Science + Technology

Science + Technology
3:22 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A Year On Mars: What's Curiosity Been Up To?

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars, plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:55 am

Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.

Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.

Read more
Science + Technology
4:30 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

A nematode worm glows as it nears death in this screenshot from a YouTube video showing the work of researchers in London.
Wellcome Trust YouTube

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 7:50 pm

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:17 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Our Once And Future Oceans: Taking Lessons From Earth's Past

Changes to the acidity of the Earth's ancient oceans affected the coral reefs more than 50 million years ago. And researchers are using that information to try to predict how the planet might fare in our rapidly changing climate. Above, the Wheeler Reef section of the Great Barrier Reef.
Auscape UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:48 pm

One of the most powerful ways to figure out how the Earth will respond to all the carbon dioxide we're putting into the atmosphere is to look back into the planet's history.

Paleontologists have spent a lot of time trying to understand a time, more than 50 million years ago, when the planet was much hotter than it is today. They're finding that the news isn't all bad when you take the long view.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:03 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Jack Longino, 'The Astonishing Ant Man,' Finds 33 New Species

A side view of the new ant species Eurhopalothrix zipacna. Mounting glue and paper appear beneath the ant, one of 33 new species discovered in Central America by Jack Longino, a biologist at the University of Utah.
John T. Longino University of Utah

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:01 pm

While many of us spend our working days staring into an electronic box or dozing at meetings, there are some who prefer to crawl through tropical rain forests. People like "the astonishing ant man."

That's what his students call Jack Longino. Longino started out collecting stamps in his childhood, but that got boring fast. Man-made things just didn't thrill, so Longino decided to "get small."

As in: "If you're shopping for a home entertainment system," he says, "you can't do better than a good dissecting microscope."

Read more
Science + Technology
3:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Beyond .Com: Some See Confusion In Internet Domain Expansion

Suffixes like .org, .net and .com are the most common on the Internet today. But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which governs Web names, plans to add some 1,400 more, some ending in Arabic or Chinese characters.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:23 am

Starting this fall, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, will begin rolling out 20 new suffixes, or top-level domains, every week. This will create new entrepreneurial opportunities, says ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade.

"Diversity to the domain name system is coming," he says.

Read more
Science + Technology
10:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Genetically Modified Organisms: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

An Argentine farmer stands by his field of trangenic soy, designed for resistance to drought and salinity.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:04 am

Rarely is the relationship between science and everyone so direct as it is in the case of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in particular foods. It is one thing to turn on your plasma TV or talk on your iPhone; it is an entirely different proposition to knowingly ingest something that has been modified in the lab.

Read more
Science + Technology
10:43 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Black Holes + Wormholes = Quantum Answers

An artist's impression shows the area around a supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. Could a wormhole connect one black hole to another elsewhere in the Universe, creating an entangled pair?
M. Kornmesser ESO

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 9:37 pm

If physicists had a holy grail it would go by the name of Quantum Gravity.

Read more
Science + Technology
11:03 am
Tue July 30, 2013

What It's Like To Drop 150,000 Feet Straight Down

YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 1:55 pm

If I say "meet me 28 miles from here," that doesn't seem very far, right? You could take a taxi, a bus; if pushed you might even make it on a bike.

But what if the 28 miles is not on a road or a highway, but straight up, 150,000 feet — that's high. So high, we're out of the life zone. Up in the silence.

Read more
Science + Technology
3:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Massive Solar Plant A Stepping Stone For Future Projects

The Ivanpah solar project in California's Mojave Desert will be the largest solar power plant of its kind in the world.
Josh Cassidy KQED

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:33 pm

The largest solar power plant of its kind is about to turn on in California's Mojave Desert.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will power about 140,000 homes and will be a boon to the state's renewable energy goals, but it was no slam dunk. Now, California is trying to bring conservationists and energy companies together to create a smoother path for future projects.

Read more
Science + Technology
4:29 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Conservationists Call For Quiet: The Ocean Is Too Loud!

The beaked whale is one of the most vulnerable of all whale species to underwater noise pollution.
Robin Baird/Cascadia Research

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 6:24 pm

Just about everything that we do in the water makes noise. When we ship goods from country to country, when we explore for oil and gas and minerals, when the military trains with explosives or intense sonar systems — the noise travels.

But these man-made noises are making it impossible for sea creatures to communicate with themselves, something that is integral to their survival. Michael Jasny, the director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says we have to quiet down.

Read more
Science + Technology
9:37 am
Fri July 26, 2013

LOOK: Cassini's Version Of 'The Pale Blue Dot'

In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:32 pm

Cassini — the NASA spacecraft orbiting Saturn — has beamed back a picture of what Earth looks like from its perspective.

Earth and all its trillions of creatures are seen as a speck of light — lower right — in the vastness of space. What's more, Cassini captures Earth while also capturing Saturn's rings. It is spectacular:

NASA explains:

Read more
Science + Technology
3:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 11:49 am

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

Read more
Science + Technology
2:24 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The World's Oldest Known Calendar Discovered In Scotland

The moon is one of the most obvious natural indicators that the passing of time follows a pattern and can be tracked in a useful way.
Bill McKelvie iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 1:11 pm

In general terms, there are two eras that characterize the 200,000 years or so of human presence on Earth: first, and for most of this time, the hunter-gatherers, nomadic groups that roamed the land in search of food and shelter. Then came what we call "civilization," product of the fixation of larger groups around fertile areas. Presumably, the first were the Natufians some time around 10,000 BCE, along the swath of land between Israel and Jordan.

Read more
Science + Technology
6:16 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Nevada Wildfire Could Snuff Out A Rare Butterfly

The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is a rare species found only in a few small areas high up in Nevada's Spring Mountains.
Corey Kallstrom USFWS

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:10 pm

A big wildfire in a mountain range just west of Las Vegas has put at risk the Mount Charleston blue butterfly, a rare species found in the U.S.

The fire is dying down, but it may be weeks before experts can get to the remarkable area where this butterfly lives to see if it made it through.

Read more
Science + Technology
11:07 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Getting Cozy With Baby Butterflies ... So Cozy, They Whisper A Wriggly Secret

YouTube

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:00 am

Read more
Science + Technology
6:21 am
Sun July 21, 2013

High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs

Hey, isn't that ...? New facial recognition software is designed to help store employees recognize celebrities like Mindy Kaling — and other bold-faced names.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 3:33 pm

When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.

"I hadn't watched The Office," Twisselman says. Kaling both wrote and appeared in the NBC hit.

Read more
Science + Technology
5:34 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Lunar Park For The U.S.?

The moon, seen from the International Space Station, on July 31.
NASA

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:50 pm

Can astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's "giant leap for mankind" be permanently preserved? Two House Democrats want to do just that: They proposed a bill to create a national historic park for the Apollo 11 mission — on the moon. The legislation would designate a park on the moon to honor that first mission, as well as preserve artifacts from other lunar missions

Read more
Science + Technology
3:52 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Look Up And Smile: NASA's Taking More Photos Of Earth

That little blue dot is how Earth will likely appear in a photo shot from a spacecraft that is studying Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech simulation

As Robert Krulwich says, "it's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it — all trillions of us on Earth."

Read more
Science + Technology
11:47 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

YouTube

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:40 am

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right speed to create rises and dips that caused the clouds to curl in on themselves and crash, just like waves on a beach.

Read more
Science + Technology
10:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Thirsty? 'Sweat Machine' Turns Perspiration Into Drinking Water

The Sweat Machine was unveiled as part of a UNICEF campaign promoting safe drinking water.
UNICEF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:53 am

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.

The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.

Read more

Pages