27 Nov 2015

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Debris from U.S. rocket recovered off coast of southwest England

Handout photograph showing a piece of metal recovered from the sea off the Isles of ScillyDebris from a U.S. rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of southwest England, the UK coastguard has said on Friday. It was covered in barnacles and was initially mistaken for a dead whale. Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement that a piece of metal alloy was recovered with the help of a local boatman.

27 Nov 2015 3:18pm GMT

26 Nov 2015

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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.

26 Nov 2015 12:40pm GMT

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.

26 Nov 2015 12:40pm GMT

Scientists seek to harvest electricity from algae in green-energy effort

By Chris Arsenault TORONTO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Scientists are making progress in harnessing electricity from algae in what could be a breakthrough in green-energy technology to combat climate change, although mass-market applications are years away, new research suggests. The technology utilizes the process of photosynthesis by algae, one of the most common microorganisms on earth, according to a Concordia University engineering professor leading the research. Algae naturally creates electrons during photosynthesis, and metal probes stuck into the plant can capture that energy and transfer it into electricity for batteries, he said on Wednesday.

26 Nov 2015 8:31am GMT

Infections with Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus Can Cause Brain Inflammation, Death

Catching the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya usually leads to fever and severe pain, but a new study shows it may also lead to inflammation in the brain, and even death in some people. In the study, researchers looked at an epidemic of the virus on Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar, that lasted from 2005 to 2006 and sickened 300,000 people. As a result of their infections, 24 people developed encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and four of these people died from their infection.

26 Nov 2015 12:14am GMT

Liberia Suffers New Ebola Death, Despite Being 'Ebola-Free'

The death of a 15-year-old boy from Ebola in Liberia - a country that has been declared free of the disease twice - raises the question of why cases are still popping up in the country, experts say. Although infectious disease experts expect to see new cases crop up shortly after a country is declared Ebola-free - often because of cases that weren't accounted for - in this case, Liberia had gone several months without any new Ebola cases, Adalja said. Liberia was first declared Ebola-free in May, but then a new case was confirmed in July.

26 Nov 2015 12:13am GMT

25 Nov 2015

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'The Good Dinosaur': Could Humans and Dinos Coexist?

'The Good Dinosaur': Could Humans and Dinos Coexist?What if the dinosaur-killing asteroid never slammed into Earth and the paleo-beasts weren't vanquished from our planet 66 million years ago? The movie maker's answer - that a young Apatosaurus would meet and befriend a cave boy - is cute, but totally off the mark, several paleontologists told Live Science. "It's completely impossible," said Thomas Williamson, curator of paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, referring to dinosaurs ever being alive alongside humans - something that could never happen if the dinosaurs were to survive.

25 Nov 2015 8:21pm GMT

Drug driving suit mimics taking the wheel stoned

By Jim Drury A simulation suit that mimics the effects on wearer's reactions of taking illegal substances has been developed by scientists to show young drivers the dangers of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs. A kinetic device in the suit's gloves produces a tremor akin to that caused by some illicit drugs. Random flashing lights in the goggles' peripheral area, allied to hallucinogenic-type sounds in the headphones, combine to disorientate drivers.

25 Nov 2015 4:15pm GMT

U.S. Air Force official sees issues with space launch priorities

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States could struggle to promote competition in its space launch program while also maintaining two independent ways to launch satellites and ending U.S. reliance on Russian rocket engines, a top U.S. Air Force official said on Tuesday. "I think the space launch situation is serious for the country," LaPlante said, underscoring the complexity of the challenges facing the industry. ULA, the monopoly provider of such launches since its creation in 2006, said it was unable to submit a bid in compliance with the competition's rules because of how the contest was structured, and because it lacked Russian-built RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rocket.

25 Nov 2015 5:57am GMT

24 Nov 2015

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Better batteries to beat global warming: A race against time

FILE - In this April 30, 2015 file photo, Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk unveils the company’s newest product, Powerpack in Hawthorne, Calif. Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages. One of the key technologies that could help wean the globe off fossil fuel is probably at your fingertips or in your pocket right now: the battery. If batteries can get better, cheaper and store more power safely, then electric cars and solar- or wind- powered homes become more viable _ even on cloudy days or when the wind isn’t blowing. These types of technological solutions will be one of the more hopeful aspects of United Nations climate talks that begin next week in Paris. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)WASHINGTON (AP) - One of the key technologies that could help wean the globe off fossil fuel is probably at your fingertips or in your pocket right now: the battery.

24 Nov 2015 11:59pm GMT

Amazon founder Bezos’ rocket company passes landing test

Amazon founder and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announces plans to build a rocket manufacturing plant and launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force StationAmazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Tuesday his space transportation company, Blue Origin, plans about two more years of test flights before it will offer rides to passengers. On Monday, Blue Origin successfully landed a suborbital rocket back at its launch site, a key step in its drive to make reusable rockets, the company said. "This flight retired a lot of risk and validated of lot of the elements of the design," Bezos, who founded Amazon.com Inc and owns the Washington Post newspaper, said in an interview.

24 Nov 2015 6:11pm GMT

Gecko's amazing wall-walking talent is all in the genes

Handout photo of Gekko japonicusBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Geckos boast one of the most impressive talents of any animal: the ability to scamper up a smooth wall or across a ceiling with ease. Scientists on Tuesday said they have sequenced the genome of the gecko species Gekko japonicus, or Schlegel's Japanese gecko, and found the genetic underpinning of the lizard's gravity-defying feat. The scientists found in Gekko japonicus an expansion in the genes related to beta-keratin, accounting for the gecko's ability to generate its setae.

24 Nov 2015 5:35pm GMT

Scientists create mosquito strain with malaria-blocking genes

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito obtains a blood meal from a human host through its pointed proboscis in this handout photoBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists aiming to take the bite out of malaria have produced a strain of mosquitoes carrying genes that block its transmission, with the idea that they could breed with other members of their species in the wild and produce offspring that cannot spread the disease. The researchers said on Monday they used gene-editing, a genetic engineering technique in which DNA can be inserted, replaced or deleted from a genome, on a species called Anopheles stephensi that spreads malaria in urban India. Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.

24 Nov 2015 7:34am GMT

23 Nov 2015

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Scientists on quest for friction-free oil

By Matthew Stock Scientists from BP are applying molecular science in their laboratories to make the perfect oil blend to reduce engine friction and increase efficiency. According to the company, friction caused by various metal-to-metal contact points is a major problem for car engines; costing the UK economy an estimated 24 billion pounds (36.2 billion USD) each year through lost efficiency and damage through wear and tear. The only barrier between the high-force contacts of engine surfaces is a thin layer of lubricant, but they are coming under increasing pressure from modern engines. ...

23 Nov 2015 3:13pm GMT

These Ancient Monster Galaxies Have Scientists Perplexed

These Ancient Monster Galaxies Have Scientists PerplexedNew research has revealed 574 massive, ancient galaxies lurking in the night sky, and their existence so close to the time of the Big Bang calls into question scientists' best understanding of how large galaxies form. A new video released Wednesday (Nov. 18) from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) reveals the ancient galaxies' locations. "We are talking about massive galaxies, twice as massive as the Milky Way today," said Karina Caputi, an astronomer at University of Groningen in the Netherlands and lead author on the new work.

23 Nov 2015 12:23pm GMT

Why NASA Europa Probe Will Study Jupiter Moon's Dust

Why NASA Europa Probe Will Study Jupiter Moon's DustBOULDER, Colo. - "Think about it as pieces of a puzzle," Zoltan Sternovsky said. NASA plans to launch a robotic Europa flyby mission in the early 2020s to address this question, and Sternovsky is part of a team developing one of the spacecraft's nine instruments - the Surface Dust Mass Analyzer (SUDA), which will determine the composition of materials ejected from the surface of the frigid moon. "Each instrument on the Europa mission is going to assess one piece of this puzzle," Sternovsky said here Nov. 4 at the university's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, following a presentation by SUDA principal investigator Sascha Kempf, who's also based at UC Boulder.

23 Nov 2015 12:23pm GMT