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  • European Mars probe destroyed after plunging to surface

    A full-size model of the European ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, Schiaparell is seen during a press conference at the European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in DarmstadtImages taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that a missing European space probe fell to the Red Planet's surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles) and was destroyed on impact, the European Space Agency said on Friday. The disc-shaped 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of the Russian-European ExoMars program to search for evidence of life on Mars, descended on Wednesday to test technologies for a rover that scientists hope to send to the surface of the planet in 2020. The U.S. space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars for about 10 years, took low-resolution pictures that show a bright spot that ESA believes is the 12-metre parachute that Schiaparelli used to slow down.

  • Spaceship carrying three-man crew docks with ISS, NASA TV reports

    The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft carrying the crew of Shane Kimbrough of the U.S., Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Russia blasts off to the ISS from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome(Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts docked with the International Space Station on Friday, NASA TV reported, two days after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spaceship with NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko on board completed the docking maneuver at 0952 GMT. ...

  • Smart mouth: Chinese fish fossil sheds light on jaw evolution

    An illustration shows the fish called Qilinyu that lived 423 million years ago during the Silurian PeriodBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bottom-dwelling, mud-grubbing, armored fish that swam in tropical seas 423 million years ago is fundamentally changing the understanding of the evolution of an indisputably indispensable anatomical feature: the jaw. "Now we know that one branch of placoderms evolved into modern jawed vertebrates," said study co-leader Zhu Min, a paleontologist at Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

  • Spiders can 'tune' webs for good vibrations, researchers say

    Dr. Beth Mortimer from the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford tests the web of the garden cross spiderSpiders can control the tension and stiffness of their webs to optimize their sensory powers, helping them locate and identify prey as well as partners, according to researchers at Oxford University. "Spiders use vibrations not only from prey which is caught in their web, where obviously it's important that they know ...where it is and what it might be," researcher Beth Mortimer told Reuters. "But vibrations are also important in courtship ... A lot of males will actually generate a very specific kind of musical pattern which the females can use to determine not only that they're a male but they're the right species and whether she might want to mate with them as well." Spiders can also use the information to assess their web's condition, she said.

  • NASA spacecraft loses computer before close encounter with Jupiter

    File photo of artist's rendering depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft above Jupiter's north pole in this undated handout imageBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA's Juno spacecraft lost its main computer and science instruments shortly before it was due to make an orbital pass near Jupiter on Wednesday, scuttling highly anticipated close-up observations of the largest planet in the solar system. The U.S. space agency said the glitch followed an unrelated problem last week that prompted it to skip firing Juno’s braking engine, to steer the probe into a tighter regular orbit around Jupiter. Juno's computer restarted after Wednesday's shutdown and the spacecraft was "healthy," NASA said in a statement.

  • New Plastic-Based Textile Helps Cool You Off

    New Plastic-Based Textile Helps Cool You OffA new type of fabric could keep people cool in hot climates and reduce the need for expensive and energy-consuming air conditioning, a new study finds. Just as sweating is one way the body cools off, the new clothing could help people reduce body heat. Heating and cooling spaces contribute to 12.3 percent of total energy consumption in the U.S., according to the researchers.

  • Recovered WWI German U-Boat Revives 'Sea Monster' Tales

    Recovered WWI German U-Boat Revives 'Sea Monster' TalesThe wreck of a World War I German submarine has been discovered off the coast of Scotland by marine engineers surveying the route of an undersea power cable. Researchers said they think the wreck is one of two German U-boats sunk by British patrol ships in the Irish Sea in 1918 — including one that was supposedly attacked by a sea monster, according to an internet legend. Marine archeologist and historian Innes McCartney, from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, said the submarine wreck was in reasonably good shape, considering it has spent almost 100 years on the seafloor at a depth of 340 feet (about 100 meters).

  • Picture This: Startup Satellite Fleet Will Image Planet Daily

    Picture This: Startup Satellite Fleet Will Image Planet DailyThe company, known as Planet, is aiming to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable for everyone, Will Marshall, the startup's co-founder and CEO, said during an address to the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Sept. 27, 2015. The company has deployed large fleets of small, inexpensive satellites designed solely to capture images of the planet. "We miniaturized these little satellites, and we put them up [in space] in large fleets in order to image the planet, with their little cameras going around the Earth," Marshall said during a talk at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in June.

  • Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos

    Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff BezosEarly Monday (Nov. 23), the private spaceflight company Blue Origin made a major stride in the pursuit of fully reusable rockets, when it launched an uncrewed vehicle into space and then soft-landed the rocket booster on the ground. "It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, speaking about the landing in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way.

  • Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space

    Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in SpaceThanksgiving in space will be a lot like the holiday down here on the ground — minus the gravity, of course. Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Thanksgiving video this week, breaking out bags of smoked turkey, rehydratable corn, candied yams and potatoes au gratin.

  • Mysterious 'Dark Energy' May Not Exist, Study Claims

    Mysterious 'Dark Energy' May Not Exist, Study ClaimsThe universe may not be expanding at an accelerating rate after all, meaning that mysterious "dark energy" might not actually exist, according to a new study. In 2011, three cosmologists from two research teams won the Nobel Prize in physics for independently showing that distant Type Ia supernovas, which are a kind of exploding star, are moving away from Earth faster than nearby ones are. This hypothetical dispersive force came to be known as dark energy, because astronomers didn't really know what it was (and still don't, as a matter of fact).

  • 'Spiders' on Mars: Citizen Scientists Investigate Strange Martian Terrain

    'Spiders' on Mars: Citizen Scientists Investigate Strange Martian TerrainThese prominent surface features are found near Mars' south pole, and are believed to be linked to seasonal changes. "The trapped carbon dioxide gas that carves the spiders in the ground also breaks through the thawing ice sheet.

  • What's Up with 'Niku'? Object's Weird Orbit Puzzles Scientists

    What's Up with 'Niku'? Object's Weird Orbit Puzzles ScientistsA mysterious object in the outer reaches of the solar system is revolving around the sun in an abnormal way, and scientists currently cannot explain why. The object has been nicknamed Niku, a Chinese adjective that means "rebellious," by the group of researchers who announced its discovery in August. This name was chosen because the object's orbit is retrograde, meaning it moves in the opposite direction of nearly everything else in the solar system.

  • U.S. scientist dies in snowmobile plunge in Antarctica (Reuters) - A U.S.-based scientist was killed in Antarctica when the snowmobile he was driving plunged into a crevasse on Saturday, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) said in a statement on Monday. Gordon Hamilton, 50, a University of Maine professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a researcher with the Climate Change Institute, fell 100 feet (30.48 metres) into the crevasse, the NSF statement said. Hamilton was part of a team camped in a heavily crevassed area known as the Shear Zone, around 25 miles (40.23 km) south of McMurdo Station, the largest of the three U.S. research stations in Antarctica.
  • Alan Alda asks scientists to explain energy to children

    FILE - In this July 26, 2016 file photo, actor Alan Alda attends a special screening of "Equity", in New York. Alda wants scientists to answer a question for 11-year-old children: What is energy? He says it is important for scientists to be able to communicate complex concepts in a simple fashion. His annual contest are judged by 11-year-olds around the world who access the contest online. Winning scientists receive $1,000. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Alan Alda wants scientists to answer a question for 11-year-old children: What is energy?

  • Scientists Untangle Chemistry of Frankincense to Develop 'Perfume'

    Scientists Untangle Chemistry of Frankincense to Develop 'Perfume'"They are contained in extremely low amounts" — less than 100 parts per million in the essential oil for the most potent molecule, study leader Nicolas Baldovini, a chemist at the Institute de Chimie de Nice in France, wrote in an email to Live Science. The scent comes from the resin of gum trees of the genus Boswellia, and it was burned as incense in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. The oldest archaeological evidence for frankincense use dates back to the late fourth millennium B.C. Frankincense is also mentioned repeatedly in the Bible: The Queen of Sheba brings it to King Solomon, and the three Magi gift some of it to baby Jesus.

  • The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

    Mysterious Bison Hybrid Revealed from Ancient DNA and Cave PaintingsEach week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles around, here are 10 of the coolest stories in Science this week.

  • At Mars, ExoMars Science Mission Goes on Despite Missing Lander

    At Mars, ExoMars Science Mission Goes on Despite Missing LanderThe ExoMars 2016 mission is in business despite the apparent failure of its lander to touch down softly on the Red Planet Wednesday (Oct. 19), European Space Agency (ESA) officials stressed. The lander, known as Schiaparelli, seems to have deployed its parachute too early and fired its thrusters for an insufficient amount of time as it streaked through the Martian atmosphere Wednesday, ESA officials said. As Schiaparelli was experiencing its "six minutes of terror" descent, the second part of the ExoMars 2016 mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), was firing its main engine for more than two hours in a crucial orbit-insertion burn.

  • Scientists in Europe downplay likely loss of Mars lander

    An employee stands in the control center of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Darmstadt, Germany, Wednesday Oct. 19, 2016. ESA and its Russian partner Roskosmos hope for the first successful landing on Mars. Their landing modul Schiaparelli will enter the martian atmosphere at an altitude of about 121 km and a speed of nearly 21 000 km/h. Less than six minutes later it will have landed on Mars. The probe will take images of Mars and conduct scientific measurements on the surface, but its main purpose is to test technology for a future European Mars rover. Schiaparelli's mother ship ,TGO, will remain in orbit to analyze gases in the Martian atmosphere to help answer whether there is or was life on Mars, (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)BERLIN (AP) — Scientists at the European Space Agency downplayed the likely loss of its Mars lander, saying Thursday that a wealth of data sent back by the experimental probe would help them prepare for a future mission to the red planet.

  • 'Planet Nine' Can't Hide Much Longer, Scientists Say

    'Planet Nine' Can't Hide Much Longer, Scientists SayPlanet Nine's days of lurking unseen in the dark depths of the outer solar system may be numbered. The hypothetical giant planet, which is thought to be about 10 times more massive than Earth, will be discovered within 16 months or so, astronomer Mike Brown predicted. "I'm pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter — not this winter, next winter — I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that … somebody's actually going to track this down," Brown said during a news conference Wednesday (Oct. 19) at a joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Pasadena, California.

  • Scientists find 500 U.S. seabed vents of powerful greenhouse gas Scientists have found 500 seabed vents bubbling methane into the Pacific Ocean off the United States, roughly doubling the number of known U.S. seeps of the powerful greenhouse gas, a study showed on Wednesday. "It appears that the entire coast off Washington, Oregon and California is a giant methane seep," Robert Ballard, who is famed for finding the wreck of the Titanic and has now discovered the 500 new seeps, said in a statement. Nicole Raineault, Director of Science Operations with Ballard's Ocean Exploration Trust, said it was unknown how long the seeps had been active, what triggered them and how much, if any, of the gas reached the atmosphere.
  • Chambers Hidden in Great Pyramid? Scientists Cast Doubt

    Chambers Hidden in Great Pyramid? Scientists Cast DoubtA group of scientists has just claimed to have discovered two unknown voids or cavities within the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest pyramid ever constructed in Egypt. Such cavities can be signs of hidden burials or rooms and as such, media outlets across the world immediately ran headlines touting this "discovery." One outlet even went so far as to proclaim that "secret rooms" had been found in the Great Pyramid. However, Live Science has learned that the results are more ambiguous.

  • UNICEF clinches vaccine deal to protect children from five diseases

    The UNICEF logo is pictured on a building in GenevaThe United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with six vaccine suppliers to provide a combined vaccine against five deadly childhood diseases for half the price it currently pays. "We will be able to procure pentavalent vaccine to protect children ... for less than $1 a dose," Shanelle Hall, director of UNICEF's supply and procurement division, told a news briefing. The six suppliers were named as: Biology E, Jenssen, LG Life Sciences , Panacea Biotec Ltd , Serum Institute of India, and Shantha Biotechs.

  • Bloomberg to make $50M gift to Boston science museum BOSTON (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charitable foundation has made the largest gift ever to Boston's Museum of Science.
  • The New Science of Willpower: Can Self-Control Really Get Used Up?

    The New Science of Willpower: Can Self-Control Really Get Used Up?Does willpower have a limit? Indeed, a whole line of research, based on a seminal study published in 1998, suggested that not only is human willpower a depletable resource, but it's also drawn from a singular source in the brain. Many psychologists now think this phenomenon, dubbed "ego depletion," doesn't exist at all.

  • Birthplace of Rosetta Probe's Comet Pinned Down

    Birthplace of Rosetta Probe's Comet Pinned DownThe comet that Europe's Rosetta spacecraft orbited for more than two years was probably born in the realm of icy bodies beyond Neptune, a new study suggests. New analyses of the orbit of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — on which Rosetta intentionally crash-landed on Sept. 30, ending the probe's historic mission — trace the object's origins back to the Kuiper Belt, whose most famous denizen is Pluto. "These results come from computations of the comet's orbit from the present to the past, which is computationally difficult due to the chaosity of the orbit caused by close encounters with Jupiter," Mattia Galiazzo, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement.

  • How One Scientist Decoded the Mysterious Sounds of the Northern Lights

    How One Scientist Decoded the Mysterious Sounds of the Northern LightsFor more than 15 years, a lone scientist in southern Finland has spent countless winter nights among the snowy fields and frozen lakes around his village, in pursuit of one of the most ephemeral mysteries of the heavens: the faint, almost phantasmagorical sounds heard during intense displays of the aurora borealis, or northern lights. The epic study by acoustician Unto K. Laine includes the first audio recordings of the muffled crackling or popping sometimes heard overhead during spectacular aurora displays. Over the years, the sounds of the northern lights have been explained as illusions, imagination, inebriation or even voices from the spiritual world.

  • Scientists seek to map all human cells in vast atlas By Kate Kelland LONDON, (Reuters) - Scientists launched a global initiative on Friday to map out and describe every cell in the human body in a vast atlas that could transform researchers' understanding of human development and disease. The atlas, which is likely to take more than a decade to complete, aims to chart the types and properties of all human cells across all tissues and organs and build a reference map of the healthy human body, the scientists said. Cells are fundamental to understanding the biology of all health and disease, but scientists cannot yet say how many we have, how many different types there are, or how they differ from one organ to another, one project leader said.
  • The Universe Has 10 Times More Galaxies Than Scientists Thought

    The Universe Has 10 Times More Galaxies Than Scientists ThoughtMore than a trillion galaxies are lurking in the depths of space, a new census of galaxies in the observable universe has found — 10 times more galaxies than were previously thought to exist. An international team of astronomers used deep-space images and other data from the Hubble Space Telescope   to create a 3D map of the known universe, which contains about 100 to 200 billion galaxies. In particular, they relied on Hubble's Deep Field images, which revealed the most distant galaxies ever seen with a telescope.

  • Deadly Mixture: Scientists Uncover Harmful Drug Interactions

    Deadly Mixture: Scientists Uncover Harmful Drug InteractionsMillions of Americans take more than one prescription drug, and often times doctors don't know which drugs, when combined, can cause serious illness or death. Sadly, such warnings come only after the damage is done, when enough clear reports of adverse reactions begin to emerge. Now, scientists at Columbia University in New York have harnessed the power of data science to identify two common prescription drugs that, if mixed, can have deadly consequences.

  • 'Martian Gardens' Help Scientists Find the Best Veggies to Grow on Mars

    'Martian Gardens' Help Scientists Find the Best Veggies to Grow on MarsA human round-trip journey to Mars may take as long as two and a half years, and one major challenge for these kinds of extended missions is determining how to pack enough food for those astronauts. Simulated "Martian gardens," developed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Tech Buzz Aldrin Space Institute, are helping researchers overcome food production challenges associated with Mars' barren landscape.

  • Do Interruptions Hurt Presidential Candidates? What the Science Says

    Do Interruptions Hurt Presidential Candidates? What the Science SaysWith the second presidential debate coming up this Sunday, one particular statistic from the first debate stands out: the number of times Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton interrupted each other. The counts from that Sept. 26 debate varied, depending on how the listener classified interruptions. Vox tallied that Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times and that Clinton butted in on Trump 17 times.

  • Scientists announce discovery of Brazil's largest dinosaur

    Rio de Janeiro's Earth Sciences Museum director Diogenes Campos, right, describes a bone of the dinosaur "Austroposeidon magnificus" to a woman at the Earth Sciences Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Brazilian scientists say they have discovered the fossil of the largest dinosaur ever found in South America's biggest country. He named the 25-meter-long dinosaur "Austroposeidon magnificus," and said it belonged to the Titanosaur group of herbivores that had large bodies, long necks and tails and relatively small skulls.(AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of what they say is the largest dinosaur ever found in South America's biggest country.

  • Are the Nobel Prizes Missing Female Scientists?

    Are the Nobel Prizes Missing Female Scientists?The Nobel Prize has a woman problem. A total of 203 people have won the Nobel Prize in physics, but only two were women (Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963). Science writer and physicist Matthew Francis wrote on his blog, Galileo's Pendulum, that the prize favors men of European descent, and European and American researchers in general.

  • Science of Disbelief: When Did Climate Change Become All About Politics?

    Science of Disbelief: When Did Climate Change Become All About Politics?Barely over a quarter of Americans know that almost all climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and that humans are to blame, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. While 55 percent of liberal Democrats say climate scientists are trustworthy, only 15 percent of conservative Republicans say the same. The findings are in line with the results of other surveys of the politics of climate change, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

  • What's Out There? 'Star Men' Doc Tackles Life Questions Through Science

    What's Out There? 'Star Men' Doc Tackles Life Questions Through ScienceInstead, he was surprised to see that the film is actually centered on the 50-year friendship among himself and three colleagues — Roger Griffin, Donald Lynden-Bell and Wallace (Wal) Sargent — who worked together at Caltech in the early 1960s.

  • Humans May Have Reached Maximum Life Span

    Humans May Have Reached Maximum Life SpanThe oldest known person was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at age 122. However, the new findings don't mean that researchers know for sure that humans will never live longer than 122 years, said Steven Austad, a professor of biology and aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not involved in the study. In the new study, the researchers looked at the Human Mortality Database, an international database with detailed mortality data that's maintained by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Plank Institutes in Germany.

  • 'The Moon and More': Lunar Science Stars in Inspiring Music Video

    'The Moon and More': Lunar Science Stars in Inspiring Music VideoMusicians Javier Colon and Matt Cusson have released an earnest new music video highlighting NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the inspiration derived from studying the moon. 

  • Scottish, French and Dutch-born scientists win Nobel chemistry prize Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on the design and synthesis of molecular machines, the award-giving body said on Wednesday. Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobel prizes after the medicine and physics laureates were announced on Monday and Tuesday. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
  • Weird science: 3 win Nobel for unusual states of matter

    Professor Thors Hans Hansson gives a demonstration, after revealing the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have won the Nobel physics prize. Nobel jury praises physics winners for 'discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter'. (Anders Wiklund /TT via AP)How is a doughnut like a coffee cup? The answer helped three British-born scientists win the Nobel prize in physics Tuesday.