07 Dec 2016

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Musk's SpaceX says rockets to remain grounded until January

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils his plans to colonize Mars during the International Astronautical Congress in GuadalajaraBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - - Elon Musk's SpaceX has been forced to delay the return of its rockets to flight until January as an investigation continues into a launch pad explosion earlier this year, the tech billionaire' s company said on Wednesday. The company had hoped to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 16 to put 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc., but did not receive a required license to fly from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees U.S. commercial space transportation. ...


07 Dec 2016 5:43pm GMT

06 Dec 2016

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Little African primate's talents inspire leaping robot

A new robot dubbed Salto is shown in Berkeley, CaliforniaBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Inspired by the remarkable jumping ability of an African primate called a galago, scientists have fashioned a small robot with unique leaping capabilities they hope can someday be used in tricky search-and-rescue situations. The scientists said on Tuesday they had built a robot, dubbed Salto, with vertical jumping agility like no other machine, able to leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps consecutively. To design Salto, short for "saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles," the University of California, Berkeley, researchers sought inspiration from one of the animal kingdom's best leapers.


06 Dec 2016 9:45pm GMT

Scientists develop robotic hand for people with quadriplegia

In this undated grab taken from video, a patient uses a robotic hand to drink from a cup, in Badalona, Spain. Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup. (Mario Cortese video via AP)BERLIN (AP) - Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup.


06 Dec 2016 7:39pm GMT

U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on gene-editing technology

(Corrects company name to Editas Medicine from Editas Pharmaceuticals in paragraph 15) By Brendan Pierson (Reuters) - The U.S. patent agency on Tuesday will hear arguments in a heated dispute over who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake, as the technology promises commercial applications in treating genetic diseases, engineering crops, and other areas. CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace them with new stretches of DNA.

06 Dec 2016 4:16pm GMT

Science Museum, London Acquires British Astronaut's Soyuz for Display

Science Museum, London Acquires British Astronaut's Soyuz for DisplayThe spacecraft that returned Britain's first professional astronaut to Earth in June will land on display in London next year. Russia's Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, which touched down from the International Space Station with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and Expedition 46/47 flight engineer Tim Peake, will go on exhibit at the Science Museum, London in early 2017.


06 Dec 2016 3:59pm GMT

2 Million Pounds of Ready-to-Eat Chicken Recalled: Here's Why It's Risky

2 Million Pounds of Ready-to-Eat Chicken Recalled: Here's Why It's RiskyOn Sunday (Dec. 4), the food manufacturing company National Steak and Poultry announced a recall of more than 1.9 million pounds of the products, which were produced from Aug. 20, 2016, through Nov. 30, 2016, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The recalled products may have been undercooked, and so they have the potential to contain bacteria, the USDA said. The bacterial pathogens most commonly linked with raw chicken are Salmonella and Campylobacter, said Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University.


06 Dec 2016 2:40pm GMT

Lack of Sun in Teen Years Linked to Nearsightedness Later On

Lack of Sun in Teen Years Linked to Nearsightedness Later OnTeens and young adults who spend more time outdoors may be less likely to become nearsighted later in life than those who spend less time outdoors, a new study suggests. People in the study who spent more time exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation - which the researchers calculated based on the participants' exposure to sunlight - between ages 14 and 39 were less likely to be nearsighted at 65 than those who spent less time exposed to UVB radiation, the researchers found. "Increased UVB exposure was associated with reduced myopia, particularly in adolescence and young adulthood," the researchers wrote in the study, published yesterday (Dec. 1) in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.


06 Dec 2016 2:39pm GMT

Here Are the States with the Lowest & Highest Diabetes Rates

Here Are the States with the Lowest & Highest Diabetes RatesDiabetes is on the rise in the United States, and a new poll looks at where the disease is most and least common. In the poll, from Gallup-Healthways, researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 176,000 Americans in all 50 states in 2015. The participants were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime.


06 Dec 2016 2:38pm GMT

Pakistan honours first Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, reversing years of neglect

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan plans to rename a university centre for physicist Abdus Salam, its first Nobel laureate, after more than 30 years of all but disowning his achievements, as a member of a minority sect barred from identifying itself as Muslim. Salam, the first Muslim to win the prize for science, was a member of the Ahmadi sect, which is considered heretical by law in Pakistan, denounced by Muslim leaders and targeted by violent extremists. The office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it had given approval for the National Centre for Physics at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, the capital, to be renamed after Salam.

06 Dec 2016 7:21am GMT

05 Dec 2016

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Tornado Cluster Sizes Skyrocket, and No One Knows Why

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the WeekTornados are behaving strangely: The number of tornado outbreaks per year is fairly constant, but the number of tornados per outbreak has skyrocketed. In an effort to learn more, researchers looked at meteorological factors related to tornado outbreaks, and then dug into the data to see whether these factors had changed over time, said study lead researcher Michael Tippett, an associate professor of applied physics and applied mathematics at Columbia University. The analyses did yield a result, but an unexpected one, Tippett said.


05 Dec 2016 2:49pm GMT

04 Dec 2016

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The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the WeekEach week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles around, here are 10 of the coolest stories in Science this week.


04 Dec 2016 12:00pm GMT

03 Dec 2016

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Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin recovering well after Antarctic evacuation

Buzz Aldrin testifies at space competitiveness hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonFormer U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, posted photos on Saturday of his recovery in a New Zealand hospital after he was evacuated from the South Pole due to illness. Aldrin, 86, who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday local time when his condition deteriorated. Aldrin appeared in good spirits on Saturday after receiving a visit from NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman at Christchurch Hospital.


03 Dec 2016 3:40am GMT

02 Dec 2016

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European Mars mission funding approved even after test lander's crash

A full-size model of the European ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, Schiaparell is seen during a press conference at the European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in DarmstadtEuropean space agency (ESA) member states have approved another 450 million euros ($479 million) in funding for the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, even after a test lander that was part of the program crashed in October, ESA said on Friday. The European-Russian ExoMars program sent a gas-sniffing orbiter and the test lander to Mars this year to search for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet and to lay the groundwork for a rover that is due to follow in 2020. The Schiaparelli lander crashed after a sensor failure caused it to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, as though it had already landed.


02 Dec 2016 3:46pm GMT

01 Dec 2016

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Scientists Pinpoint How to Calm Oklahoma's Human-Made Quakes

Scientists Pinpoint How to Calm Oklahoma's Human-Made QuakesHuman-induced earthquakes have rattled Oklahoma in recent years, a state known more for its wide-open plains than havoc-wreaking temblors. This water is pumped as part of the oil and gas production process in Oklahoma and other states in the central and eastern United States. Injecting wastewater from oil and gas extraction into underground wells has occurred for decades in Oklahoma without raising concern over induced seismicity, but in 2009, the rate and volume of injection massively increased, according to the study.


01 Dec 2016 3:20pm GMT

Ravenous 14-Foot Python Caught with 3 Deer in Its Gut

Ravenous 14-Foot Python Caught with 3 Deer in Its GutA Burmese python in the Everglades with a penchant for venison gulped down three whole deer - one doe and two fawns - before wildlife officials captured and euthanized it, a new study reveals. The gustatory feat sets a record: It's the first invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) caught with three deer in its gut, said study co-lead author Scott Boback, an associate professor of biology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. The python probably attacked and ate the deer at different times over a 90-day period, Boback said.


01 Dec 2016 12:42pm GMT

Neutron Star May Reveal First Evidence of 80-Year-Old Quantum Prediction

Neutron Star May Reveal First Evidence of 80-Year-Old Quantum PredictionIn 1930, physicists Werner Heisenberg and Hans Heinrich Euler predicted that very strong magnetic fields could change the polarity of light waves in a vacuum (where polarity refers to the orientation of the light's electric and magnetic fields). This effect, which they dubbed "vacuum birefringence," is not predicted by classical physics. Now, scientists using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) say they may have observed this effect in the light coming from a neutron star- a cosmic object with a very strong magnetic field.


01 Dec 2016 12:00pm GMT