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Yahoo! News: Science 

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

By 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. ...

Fixing 'Ebolanomics' in pursuit of vaccines and drugs

By 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 A

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

By 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 12,0

French entrepreneurs launch test to detect pork in food

By 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 als

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

By 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 behem

Century-Old Notebook from Legendary Antarctic Expedition Found

Hidden 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

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

Shortly 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 al

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 study

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 Observator

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

The 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 separatio

Swiss scientists determine comet's 'perfume'

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

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

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. ...

New apps bring kids' playtime back to real world

By 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. Tangra

Incredible Science and Historical Artifacts Up for Auction

A 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 oper

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 de

Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.

Exclusive: U.S. requests production plans for Ebola drug ZMapp

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. officials have asked three advanced biology laboratories to submit plans for producing the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which ran out after it was given to a handful of medical workers who contracted the disease in West Africa, government and lab officials said on Friday. The "task order" issued on Thursday by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Develo

U.S. requests production plans for Ebola drug ZMapp

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. officials have asked three advanced biology laboratories to submit plans for producing the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, which ran out after it was given to a handful of medical workers who contracted the disease in West Africa, government and lab officials said on Friday. The "task order" issued on Thursday by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Deve

Comet's Mars Flyby Sunday Has Scientists Abuzz

A comet's close shave with Mars this weekend could reveal some key insights about the Red Planet and the solar system's early days, researchers say. "On Oct. 19, we're going to observe an event that happens maybe once every million years," Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, said in a news conference earlier this month. Siding Spring, whose core is 0.5 to 5 miles (0.8 to 8

Are we there yet? Scientists prepare for change of epoch

By Emma Anderson BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists from around the world met this week to decide whether to call time on the Holocene epoch after 11,700 years and begin a new geological age called the Anthropocene - to reflect humankind's deep impact on the planet. For decades, researchers have asked whether humanity's impact on the Earth's surface and atmosphere mean we have entered the Anthropocen

25 Years After Loma Prieta, Earthquake Science Is Transformed

The Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake was America's first widely-shared natural disaster. The TV crews at San Francisco's Candlestick Park soon turned their cameras on the ravaged city, and frightening images poured in of people trapped in crumpled freeways, burning buildings and toppled storefronts. The magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, centered below the Santa Cruz Mountains, shook muc

Saturn moon may have 'life-friendly' underground ocean - scientists

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - Saturn’s battered moon Mimas may have a thin global ocean buried miles beneath its icy surface, raising the prospect of another "life-friendly" habitat in the solar system, scientists said on Thursday. An underground ocean is one of two explanations for why the 400-mile (250-km) diameter moon wobbles as it orbits around Saturn, scientists using data f

Female orgasm: battleground of science?

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hapless lovers are not the only ones who get lost down there: even sexologists can’t agree on what’s what, and where, among women's female parts. At least, that’s according to a father-daughter team of researchers in Italy, Drs. Vincenzo and Giulia Puppo. In a new review October 6 in Clinical Anatomy, Vincenzo, of the Italian Center of Sexology in Bolog

Study: Natural gas surge won't slow global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheap and plentiful natural gas isn't quite a bridge to a brighter energy future as claimed and won't slow global warming, a new study projects.

New Exotic Particle Could Help Explain What Holds Matter Together

A new exotic particle has been hiding out amidst the gobs of data collected by the world's largest atom smasher, physicists have discovered. The new particle, called Ds3*, is a meson — a type of unstable particle made of one quark and one antiquark. They're held together by the strong interaction, or strong force, that is one of the four fundamental forces in nature. To find the new particle, Ti

New Tech Helps Pilots Navigate Dangerous Volcanic Ash Plumes

New technology to detect volcanic ash that threatens airplanes could help prevent a repeat of the air traffic chaos that followed a 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland. With satellites, scientists can detect tiny ash particles, but predicting where aircraft can safely fly is still a major hurdle. "The key issue for us is to develop an integrated monitoring and response system for future volcanic c

Rattlesnake repertoire boosts snake-like robot's skills

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - How do you make a better snake robot? You study snakes, of course. Researchers on Thursday said they conducted experiments to learn precisely how sidewinder rattlesnakes are able to climb sandy hills, then applied the reptiles' repertoire to an existing snake robot so it could do the same thing. The study, published in the journal Science, is an example of how

Scientists find lung cancer can lie hidden for 20 years

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Lung cancer can lie dormant for more than 20 years before turning deadly, helping explain why a disease that kills more than 1.5 million a year worldwide is so persistent and difficult to treat, scientists said on Thursday. Two papers detailing the evolution of lung cancer reveal how after an initial disease-causing genetic fault -- often due to smoking -- tumou

Bright Idea: How Blue LEDs Changed the World

This year's Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three Japanese scientists for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a technology that has touched society in innumerable ways and enabled technologies that Americans take for granted every day. "Blue LEDs made possible the white-light LEDs you can buy in a hardware store and put in your house," said H. Frederick Dylla, executive dir


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