18 Apr 2015
Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house in Alaska suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Columbus. Archaeologists found the artifacts at the "Rising Whale" site at Cape Espenberg. "When you're looking at the site from a little ways away, it looks like a bowhead [whale] coming to the surface," said Owen Mason, a research associate at the University of Colorado, who is part of a team excavating the site. The new discoveries, combined with other finds made over the past 100 years, suggest trade items and ideas were reaching Alaska from East Asian civilizations well before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean Sea in 1492 archaeologists said.
18 Apr 2015 2:38pm GMT
A man in England went exploring with a metal detector and made the discovery of a lifetime: an exquisitely preserved Roman-era grave filled with artifacts, including bronze jugs, mosaic glassware, coins and hobnails from a pair of shoes, all dating to about A.D. 200. The grave likely belonged to a wealthy individual, said Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, the archaeology and outreach officer for the North Hertfordshire District Council. Once Fitzpatrick-Matthews and his colleagues located the grave, they also found evidence of a nearby building, likely a shrine or temple, attached to a villa. The man with the metal detector, Phil Kirk, found the grave in a field in Kelshall, a small village located between London and Cambridge.
18 Apr 2015 10:59am GMT
17 Apr 2015
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - The gray wolves of Isle Royale National Park, which scientists have studied closely for more than half a century along with the moose on which they feed, are on the verge of disappearing as the most recent census showed that only three remain, scientists said Friday.
17 Apr 2015 11:34pm GMT
17 Apr 2015 8:54pm GMT
By Elly Park New York, NEW YORK - Scientists at Columbia University in New York have successfully built a camera that is capable of producing images using power harvested from the surrounding incident light. The prototype self-powering camera takes an image each second, and in a well-lit scene it can operate indefinitely. The team is led by Shree Nayar, Professor of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, "What we have designed here is an image sensor with pixels, with this new design that can not only capture pictures but also generate power from the pixels, in order to capture the images themselves. In modern cameras photo diodes, tiny devices inside each pixels of the image sensor, measure the amount of light that falls onto it, and Nayar said he noticed that the process is similar to photo diodes used inside solar panels to harvest energy. "It turns out exactly the photo diode is also used in solar cells which are used in solar panels to harvest energy from light, except that they are being used in a slightly different circuit.
17 Apr 2015 8:40pm GMT
By Andrea Shalal COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - The United States needs disruptive new technologies, new ways of acquiring equipment and bandwidth, and closer ties with global allies to stay ahead of growing challenges in space from China, Russia and others, the head of U.S. Air Force Space Command told Reuters. General John Hyten said the United States had been bracing for threats to its satellite systems for years, but continued anti-satellite testing by potential foes had fueled a fresh sense of urgency in both industry and government about the need to prepare to win a possible war in space.
17 Apr 2015 8:35pm GMT
One of the surest signs of spring for stargazers is the constellation Leo high in the evening sky. One of the 12 traditional constellations of the zodiac, Leo is one of the best-known star patterns in the sky.
17 Apr 2015 7:57pm GMT
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Everyone's body is brimming with bacteria, and these microbes do plenty of good things like building the immune system and helping digestion. A study published on Friday looking at the gut, mouth and skin microbes in people from a small, isolated tribe in southern Venezuela's Amazonian jungles shows just how much modern life may be altering humankind's bodily bacteria. The Yanomami villagers, secluded from the outside world until 2009, possessed the most diverse collection of bacteria ever found in people including some never before detected in humans, said scientists whose research appears in the journal Science Advances. The researchers were surprised to learn the Yanomami's microbes harbored antibiotic-resistant genes including those conferring resistance to manmade antibiotics, considering they never had exposure to commercial antibiotics.
17 Apr 2015 6:57pm GMT
By Jim Drury Texas, Houston, U.S. - Driving NASA's Modular Robotic Vehicle (MRV) looks out of this world - and the leading space agency say this might one day be a possibility. Developed at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas it's a fully electric vehicle which the agency say is well-suited for busy urban environments. Turns of the steering wheel are recorded by sensors and sent to computers at the vehicle's rear where they are interpreted immediately, instructing motors in one or all of its four wheels to turn as commanded. A force feedback system in the steering wheel means the driver will feel the same resistance and sensations as a car.
17 Apr 2015 6:32pm GMT
After spending several weeks in the shadow of Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft is finally getting a close-up glimpse of the dwarf planet. The photos are the highest-resolution views of the world that Dawn has gotten since entering Ceres' orbit on March 6, NASA officials said. In future weeks, NASA hopes the mission will help scientists better understand a key mystery of Ceres: strange bright spots on its surface that, in some cases, have different temperatures than the terrain surrounding them. Mission scientists still don't know what the spots are made of.
17 Apr 2015 6:07pm GMT
Clamped to the International Space Station, the 7.5-tonne Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) intercepts particles from outer space, looking for evidence of "dark matter", which has never been seen but is thought to be five times as abundant in the universe as visible matter. We are taking 1,000 pictures per second," said Stefan Schael, a professor at RWTH Aachen University. The space camera gives a new perspective on results gathered on earth at the CERN physics research centre's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva. "At the LHC we have found exactly what we were predicting.
17 Apr 2015 2:27pm GMT
A pioneering stem cell treatment for patients disabled by stroke has continued to show long-term promise in a clinical trial, the British biotech company behind the project said on Friday. News that two-year follow-up data from a small Phase I study showed improvements in limb function with no worrying safety issues lifted shares in ReNeuron 10 percent by 0830 EDT. The clinical results were presented at the European Stroke Organisation Conference in Glasgow. The procedure involves injecting ReNeuron's neural stem cells into patients' brains to repair areas damaged by stroke, thereby improving both mental and physical function.
17 Apr 2015 12:50pm GMT
16 Apr 2015
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA spacecraft that made surprising discoveries of ice and other materials on Mercury will make a crash landing into the planet around April 30, scientists said on Thursday. The Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, or Messenger, probe has been circling the innermost planet of the solar system for more than four years, the first close-up studies of Mercury since NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft made three flybys in the mid-1970s. "The spacecraft will pass behind the planet, out of view from the Earth, and will just not emerge again," said Daniel O'Shaughnessy, systems engineer with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which operates the spacecraft. The impact at 8,724 miles per hour (14,040 km per hour) will leave a fresh crater, roughly 52 feet (16 meters) in diameter, that should serve as an interesting reference point for a follow-on European spacecraft called BepiColombo, which is due to arrive in 2024.
16 Apr 2015 9:49pm GMT
SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule is hauling a lot of science gear up to the International Space Station, including experiments for the orbiting outpost's first one-year crew. The unmanned Dragon launched into space Tuesday (April 14) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It is due to arrive at the space station at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) Friday, April 17. Some of this equipment will help NASA examine the nature of eye problems that have plagued several astronauts on long-term missions.
16 Apr 2015 9:02pm GMT
15 Apr 2015
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - New cancer tests that sequence only a patient's tumor and not normal tissue could result in a significant number of false positive results, potentially leading doctors to prescribe treatments that might not work, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The tests take advantage of new treatments that target changes in the DNA of tumor cells that are important for their survival. The issue is that few of these tests look at DNA from healthy cells to compare which mutations patients were born with and which are unique to the cancer, said Dr. Victor Velculescu of Johns Hopkins and a principal in Personal Genome Diagnostics, a company co-founded by the researchers.
15 Apr 2015 6:17pm GMT
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Having seen off a hostile $118 billion bid launched a year ago by U.S. rival Pfizer, Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca is on the move -- quite literally. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot is making AstraZeneca more nimble as hopes build for its cancer pipeline, but he still has his work cut out to keep 2015 earnings above the floor needed to protect his bonus. Investors must balance the short-term challenges posed by a massive "cliff" of patent expiries for older drugs against AstraZeneca's long-term promise that sales can reach $45 billion in 2023 from $26 billion last year. So far, Frenchman Soriot has played his hand well, given the inevitable disappointment among some shareholders at the rejection of Pfizer's final 55 pound-a-share offer last year.
15 Apr 2015 1:37pm GMT