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He Met His True Love While Chasing Eclipses. Now They Chase Them Together
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's a celestial love story
Struggling to distinguish the smell of bubble gum from petrol could be an early sign of dementia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Your sense of smell may be a useful marker of Alzheimer's disease
Eclipse mania sends Americans scurrying to find safe glasses
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Eclipse mania is building and so is demand for the glasses that make it safe to view the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years.
An error made in 1925 led to a crisis in modern science—now researchers are joining to fix it
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In 1908, the Guinness brewer William Gosset published a revolutionary paper titled “The Probable Error of the Mean.” Gosset, who published under the pseudonym “Student” at his employer’s request, often conducted experiments on the impact of new ingredients on the composition of his beer—such as the brew’s sugar levels. Constrained by the fact that he…
The Meaning of the Eclipse
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A communal act, free of politics: just what the U.S. needs.
Great American Eclipse: Why NASA is Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse with Jet Planes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA is preparing to study the total solar eclipse on Monday by chasing the path of totality with jet planes. By doing so, the space agency should be able to capture the clearest ever image of the sun’s outer atmosphere—its corona. The corona is like a fiery shell of plasma that surrounds the sun, reaching temperatures of over 1 million degrees Celsius.
White nationalist Richard Spencer, Antifa member Lacy MacAuley confront each other
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Spencer blames Antifa for most of the violence between the groups, while MacAuley refused to condemn when Spencer was punched in the face.
Mexico City fishermen fight to save Aztec floating gardens
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Roberto Altamirano has the lake to himself as he casts his glistening net onto the still water in a perfect circle, lets it sink, then slowly pulls it in. It comes back bearing a large haul of tilapia and carp -- and that is exactly the problem. Altamirano is one of just 20 or so fishermen who remain in the floating gardens of Xochimilco, an idyllic network of lakes, canals and artificial islands improbably tucked into the urban sprawl of Mexico City.
Eclipse 2017: Man who permanently damaged his eyes during a solar event warns people not to stare at sun
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A man who permanently damaged his eyesight by looking at a partial solar eclipse 55 years ago has warned people not to look directly at the sun during the total eclipse on Monday. Lou Tomosoki, 70, still has a blind spot in the centre of the vision of his right eye as a result of looking at the sun for just a few seconds as the moon crossed its surface in the early 1960s. In 1962, he and a friend were walking home from high school in Bend, Oregon, when the partial eclipse began.
Marine Scientists Fear For Right Whales After Unprecedented Deaths
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Over two percent of the existing 500 North Atlantic right whales have died in the last few months.
Solar Eclipse Glasses in Short Supply Just Days Before the Big Event
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
With the solar eclipse just three days away, there is growing concern about a shortage in the special glasses needed to view the event without damaging your eyes. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
How ancient cultures explained eclipses
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
On August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the United States. As the Earth and moon sweep through space in their annual journey around the sun, the three bodies align in such a way that the Earth passes into the shadow of the moon. Observers then witness a sun that…
Harvard’s new self
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Harvard scientists have developed a new type of rubber which, in addition to being as tough as existing rubber, can self-heal in the event that it gets a puncture. Wave goodbye to flat tires!
'Fatbergs' Are the Scourge of City Sewers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Please stop pouring grease down the drain.
S. Africa opposes online rhino horn auction
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
South Africa said Friday it would oppose an online auction of rhino horns due to start next week, as outraged conservationists said the sale would undermine the global ban on rhino trade. The three-day auction by South African John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm, comes after a ban on domestic trade in the country was lifted three months ago. The government said it would fight Hume's court application to be granted sale permits.
NASA launches last of its longtime tracking satellites
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA has launched the last of its longtime tracking and communication satellites
Giant Sloth Fossil Discovered In Underwater Cave
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A giant sloth fell into a pit about 12,000 years ago and scientists have found its huge bones.
How the tentacles of jellyfish galaxies feed supermassive black holes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Some galaxies wander the cosmos, tentacles extending like hungry jellyfish — and now scientists have found active supermassive black holes at the center of six of them. The discovery is surprising because most supermassive black holes around the Universe are dormant, sleeping giants that don’t devour much gas.
Total Solar Eclipse 2017: What Scientists Can Learn From The Spectacular Blackout
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
For most Americans, the total solar eclipse on August 21 will be a piece of celestial entertainment. For scientists across the nation, however, the event will be an unmissable opportunity to learn about aspects of space and the sun they can’t study properly at any other time. Here are some of the experiments that will be taking place during the brief blackout.
New Magic Mushrooms Discovery Could Reveal How to Make Your Own Drugs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have long wondered how and why magic mushrooms create psilocybin, a psychoactive chemical that causes hallucinations when ingested. Around 200 types of mushrooms produce psilocybin, and they’ve been used ceremonially for millennia. Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who synthesized LSD, identified psilocybin as the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and determined its structure in 1959.
Migrating birds use a magnetic map to travel long distances
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
New research reveals how birds navigate their way over thousands of miles.
Meet the man who invented the Super Soaker — one of the best
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Super Soaker was a game changer when came to squirt guns and summer fun. And you have Lonnie...
Meet the Woman Behind Some of NASA's Most Famous Images
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She was instrumental in the creation of the "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth, one of the most famous products of the Voyager mission
Weird Fossil Explains Steps Of Dinosaur Evolution
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A dinosaur with a bizarre mix of features at first confused paleontologists, but it may actually show them how different groups of dinos evolved.
Google Lunar X Prize competitors have a little more time to get to the Moon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Finalists in the Google Lunar X Prize Competition have a slightly revised deadline for sending their spacecraft to the surface of the Moon. Up until now, teams in the competition had to launch their robotic landers to the lunar surface sometime before December 31st, 2017 in order to be eligible to win the competition. Now, X Prize is doing away with the “launch” deadline and just sticking with a completion deadline, instead: teams must finish their missions to the Moon before March 31st, 2018, in order to win the grand prizes, regardless of when they launch.
Here’s the scientific reason it’s better to drink whiskey on the rocks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When you dilute whiskey to about 69 percent water, it drives the molecules that produce the taste away from the surface of the water, which makes the whiskey taste better. Serious whiskey drinkers insist that it tastes better on the rocks — that is, diluted with a little water — and, with the help of computer simulations, scientists now know why. The distinctive taste of whiskey is largely caused by a molecule called guaiacol, which has one section that likes water and one section that doesn’t like water.
White Supremacists Are Using Genetic Ancestry Tests For A Creepy Purpose
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It’s a marketing trope often repeated in viral, feel-good commercials for genetic ancestry tests: If we only knew just how related we all were, even distantly, then prejudice and racism would cease to exist.
Girl Scouts reach for stars with NASA space merit badges
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Girl Scouts look beyond Earth with a set of new astronomy merit badges developed with NASA and the SETI Institute.
DNA Tests Don't Make People Change Their Behavior
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
If you learned your DNA made you more susceptible to getting a disease, wouldn't you work to stay healthy? Maybe not.
All the science we’ve learned from solar eclipses throughout history
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When ancient humans looked up to the heavens and tried to understand the movements of celestial objects, they started a tradition that would evolve into astronomy. With incredible precision, they tracked the shifting of the stars, hoping it would help them anticipate clear omens in the sky—namely, solar and lunar eclipses. Solar eclipses have a…
Lost Art: Babbitt Bearings
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The lost art of babbitt bearings.
Canada's forests are on fire, and the smoke is so thick it's breaking records
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Forests in Canada are ablaze, with 2.2 million acres going up in flames so far this year in British Columbia alone. These fires, and others in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have been belching smoke into the air, in some cases up to 8 miles high.  Once in the atmosphere, weather patterns are causing the wildfire smoke to converge into a blanket so thick it's blotting out the sun across northern Canada. This smoke is working its way to the high Arctic, where it could speed up the melting of sea and land ice.  According to NASA, the smoke has set a record for its thickness, and has been especially dense across the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut provinces.  SEE ALSO: Summer on steroids: Fires, devilish heat waves, and floods Never mind the upcoming total solar eclipse — in some places, the smoke is so thick it could turn day into night, according to Mike Fromm of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.   “There’s that much aerosol in the air,” Fromm said, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. Aerosols are small particles, such as soot or volcanic ash, that reflect incoming sunlight. Aerosol index across Canada during the past several days.Image: NASA Earth Observatory images/Colin Seftor.According to Colin Seftor, an atmospheric researcher for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, on August 15, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi NPP satellite recorded aerosol index values as high as 49.7. This was more than 15 points higher than the previous record, which was set in 2006 by fires in Australia.  Aerosol index records were also set on August 13 and 14, NASA reported. Although the Suomi NPP satellite is quite new, the satellite aerosol index dates back to the Nimbus-7 satellite in 1978, giving scientists a longer data set.  According to NASA, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured particularly heavy smoke obscuring a wide swath of northern Canada as of August 15, 2017.  Another satellite image, this time from the Aqua satellite, shows smoke billowing north from areas near Lake Athabasca. The fires in British Columbia were intense enough to produce numerous pyrocumulus clouds, which are essentially firestorms that tower into the sky, resembling thunderstorms.  Such clouds can vault smoke high into the atmosphere, all the way to the stratosphere, where it can linger for days or longer. The Canadian fires are important for several reasons. First, they signal the transition to a more combustible future in the Far North, as climate change makes conditions more conducive to large wildfires.  Smoke forecast with rectangle showing the area of smoke transport into the Arctic.Image: copernicus/ECMWFSecond, they are ideally located to directly feed smoke toward vulnerable Arctic sea ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet. In addition to altering the heat balance of the atmosphere, the smoke can deposit dark soot particles on the ice, which hastens melting by lowering the reflectivity of the ice and causing it to absorb more incoming sunlight.  Studies have tied the increasing number of large fires in parts of Canada and the U.S. to global warming. In fact, the level of fire activity across the boreal forests, which stretch from Alaska to Canada and around the top of the world to Scandinavia and Russia, is unprecedented in the past 10,000 years, according to a study published in 2013.  WATCH: Here’s how many people in the U.S. will possibly see the eclipse
How controversial science can make it harder to get an abortion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
An abortion can be an emotional experience that raises questions about a woman's relationships, past regrets, and future. She might want to confide in someone about these feelings in the following weeks, months, or years.  Abortion opponents have taken that complex reality to a disturbing extreme, with the hope of convincing the public and lawmakers that ending a pregnancy puts many women at significant risk for mental health problems like substance abuse, depression, and suicide.  SEE ALSO: Why 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes are the most powerful meme of the resistance yet To vividly and persuasively make their case, anti-abortion rights activists often point to scientific research that makes dubious connections between the medical procedure and long-term psychological turmoil or suffering. What politicians looking to restrict abortion don't tell the public is that not all research in this field is equal.  This strategy has found its way into statehouses across the country. A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy organization, found that more than half of all women of reproductive age in the U.S. live in a state with at least two types of abortion restrictions that have no basis in scientific evidence, including counseling requirements and mandatory waiting periods.     Not all of these laws are explicitly premised on the notion that abortion causes lasting emotional or psychological damage, but many are routinely defended as measures to protect women's health.  "I don't think requirements are the solution to anything," said Melissa Madera, who has interviewed 288 people about their abortion experiences as founder and director of the podcast The Abortion Diary. "No one needs to tell us that we need to take time to think. People are doing it anyway." I've had an abortion & talked w/ over 200 people who've had abortions. This is what I have to say to Congress. https://t.co/IKTzJqDaan — melissa.madera (@drmelissamadera) January 31, 2017 Meanwhile, a battle over the science of abortion and mental health continues to unfold: Reputable medical and professional organizations in the field have found that the procedure doesn't cause long-term psychological harm, but a group of researchers insist it's devastating. The losers in this fight? People who've had or may need an abortion and hear conflicting messages about the research, and who may face long waits to get care because of laws designed to slow the process.  While many women who've had abortions can share how the experience affected them, scientists can't rely on these anecdotes to draw conclusions about mental health for an entire population. Instead, the best scientific research minimizes bias and controls for variables. When randomized trials are possible, scientists can recruit volunteers who are then assigned different outcomes.  With abortion, however, that would mean randomly selecting whether a woman carries an unintended pregnancy to term or ends it — disturbing, unethical, and impossible. Instead, research on abortion and mental health outcomes must rely on what are known as observational studies. That means women choose whether to end or complete their pregnancy, and then scientists follow those two groups over time to observe and compare their mental health outcomes. Scientists can make inferences about what they find in observational studies, but it's more challenging to draw a straight line between cause and effect. Efforts to untangle the relationship between pregnancy and a specific mental health experience, particularly when abortion is involved, often fall short, said Julia Littell, a professor of social work at Bryn Mawr College who specializes in research design and synthesis but does not publish on abortion. Research shows, for example, that the experiences that make women more likely to have an unintended pregnancy or abortion — like poverty, childhood sexual and physical abuse, and domestic violence — also are associated with an increased risk of developing a mental health condition. If they experience depression or anxiety and have had an abortion, it's crucial for researchers to know which came first. In the past decade, two major U.S. and UK professional organizations, the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, conducted in-depth reviews and found that the best evidence indicated ending an unplanned pregnancy in the first trimester posed no greater risk for mental health problems than giving birth. That comparison helps to lay bare a political agenda that's often more obsessed with protecting women from the potential effects of abortion than supporting women with the various emotional and psychological challenges of motherhood. Politicians, for instance, aren't clamoring to pass laws making it harder for women to get pregnant because they might experience postpartum depression, anxiety, or psychosis.  More than 20 years ago, Mika Gissler, an epidemiologist and research professor of public health at The National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, published a study that anti-abortion activists have cited as proof that abortion can lead to suicide.  He analyzed the mortality risk of more than 600,000 women in a national register who gave birth or had an abortion. In his 1996 BMJ study, those who ended a pregnancy were at a much higher risk of dying by suicide, and he found the same to be true again in a study published in the European Journal of Public Health, in May.  But Gissler, after studying this cohort for two decades, believes there's a more complex explanation for the association between abortion and suicide. First, his studies can't account for pre-existing mental health conditions because the register lacks detailed information about their experiences. Gissler also thinks that motherhood itself largely reduces risky behavior like self-harm. The Finnish healthcare system plays a critical role as well by giving teenage mothers, the subject of his latest study, intense support during and after pregnancy. Teens who have an abortion don't get the same reinforcements.  Though his 1996 study noted the possibility that abortion might negatively affect women, he holds no reservations now. "[I]t's quite clear it's not the abortions," he said. "It’s the complex situation of the women." Abortion and suicide, he noted, share the same risk factors, including economic instability and limited education.  Gissler said he's been courted by anti-abortion researchers, some of whom he characterizes as well-versed in statistics but lacking expertise in mental or reproductive health epidemiology.  "They are making wrong conclusions and really bad science, if you can even call it science," he said. Though it might surprise some to learn that peer-reviewed journals publish questionable research, Littell said it does happen. A journal editor, for example, may not fully understand a study's methodology and findings.  In 2008, a group of researchers published a review in Contraception suggesting that quality made a huge difference in abortion research. The highest quality studies did things like control for pre-existing mental health conditions and other important confounders, use the most appropriate comparison groups, and use widely accepted mental health measures. The review concluded that the highest quality studies don't indicate abortion leads to long-term mental health problems, whereas the low quality studies largely reported a relationship between the two experiences. The authors also acknowledged that a "minority" of women experience "lingering post-abortion feelings of sadness, guilt, regret, and depression."  "The goal of any such research should be to uncover the truth and share that with women and patients," said Chelsea B. Polis, co-author of the Contraception study and a senior research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute.  If that seems self-evident, consider that the debate over abortion and mental health is a lot like the controversy that has plagued research on climate change, evolution, or vaccines: A vocal group of researchers sees the scientific consensus as the product of bias, ethical misconduct, or even conspiracy and sows doubt at every possible turn. This isn't just professional disagreement — it quickly begins to look like an ideological struggle.  Take, for example, what happened in December when JAMA Psychiatry published the largest and longest prospective study in the U.S. comparing the mental health outcomes of women who had an abortion to those of women denied an abortion. It followed 956 women over the course of five years, compared four groups with different abortion outcomes, and found that ending a pregnancy did not appear to increase a woman's risk of developing mental health symptoms.  Those who had an abortion did not experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or low life satisfaction than those who were denied the procedure. In fact, women turned away from a clinic because they exceeded the facility's gestational limit initially had higher levels of anxiety, lower self-esteem and less life satisfaction than those who had the procedure. Between six and 12 months, however, all of the women had similar mental health outcomes throughout the remainder of the study.  #Women denied #abortion initially report more negative #psychological outcomes. https://t.co/St9LMATmLU — JAMAPsychiatry (@JAMAPsych) December 14, 2016 "I think that if the claim is to protect women’s mental health, what researchers are finding is that allowing women to make decisions and access care is more protective than denying them care," M. Antonia Biggs, the study's lead author, said.  The study garnered praise as providing "the best scientific evidence" on the mental health effects of abortion from a former director of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  However, Priscilla K. Coleman, a professor of human development and family studies at Bowling Green State University whose own body of work consistently demonstrates a relationship between abortion and increased risk for mental health problems, criticized the study as methodologically flawed in a self-published rebuttal, and suggested there was a broader conspiracy to publish fraudulent results that bolstered the case for abortion rights.  "If we really wanted to promote [an agenda], we would have wanted to find more negative outcomes for the women denied abortion," said Biggs, who is a social psychologist researcher with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, a research group at the University of California at San Francisco.  Coleman said that she supports waiting periods and "sensitive, individualized pre-abortion counseling" and will oppose abortion until well-designed studies demonstrate it is beneficial to women. Coleman has served as a paid expert witness in abortion-related legal cases and for legislatures that considered restrictive measures, but her research has also been thoroughly critiqued.  A 2009 study Coleman published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, which did not account for whether women had pre-existing psychological conditions, became the subject of heated criticism, and elicited a critical note from one of the journal's editors. In 2012, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals cited her testimony when it upheld a South Dakota law that required physicians to tell patients they may be at greater risk of suicide if they have an abortion. The decision also cited Gissler's 1996 paper. The dissent noted, however fruitlessly, that Gissler disavowed a causal link between abortion and suicide.  "We have to promote sexual and reproductive health and mental health, and have a checkup after the abortion to avoid any suicide [risk] instead of restricting women's possibility to terminate pregnancy when they need it," Gissler recently said.  In 2011, Coleman published a controversial study in the British Journal of Psychiatry. It attracted some support, but also prompted several letters of concern from researchers across disciplines who said the meta-analysis was poorly designed and didn't account for the quality of the evidence it cited. Littell argued that it violated basic rules for synthesizing scientific research and called for its retraction. The editor declined to do so, a point Coleman raises in defense of her work.  Coleman said that she doesn't routinely include published criticism of her work in expert testimony, but does address them in rebuttals when necessary. "I know it's appropriate science," she said of her research. "I know I care about women. I just know what I'm doing is right." Whether women might need emotional or psychological support after an abortion is an important public health question. The National Abortion Federation advises clinics to provide patients with counseling referrals and resources, and all medical providers must abide by informed consent laws and present patients with information about the procedure, its risks, and alternatives.  Lawmakers opposed to abortion, however, just don't believe any of those measures go far enough.  Madera believes that counseling should be easily accessible for abortion patients. Her intimate knowledge of other people's abortion experiences, along with her own at the age of 17, has made her skeptical of competing social or political narratives that abortion is always traumatic or always simple.  "You can make the choice to have an abortion and still feel complicated feelings about it," she said. Instead of acknowledging that reality, though, politicians are using it to justify restricting a woman’s right to choose in the first place.  If you want to talk about your abortion experience and related feelings, call Exhale at 1-866-4-EXHALE. The after-abortion talkline is staffed by non-judgmental volunteer counselors.  WATCH: There may be a new solution to the ocean trash problem
NASA Is Sending Bacteria Into The Sky During The Total Solar Eclipse
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA is using balloons to send bacteria into the stratosphere. The test will see how something that lives on Earth responds to the conditions.
Scientists potentially narrow MH370 search area to 3 spots
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Scientists have potentially narrowed the search area for the missing Malaysian airliner to three specific locations in the southern Indian Ocean through new satellite and drift analysis of the 2014 crash released Wednesday.
US experimental attack planes show their might
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Fox Firepower: The U.S. Air Force Light Attack Experiment is a groundbreaking event where innovative aircraft undergo a series of trials to determine how they perform in attack roles
These college students are vying to build Elon Musk's hyperloop
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
This team of University of Maryland students is hoping to prove it can win SpaceX’s hyperloop capsule competition and bring in a new form of transportation to life. It may take years to see if Elon Musk’s dream of a hyperloop will lead to humans zipping between cities at hundreds of miles an hour aboard pods packed inside low-pressure tubes, but one team of college students is sure they can help lead the way there.
Don't Wait — Eclipse Glasses Are Selling Out Fast
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
If you're planning on watching the total solar eclipse next Monday, August 21, and you haven't yet bought solar eclipse glasses or safety lenses — stop what you're doing, go online, and buy them stat. Almost all of the pairs certified by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are sold out, save for a few options. Unfortunately, most of the sites that still have eclipse glasses in stock will require you to buy them in bulk.
Facebook shuts down conservative chat room
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Social media giant dismantles political debate forum
The Procrastinator’s Guide to Cosmic Marvel
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“In that moment, everything that you take for granted is suddenly gone.” To hear Frank Close talk about why he chases totality is to wonder if you’ve ever felt a moment of real passion in your life, or if you ever will. The particle physicist was featured on the podcast Every Little Thing, in an April episode called “Rapture Chasers.” Close and the author and psychologist Kate Russo spoke—raved—about the highs they felt in their years of trekking across the planet to see total eclipses. The episode occupied most of my half-hour walk to work the morning it came out.
For Scientists, Each Eclipse Is a Natural Experiment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Astronomers have been using them to study the universe for centuries. This Monday's eclipse will be no exception.
Billionaire Richard Branson Favors A Universal Basic Income
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson warns about tech taking over jobs and points to a solution.
Neuroscientist who studied Einstein's brain dies at 90
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A founder of modern neuroscience who studied Einstein's brain has died
Turkey bones may help trace fate of ancient cliff dwellers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers say they have found a new clue into the mysterious exodus of ancient cliff-dwelling people from the Mesa Verde area of Colorado more than 700 years ago: DNA from the bones of domesticated turkeys. ...
Wildfires trap 2,000 villagers in Portugal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Forest fires cut off a village of 2,000 people in Portugal, as firefighters struggled Thursday to control two major blazes in the centre of the country, local officials said. The forecast of hotter weather in the coming days -- increasing the risk that old fire sites will rekindle or new ones break out -- convinced the government to declare a state of emergency in parts of the country.
The Eclipse Conspiracy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The scientists are all talking like it’s a sure thing. On August 21, the “moon” will pass between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the light of the latter. The government agency NASA says this will result in “one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.” The astronomers there claim to have calculated down to the minute exactly when and where this will happen, and for how long. They have reportedly known about this eclipse for years, just by virtue of some sort of complex math.
The Origin Story of Animals Is a Song of Ice and Fire
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Around 717 million years ago, the Earth turned into a snowball. Most of the ocean, if not all of it, was frozen at its surface. The land, which was aggregated into one big supercontinent, was also covered in mile-thick ice. And then, everything changed. Volcanoes released enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to trap the sun’s heat and trigger global warming. The ice melted, and the surface of the sea reached temperatures of 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. By 659 million years ago, the world had transformed from snowball to greenhouse. And just 14 million years later, the ice returned and the planet became a snowball for the second time.
NASA’s Voyager Missions Are Equipped With Maps That Could Lead Extraterrestrial Life to Earth
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The 40th anniversary of the launch of two of NASA’s most remarkable spacecraft is fast approaching. Voyager 1 is the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space—the region outside the heliosphere, a giant electromagnetic bubble created by the sun—and is the most distant human-made object ever.
When White Nationalists Get DNA Tests That Reveal African Ancestry
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The white-nationalist forum Stormfront hosts discussions on a wide range of topics, from politics to guns to The Lord of the Rings. And of particular and enduring interest: genetic ancestry tests. For white nationalists, DNA tests are a way to prove their racial purity. Of course, their results don’t always come back that way. And how white nationalists try to explain away non-European ancestry is rather illuminating of their beliefs.
Astronauts on the International Space Station Just Got a Big Delivery
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Some of the supplies delivered could help scientists further Parkinson's disease research and help develop therapies.