Category: Science

Science

Satellite readings track how climate change is thinning out mountain glaciers

This map shows the elevation change of Mount Rainier glaciers between 1970 and 2016. The earlier observations are from USGS maps, while the recent data use the satellite stereo imaging technique. Glacier surface elevations have dropped more than 40 meters (130 feet) in some places. (University of Washington Photo / David Shean) Elevation readings captured…

Science

Archaeologists are mystified by ancient “gates” in Saudi lava fields

Google Earth For almost a century, aerial photographers have been documenting mysterious, millennia-old structures built from low walls of stone in the rocky lava fields, known as harrat, in Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. This desert region, blistered with volcanic mounds, is nearly devoid of life. But seen from above, the barren ground is covered…

Science

The World Anti-Doping Agency Is Cracking Down On Gene-Editing In Sports

The promise of gene therapy has the potential to drastically limit the impact of human disease by altering the make-up of the body’s cells to fight back against deadly invaders. If used recreationally, though, gene therapy could also expand the physical limits of human strength and endurance. Like high-tech steroids,… Read more…

Science

Dogs Make Facial Expressions, But Only When They've Got an Audience

Some dog owners claim to be able to read the face of their cuddly canine like a book, but it’s completely possible they’re just projecting. New research suggests it’s not just their imagination, and that dogs really do switch on the puppy eyes —but only in the presence of a captive audience. Read more…

Science

50-year-old research issue still biting biologists

Enlarge / HeLa cells, long after it was apparent they were trying to take over the world. (credit: Tom Deerinck/NIH ) Normally, news involves something that is, as the name implies, new. But this week, attention was given to a problem in biology that is anything but new. There have been decades of warnings that researchers…

Science

EPA says it won’t cut biofuel quotas after corn states push back

Enlarge / Ethanol Plant, Milton, Wisconsin. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images) In an October 19 letter to corn-belt lawmakers, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said that he won’t seek any rollback to biofuel blending rules, according to Reuters . The agency had been considering some changes to rules…

Science

Big brains come with big social groups in whales and dolphins

Enlarge (credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare ) Why are humans so smart? We must have evolved in an environment that made more intelligent individuals likely to survive. But this just raises new questions: what factors in the environment could have created an evolutionary pressure for intelligence? And how have other species that faced similar pressures…

Science

NASA chooses not to tell Congress how much deep space missions cost

How much will the second flight of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft cost? We don’t know. (credit: NASA) This week, the US Government Accountability Office reported on progress the space agency is making to prepare the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and launch systems at Kennedy Space Center for future missions. NASA…

Science

Nightmare fuel: Trapped in airplane seat crawling with bedbugs

Enlarge / Bed bug feeding on a human. (credit: Getty | VW Pics ) British Airways has apologized to a Canadian family who reported being feasted upon by a pack of bedbugs during an overnight flight from Vancouver to London earlier this month, CTV Vancouver reported . Szilagyi posted pictures of bites on her daughter’s…