24 Oct 2014

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Century-Old Notebook from Legendary Antarctic Expedition Found

Century-Old Notebook from Legendary Antarctic Expedition FoundHidden in ice for more than 100 years, the photography notebook of a British explorer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica has been found. The book belonged to George Murray Levick, a surgeon, zoologist and photographer on Scott's 1910-1913 voyage. Levick might be best remembered for his observations of Cape Adare's Adélie penguins (and his scandalized descriptions of the birds' "depraved" sex lives). The newly discovered book also shows he kept fastidious notes, scrawled in pencil, about the photographs he took at Cape Adare.

24 Oct 2014 7:21pm GMT

'I Hope to Die at 75': Famed Doc Ezekiel Emanuel Explains

'I Hope to Die at 75': Famed Doc Ezekiel Emanuel ExplainsShortly after he took the stage at the BBC Future's World-Changing Ideas Summit here in Manhattan, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel held up a full-page AARP ad from a newspaper. Last month, he published an article in The Atlantic, provocatively titled "Why I Hope to Die at 75," and on Tuesday (Oct. 21), he explained why he doesn't buy the bill of goods that organizations like AARP are trying to sell. He's also the brother of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel.

24 Oct 2014 6:06pm GMT

Ebola in NYC Is 'No Cause for Alarm,' Mayor Says

A New York City doctor who recently returned from Guinea in West Africa became the first person in the city to test positive for Ebola, on Thursday Oct. 23, but authorities are emphasizing that there is no cause for alarm. "We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference today (Oct. 24), adding that New York medical practitioners have been studying how to treat the disease. The patient remains in stable condition, in an isolation unit at the city's Bellevue hospital, said Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City public health commissioner. Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, flew back from Guinea where he was treating patients with Ebola.

24 Oct 2014 5:46pm GMT

Partial Solar Eclipse Wows Skywatchers Across North America (Photos, Video)

Partial Solar Eclipse Wows Skywatchers Across North America (Photos, Video)The moon appeared to take a bite out of the sun on Thursday (Oct. 23) in a partial solar eclipse that was visible to potentially millions of skywatchers across North America, weather permitting. The eclipse lasted about three hours, with nearly all of North America having a good view of the event. "The sun never fails to be boring," astronomer Lucie Green said during a Slooh Community Observatory webcast of the solar eclipse. Slooh.com hosted a feed of the solar eclipse from a solar telescope in Arizona.

24 Oct 2014 2:25pm GMT

23 Oct 2014

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Wow! This Hubble Telescope Photo of Mars with a Comet Is Amazing

Wow! This Hubble Telescope Photo of Mars with a Comet Is AmazingThe famed Hubble Space Telscope has captured a jaw-dropping view of a comet making an incredibly close flyby of Mars. The planet glows red, and Comet Siding Spring's bright nucleus and diffuse tail stand out against a host of background stars glimmering behind the two cosmic bodies. "The Mars and comet images have been added together to create a single picture to illustrate the angular separation, or distance, between the comet and Mars at closest approach," NASA officials said in a statement. "The solid icy comet nucleus is too small to be resolved in the Hubble picture.

23 Oct 2014 8:33pm GMT

Easter Island's ancient inhabitants weren't so lonely after all

20070422-AMX-TRAVEL_WLT-EASTERISLAND_1_MBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. ...

23 Oct 2014 6:31pm GMT

Old, cold and bold: Ice Age people dwelled high in Peru's Andes

Cunchaicha rock shelter in Peruvian AndesBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a bleak, treeless landscape high in the southern Peruvian Andes, bands of intrepid Ice Age people hunkered down in rudimentary dwellings and withstood frigid weather, thin air and other hardships. Scientists on Thursday described the world's highest known Ice Age settlements, two archaeological sites about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) above sea level and about 12,000 years old packed with artifacts including a rock shelter, stone tools, animal bones, food remnants and primitive artwork. ...

23 Oct 2014 6:02pm GMT

Swiss scientists determine comet's 'perfume'

Rotten eggs, horse urine, formaldehyde, bitter almonds, alcohol, vinegar and a hint of sweet ether.

23 Oct 2014 4:04pm GMT

Fixing 'Ebolanomics' in pursuit of vaccines and drugs

Scientists at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg prepare an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the World Health OrganizationBy Kate Kelland and Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - As researchers from Africa to China to America race to develop vaccines and treatments to fight Ebola, health experts are grappling with the economics of a disease that until this year had been off the drug industry's radar. Whether or not effective drugs come in time to turn around the world's worst epidemic of the virus ravaging three West African countries, the world will want stockpiles to protect against inevitable future outbreaks, experts say. ...

23 Oct 2014 2:48pm GMT

French entrepreneurs launch test to detect pork in food

An illustration picture shows a kit to test for the presence of pork in food for use by Muslims at the company Capital Biotech offices in Asnieres sur SeineBy Lucien Libert ASNIERES France (Reuters) - Two French entrepreneurs have launched a portable device to test for the presence of pork in food for use by Muslims who abide by dietary laws. With France's five million Muslims making up about eight percent of the overall population, the test, similar in size to a pregnancy test, aims to help consumers detect traces of pork not just in food, but also in cosmetics or medicines. The kit comes with a small test tube in which a food sample is mixed with warm water. ...

23 Oct 2014 1:59pm GMT

The Science Behind Renée Zellweger's New Face

Photographs of actress Renée Zellweger at the Elle magazine's Women in Hollywood awards this week, showing her dramatically different appearance, have sparked the Internet's interest. The 45-year-old actress looked almost unrecognizable to fans who know her best from her earlier movies such as "Jerry Maguire" and "Bridget Jones's Diary." But two cosmetic surgeons told Live Science that Zellweger's transformation could be the result of relatively minor procedures, as well as weight loss and normal aging. Zellweger looks so different because her most distinctive features are the ones that changed dramatically, said both Dr. Michael C. Edwards, the president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Stuart Linder, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. "That's what made her Renee Zellweger," Edwards told Live Science.

23 Oct 2014 12:16pm GMT

22 Oct 2014

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The beast with the behemoth arms: A dinosaur mystery is solved

Illustration of Deinocheirus mirificus the largest known member of a group of bird-like dinosaursBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In July 1965, two gigantic fossilized dinosaur arms replete with menacing claws were unearthed in the remote southern Gobi desert of Mongolia. Measuring 8 feet (2.4 meters), they were the longest arms of any known bipedal creature in Earth's history. But nearly everything else was missing, leaving experts baffled about the nature of this beast with the behemoth arms. Half a century later, the mystery has been solved. ...

22 Oct 2014 5:48pm GMT

Hawaii scientists return to ocean for weapon study

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. ...

22 Oct 2014 12:03am GMT

20 Oct 2014

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New apps bring kids' playtime back to real world

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. ...

20 Oct 2014 8:30pm GMT

Incredible Science and Historical Artifacts Up for Auction

Record Bid! Early Apple Computer Sells for Nearly $1 MillionA 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.

20 Oct 2014 12:44pm GMT

Science meets voodoo in a New Orleans festival of water

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. ...

20 Oct 2014 6:04am GMT