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- U.S. agencies back DigitalGlobe bid to sell sharper images
By Warren Strobel and Andrea Shalal TAMPA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. intelligence community has thrown its support behind a bid by commercial space imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc to sell higher resolution images from its satellites, the leading U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday. DigitalGlobe has pressed the government for years to allow it to sell such imagery but U.S. government agencies worried that giving public access to them could undermine the intelligence advantage they have from even higher resolution satellite images. The green light from the U.S. intelligence community follows rapid advances by non-U.S. space imagery companies that have raised concerns DigitalGlobe could lose market share if it is not allowed to compete on high resolution images. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told an industry conference that U.S. intelligence agencies had agreed to allow commercial providers to sell higher resolution imagery but that the decision still needed approval by other agencies.
- French parliament bans cultivation of GM maize PARIS (Reuters) - France's lower house of parliament adopted a law on Tuesday prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize, saying it posed a risk to the environment. France adopted a decree last month to halt the planting of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize, the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union. ...
- Sky-watchers see 'blood moon' in total lunar eclipse By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Parts of the world saw a rare celestial event on Tuesday when the Earth's shadow fell across the moon, turning it orange. The lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours beginning at about 2 a.m. EDT, when the moon began moving into Earth's shadow. Depending on local weather conditions, the eclipse was visible across a swath of the United States. Viewers from Florida to California and beyond went to viewing parties and social media and other websites to gawk and share photos of the so-called "blood moon".
- SpaceX cargo run to space station reset for Friday By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Privately owned Space Exploration Technologies canceled its planned cargo run to the International Space Station on Monday after a helium leak was found in its rocket's first stage, NASA said. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule had been slated for 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT). The next opportunity for the Falcon 9 to fly is 3:25 p.m. (1925 GMT) on Friday if the problem can be resolved, NASA said in a statement. The flight, the third of 12 under the firm's 1.6 billion contract with NASA, already had been delayed several times for technical issues, including a potential contamination concern with the rocket and damage to an Air Force ground tracking radar needed to monitor the Falcon's flight.
- U.S. in prime position to see full lunar eclipse Tuesday The lunar eclipse will unfold over three hours beginning at 1:58 a.m. EDT when the moon begins moving into Earth's shadow. Eclipses occurs two or three times per year when the sun, Earth and the full moon line up so that the moon passes through Earth's shadow. Tuesday's eclipse will be the last full lunar eclipse visible from the United States until 2019, NASA said. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible from most of the country, with the exception of New England and Alaska.
- Even Casual Pot Use Changes the Brain People who smoke marijuana a few times a week, but are not addicted to the drug, may still undergo changes in their brains in areas thought to be involved in emotion, motivation and addiction, a new study suggests. In the study, people who smoked marijuana about one to five times a week had changes in the size, shape and density of a brain region called the nucleus accumbens, compared with people who did not use the drug. "The common folklore in the general population is that causal marijuana use does not hurt you," but these findings argue that this may not be the case, said study researcher Dr. Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Although previous studies have found brain changes in heavy marijuana users (those who smoke about 20 joints a week for many years), the new study is the first to link less-frequent marijuana use to brain abnormalities, the researchers said.
- Lab-Grown Esophagus Could Aid Cancer Patients Doctors have implanted bio-engineered tracheas in patients, and researchers have experimented with growing bladders and kidneys. Now, another organ joins that list: the esophagus, which brings food and water to the stomach.
- Unhappy Workers Name Their Biggest Complaints The study revealed a number of reasons why employees are contemplating finding something better. In addition, 16 percent feel they don't have the right skills or education to move on.
- The Search for Gravitational Waves: New Documentary on Project LIGO Launches (Watch Online)
A newly released documentary brings the hunt for ripples in the fabric of space-time — called gravitational waves — into focus, and you can watch it live on Space.com. The 20-minute film, called "LIGO, A Passion for Understanding," follows the scientists working to create one of the most powerful scientific tools ever made: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories, or LIGO for short. "As an aspiring filmmaker, it is my intent to focus on films which act as a conduit for science education and outreach," Kai Staats, the director of the new film, said of the inspiration behind the documentary. The $205 million LIGO is designed to detect gravitational waves from Earth using a laser that shoots down two 2.5-mile (4 kilometers) arms outfitted with mirrors.
- Dwarf Planet Discovery Could Help Show Life's Spread Through Solar System
On March 26, researchers announced the discovery of 2012 VP133, an estimated 280-mile wide (450-kilometer) object that lies just beyond the Kuiper Belt of icy objects that swarm outside of Neptune's orbit. The new object is nicknamed "Biden" after the vice-president of the United States, because both Joe Biden and 2012 VP133 are "VPs." It is one of only two dwarf planets discovered beyond the Kuiper Belt, with Sedna (a decade ago) being the other one. Mapping tiny worlds at the Solar System's edge could one day show scientists how life arose on Earth. Are the possible organics —which show up as ultra-red material in telescopes — a possible source for life on Earth?
- Elusive 'Exotic Hadron' Particles Confirmed
The existence of exotic hadrons — a type of matter that doesn't fit within the traditional model of particle physics — has now been confirmed, scientists say. Researchers working on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland — where the elusive Higgs boson particle was discovered in 2012 — announced today (April 14) they had confirmed the existence of a new type of hadron, with an unprecedented degree of statistical certainty. "We've confirmed the unambiguous observation of a very exotic state — something that looks like a particle composed of two quarks and two antiquarks," study co-leader Tomasz Skwarnicki, a high-energy physicist at Syracuse University in New York said in a statement. The Standard Model of particle physics allows for two kinds of hadrons.
- Step up action to curb global warming, or risks rise - UN
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent BERLIN (Reuters) - A United Nations report said on Sunday that governments must act faster to keep global warming in check and delays until 2030 could force them to use little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air. The study, drawing on work by more than 1,000 experts, said a radical shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power would shave only about 0.06 of a percentage point a year off world economic growth. "It does not cost the world to save the planet," Ottmar Edenhofer, a German scientist who is co-chair of a meeting of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told a news conference in Berlin. The report, endorsed by governments, is meant as the main scientific guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to be agreed in late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, led by China's industrial growth.
- Step up action to curb global warming, or risks rise: U.N.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent BERLIN (Reuters) - A United Nations report said on Sunday that governments must act faster to slow global warming and delays until 2030 could force reliance on little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air. The study, drawing on work by more than 1,000 experts, said a radical shift from conventional fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power would shave only about 0.06 percentage point a year off world economic growth. "It does not cost the world to save the planet," Ottmar Edenhofer, a German scientist who is co-chair of a meeting of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told a news conference in Berlin. The report, endorsed by governments, is meant as the main scientific guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to be agreed in late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, led by China's industrial growth.
- Act fast to curb global warming, or extract CO2 from air - U.N.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent BERLIN (Reuters) - Faster action is needed to keep global warming to agreed limits and delays until 2030 could force reliance on technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air, a U.N. report said on Sunday. The study, drawing on the work of more than 1,000 experts, said a shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power was affordable and would shave only about 0.06 percentage point a year off world economic growth. "We have a window of opportunity for the next decade, and maximum the next two decades" to act at moderate costs, said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of a Berlin meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report, endorsed by governments, is meant as the main scientific guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to be agreed in late 2015 to rein in world greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs, led by China's industrial growth.
- UN climate report balances science and politics
BERLIN (AP) — After racing against the clock in an all-night session, the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change was putting the final touches Saturday on a scientific guide to help governments, industries and regular people take action to stop global warming from reaching dangerous levels.
- Scientists grow viable vaginas from girls' own cells
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Four young women born with abnormal or missing vaginas were implanted with lab-grown versions made from their own cells, the latest success in creating replacement organs that have so far included tracheas, bladders and urethras. Follow-up tests show the new vaginas are indistinguishable from the women's own tissue and have grown in size as the young women, who got the implants as teens, matured. It is not yet clear whether these women can bear children, but because they are menstruating, it suggests their ovaries are working, so it may be possible, said Dr Anthony Atala, director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina. The feat, which Atala and colleagues in Mexico describe in the journal the Lancet, is the latest demonstration from the growing field of regenerative medicine, a discipline in which doctors take advantage of the body's power to regrow and replace cells.
- 'Jesus's Wife' papyrus fragment not a forgery, scientists say
Scientists who examined a controversial fragment of papyrus written in Egyptian Coptic in which Jesus speaks of his wife concluded in papers published on Thursday that the papyrus and ink are probably ancient and not a modern forgery. The existence of the fragment, known as the "Gospel of Jesus's Wife," was made public at an academic conference in 2012. It is seen by some as a glimpse of how ancient Christians thought while decried by others, including the Vatican, as an absurd fake. Scientific studies performed over the last two years at various universities suggest both the ink and the papyrus are probably no newer than the 9th century and that the language and writing style are authentic for the period.
- Science Guy Bill Nye Explores Life's Meaning in 5 Minutes (VIDEO)
Brian Dyak is president, CEO and co-founder of the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and executive producer of EICnetwork.tv. While most of us remember his familiar character from our youthful classroom activities and childhood television favorites, Nye, a former mechanical engineer, continues to capture our hearts and minds with his insights into the science and technology world. In his interview, Nye asks us to ponder how "everything you can touch and see, everything, came out of someone's head." Science and technology affects and changes the world every day. His curiosity ultimately led him on a path to become a mechanical engineer for Boeing — before he won a Steve Martin look-alike contest and entered into comedy, to later be followed by his career promoting science and technology.
- College Students to Spark Zero-Gravity Fires for Science This Week
"We're trying to create some new knowledge," said Sam Avery, an aerospace engineering undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, who is leading a team of flyers to NASA's Johnson Space Center. "[On Earth] the convective flow basically speeds up the combustion process and makes it so that you can't get an actual burning rate for your fuel," Avery told Space.com. In two separate flights as part of NASA's competitive Microgravity University Program, Avery's team is going to be measuring the burn rate of four different biofuels: butanol, ethanol, E85 and kerosene. Avery's supply was donated by a local gas station in California.)
- UK scientists make body parts in lab LONDON (AP) — In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.
- Scientists regenerate immune organ in mice By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore an organ in a living animal, a discovery they say may pave the way for similar techniques to be used in humans in future. The University of Edinburgh team rebuilt the thymus - an organ central to the immune system and found in front of the heart - of very old mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age. The regenerated thymus was not only similar in structure and genetic detail to one in a young mouse, the scientists said, but was also able to function again, with the treated mice beginning to make more T-cells - a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections. The regenerated thymus was also more than twice the size of the aged organs in the untreated mice.
- Dance Me To The End Of Time and Space
Bringing astrophysics to the masses is difficult at the best of times, but how do you communicate such complex science to students in underserved groups, such as those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing? One research team has developed a unique approach: Use dance and stunning backdrops to teach the mathematics and physics of merging black holes. Manuela Campanelli, is director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where she and her colleagues study how black holes merge. Through a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Campanelli and her team have built an astrophysics and dance public engagement program, AstroDance, around their original research and a smaller, but popular, demonstration they presented during the Light in Winter Festival in Ithaca, N.Y.
- NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Arrives at Next Science Destination (Photos)
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has reached its next study area and is now scoping out rocks that it will take an up-close look at over the next few weeks. The Curiosity rover snapped new photos of Mars after driving 98 feet (30 meters) on Wednesday (April 2) and topping a small hill that affords a good view of the surrounding area, which NASA scientists have dubbed "the Kimberley," officials said. "This is the spot on the map we've been headed for, on a little rise that gives us a great view for context imaging of the outcrops at the Kimberley," Melissa Rice of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the science team lead for Curiosity's work at the site, said in a statement. Four different types of rock intersect at the Kimberley, providing Curiosity with a wealth of material to study.
- Time running out to meet global warming target: U.N. report By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) - World powers are running out of time to slash their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming, a draft U.N. study to be approved this week shows. It says nations will have to impose drastic curbs on their still rising greenhouse gas emissions to keep a promise made by almost 200 countries in 2010 to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 C (1.4F) since 1900 and are set to breach the 2 C ceiling on current trends in coming decades, U.N. reports show. "The window is shutting very rapidly on the 2 degrees target," said Johan Rockstrom, head of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and an expert on risks to the planet from heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising seas.
- The Science of 'Game of Thrones'
Millions of fans of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" are girding themselves for the April 6 premiere of the wildly popular show's fourth season. Amid palace intrigue, gruesome assassinations, dark religious rituals, bloody battle scenes, fire-breathing dragons and enough lusty sexual escapades to shame a Roman orgy, there's plenty to keep viewers hooked on the series, based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books. And when that happens in "Game of Thrones," there's usually someone on hand to offer them milk of the poppy, a painkiller that can, in high doses, lead to unconsciousness.
- Scientists dismiss claims that Yellowstone volcano about to erupt
Yellowstone National Park assured guests and the public on Thursday that a super-volcano under the park was not expected to erupt anytime soon, despite an alarmist video that claimed bison had been seen fleeing to avoid such a calamity. Yellowstone officials, who fielded dozens of calls and emails since the video went viral this week following an earthquake in the park, said the video actually shows bison galloping down a paved road that leads deeper into the park. Contrary to online reports, it's a natural occurrence and not the end of the world," park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said. Assurances by Yellowstone officials and government geologists that the ancient super-volcano beneath the park is not due to explode for eons have apparently done little to quell fears among the thousands who have viewed recent video postings of the thundering herd.
- US Military's DARPA Launches Biology Branch for Next-Gen Security the U.S. government agency dedicated to the development of futuristic and cutting-edge technologies for the military — has launched a new division to study the intersection of biology, engineering and computer science, and to investigate how merging these fields could bolster national security. The new division, dubbed the Biological Technologies Office (BTO), will examine diverse natural mechanisms — ranging from the workings of individual cells to complex biological systems — that, when combined with advancements in sensor design, nanotechnology or microsystems, for example, could yield innovative, next-generation tools for national defense. "Biology is nature's ultimate innovator, and any agency that hangs its hat on innovation would be foolish not to look to this master of networked complexity for inspiration and solutions," DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar said last week in a testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities.
- Fukushima meltdown not seen causing many cancers - UN scientists
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster is unlikely to lead to a rise in the number of people developing cancer like after Chernobyl in 1986, even though the most exposed children may face an increased risk, U.N. scientists said on Wednesday. In a major study, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said it did not expect "significant changes" in future cancer rates that could be attributed to radiation exposure from the reactor meltdowns. However, some children - estimated at fewer than 1,000 - might have received doses that could affect the risk of developing thyroid cancer later in life, UNSCEAR said, making clear that the probability of that happening was still low. UNSCEAR chair Carl-Magnus Larsson said there was a theoretical increased risk among the most exposed children as regards to this type of cancer, which is a rare disease among the young.
- Scientists create wiring diagram for mouse brain
- Scientists unveil first wiring diagram of mouse's brain
By Sharon Begley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A year to the day after U.S. President Barack Obama announced a $100 million "BRAIN Initiative" to accelerate discoveries in how gray matter thinks, feels, remembers, and sometimes succumbs to devastating diseases, scientists on Wednesday said they had achieved a key milestone toward that goal. Writing in the journal Nature, they unveiled the mouse 'connectome,' a map showing the sinuous connections that neurons make throughout the mouse brain as they form functional circuits. The mouse connectome "provides the most detailed analysis of brain circuitry currently available for any mammalian brain," said neuroscientist David Van Essen of Washington University in St. Louis, co-leader of the human connectome project, which aims to do that for Homo sapiens. "It is truly a landmark study." A connectome is essentially a wiring diagram.
- Fukushima meltdown unlikely to lead to large number of cancers - U.N. scientists
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster is unlikely to lead to a large number of people developing cancer like after Chernobyl in 1986, even though the most exposed children may face an increased risk, U.N. scientists said on Wednesday. In a major study, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said it did not expect "significant changes" in future cancer rates that could be attributed to radiation exposure from the reactor meltdowns. The amounts of radioactive substances such as iodine-131 released after the 2011 accident were much lower than after Chernobyl, and Japanese authorities also took action to protect people living near the stricken plant, including evacuations. However, some children - estimated at fewer than 1,000 - might have received doses that could affect the risk of developing thyroid cancer later in life, UNSCEAR said, making clear that the probability of that happening was still low.
- Stem cell controversy sets back Japanese science
TOKYO (AP) — The finding that a lead researcher falsified data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper is a setback for Japan's efforts to promote its advanced research, but also a symptom of the pressure for breakthroughs in the field, experts say.
- The Squeaky Bat Gets the Worm
"Despite decades of study, many things about common bat behaviors such as foraging remain mysterious," Genevieve Spanjer Wright, a biologist at the University of Maryland and leader of the study detailed in the March 31 issue of the journal Current Biology, said in a statement. Wright and her colleagues analyzed audio recordings of two bats flying and foraging in tandem, and noticed the calls seemed different from ordinary echolocation. They looked deeper into video and audio recordings of the brown bats' flight paths and calls, as the bats foraged for food (tethered mealworms) in pairs or alone. They found that male brown bats produced a sound known as a frequency modulated bout, or FMB, when hunting in pairs.
- Astronauts to Test 'Touchy-Feely' Wearable Robot Joystick in Space
This summer, astronauts on the International Space Station will test an innovative wearable joystick that may someday allow humans to remotely control robots on other worlds. The European Space Agency will launch a super-sensitive joystick, which agency officials described as "touchy-feely" in a project overview, to the space station to help engineers learn better ways to telerobotically operate a robot on a planet's surface. The astronauts will use the joystick and fill out questionnaires on its performance as part of a study on human motor control in long-term weightlessness. Because the laws of physics dictate that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the joystick apparatus must be attached to a body harness, which in turn is bolted to the inside of the station.
- Japan finds fraudulent steps in "breakthrough" stem cell paper
By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's top research body on Tuesday accused the lead writer of stem cell papers hailed as a game-changer in the field of medical biology of misconduct involving fabrication, but the scientist called the findings unacceptable. Two papers published in the scientific journal Nature in January detailed simple ways to reprogramme mature animal cells back to an embryonic-like state, allowing them to generate many types of tissues. But reports have since pointed out irregularities in data and images used in the papers, prompting RIKEN, a semi-governmental research institute and employer of the lead writer, to set up a panel to look into the matter. The panel said, for example, that one of the articles reused images related to lead writer Haruko Obokata's doctoral dissertation, which was on different experiments.
- Global warming dials up our risks, UN report says
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — If the world doesn't cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral "out of control," the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday.
- Threat from global warming heightened in latest U.N. report
Global warming poses a growing threat to the health, economic prospects, and food and water sources of billions of people, top scientists said in a report that urges swift action to counter the effects of carbon emissions. The latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the effects of warming are being felt everywhere, fuelling potential food shortages, natural disasters and raising the risk of wars. The report projects global warming may cut world economic output by between 0.2 and 2.0 percent a year should mean temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), estimates that many countries say are too low. "Over the coming decades, climate change will have mostly negative impacts," said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), citing cities, ecosystems and water supply as being among the areas at risk.
- UN science report: Warming worsens security woes
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — In an authoritative report due out Monday a United Nations climate panel for the first time is connecting hotter global temperatures to hotter global tempers. Top scientists are saying that climate change will complicate and worsen existing global security problems, such as civil wars, strife between nations and refugees.
- UN panel: 8 reasons to worry about global warming
- Studies of Extreme Earth Life Can Aid Search for Alien Lifeforms, Scientists Say
Until we understand the limits of life, it will be difficult to determine if alien planets can host any living beings, scientists say. These life-supporting parameters could be revised, however, if a new extremophile is discovered or biology is different on another world, John Baross, a researcher at the University of Washington who focuses on these microbes said March 17. Considering slower evolution over millions of years in these reaches is a "totally new ballgame" for alien planet researchers, Baross said. Hosts for the conference include the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory as well as the Vatican Observatory, which is based just outside of Rome.
Geändert: 10.12.2010 19:40 Uhr