By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA science satellite on Friday will wrap up a 7-1/2-year journey to Ceres, an unexplored dwarf planet in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists said on Monday. Ceres, namesake of the Roman goddess of agriculture, is already providing intrigue.
A little known but controversial program that flagged sensitive patent applications involving potentially touchy subjects such as AIDS vaccines and abortion devices has been scrapped by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The program, called the Sensitive Application Warning System, began in 1994 and was meant to notify the agency's leadership of applications that could generate extensi
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A U.S. military weather satellite appears to have exploded while in orbit last month after a sudden temperature spike in its power system, producing 43 pieces of new space debris, the Air Force said on Tuesday. The blast, which was first reported by the industry trade publication Space News, was the second Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DM
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Alzheimer's researchers at Harvard for the first time are scanning the brains of healthy patients for the presence of a hallmark protein called tau, which forms toxic tangles of nerve fibers associated with the fatal disease. The new scans are part of a large clinical trial called Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's or A4, the first designed
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Revealing new details about the origins of AIDS, scientists said on Monday half the lineages of the main type of human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1, originated in gorillas in Cameroon before infecting people, probably via bushmeat hunting. HIV-1, which causes AIDS, is composed of four groups, each coming from a separate cross-species transmission of a simia
Bones left behind by a penguin that was eaten to extinction reveal that a remarkably fast turnover in species occurred after Polynesian seafarers wiped out New Zealand's weird wildlife, a new study reports. Archaeological evidence has already confirmed the first humans to arrive in New Zealand treated the islands like a giant buffet. The first Pacific Islanders arrived in the late 13th century, an
Fleets of cyborg cockroaches could someday roam into damaged nuclear power plants or collapsed mines to carry out reconnaissance or locate survivors. A team of researchers implanted live cockroaches with electrodes that stimulate the nerves in the insects' antennae, enabling the scientists to steer the creatures around like remote-controlled toys. While people may normally think of cockroaches a
A visit from a furry companion can give comfort to patients in the hospital, but new guidelines recommend that only dogs — and not cats — be allowed in hospitals for pet therapy programs. The guidelines, from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), are aimed at reducing the potential risks from having animals in hospital facilities.
The military weather satellite that exploded in orbit last month apparently died of old age, U.S. Air Force officials say.
There's something highly reflective on Ceres twinkling at NASA's Dawn spacecraft, and scientists hope to figure out what it is after the probe arrives at the dwarf planet later this week. The bright-spot mystery is just one question Dawn will tackle after it enters orbit around Ceres at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday (March 6). "Ceres has really surprised us, and the first images have
LONDON (AP) — Scientists at a British museum have worked out the weight of Sophie, one of the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeletons.
California's severe and ongoing drought is just a taste of the dry years to come, thanks to global warming, a new study finds. "California's warming trend is driving an increase in the risk of drought," said study co-author Daniel Swain, a doctoral student in climate science at Stanford University in California. "Warming in California has made it more probable that when a low precipitation year
Curt Michel, an astrophysicist who was among NASA's first scientist-astronauts but who resigned when it became clear he would not fly to the moon, died on Feb. 23. Curt Michel's death was reported on Friday (Feb. 27) by Rice University in Houston, where served as a faculty member before and after his time with NASA. "Although he retired in 2000 after 37 years at Rice, Michel continued to keep an
A new animated TV show from Disney Junior is letting the imaginations of young space fans of tomorrow run wild through the universe, and it's even trying to teach them a little space science along the way. "As a young, impressionable person, stories that have good values to them — never give up, that science and technology can help us and make life better … that you can be part of this whole thi
Dr. Michael Greger is the director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," which are intended to encourage individuals to eat a healthful diet. The advisory council's report, just published f
WASHINGTON (AP) — The conflict that has torn Syria apart can be traced, in part, to a record drought worsened by global warming, a new study says.
Karen Kafadar is Commonwealth Professor and chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of Virginia and a member of the Forensic Science Standards Board. Anne-Marie Mazza is the director of the Committee on Science, Technology and Law of the National Academy of Sciences. Historically, forensic science has had a huge impact on identifying and confirming suspects in the courtroom, and on
David Williams, a vision scientist at the University of Rochester in New York, has a theory. Light is made up of different wavelengths, which the brain perceives as color.
The Pacific Ocean has been a planetary air conditioner for the past two decades, but the relief may soon end, a new study finds. The Pacific and Atlantic oceans undergo decades-long natural oscillations that alter their sea surface temperatures. Over the past 130 years, the tempo of global warming has revved up or slowed down in tune with changing ocean temperatures, researchers reported today (
A single gene may have paved the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of brain cells found in a key brain region. This gene seems to be uniquely human: It is found in modern-day humans, Neanderthals and another branch of extinct humans called Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees. By allowing the brain region called the neocortex to contain many more neurons,
By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - A natural cooling of the Pacific Ocean has contributed to slow global warming in the past decade but the pause is unlikely to last much longer, U.S. scientists said on Thursday. The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from factories, power pla
A particle physics student has used his downtime to build a Lego model of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and is now lobbying the toy company to take it to market. Nathan Readioff's design uses existing Lego pieces to replicate all four elements of the LHC -- known as ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb -- and uses cutaway walls to reveal all of the major su
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, chronicling human-made climate change in action, live in the wild.
By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Scientists say they have discovered a black hole so big that it challenges the theory about how they grow. Scientists said this black hole was formed about 900 million years after the Big Bang. "Based on previous research, this is the largest black hole found for that period of time," Dr Fuyan Bian, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian Nat
A new alien planet-hunting tool has found no trace of a brown dwarf more than 100 light-years from Earth, despite evidence that the misfit failed star is eclipsing its partner, a team of puzzled astronomers says. European Southern Observatory's (ESO) new SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research) on the Very Large Telescope didn't find a sign of a brown dwarf — sometimes call
With obesity rates continuing to rise around the globe and the majority of Americans now obese or overweight, it's easy to see that we are losing the battle of the bulge. Aside from isolated areas of improvement where people are, in fact, losing weight — in a city here, a neighborhood there — no country has succeeded in reversing its obesity epidemic. In a series of six critical articles covering
Cosmeticians probably won't agree, but scientists say eyelashes have an optimal length: a third of the width of the eye. "They've been hypothesized to act as sun shades, dust catchers and blink-reflex triggers," said David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
A team of researchers studying insects in Africa has named a newly discovered species of wasp with a distinctive yellow-and-black pattern after Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday. Robert Copeland, a follower of Boston sports and an entomologist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, told the newspaper that the wasp’s yellow an
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - In research that contradicts years of health advice, scientists said on Monday that babies at risk of developing a childhood peanut allergy can avoid it if they are given peanuts regularly during their first 11 months. The study, the first to show that eating certain foods is an effective way of preventing allergy, showed an 80 percent reduction in the prevalence
NASA researchers think they understand why comets have a hard, crispy outside and a cold but soft inside — just like fried ice cream. Two NASA spacecraft have interacted with a comet surface, and both found a crunchy exterior and somewhat softer, more porous interior. They think they can explain the process that makes a comet not unlike a flying hunk of fried ice cream. To create amorphous ice,