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  • New Zealand test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

    New Zealand test rocket makes it to space but not to orbitCalifornia-based company Rocket Lab says it has launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn't reach orbit as hoped

  • Monstrous cyclones churning over Jupiter's poles

    Monstrous cyclones churning over Jupiter's polesMonstrous cyclones are churning over Jupiter's poles, until now largely unexplored

  • Everest rescuers retrieve bodies of two Indian climbers

    Everest rescuers retrieve bodies of two Indian climbersRescuers have retrieved the bodies of two Indian climbers who died on Mount Everest last year but whose remains could not be moved due to bad weather, an official said Thursday. A team of Nepali climbers retrieved the bodies of Goutam Ghosh and Paresh Nath from the balcony, an area just below the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain. Ghosh's remains were only located this year by other climbers on the mountain.

  • How obsessive gamers can quit playing

    How obsessive gamers can quit playingCam Adair, founder of "Game Quitters," says finding alternate activities is key for people hoping to stop playing video games.

  • Survey finds US honeybee losses improve from horrible to bad

    Survey finds US honeybee losses improve from horrible to badWASHINGTON (AP) — There's a glimmer of hope for America's ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday.

  • Brain scans show how fathers are more attentive to daughters than sons

    Brain scans show how fathers are more attentive to daughters than sonsDads not only act differently in their daily interactions with the children, but scans of their brains also revealed different patterns of activity depending on whether they have a boy or a girl. In recent years, a number of studies has shown that fathers treat girls and boys differently – suggesting in some cases that their behaviours could reinforce gender stereotypes in their children. For instance, studies often rely on parents' self-reports of their interactions with their children.

  • Here's what we'll lose with Trump's proposed NASA budget cuts, and why one expert is calling it out

    Here's what we'll lose with Trump's proposed NASA budget cuts, and why one expert is calling it outIf congress agrees with Trump’s latest budget proposal, NASA will have about $561 million less to work with in 2018 than it did in 2017. With that said, significant programs will meet the chopping block because of it: NASA’s education program will completely shut down, along with at least four other missions related to studying asteroids or understanding Earth’s changing climate. NASA's acting administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., didn’t sound all that concerned.

  • Sweet Therapy: Chocolate May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat

    Sweet Therapy: Chocolate May Help Prevent Irregular HeartbeatEating chocolate has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, and now a new study from Denmark suggests that regular consumption of the treat may help to prevent the development of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. Researchers found that adults in the study who ate chocolate at least once a month — or more frequently than that — had rates of atrial fibrillation that were 10 to 20 percent lower than those who ate chocolate less than once a month, according to the findings published today (May 23) in the journal Heart. Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's two upper chambers, known as the atria, do not beat at the same pace as the heart's two lower chambers, resulting in an irregular heartbeat.

  • 'Shape-Shifting' Pasta Could Transform Food Shipping

    'Shape-Shifting' Pasta Could Transform Food ShippingResearchers at MIT have been playing with their food in the name of science, concocting a shape-shifting dining experience that could significantly reduce food shipping and packaging costs. The team from MIT’s Tangible Media Group created flat sheets of gelatin and starch that transform into 3D shapes, such as flowers and pasta forms, when submerged in water. “We did some simple calculations, such as for macaroni pasta, and even if you pack it perfectly, you still will end up with 67 percent of the volume as air,” said Wen Wang, a co-author of the research, set to be published in a paper this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2017 Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

  • Sergey Brin is building the world’s biggest aircraft for humanitarian missions and family trips

    Sergey Brin is building the world’s biggest aircraft for humanitarian missions and family tripsGoogle co-founder Sergey Brin's secret airship will be used for humanitarian missions, but it will also serve as a giant RV in the sky for his friends and family, according to The Guardian. The dirigible, which was first revealed by Bloomberg one month ago, is reportedly going to wind up being the biggest aircraft in the world at 200 meters long. The giant humanitarian sky yacht is being built at Moffett airfield, which is part of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Northern California, where Google’s Planetary Ventures division holds a 60-year lease valued at $1 billion.

  • Scientists Watch Star Collapse Into Black Hole

    Scientists Watch Star Collapse Into Black HoleA star suffered an epic fail when it quietly collapsed into a black hole instead of exploding in a brilliant supernova.

  • Electric vehicles are now the cleanest cars in America

    Electric vehicles are now the cleanest cars in AmericaElectric vehicles have been billed as the sustainable alternative to gas-guzzling cars. But that hasn't always been the case, particularly when coal-fired electricity is used to recharge the battery. Yet with solar and wind power booming in the U.S., and natural gas supplanting coal, the low-carbon EV dream is finally becoming a reality, a new analysis says. Automakers are also unveiling new and better electric car models, making it easier to ditch gasoline-fueled cars. Electric vehicles are now "unequivocally" the cleanest cars in the country, based on a national average, the research and journalism group Climate Central reported on Wednesday. SEE ALSO: Tesla plans to double its charging network by the end of the year That's an improvement over the group's previous analysis, which found that a fully gas-powered hybrid car was better for the environment than an electric car, based on the national average, over 100,000 miles of driving. "In more and more of the country, new electric cars are becoming the greenest option on the market, even when you consider the source of the electricity they use," Eric Larson, an energy systems analyst at Climate Central and the report's lead author, said in a press release. Image: climate central"More electric car choices are coming online, and the country has been gradually reducing the carbon intensity of electrical grids in recent years," he said. "That means Americans now have many more options if they want to drive cleaner cars." The analysis updates previous reports and is posted on a new interactive website, Climate-Friendly Cars. Visitors can search by U.S. state to see how all-electric, plug-in hybrids, and conventional battery hybrids compare from an environmental standpoint. The climate-friendliness of a particular model varies from state to state, since the best types of car are still determined by the local electric grid. In 37 states, an all-electric car emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car, over the first 100,000 miles driven. But in 13 fossil fuel-dependent states, a gas-powered car is still the cleanest choice for car owners, the Climate Central analysis found. The climate-friendliest cars in New York, for the current model year only.Image: Climate centralEV drivers aren't limited to the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model X, two early popular models of all-electric cars. For instance, in a state like New York, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, BMW i3 BEV 60 ah, Fiat 500e and VW e-Golf also rank among the climate-friendliest options. Thanks to the growing variety, at least five all-electric car models are more climate friendly in 28 states compared to the "greenest" gas-powered car in that state, the report found. Within 24 states, plug-in hybrids, which can run on either gasoline or an electric charge, are also among the top environmentally friendly options. States where electric cars are by far the best option for the climate include California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Among the states where gas-powered cars are still the lowest-emissions options, thanks to their big base of coal-fired power plants, are Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia.  WATCH: Watch a Tesla Model X drive itself to the office

  • How Alcohol & Gut Fungus Team Up to Damage Your Liver

    How Alcohol & Gut Fungus Team Up to Damage Your LiverHeavy drinking can lead to liver disease, but a new study suggests that it's not just the alcohol that damages the liver — fungi that commonly live in the human gut appear to contribute to the disease as well. The study, which involved experiments in both mice and a small number of people, found that consuming alcohol is linked with changes in the types of fungi living in the gut, and that the fungi that tend to be more common in people who drink also worsen the effects of alcohol on the liver. The study is the first to link fungi and liver disease, the researchers said.

  • Billionaire Ex-Oilman Plans 1st Nonstop World Solar Flight

    Billionaire Ex-Oilman Plans 1st Nonstop World Solar FlightAfter building up a $15 billion fortune pumping oil, Viktor Vekselberg is turning to solar for his attempt to win a place in history.

  • Ancient Bizarre Sea Monster the Size of a Bus Discovered in Russia

    Ancient Bizarre Sea Monster the Size of a Bus Discovered in RussiaThe well-preserved 5 foot-long skull of an extinct reptile was first discovered on the bank of the Volga River in 2002, but until now had not been identified as a new species. The fossil belongs to a group of marine reptiles called plesiosaur.

  • Boxing Day Tsunami: Scientists drill deep in ocean to find out why Indonesia earthquake was so deadly

    Boxing Day Tsunami: Scientists drill deep in ocean to find out why Indonesia earthquake was so deadlyScientists have long been puzzled about why the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was so devastating, as it didn't unfold as traditional hazard models would have expected. New analyses of the sediments entering the subduction zone have allowed them to come up with a potential explanation. It was accompanied by a huge tsunami – which remains known today as Boxing Day tsunami because it occurred on 26 December.

  • From 'Magic' Mushrooms to Meth: The ER Rates for Drug Users

    From 'Magic' Mushrooms to Meth: The ER Rates for Drug UsersAlcohol and marijuana may be the most commonly used recreational drugs in the world, but "magic" mushrooms appear to be the safest, a new survey finds. At the opposite end, the drug that resulted in the most emergency medical treatments was methamphetamine: Nearly 5 percent of the 1,500 people who reported using it said they wound up needing treatment, the Global Drug Survey found. The Global Drug Survey is a London-based research group that's focused on making drug use safer.

  • On This Day: President John F. Kennedy Asked Congress To Send A Man To The Moon

    On This Day: President John F. Kennedy Asked Congress To Send A Man To The MoonJFK was aiming high when he asked Congress to send a man to the moon.

  • Correction: Snowy Plover Chick story

    Correction: Snowy Plover Chick storyPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — In a story May 24 about the Western snowy plover, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Oregon requires dogs to be kept on leash in snowy plover nesting areas. The state bans dogs from all active nesting areas.

  • Less Than 1 Drink Per Day May Raise Your Breast Cancer Risk

    Less Than 1 Drink Per Day May Raise Your Breast Cancer RiskWomen who can't wait to have their glass of wine at the end of the day, take note: A new report concludes that even one small drink daily can raise a woman's risk of breast cancer. The report includes data gathered from more than 12 million women worldwide — 260,000 of whom had breast cancer — during nearly 120 studies. In the report, which was published today (May 23), researchers cut through the clutter of breast cancer studies, and offer a clear set of recommendations to help women reduce their risk of the disease.

  • Biggest exhibit of human-like fossils goes on display in South Africa

    Biggest exhibit of human-like fossils goes on display in South AfricaBy Ed Stoddard THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND, South Africa (Reuters) - An exhibit of the largest collection of fossils of close human relatives ever to go on public display opened on Thursday in South Africa, not far from the caves where they were unearthed. Launched on "Africa Day" in an area named "The Cradle of Humankind," the exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the widely-held view that humanity's evolutionary roots lay in Africa.

  • Will This Miracle Material End All Energy Storage Problems?

    Will This Miracle Material End All Energy Storage Problems?When graphene was first isolated, the researchers responsible won The Nobel Prize in physics, and now it is a central candidate for solving global energy storage issues

  • How whales went from just big to absolutely enormous

    How whales went from just big to absolutely enormousBlue whales are among the biggest creatures on the planet today. But a few million years ago, they were practically petite. Scientists think they know why these whales gained so much weight. Environmental changes likely altered the distribution of whales' food supplies in a way that rewarded gargantuan creatures, a new study found. That likely prompted blue whales to balloon ten-fold, from roughly 10 feet long to their present size of up to 100 feet. SEE ALSO: Dozens of humpback whales have died in the last year and nobody knows why Scientists traced the transformation of whale sizes back nearly 30 million years. They found that very large whales only appeared along several branches of the family tree some 2 million to 3 million years ago, according to a study published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  "We live in a time of giants," Jeremy Goldbogen, an author of the paper and a marine biologist at Stanford University, said in a press release. Baleen whales, the filter-feeding beasts that include blue whales, "have never been this big, ever." Gonna get me some krill.Image: silverback films/bbcGoldbogen and colleagues from the University of Chicago and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History measured more than 140 museum specimens of fossilized whales. Using a statistical model, they found that several distinct lineages of baleen whales developed independently of one another starting around 4.5 million years ago. "...All of a sudden — 'boom' — we see them get very big, like blue whales," Nicholas Pyenson, an author of the paper and the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian, told the New York Times "It's like going from whales the size of minivans to longer than two school buses," he said. Their expansion coincided with the early development of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere, which likely changed the distribution of the tiny krill and plankton that whales eat. Up until then, the minuscule prey would've been fairly evenly distributed throughout the ocean. As filter feeders, whales can swallow swarms of crustaceans in a single massive gulp, but they were still only moderately large marine mammals. A blue whale, the largest vertebrate animal ever in the history of life, engulfs krill off the coast of California.Image: silverback films/bbcAs glaciers formed, however, run-off from the new ice caps would've washed nutrients into coastal waters at particular times of the year, boosting food supplies seasonally, instead of year-round. The Earth's cooling poles also affected ocean currents in a way that caused dense patches of prey to become more predominant. This all created a seafood feast for the whales. But it meant they had to travel farther and work harder to find each meal. Being large meant the whales could not only swallow more prey when they found it, but they could also migrate very long distances to sustain that all-you-can-eat feeding style. Researchers said the new findings on ancient whales could shed light on what's happening on the planet today.  Human-caused global warming is accelerating the thinning and retreating of sea ice, causing glaciers to melt at unprecedented rates, and warming and acidifying the oceans — not over the course of millennia, but mere centuries.  "With these rapid changes, does the ocean have the capacity to sustain several billion people and the world’s largest whales?" Pyenson said in a press release. "The clues to answer this question lie in our ability to learn from Earth’s deep past... embedded in the fossil record." WATCH: Man swims and frolics with a orca whale in the wild

  • Ancient Hunter Gatherers And Farmers Had Children Together, Study Finds

    Ancient Hunter Gatherers And Farmers Had Children Together, Study FindsPrevious research said the two groups did not intermix.

  • A Very Confusing Makeup Guide for Field Scientists

    A Very Confusing Makeup Guide for Field ScientistsIt’s called McMurdo Station, and it’s fully equipped with a bunch of laboratories, three harrowing aircraft runways literally made of ice and compacted snow, a couple of bars, and an interfaith chapel. In the summer, the place is teeming with “field scientists” — folks who trade in their lab coats for immersion survival suits or headlamps or affectionately nicknamed “Big Red” parkas (yup, the same ones you see everywhere on the streets of New York) to investigate what’s happening in the great outdoors. You might not think that field scientists all the way down at McMurdo Station care about how they look.

  • These science emoji could appear on your keyboard soon

    These science emoji could appear on your keyboard soonThe tool section of the emoji keyboard boasts an array of knives, a syringe, a water gun, a beeper, a battery, and a bomb. But when it comes to objects you might find in a laboratory, the options are slim to none. Scientists are hoping to change that by proposing a slate of science-specific emoji. If approved, items such as lab goggles, a petri dish, a test tube, and a DNA double helix could join the ranks of things you text your friends. SEE ALSO: Your hairstyle may be getting its very own emoji soon Industrial giant GE and the American Chemical Society last month proposed 10 emoji to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that oversees the official list of these icons. Nine emoji were deemed candidates for the next selection process, meaning all or some of these could hit keyboards in summer 2018. Eight of nine proposed science emoji.Image: GE and american chemical societyNancy Briscoe, an audience development manager at GE, said the emoji were part of a broader effort to make STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields more culturally accepted. "Giving people the right tools to express scientific thought is important to keep the subject relevant and accessible in a fast-paced world," she said in an email. "We think it's important that we all be able to communicate about science more clearly, so why not create (emoji) to aid that process?" Efforts like these could influence more than just our texts. A mainstream cultural embrace of scientists and their work may have political ramifications, as well. In the U.S., the Trump administration has indicated that government-backed research is a low priority, while top officials have met mainstream scientific findings with hostility and skepticism. Just this week, the White House proposed cutting billions of dollars for basic and applied research funding. Image: American Association for the Advancement of ScienceTrump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would cut total research funding by 16.8 percent, or $12.6 billion, below the 2017 omnibus spending bill. No administration appears to have proposed research cuts this deep in more than 40 years, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) said in a preliminary analysis. Scientists say they're worried about losing their jobs or running out of funding to conduct crucial research. In April, thousands of people in the U.S. and worldwide joined the March for Science to urge officials and the public to support fact and reason. A handful of science-themed emoji won't change this. But they could at least begin to demystify and destigmatize science in popular culture. Image: ge and american chemical society  Image: ge and american chemical society"Science is definitely having a moment right now, whether it's ensuring access to proper science education, funding of grants, or advancing certain fields like engineering and aeronautics," Briscoe said. "Because of this, the [emoji] proposal covers a wide range of accessible science objects." The nine proposed emoji aren't the only science-themed icons up for consideration. At the first-ever Emojicon in San Francisco last fall, science enthusiasts and designers submitted formal proposals to Unicode for other planets in our solar system besides Earth, including the not-to-be-forgotten dwarf planet Pluto.  Craig Cummings, vice-chair of Unicode's technical committee, said in November that the planet emoji proposal could be fast-tracked for inclusion in the 2017 summer update, Nature reported. The path for other science emoji is a bit longer. If approved, those icons could be included in the 2018 summer update. WATCH: This adorable emoji python will cure your fear of snakes

  • In "Massive Fail," Dying Star Mysteriously Reborn as Black Hole

    In "Massive Fail," Dying Star Mysteriously Reborn as Black HoleA massive, dying star that astronomers thought would explode has instead quietly collapsed into a black hole. The event, which NASA calls a “massive fail,” could be a more common pattern for giant stars than astronomers previously suspected. Referred to as the “Fireworks Galaxy” for the frequent supernovae—explosions of stars—known to happen there, the star cluster has held NASA’s attention for several years.

  • Nasa fast-tracks Psyche mission to explore a $10,000 quadrillion metal asteroid

    Nasa fast-tracks Psyche mission to explore a $10,000 quadrillion metal asteroidNasa may have pushed back launching manned Mars missions but it just moved up an explorative mission to a unique asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. Dubbed 19 Psyche, the asteroid is made up almost entirely of nickel-iron metal. Nasa moved its plan to launch a mission to the metal asteroid by a year and is now planning to launch its discovery mission in the summer of 2022.

  • Sounds of Jupiter sent back by NASA's Juno are oddly familiar

    Sounds of Jupiter sent back by NASA's Juno are oddly familiarThe spacecraft studying the giant planet picks up some wave signals, and NASA slows them to a frequency humans can hear.