Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:44:44 -0400

Comet C/2013 A1, also known as Siding Spring, is seen as captured by Wide Field Camera 3 on NASA's Hubble Space TelescopeBy Irene Klotz NEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars where a fleet of robotic science probes were poised for studies. Comet Siding Spring passed just 87,000 miles (140,000 km) from Mars, less than half the distance between Earth and the moon and 10 times closer than any known comet has passed by Earth, NASA said. ...


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:44:09 -0400
ATHENS (Reuters) - Archaeologists unearthed the missing head of one of the two sphinxes found guarding the entrance of an ancient tomb in Greece's northeast, as the diggers made their way into the monument's inner chambers, the culture ministry said on Tuesday. The tomb on the Amphipolis site, about 100 km (65 miles) from Greece's second-biggest city Thessaloniki, has been hailed by archaeologists as a major discovery from the era of Alexander the Great. They say it appears to be the largest ancient tomb to have been discovered in Greece. ...
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:06:32 -0400
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Personal genetics company 23andMe and Israel's MyHeritage said on Tuesday they would collaborate to enable people to discover their heritage based on genetic ancestry and documented family history. California-based 23andMe, which is backed by Google, is a pioneer in the sale of home genetic tests and has more than 750,000 clients. It sells a $99 DNA test, from which it provides its customers ancestry-related genetic reports. MyHeritage helps families find their history with family tree tools and a library of more than 5.5 billion historical records. ...
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:11:08 -0400

Paralysed Man Walks Again After Cell TransplantBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - A Bulgarian man who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack can now walk with the aid of a frame after receiving pioneering transplant treatment using cells from his nose. The technique, described as a breakthrough by a study in the journal Cell Transplantation, involved transplanting what are known as olfactory ensheathing cells into the patient's spinal cord and constructing a "nerve bridge" between two stumps of the damaged spinal column. "We believe... ...


Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:54:37 -0400

¿Es ésta la primera cópula con penetración de la historia?By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland. In an important discovery in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction, the scientists found that male fossils of the Microbrachius dicki, which belong to a placoderm group, developed bony L-shaped genital limbs called claspers to transfer sperm to females. Females, for their part, developed small paired bones to lock the male organs in place for ...


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:04:55 -0400
Nina Pham, the first Dallas nurse to contract Ebola, has had her health status upgraded from "fair" to "good," according to a statement released on Tuesday evening by the National Institutes of Health. Pham was transfered last Thursday to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she had contracted the disease. In late September, Pham helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:44:00 -0400
The rate of Ebola cases in one part of Liberia, where a certain rubber tree plantation operates, is far lower than in other parts of the country, suggesting that the strategies the company uses to reduce transmission of the virus could be useful elsewhere, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company, Firestone Liberia, Inc., has operated the planation since 1926, and the company-run hospital provides health services to plant's employees and their family members, a total of about 80,000 people. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 23, there were 71 Ebola cases in the Firestone community, a rate of 0.09 percent, which is much lower than the rate of 0.23 percent in the rest of Margibi County, Liberia, where Firestone is located. "I went to see the Firestone hospital in Liberia at the end of August," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:07:15 -0400

Dr. Oz's 'Magic Weight-Loss Cure' Loses Remaining SupportGreen coffee bean extract, which Dr. Mehmet Oz promoted on his show as a "magic weight-loss cure," had one scientific study backing up the extract's purported effects. When asked specifically about the green coffee bean extract, Oz cited a study that found people who took the supplements did lose weight. The green coffee bean manufacturer, Applied Food Sciences Inc., agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with using the results of the flawed study to make baseless claims, the agency announced in September. According to the FTC, the Texas-based company paid researchers in India to conduct a clinical trial on overweight people, to test whether their dietary supplement that contained green coffee extract actually held weight-loss benefits.


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:03:59 -0400

NASA Mars Probes See Rare Comet Flyby (Photos)A NASA probe orbiting Mars and a rover on the planet's surface have beamed back some amazing views of a comet that made an extremely close pass by the Red Planet on Sunday (Oct. 19). The space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Opportunity rover took some incredible images of Comet Siding Spring (also called C/2013 A1) as the icy object zoomed past the Red Planet over the weekend.  MRO's new photos show the comet's nucleus shining just 86,000 miles (138,000 kilometers) from the orbiter. The orbiter's images are "the highest-resolution views ever acquired of a comet coming from the Oort Cloud at the fringes of the solar system," NASA officials said in a statement.


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:54:37 -0400

Orionid Meteor Shower: See Halley's Comet Crumbs Online TonightSome skywatchers captured incredible views of the Orionid meteor shower earlier this week, but even if you can't catch the peaking shower outside tonight (Oct. 21), you can still see it live online. You can watch the broadcast — which will feature views from telescopes in the Canary Islands and Arizona — live directly through Slooh (http://live.slooh.com/) starting at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 Oct. 22 GMT). "The Orionids are usually the year’s third-richest meteor shower," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. Astrophotographers around the world have already been burning the midnight oil to capture Orionid meteors on camera.


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:03:47 -0400
University of Hawaii scientists plan to embark on a final expedition to deep waters off Oahu to study how chemical weapons dumped in the ocean decades ago are affecting seawater, marine life and sediment. ...
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:30:15 -0400

Woman walks past icons for Apple Apps at San Francisco retail storeBy Natasha Baker TORONTO (Reuters) - Parents eager to get their children away from television and video screens can turn to new apps that get youngsters to learn while playing in the real world. New iPad and iPhone apps for children by companies such as Osmo and Tiggly are designed to help children learn spatial, language, counting and physics concepts while playing with tangible objects. Tangram, Words and Newton from California-based Osmo let children manipulate objects in the real world and to interact with games on the screen. ...


Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:44:10 -0400

Incredible Science and Historical Artifacts Up for AuctionA working Apple-1 computer, a window from the Manhattan Project's bomb-development site and a letter from Charles Darwin discussing the details of barnacle sex will go on sale this month at an auction of rare scientific artifacts. A viewing window from the Manhattan Project — valued at around $200,000 — is another big-ticket item at the auction. The Manhattan Project was a secret government operation during World War II designed to develop the world's first atomic bomb, and included many famous scientists like J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman. A collection of astronomer George Willis Ritchey's deep-space photographs, books and telescope blueprints is also on sale.


Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:04:50 -0400
By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Perhaps no other city in the United States is as well-suited as New Orleans to wed a scientific discussion of environment with a celebration of the occult. That's exactly what unfolded on Saturday at "Anba Dlo," an annual New Orleans festival where prominent scientists joined with practitioners of the voodoo religion to look for answers to the challenges of dealing with water. In "The Big Easy," a low-lying Louisiana city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and threatened by the BP oil spill of 2010, water is a subject nearly impossible to ignore. ...
Sat, 18 Oct 2014 08:57:20 -0400

Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in RainforestPiotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.


Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:50:45 -0400
By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. officials have asked three advanced biology laboratories to submit plans for producing the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which ran out after it was given to a handful of medical workers who contracted the disease in West Africa, government and lab officials said on Friday. The "task order" issued on Thursday by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) asks that detailed plans, including budgets and timetables, be submitted by Nov. 10. ...
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:47:56 -0400

Long holds up a copy of a magazine with an Ebola headline as public health officials testify before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, in WashingtonBy Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. officials have asked three advanced biology laboratories to submit plans for producing the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which ran out after it was given to a handful of medical workers who contracted the disease in West Africa, government and lab officials said on Friday. The "task order" issued on Thursday by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) asks that detailed plans, including budgets and timetables, be submitted by Nov. 10. ...


Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:28:30 -0400

Comet's Mars Flyby Sunday Has Scientists AbuzzA comet's close shave with Mars this weekend could reveal some key insights about the Red Planet and the solar system's early days, researchers say. "On Oct. 19, we're going to observe an event that happens maybe once every million years," Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, said in a news conference earlier this month. Siding Spring, whose core is 0.5 to 5 miles (0.8 to 8 km) wide, likely formed somewhere between Jupiter and Neptune about 4.6 billion years ago — just a few million years after the solar system began coming together. Many of the objects in the region where the comet was born were incorporated into newly forming planets, but a different fate awaited Siding Spring, researchers said: It apparently had a close encounter with one of these planets and was booted out into the Oort Cloud, a frigid comet repository at the very outer reaches of the solar system.


Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:15:07 -0400

Undated NASA handout picture of North Korea (the dark area) and South Korea as seen from the International Space StationBy Emma Anderson BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists from around the world met this week to decide whether to call time on the Holocene epoch after 11,700 years and begin a new geological age called the Anthropocene - to reflect humankind's deep impact on the planet. For decades, researchers have asked whether humanity's impact on the Earth's surface and atmosphere mean we have entered the Anthropocene - or new human era. ...


Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:45:51 -0400

25 Years After Loma Prieta, Earthquake Science Is TransformedThe Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake was America's first widely-shared natural disaster. The TV crews at San Francisco's Candlestick Park soon turned their cameras on the ravaged city, and frightening images poured in of people trapped in crumpled freeways, burning buildings and toppled storefronts. The magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, centered below the Santa Cruz Mountains, shook much of central California. The resulting damage ultimately revitalized San Francisco, with a new waterfront replacing the demolished Embarcadero Freeway and a $30 billion investment from public and private organizations for redevelopment and seismic upgrades.


Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:52:11 -0400
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - Saturn’s battered moon Mimas may have a thin global ocean buried miles beneath its icy surface, raising the prospect of another "life-friendly" habitat in the solar system, scientists said on Thursday. An underground ocean is one of two explanations for why the 400-mile (250-km) diameter moon wobbles as it orbits around Saturn, scientists using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft said. The other possibility is that Mimas has an oblong or rugby ball-shaped core. Follow-up measurements should provide more answers, the scientists said. ...
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:16:12 -0400
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hapless lovers are not the only ones who get lost down there: even sexologists can’t agree on what’s what, and where, among women's female parts. At least, that’s according to a father-daughter team of researchers in Italy, Drs. Vincenzo and Giulia Puppo. In a new review October 6 in Clinical Anatomy, Vincenzo, of the Italian Center of Sexology in Bologna, and Giulia, a biologist at the University of Florence, point out some problems with some of newer anatomical and physiological terms researchers have been using since the mid-1990s. ...
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:26:55 -0400

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2011 file photo, a natural gas well operated by Northeast Natural Energy is seen in Morgantown, W.Va. Cheap and plentiful natural gas isn’t quite a bridge to a brighter energy future as claimed and won’t slow global warming, a new study projects. Abundant natural gas in the United States has been displacing coal, which produces more of the chief global warming gas carbon dioxide. But the new international study says an expansion of natural gas use by 2050 would also keep other energy-producing technologies like wind, solar and nuclear, from being used more. And those technologies are even better than natural gas for avoiding global warming. (AP Photo/David Smith)WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheap and plentiful natural gas isn't quite a bridge to a brighter energy future as claimed and won't slow global warming, a new study projects.


Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:14:05 -0400

New Exotic Particle Could Help Explain What Holds Matter TogetherA new exotic particle has been hiding out amidst the gobs of data collected by the world's largest atom smasher, physicists have discovered. The new particle, called Ds3*, is a meson — a type of unstable particle  made of one quark and one antiquark. They're held together by the strong interaction, or strong force, that is one of the four fundamental forces in nature. To find the new particle, Tim Gershon, a professor of physics at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, and his team used the Dalitz plot analysis.


Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:38:38 -0400

New Tech Helps Pilots Navigate Dangerous Volcanic Ash PlumesNew technology to detect volcanic ash that threatens airplanes could help prevent a repeat of the air traffic chaos that followed a 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland. With satellites, scientists can detect tiny ash particles, but predicting where aircraft can safely fly is still a major hurdle. "The key issue for us is to develop an integrated monitoring and response system for future volcanic crises that can be used to respond quickly in the event of the formation of an ash cloud from Iceland," Hans Schlager, head of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the German Aerospace Center, said in a statement. Ash particles are jagged and sharp.


Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:48:03 -0400
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - How do you make a better snake robot? You study snakes, of course. Researchers on Thursday said they conducted experiments to learn precisely how sidewinder rattlesnakes are able to climb sandy hills, then applied the reptiles' repertoire to an existing snake robot so it could do the same thing. The study, published in the journal Science, is an example of how scientists are applying knowledge of biology to improve technology. ...
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:06:17 -0400
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Lung cancer can lie dormant for more than 20 years before turning deadly, helping explain why a disease that kills more than 1.5 million a year worldwide is so persistent and difficult to treat, scientists said on Thursday. Two papers detailing the evolution of lung cancer reveal how after an initial disease-causing genetic fault -- often due to smoking -- tumour cells quietly develop numerous new mutations, making different parts of the same tumour genetically unique. ...
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:53:46 -0400

Bright Idea: How Blue LEDs Changed the WorldThis year's Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three Japanese scientists for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a technology that has touched society in innumerable ways and enabled technologies that Americans take for granted every day. "Blue LEDs made possible the white-light LEDs you can buy in a hardware store and put in your house," said H. Frederick Dylla, executive director and CEO of the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland. Without blue LEDs, the world wouldn't have backlit smartphones, TV and computer LCD screens, Blu-ray players, many forms of lighting and countless other technological marvels. Blue LEDs, in combination with red and green LEDs (which had been discovered previously), make it possible to produce white light.


Wed, 08 Oct 2014 10:11:55 -0400

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a Cosmic-Ray DetectorIt's called the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-Ray Observatory (DECO), and unlike the huge, multimillion-dollar particle detectors housed in labs, DECO allows smartphone owners to turn their phone into a pocket-size cosmic-ray particle detector by downloading two apps and sticking a piece of duct tape over the camera lens to block out light particles. "The apps basically transform the phone into a high-energy particle detector," Justin Vandenbroucke, a physics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and creator of the apps, said in a statement. Cosmic rays are still a mystery to astrophysicists. Waves of cosmic rays are constantly breaking against the Earth's atmosphere.


Tue, 07 Oct 2014 12:22:06 -0400

Anne Rosinski, of the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources, center, shows reporters survey results of coral bleaching at a news conference at Heeia Small Boat Harbor in Kaneohe, Hawaii on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, while Frazer McGilvray, left, administrator of the division, and Kim Hum, right, of The Nature Conservancy, watch. Scientists say they’re seeing evidence of coral bleaching caused by higher-than-normal temperatures. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)KANEOHE, Hawaii (AP) — While people in Hawaii have been sweating out a lack of trade winds, corals underwater are also suffering.


Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:04:14 -0400

Meijo University professor Akasaki is presented with a bouquet of flowers during a news conference at Meijo University in NagoyaBy Niklas Pollard and Ben Hirschler STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - An American and two Japanese scientists won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for inventing a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source, leading to the creation of modern LED light bulbs. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born U.S. citizen Shuji Nakamura won the prize for developing the blue light-emitting diode (LED) -- the missing piece that now allows manufacturers to produce white-light lamps. ...


Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:30:43 -0400

Meijo University professor Isamu Akasaki speaks during a news conference at Meijo University in NagoyaBy Antoni Slodkowski TOKYO (Reuters) - Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born U.S. citizen Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for inventing a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source. Here is a list of previous Japanese-born Nobel laureates.     PHYSICS: 1949 - Hideki Yukawa – for his prediction of the existence of mesons - subatomic particles intermediate in mass between electron and proton.      1965 - Shinichiro Tomonaga - for fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics. ...


Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:49:53 -0400
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue light-emitting diode, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today (Oct. 7). The invention led to a new way to create white light. To get white light, three colors (red, green and blue) are needed. "The invention of the blue LED is just twenty years old, but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all," according to a statement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:34:39 -0400
By Antoni Slodkowski TOKYO (Reuters) - Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born U.S. citizen Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for inventing a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source. Here is a list of previous Japanese-born Nobel laureates.     PHYSICS: 1949 - Hideki Yukawa – for his prediction of the existence of mesons - subatomic particles intermediate in mass between electron and proton.      1965 - Shinichiro Tomonaga - for fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics. ...
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 07:54:33 -0400

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to Scientists for Discovering Brain's 'GPS'A trio of scientists has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work related to nerve cells that create spatial maps in the brain to help us navigate through our environments.


Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:52:35 -0400

Pallets of supplies wait to be loaded on a 747 aircraft at New York's JFK International AirportBy Kate Kelland Scientists have used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to predict a 75 percent chance the virus could be imported to France by October 24, and a 50 percent chance it could hit Britain by that date. Those numbers are based on air traffic remaining at full capacity. Assuming an 80 percent reduction in travel to reflect that many airlines are halting flights to affected regions, France's risk is still 25 percent, and Britain's is 15 percent. ...


Sun, 05 Oct 2014 18:35:28 -0400
Continuing a 113-year-old tradition, the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm will award the 2014 Nobel Prizes beginning Monday (Oct. 6) to the best and brightest minds in their fields — or, as the prizes' founder, Alfred Nobel, described it, those who have bestowed the "greatest benefit on mankind." You can watch a live webcast on Live Science of the Nobel Prize announcements beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. local time in Sweden), when Göran Hansson, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, will announce the Nobel Prize in medicine. Each day will bring new Nobel Prize recipients. Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, will announce the Nobel Prize in physics at 5:45 a.m. EDT at the earliest (11:45 a.m. Swedish time) on Tuesday (Oct. 7).
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 16:39:14 -0400

File photo of a visitor posing with Gattaiah, who claims to be the tallest man in India, at the arts and crafts centre in the southern Indian city of HyderabadBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It's no secret that if your dad is tall and your mother is tall, you are probably going to be tall. But fully understanding the genetics of height has been a big order for scientists. Researchers on Sunday unveiled what they called the biggest such study to date, analyzing genome data from more than a quarter million people to identify nearly 700 genetic variants and more than 400 genome regions relating to height. ...


Sun, 05 Oct 2014 09:22:16 -0400

Pallets of supplies wait to be loaded on a 747 aircraft at New York's JFK International AirportBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to predict a 75 percent chance the virus could be imported to France by October 24, and a 50 percent chance it could hit Britain by that date. Those numbers are based on air traffic remaining at full capacity. Assuming an 80 percent reduction in travel to reflect that many airlines are halting flights to affected regions, France's risk is still 25 percent, and Britain's is 15 percent. ...


Sat, 04 Oct 2014 09:09:16 -0400

Women walk through a coastal ghost forest believed to be caused by sea level rise on Assateague Island in VirginiaBy Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Climate scientists hope to be able to tell the world almost in real-time whether global warming has a hand in extreme weather thanks to an initiative they plan to launch by the end of 2015. In recent years, scientists have become more adept at working out whether climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is exacerbating wild weather and its impacts around the world, but the task usually takes months. ...