27 Aug 2014

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World's Oldest Wine Cellar Fueled Palatial Parties

World's Oldest Wine Cellar Fueled Palatial PartiesIsrael isn't particularly famous for its wine today, but four thousand years ago, during the Bronze Age, vineyards in the region produced vintages that were prized throughout the Mediterranean and imported by the Egyptian elite. Koh and colleagues are also hoping DNA tests reveal what kind of grapes were used, which may interest not only archaeologists but also current wine producers.


27 Aug 2014 6:38pm GMT

Yawning Is Contagious in Wolves (Just Like Humans)

Yawning Is Contagious in Wolves (Just Like Humans)Just as with humans, when wolves see one of their fellow creatures yawn, they do it too, a new study suggests. "In wolves, as well as in primates and dogs, yawning is contagiousbetween individuals, especially those that are close associates," study co-author Teresa Romero, a researcher from The University of Toyko in Japan, said in a statement.


27 Aug 2014 6:35pm GMT

High-Tech Sleuthing Cracks Mystery of Death Valley's Moving Rocks

High-Tech Sleuthing Cracks Mystery of Death Valley's Moving RocksThe first witnesses to an enduring natural mystery are an engineer, a biologist and a planetary scientist who met thanks to a remote weather station. This odd group has captured the first video footage of Death Valley's sailing stones creeping across Racetrack Playa. Now, with video, time-lapse photographs and GPS tracking of Racetrack Playa's moving rocks, the mystery has finally been solved. "It's a wonderful Goldilocks phenomenon," said lead study author Richard Norris.


27 Aug 2014 6:11pm GMT

Power of the Sun: Elusive Solar Neutrinos Detected, a Cosmic First

Power of the Sun: Elusive Solar Neutrinos Detected, a Cosmic FirstTiny particles forged in the heart of the sun have been detected for the first time, offering scientists a glimpse into the nuclear fusion core of our closest star. The subatomic particles, called neutrinos, are hallmarks of the dominant fusion process insidethe sun. The new findings "allow us to look at the majority of the fusion reactions in the sun's core in real time, as they happen, minus an eight-minute delay for travel to Earth," Andrea Pocar, of the University of Massachusetts and part of the Borexino team, told Space.com by email. "The measurement allows us to strongly confirm the model of the sun, and to take a 'neutrino photograph'." [The Sun Quiz: Do You Know Our Star?]


27 Aug 2014 5:27pm GMT

White Dwarfs May Hold Nuclear Trigger for Explosive Supernovas

White Dwarfs May Hold Nuclear Trigger for Explosive SupernovasSupernovas, the most powerful stellar explosions in the universe, may result from catastrophic nuclear explosions on dead stars, new research shows. Scientists had long theorized that such nuclear events cause some supernovas, but now researchers finally have direct evidence. A supernova shines brightly enough to briefly outshine all the stars in its galaxy, making it visible from halfway across the universe. For decades, scientists theorized that about one-quarter of all supernovas, a kind known as type Ia supernovas, involved white dwarfs, the remains of stars that cram the mass of the sun into a much smaller volume.


27 Aug 2014 5:27pm GMT

SpaceX delays launch after test rocket explosion

By Irene Koltz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies will delay the launch of its next Falcon 9 rocket by up to two weeks following Friday's explosion of a related prototype vehicle during a flight test, officials said on Tuesday. The privately owned company, also known as SpaceX, had planned to launch a communications satellite owned by Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Ltd early Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On Sunday, SpaceX announced it would delay the launch of the AsiaSat 6 spacecraft for one day to review data collected during the botched test flight of a Falcon rocket demonstration vehicle that on Friday. The Falcon 9R exploded about 17 seconds after liftoff from SpaceX's McGregor, Texas, rocket development and testing facility, video posted on YouTube by spectators showed.

27 Aug 2014 3:12am GMT

Lava flow from Hawaii volcano could threaten homes, scientists say

By Malia Mattoch McManus HONOLULU (Reuters) - State scientists and officials are warning some residents of Hawaii's Big Island that their homes could be jeopardized by a lava flow from Kilauea Volcano that is moving through a forest preserve toward their neighborhood. Geological Survey scientist said that while the lava flow did not pose an imminent threat to residents of the Kaohe Homesteads of the island's Puna area, it was less than 2 miles (3 km) away and appeared to be advancing. "We are observing steam plumes," said Jim Kauahikaua, Scientist-in-Charge at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory and Hawaii County Civil Defense are holding meetings throughout the week to update residents on the potential threat, and the county was conducting daily flights over the area to assess the danger. "It's very difficult to forecast what direction it could take," said Darryl Oliveira, Director of Hawaii County's Civil Defense, noting the flow has averaged a rate of travel of 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 meters) a day.

27 Aug 2014 12:07am GMT

26 Aug 2014

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Texas family to part ways with skeleton of mammoth found on its farm

A nearly complete skeleton of a mammoth that died 20,000 to 40,000 years ago is pictured near Dallas,Texas in this undated handout photoBy Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - A North Texas family, who discovered the skeleton of a 20,000- to 40,000-year-old mammoth while mining through sediment on their farm, is preparing to turn over the remains to a local museum. In May, Wayne McEwen and his family were gathering material from a gravel pit on their property, south of Dallas, when his son struck a 6-foot (1.8 meter) tusk while operating an excavator. The rest of the near-complete skeleton was unearthed by a team from a nearby community college, who determined it was a Columbian mammoth - a slightly larger, less hairy version of the more famous woolly mammoth. The family decided to donate the remains to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.


26 Aug 2014 10:07pm GMT

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

FILE - This Aug. 19, 2014 file photo shows flash flood waters from the overrun Skunk Creek flood I-10 in northwestern Phoenix. Global warming is here, human-caused and can already be considered dangerous, a draft of a new international science report says, warning that it is increasingly likely that climate change could be irreversible. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report, that wasn’t in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to paint a bigger picture of the problem caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)WASHINGTON (AP) - Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous - and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.


26 Aug 2014 9:14pm GMT

U.S. says non-allergic peanut moves closer to commercial reality

By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new method for removing allergens from peanuts means help could soon be on the way for the roughly 2.8 million Americans with a potentially life-threatening allergy to the popular food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. In a blog post, the agency said researchers at North Carolina A&T State University have found a way to reduce peanut allergens by 98 percent to 100 percent by focusing on certain proteins that can trigger food-related anaphylaxis, a severe, whole-body allergic reaction. "We found that treating peanuts with protein-breaking enzymes reduced allergenic proteins," said Dr. Jianmai Yu, a food and nutrition researcher at NC A&T's School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

26 Aug 2014 8:48pm GMT

U.S. scientist pleads guilty to taking government laptop to China

The scientist was fired in April 2012 from Sandia National Laboratories, a government-owned research facility operated by Sandia Corporation that is responsible in part for ensuring the safety of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. Huang also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a counterintelligence officer in June 2011, the U.S.

26 Aug 2014 6:31am GMT

25 Aug 2014

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Art, Science & Philosophy Behind Photos of Oldest Living Things

What can a simple, unadorned photograph of a tree teach people about a heady concept like "deep time" or "year zero?" Quite a lot, actually, if the photographer in question is Rachel Sussman. The scientists immediately recused themselves and said, "I'm not qualified." But for myself as an artist, I was able to come in and say, "I just have this idea, and I'm just going to follow it whatever direction it takes." I don't have to be following rote scientific protocols when deciding I want to look at this clonal desert organism and this coral and these bacteria.

25 Aug 2014 10:07pm GMT

Rare blue lobster trapped by Maine father-daughter team

A Maine teenager and her father have landed a one-in-two-million catch - a blue lobster. Meghan LaPlante, 14, said she and her father pulled in the vivid blue crustacean from one of their traps on Saturday. "It definitely stood out," LaPlante said on Monday. I've never caught anything like it." LaPlante helps her father run the family's Miss Meghan's Lobster Catch business in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

25 Aug 2014 7:37pm GMT

22 Aug 2014

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Sickly Coral Reefs Fail the Smell Test

Sickly Coral Reefs Fail the Smell TestWhen looking for a place to settle down, these animals use chemical cues to avoid reefs that are littered with seaweed and flock to healthy habitats instead, according to a new study. Scientists have seen corals decline around the world over the past several decades, and the new findings help explain why some reefs aren't recovering or recruiting new corals, despite conservation efforts. "The reefs in Fiji have such a stark contrast between the healthy areas and the degraded areas," said Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor of biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who led the study. Dixson and colleagues studied the waters off of three villages along the southern side of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, which each managed a small marine protected area, or MPA, next to another area where fishing was allowed.


22 Aug 2014 11:29am GMT

21 Aug 2014

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Atomic Clock Will Fly to Space Station in 2016

Atomic Clock Will Fly to Space Station in 2016A new atomic clock is due for installation on the International Space Station in 2016, ushering in a new age of physics experiments probing the relationship between space and time. Once there, the space station's robotic arm will install it on a payload platform outside the Columbus Laboratory, one of the station's research modules. Another atomic clock called SHM, or Space H-Maser will also be on the orbiting outpost. Together the two clocks will make up the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES), a device that will be so accurate that it will lose only one second every 300 million years.


21 Aug 2014 9:27pm GMT

Boeing says completed key design review for space taxi

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in ChicagoBy Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co has completed a key review of its design for a new commercial venture to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, making it the only one of four rival bidders to finish the NASA work on time, company officials said on Thursday. Boeing is competing with Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp, to develop and build U.S. The multibillion-dollar program has taken on new urgency in recent months, given escalating tensions with Russia over its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Martin said the U.S.


21 Aug 2014 5:06pm GMT