Barillas
    Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History announced that archaeologists have found the macabre remains of human sacrifice left behind by Mexico's Aztec ancestors.Known as a tzompantli, the archaeologists found a structure that consists of a rack of the skulls of human sacrificial victims that was once part of a temple complex in Tenochtitlan - the capital of the Aztecs that is now Mexico City.he tzompantli was found on Calle Guatemala, a street that runs at the eastern end of the Metropolitan Cathedral in the modern city's central square. According to El Universal - a Mexican daily - researchers found...
  • What Would Happen if a Massive Solar Storm Hit the Earth?

    08/21/2015 12:33:45 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 87 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 8/20/15 | Maddie Stone
    It’s hard to overstate just how much this would uproot our lives. The lights would of course go out, as would the internet, and any device that draws current from the wall. In places with electronically-controlled municipal water supplies — like most modern cities — toilets and sewage treatment systems would stop working. Heating and air conditioning would fail. Perishable food and medication would be lost. ATMs would be useless. Gas pumps would go offline. And so forth. GPS technology would also be knocked out. Said Grunman, “The GPS system depends on the very precise timing of a course of...