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5 Things You Need to Know About Maple Syrup
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
On pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and more, Americans love maple syrup. In 2015, 3.4 million gallons of the sweet stuff were produced in the U.S. The rich flavor is one reason why it's so popular, bu...
Drug Discount Programs Can Save You Big on Generics
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
More than one-third of Americans use generic drug discount programs­­­­, which offer medication at low prices. Some provide hundreds of generics for just a few dollars per 30-day supply. The prog...
Astronomy Rewind sifts through old pictures to find new cosmic perspectives
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new project called Astronomy Rewind is recruiting citizen scientists to bring decades-old cosmic images back from the dead and restore them to their rightful place. It’s the latest offering from Zooniverse, a crowdsourcing platform that got its start a decade ago with Galaxy Zoo and has since branched out into the search for Planet Nine, worlds around distant stars, exotic subatomic particles and much, much more. Astronomy Rewind pulls together scanned images and maps from American Astronomical Society journals that go back to the 19th century, and invites volunteers to classify them by category. With the assistance of an automated… Read More
Rep. Nunes' charge of Trump team surveillance – why it's key
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
A number of former top National Security Agency (NSA) officials were standing around Friday, chatting prior to an academic conference in Washington. Talk turned to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R) of California, whose panel has been investigating Russian interference in the US election, and his charge this week that President Trump’s transition team had been subject to surveillance by US intelligence. The charge, and the fact that Representative Nunes conveyed that information to Mr. Trump before making it available to his panel, caused a sensation after a drumbeat of testimony that there was no evidence to support Trump’s explosive accusation that he had been subjected to wiretapping at the direction of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Readers write: Immigration path, talent at home, science knowledge
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Regarding the Feb. 22 editorial, “Trump’s mixed message on immigration: An opening for a deal?” (CSMonitor.com): Three cheers for the Monitor editorial staff. Immigration was not my priority issue. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Why Did This Supermassive Black Hole Leave Its Galactic Core?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Weighing more than 1 billion suns and about 8 billion light-years away, the black hole was likely kicked out of its place by gravitational waves with energy equivalent to 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously.
Defense argues no forensic evidence ties woman to mom's murder: Part 4
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Noura's blood was not at the crime scene. And Jennifer's blood was not on Noura," says defense attorney Valerie Corder.
Bad breath: Study find array of bacteria when orcas exhale
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new study identifies an array of bacteria and fungi in the exhaled breath of endangered orcas in the northeast Pacific Ocean
Man carrying a sword, dressed as Joker arrested in Virginia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia have arrested a man who was dressed as comic book villain the Joker and reportedly carrying a sword.
New Zealand quake study reveals ruptures can be much bigger than we thought possible
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Research into the 2016 Kaikoura quake revealed a domino effect that could change our understanding of seismic events worldwide.
Do Spiders Have A Romantic Personality?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
These spiders all have different ideas of what constitutes romance.
'Rogue' national park Twitter account wasn't so rogue after all, emails show
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Ever since the National Park Service's main Twitter account appeared to "go rogue" on President Donald Trump's inauguration day, people have been using the department and its various park-specific social media accounts as a rallying point in the anti-Trump resistance.  However, according to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, that's not the full story. SEE ALSO: Twitter users finding hope in 'badass' national parks The emails show that staff at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area were actually coloring inside the lines of their guidance from the Trump administration when the park's official Twitter account tweeted climate change facts on Jan. 23, three days after the inauguration.  2016 was the hottest year on record for the 3rd year in a row. Check out this @NASA & @NOAA report: https://t.co/rLJUC56xqi pic.twitter.com/AKhFzYw6l6 — Golden Gate NPS (@GoldenGateNPS) January 23, 2017 Based on a review of Park Service emails concerning social media policies during the presidential transition, at the time the tweets were sent, there didn't appear to be specific guidance directing the park not to tweet about this subject.  "As far as I know, there hasn't been any guidance related to avoiding that subject sent out from us or NRSS [the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate]," National Park Service public affairs specialist Amber Smigiel wrote in an email sent on Jan. 23. Users on Twitter didn't know that at the time, however. The tweets came amid news of a social media gag order imposed at the Environmental Protection Agency and rumors of similar communication bans at other agencies as the Trump team moved in.  In addition, the Trump administration's new White House website had omitted climate change from its list of priorities, which made the Park Service tweets stand out even more. @GoldenGateNPS @Only1marcia @NASA @NOAA We need to preserve and get these out quickly before they are deleted. Employees are risking jobs! — Thomas Almirall (@DRUMR48) January 24, 2017 @GoldenGateNPS @NASA @NOAA pic.twitter.com/Lx1YApG5yH — NastyWoman (@outdoorgirl_27) January 24, 2017 @GoldenGateNPS @NASA @NOAA Thank you for your service. We will fight for you. — Greg van Eekhout (@gregvaneekhout) January 24, 2017 Thanks to its tweets on climate change, Golden Gate was hailed as a beacon of resistance shining from within the federal government itself alongside Badlands National Park's Twitter account. Rallying around the Park Service makes sense, too, considering other concurrent events.  The service itself was on-edge after the department's main Twitter account retweeted two seemingly anti-Trump posts related to the size of the crowd attending the inauguration.  Those tweets sparked a full investigation into the matter and a sweeping order to stop tweeting from official accounts across the agency. The Park Service's crowd size estimate of the inauguration even prompted a highly unusual call from Trump himself to the agency's acting director the morning after the inauguration. But things didn't quite calm down for the service after those initial retweets were deleted and the Twitter moratorium was lifted on Jan 21.  Effectively, the floodgates opened and Twitter users across the social network started reading intent into tweets that would have been relatively innocuous if not for Trump's inauguration. Twitter users were also primed for this kind of reaction thanks to the reported gag orders at other government agencies. Using tweets to peek inside government While the tweets sent by Golden Gate do appear to be in line with other posts sent out from the account before the inauguration, under the current administration, they appeared to troll a new president who has famously claimed that climate change is a hoax.  Plus, to make matters worse, the Badlands National Park Twitter account also tweeted out information about climate change, yet its tweets were deleted on Jan. 24.  Deleted tweets from Badlands National Park on Jan. 24. Image: twitter It's unclear exactly what separated the tweets from Badlands from Golden Gate and why the Badlands tweets were removed. We might get more clarity on that in the coming weeks when a set of Badlands-specific emails are expected to be released.  But emails released this week make it clear that even people in the agency weren't exactly sure what to expect of the new administration. One exchange between National Park Service employee Matt Holly and Smigiel is indicative of the fraught transition between administrations.  In an email sent on Jan. 23, Holly, who works in the NRSS, explained that going forward, Park Service staff would need to be even more diligent about shying away from advocacy on topics like climate change. "There were a couple times I knew I was pushing it but felt like we had that support for wiggle room in the past," Holly wrote. "Now we know we just have to play it slightly safer."  A drastic change in the political climate Holly was right to expect a shift on climate change with the new administration.  Trump's proposed budget guts climate research across the federal government and reduces the Park Service's budget as well, including the agency's climate change programs.  In fact, when the budget was rolled out on March 16, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters that the administration won't spend money on climate anymore. "Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward," Mulvaney told reporters on March 16. "We're not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money." Our national parks represent some of the places in the United States that are most vulnerable to the worst effects of human-caused climate change. As glaciers retreat and sea levels rise, they threaten the national parks and other areas maintained by the National Park Service. For example, Glacier National Park in Montana is not expected to contain actual glaciers by the middle to end of this century, due to increasing temperatures. WATCH: Mick Mulvaney on climate change.
Stephen Hawking appears as hologram in Hong Kong
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has spoken to a Hong Kong audience by hologram, showcasing the growing reach of a technology which is making inroads into politics, entertainment and business. The British scientist appeared Friday before an audience of hundreds who cheered and snapped pictures with their phones as he discussed his career and answered questions about the possibility of life on other planets, the use of technology in education and the impact of Brexit on Britain. The 75-year-old said the election of US President Donald Trump was one in a string of "right-wing successes" that would have grave implications for the future of scientific innovation and discovery.
8 Answers to Key Questions After the GOP Pulls Its ACA Replacement Plan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
All the concerns about what would happen if GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act became law have been replaced by a new one: What happens now that Republicans have scrapped the legislation...
SpaceX and NASA Are Looking for Places to Land on Mars
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
SpaceX and NASA Are Looking for Places to Land on Mars
Scientists use graphene to power 'electronic skin' that can feel
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have found a way to power an experimental kind of electronic skin using solar energy in a further step towards the development of prosthetic limbs or robots with a sense of touch. Teams around the world are working to develop flexible versions of synthetic skin that can feel by mimicking the different kinds of sensory receptors found in human skin. Powering such systems is a challenge, but now researchers at the University of Glasgow's School of Engineering have developed a way to use graphene, an ultra-thin form of carbon, to generate electricity via solar power.
The Detonation Detectives
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
On the morning of March 6th, local time, at least four missiles were prepped for launch in North Korea. The test launch escalated rising military tensions already heightened by ongoing US and South Korean military exercises. North Korea threatened to retaliate with nuclear weapons if either the US or South Korea fires even “a single flame” inside its borders.
Why Tesla CEO Elon Musk Is Among the World's Greatest Leaders
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Why Tesla CEO Elon Musk Is Among the World's Greatest Leaders
Scientists use graphene to power 'electronic skin' that can feel
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have found a way to power an experimental kind of electronic skin using solar energy in a further step towards the development of prosthetic limbs or robots with a sense of touch. Teams around the world are working to develop flexible versions of synthetic skin that can feel by mimicking the different kinds of sensory receptors found in human skin. Powering such systems is a challenge, but now researchers at the University of Glasgow's School of Engineering have developed a way to use graphene, an ultra-thin form of carbon, to generate electricity via solar power.
When diverse groups interact, everybody ends up smarter and healthier
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A striking fact about the tide of nationalism sweeping through the West is that it is strongest in places with the least diversity. Supporters of Donald Trump, and his “America first” policies, generally come from areas of the US least touched by immigration. The parts of the UK that opted to “take back control” by…
Republicans stand behind Paul Ryan after he fumbles first big vote
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted in a surprisingly candid Friday press conference that his caucus was experiencing “growing pains” that caused him to fall short of delivering long-promised votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” Ryan told reporters. It was a stunning admission from the leader of a party that has been promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act for seven years and now controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
Trump publicly stands by Ryan despite rumored discord
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Despite reports that the White House planned to blame House Speaker Paul Ryan for the failure of the Republican health care bill, President Trump publicly praised the speaker’s handling of the legislation on Friday. Trump’s comments came after it was announced that Republicans would abandon efforts to pass the bill and shortly after Ryan visited the White House. According to a senior Trump administration official, Ryan suggested not holding a floor vote because not enough votes had been mustered to pass the legislation, and Trump agreed.
How Washington, D.C., is using social media to bring back missing children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
On Tuesday, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D) Louisiana, who is the Congressional Black Caucus chairman, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) of the District of Columbia sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey. While the number of missing youths in the District hasn’t dramatically increased, local police Commander Chanel Dickerson has become more vocal about the cases when they occur, increasingly using social media to spread the word when kids go missing – an important first step toward getting them back.
House Pulls GOP Health Insurance Bill, but Some Changes Already Are Underway
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Even though the GOP for the second day in row decided against putting its health insurance plan up for a vote in the House, major changes to health insurance already are afoot. “The Trump adminis...
Digital rights report hits Apple for its secrecy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
A new report scoring tech companies’s support for digital rights comes to some surprising conclusions. It ranks Google (GOOG, GOOGL) above Apple (AAPL), puts AT&T (T) atop telecommunications firms and even says some modestly nice things about firms in China and Russia.
Artificial Intelligence: The Park Rangers of the Anthropocene
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In Australia, autonomous killer robots are set to invade the Great Barrier Reef. Their target is the crown-of-thorns starfish—a malevolent pincushion with a voracious appetite for corals. To protect ailing reefs, divers often cull the starfish by injecting them with bile or vinegar. But a team of Australian scientists has developed intelligent underwater robots called COTSBots that can do the same thing. The yellow bots have learned to identify the starfish among the coral, and can execute them by lethal injection.
Drones are revolutionising dinosaur research by mapping giant footprints by air
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Along the northwest Australian coast lies a dinosaur highway. With the Indian Ocean eating away at the rock, the red cliffs of the Kimberley have revealed hundreds of prehistoric footprints. Two-legged theropods and big-bodied sauropods, among other groups, walked this patch of Earth around 130 million years ago.  Armed with drones and hand-held laser scanners, scientists are mapping the heavy tracks they left behind. SEE ALSO: It's time to start thinking about cybersecurity for sharks. Yes, the fish. Anthony Romilio works in the Vertebrate Palaeontology and Biomechanics Lab at the University of Queensland. He and his team have created 3D models of track sites using a combination of high-resolution aerial photography and lidar — a way of measuring depth with laser light — gathered by hand, drone and light aircraft. Publishing their digital approach in the journal PeerJ in March, Romilio and his team developed the high-tech method in response to the significant environmental challenges of mapping the coastal footprints. The team in the field. Image: Damian Kelly Traditionally, such tracks are recorded by photography and drawing an outline of the footprint by hand, usually over a sheet of plastic — a time-consuming procedure. Combing the data captured by plane, drone and hand-held devices, the team were able to build a data-rich virtual 3D model of the landscape more rapidly and with higher fidelity. That's important, because as well being remote, the tracks lie under water most of the time. There's also the expense of outlining each print individually: The potential site is vast, covering around 100 kilometres (62 miles) of coast.  The digital maps also reveal a new level of detail about the prints themselves. "You may think it's the track of a dinosaur, but after you do some 3D modelling, you'll be able to confirm what kind of dinosaur it was, if it was moving in a particular manner, or whether or not it's a dinosaur track at all," Romilio explained. A Megalosauropus broomensis print found in Minyirr, Western Australia. Image: ROMILIO ET AL 2017 The data is important because we have little record of the dinosaurs that lived on the Australian continent during the early Cretaceous period. It also helps scientists understand the ecology of the area, as well as clues about the habits and abundance of the dinosaurs themselves. "We can get a good idea of the size of the animals, if they travelled in herds, their speed," he said. "We can build up a more detailed picture of their actual behaviour." Given the ocean is constantly eroding the site, their 3D record is also a tool for digital conservation. After gathering this dinosaur data from more than 70 track sites, Romilio now plans to analyse it in greater detail to see what the results can tell us about these ancient creatures.  Still, it may prove hard to keep him away from the dinosaur coast for long. "When you're on the beach, these are beautiful white sands, the cliff line is a tremendous ochre red, and the ocean a fantastic blue," he said.  "For us to be spending all our days in that is a real treasure ... it's the best place to work, in my opinion." WATCH: Instagram captures stunning electric blue 'sea sparkle' phenomenon
Coral reefs in hot water: study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A spike in water temperature lasting only days bleached all the coral in a South China Sea atoll, and killed 40 percent of the tiny organisms within weeks, researchers reported Thursday. The six degree Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) surge at Dongsha Atoll in June 2015 was produced by a perfect storm of factors: the time of year, a record El Nino, and a rare lull in local winds and waves. Open ocean water temperature in the region was 2 C (3.6 F) above normal.
The History Behind the Long
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Trump administration is planning for the future of the space program by throwing it back to the ’90s. Vice President Mike Pence said this week that President Trump will, “in very short order,” bring back a high-level advisory council on space activities that has been dead for nearly 25 years. The remarks were the first public confirmation by the White House that the administration wants to resurrect the National Space Council, an idea first floated by Trump’s policy advisers a month before he was elected. Pence teased the council at the end of a signing ceremony Tuesday in the Oval Office for the first NASA authorization bill in seven years, a piece of mostly symbolic legislation that lays out the space agency’s long-term directives, like going to Mars.
California air regulators vote to keep tough fuel standards
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — California air regulators voted Friday to keep the state's tough vehicle emissions standards through 2025.
Why Manafort’s offer to cooperate in probe is less than meets the eye
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
WASHINGTON — A surprise offer by Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, to “provide information” to congressional committees investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia may be far more limited than it first appeared, according to congressional sources and others familiar with the matter. “Paul Manafort to Testify Before House Intelligence Panel,” read the headline in the New York Times.
Top Democrats claim ‘victory’ as GOP health bill fails
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
After the GOP replacement for Obamacare was dramatically pulled at the last minute, Democrats took a victory lap, mocking President Trump and claiming a win for their party and the American public.
Five takeaways from Trump’s health care crash and burn
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump’s failure to push a repeal of Obamacare through the House on Friday was a major setback in his first real test as president. Disregard the Chicken Littles who describe the health care failure as the end-all of everything. Trump has only been president for two months.
Dealmaker Trump can’t close the Obamacare deal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump couldn’t close the deal — not even within his own party, not even with Republicans in control of the Congress — to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Trump predicts failure of health care bill will lead to a ‘truly great plan’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Trump spoke to reporters in the Oval Office shortly after news broke that Republican leaders would not hold a floor vote on the bill because they did not have enough votes to pass it. Trump began his remarks by lamenting that Democrats didn’t back this bill.
Hillary Clinton on GOP health bill breakdown: ‘The fight isn’t over yet’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Hillary Clinton praised the efforts of “people in every corner of our country” and then posted tweets about people who have benefited from the ACA.
The coincidences mount, as another Putin critic is shot dead
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
An outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in broad daylight in Kiev Thursday, just two days after a lawyer for the family of a slain Russian whistleblower was injured in a mysterious fall from his fourth-story apartment near Moscow. Denis Voronenkov was a former Russian Communist Party member who’d become increasingly critical of Putin’s policies after fleeing to Ukraine in 2016. As it has after similar incidents, the Kremlin swiftly rejected any suggestion it was involved in Voronenkov’s murder.
Republicans stand behind Paul Ryan after fumbling first big vote
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted in a surprisingly candid Friday press conference that his caucus was experiencing “growing pains” that caused him to fall short of delivering long-promised votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Yeah, were going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” Ryan told reporters. It was a stunning admission from the leader of a party that’s been promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act for seven years and now controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
Trump says Keystone XL will bring thousands of jobs. Promise or pipe dream?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
President Trump formally revived the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, signing the presidential permit that granted TransCanada Corp. the right to cross-border construction on a project with symbolic weight for the future of US climate policy. At a White House event attended by TransCanada chief executive officer Russell Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, Mr. Trump heralded what he called “a new era of American energy policy” that he said would lower costs for US consumers, reduce reliance on foreign oil sources, and create thousands of jobs.
Tillerson's week: How top US diplomat’s ‘big reveal’ offered little clarity
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The event was billed as a counter-ISIS conference, but for Rex Tillerson it was more like a coming-out party – with him starring as the diplomatic debutante. With all eyes on the new secretary of state with no formal diplomatic experience, the former ExxonMobil CEO offered the high-level representatives of the 68 countries in the US-led counter-ISIS coalition a bit of insight into his global philosophy and his approach to his new gig.
Cauliflower and Green Onion Mash
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Looking to sneak more veggies into your daily diet? Start swapping cauliflower into your recipes. This recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes has just 93 calories per serving.
What's Missing From Your Heart
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Exercise is considered essential for any heart attack recovery, as well as for anyone who's had heart surgery or has congestive heart failure. Yet doctors aren’t prescribing physical activity for...
LinkedIn is getting a Facebook
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
LinkedIn has a content problem, although not quite the content problem you might think. For LinkedIn, it’s a smart move, albeit a late one, given Facebook’s (FB) own Trending section has been available to users for well over two years now. In my own personal experience toggling between the two, I found the topics and news stories suggested by LinkedIn better catered to my interests and ultimately more useful.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: The best Android tablet will cost you a lot
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is a direct shot at Apple’s iPad Pro. Apple’s (AAPL) original iPad was the standard-bearer for tablets. Straight-up tablets are falling out of style, as consumers increasingly turn toward productivity laptop-tablet hybrid devices like, well… the $599 iPad Pro.
Watch the moment an Amazon drone delivers sunscreen for the first time
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Amazon has taken another small autonomous step toward drone delivery.  The company completed its first public United States delivery using one of its Prime Air delivery drones at a robotics conference in California on Monday, within the airspace of the Palm Springs Airport. SEE ALSO: Forget taxis; Dubai wants to fly you around in passenger drones The drone lands in a field, drops off a four-plus pound box of sunscreen bottles, and buzzes back up into the sky. Amazon's first drone delivery took place late last year in the United Kingdom, where regulations are a bit more drone-friendly. The drone delivered an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn.  But Amazon did conduct its U.S. delivery with the FAA's help, which demonstrates coordination and communication on at least some level.  Several legislatures in the U.S. are slowly coming around to robotics. Earlier this month, Virginia passed legislation that allows robots to roam around on sidewalks delivering packages.  Though Amazon doesn't seem to have a plan for ground-based drone delivery, they voiced support for Virginia's move. For them, the greater acceptance of autonomous delivery, the better.  WATCH: Use Jedi mind tricks to command this drone
It's time to start thinking about cybersecurity for sharks. Yes, the fish.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In 2015, three scientists sent an anguished note to the journal Conservation Letters.  Anti-shark paranoia was settling over Western Australia, and the state government had issued a controversial kill order. Scientists said the cull's safety benefits were unproven and could potentially hurt recovering populations of white sharks. Worse, they claimed at least one shark marked for death was located only because it had been acoustically tagged by researchers. The policy was eventually abandoned, but it highlighted an important point: Fitting animals with transmitters so scientists can track their every movement may also leave them vulnerable. Technology that's ostensibly there to help these species thrive can actually be used against them. SEE ALSO: What would animals say if tech let them talk? Nothing good, probably. Steven Cooke, director of the Institute of Environmental Science at Canada's Carleton University, wants researchers to start thinking about these unintended consequences.  The lead author of a recent paper about the potential risks of animal tracking in Conservation Biology, he admitted there's been little data collected on the topic. Nevertheless, the research is a "call to action," Cooke said.  Tracking technology has been good for science, but there are risks, too. Whether it's the government demanding the whereabouts of predators or poachers looking to hunt endangered species, scientists must ensure animal tracking data doesn't fall into the wrong hands. A satellite-linked transmitter is visible on the dorsal fin of L87, an orca from the southern resident group of killer whales, while swimming in Puget Sound in view of a state ferry west of Seattle. Image: Uncredited/AP/REX/Shutterstock Getting the technology in order Tracking technology offers a wealth of information about an animal's habits and movements — datasets that might be valuable to poachers as well as scientists. Advanced Telemetry Systems (ATS) in Minnesota is one of several global companies that makes animal tracking tags.  "We put transmitters on bees, crayfish, just about any kind of fish out there," said Joseph Allen, a sales manager at ATS. "Any kind of bird besides sea birds, large wildlife — anything." At ATS, there are two main tracker types, he explained: VHF tracking and GPS tacking.  The first allows researchers to use a radio scanner to hear and locate an animal that's been fitted with a tag. The second employs satellite tracking to locate animals wearing GPS tags or collars. Typically, this GPS information is stored on a secure website. Veterinary teams monitor the condition of a tranquilized wild elephant in Kenya so it can be fitted with a GPS-tracking collar to monitor migration routes and to help prevent poaching. Image: Ben Curtis/AP/REX/Shutterstock While rare, both forms of tracking may allow animals to be hunted down by people with bad intentions. "[VHF tracking] would be relatively easy for anybody who has a radio receiver to try and find an animal that way," Allen admitted. "It's not very difficult."  It's so easy, in fact, that Parks Canada banned the use of radio receivers in a number of mountain parks in 2016, CBC reported, after photographers were apparently using them to track down collared elk and bears. While the GPS information is harder to access, it's not impossible. In one infamous 2013 case, hackers reportedly tried to access the email of one Indian researcher in order to pinpoint the location of an endangered Bengal tiger wearing a GPS collar. Still, Allen said the hacking of animal tracking data was not something his team was too concerned about. ATS has not been fielding concerned calls from customers about intercepted radio signals, either. "I'm sure it's probably happened, but we don't know of any particular instances that we've been informed about," he said. Protecting the data Once an animal's location has been collected from the field, it's only passed the first safety hurdle. Just who can see an animal's tracking data is something Rob Harcourt thinks about. He leads the Integrated Marine Observing System's (IMOS) animal tracking facility in Australia. A government-funded group, IMOS assists with "the tagging of any species people want to tag."  He helped author that 2015 letter about the fate of tagged sharks in Western Australia, and at IMOS, the incident prompted the group to take new steps to protect shark data. Typically, IMOS data is publicly available, but the group recently introduced a "protected" category that keeps that location information hidden from all but a few select people. A pair of seven and a half week old Golden Eagle chicks sit on their nest after being GPS satellite tagged at a remote nest site near Loch Ness on June 27, 2015 in the Highlands, Scotland. Image: Getty Images "It's in the database, but no one can see it apart from the owner of the tags, and that is to protect sensitive species which might be under threat," Harcourt explained. "It's only been enacted once, and that was for the white shark." "There are certain circumstances where not everybody behaves responsibly," he added. "So we were trying to protect animals from unethical behavior by particular groups." Ultimately, Cooke wants researchers to start thinking about things like encryption and other forms of data security: "We often demand data be shared and details of study sites to be revealed — this needs to be balanced with risk." His message is that tagging is a vital research tool for scientists. Cooke just aims to make it safe for animals, too. WATCH: This gene-editing technology has the potential to bring back the woolly mammoth
Elon Musk Slams President Trump's Mars Plans
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars."
Spacewalk a success for French, US astronauts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A French and an American astronaut floated outside the International Space Station Friday on a successful spacewalk to upgrade the orbiting outpost for the arrival of future space crews. Outfitted in bulky white spacesuits, helmets and gloves, France's Thomas Pesquet, 39, and American Shane Kimbrough, 49, completed their work right on schedule, after six hours and 34 minutes in the vacuum of space. "Another great example of international collaboration and the work that we can do when we get a great team like this together," said Jessica Meir, a NASA astronaut who coordinated the spacewalk from mission control in Houston.
Stephen Hawking gave a speech via hologram. Again.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking spoke in Hong Kong on Friday — only he wasn't actually present for the speech.  The world-renowned physicist actually gave his speech live via hologram for the 90-minute lecture about his life and work. He was beamed in for his lecture from the UK.  SEE ALSO: Could mini black holes power Earth? Stephen Hawking thinks so "Hawking spoke about the human mind, societal trends and issues such as education and science and technology research and funding, as well as what the future holds in light of current affairs," according to a press release about the event. If you can believe it, this isn't the first time the famous scientist has given a speech via hologram.  Hawking in front of a greenscreen. Image: ARHT MEDIA/PAUL DUFFY A hologram of Hawking was also used for a speech before a crowd at the Sydney Opera House in 2015.  The hologram-creating technology — developed by ARHT Media — makes use of a greenscreen and internet connection. You don't need 3D glasses to see the hologram, making the experience that much more immersive.  Hawking was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21 years old. He is now wheelchair bound and uses a voice assistant. He is known in the scientific community for his breakthroughs in black hole science.  WATCH: Stephen Hawking, Russian billionaire launch $100 million search for extraterrestrial life
Enjoying a tipple can reduce the risk of some heart conditions, but not all, says new research
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new large UK study has found that moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of some -- but not all -- cardiovascular diseases. Carried out by researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London, the study investigated a possible association between alcohol consumption and 12 cardiovascular diseases. Although a moderate intake of alcohol has been linked previously with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared with abstinence or heavy drinking, some believe that previous research is flawed.