21 Oct 2016
It's said that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of typewriters would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. New research finds that a noninfinite number of monkeys holding a noninfinite number of rocks might at least produce something like stone tools. Capuchin monkeys banging rocks against one another can accidentally make stones once thought to bear the telltale marks of a toolmaking human ancestor, researchers reported today (Oct. 19) in the journal Nature.
21 Oct 2016 11:47am GMT
Alaska's majestic Denali National Park is home to North America's tallest mountain and a wide array of wild animals, including moose, wolves and grizzly bears. Researchers found the fossilized bones of what they think are dinosaurs during a July 2016 expedition that included paleontologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and the National Park Service, according to an online announcement that was made Tuesday (Oct. 18). The group also discovered several new dinosaur trackways - fossilized impressions of footprints left by dinosaurs that once walked though mud that later turned into rock.
21 Oct 2016 11:45am GMT
About 500 new streams of shimmering methane bubbles have been discovered off the Pacific Northwest coast. The discovery, which took place in June, will be a major topic for discussion at the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum, a congressionally mandated meeting about ocean exploration priorities that is taking place in New York and New Jersey on Oct. 20 and 21. The meeting, organized by Rockefeller University and Monmouth University, is half celebration of a year's worth of ocean discoveries and half planning committee for the years 2020 to 2025, said organizer Jesse Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller.
21 Oct 2016 11:44am GMT
(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. ...
21 Oct 2016 10:44am GMT
20 Oct 2016
By 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.
20 Oct 2016 9:03pm GMT
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.
20 Oct 2016 3:30pm GMT
Spiders 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.
20 Oct 2016 1:45pm GMT
FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - Thrusters intended to slow a European lander as it neared Mars on Wednesday fired for less time than expected before contact with the vehicle was lost, leaving scientists uncertain whether it touched down safely or broke apart. The Schiaparelli probe, part of a broader mission to search for evidence of life on the Red Planet, was to test technologies during the descent and on the surface for a rover scientists hope to send to Mars in 2020. "We've had two over flights (by Mars orbiters) and there was no signal," the European Space Agency's (ESA) Spacecraft Operations Manager Andrea Accomazzo told journalists on Thursday.
20 Oct 2016 12:58pm GMT
Planet 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.
20 Oct 2016 12:55pm GMT
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.
20 Oct 2016 3:33am GMT
By 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.
20 Oct 2016 12:09am GMT
19 Oct 2016
A 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.
19 Oct 2016 11:10am GMT
The 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.
19 Oct 2016 10:17am GMT
18 Oct 2016
BOSTON (AP) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charitable foundation has made the largest gift ever to Boston's Museum of Science.
18 Oct 2016 3:51pm GMT
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.
18 Oct 2016 2:33pm GMT
The 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.
18 Oct 2016 11:00am GMT