You know what they say: When it rains, it pours — and when it snows in Florida, it hails frozen iguanas. As a so-called bomb cyclone continues lashing the U.S. East Coast with historic cold temperatures, weird weather abounds. Photos posted on social media show the green reptiles lying belly-up and stock-still on lawns, seemingly dead.
The US energy watchdog terminated Monday a key proposal by President Donald Trump's administration to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, finding it neither justified nor reasonable. The decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was handed down in a unanimous verdict by its five members, a majority of whom belong to the president's Republican Party. Energy Secretary Rick Perry had in September proposed providing federal aid to nuclear and coal power plants with at least 90 days' worth of production capacity, arguing the move was necessary to make the national grid more resilient in case of extreme events.
If Winfrey runs, expect to see a continuous loop of clips from Trump’s numerous appearances on her daytime talk show — and never-ending analysis of Trump’s long public friendship with his fellow media billionaire, whom he once said would be his ideal running-mate.
ROME (AP) — Rome's pathetic Christmas tree, so droopy and dried out that residents nicknamed it "The Mangy One," will be carved up and turned into souvenirs and a lactation hut for mothers and babies, city officials said Tuesday.
When South Korea proposed last year that North Korea participate in next month’s Winter Olympics, it hoped to turn the event in its Taebaek Mountains into a “peace Olympics.” Sure enough, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un not only accepted the offer in a New Year’s speech, he agreed to hold talks – which took place for 10 hours on Jan. 9 – with the aim to “defuse military tensions” between the two countries. A sampling of how the February Olympics might play out in Pyeongchang was seen last summer when North Korea’s top athletes for the Olympics, figure skating pair Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik, trained in Canada alongside South Korean skaters for two months.
During his keynote at CES 2018 Monday night, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed two processors: one "Loihi" chip for neuromorphic computing, and Tangle Lake for quantum computing. Intel believes these areas are the future.
Working human muscle has been grown from stem cells in the lab in a breakthrough that holds promise for sufferers of degenerative muscular diseases, scientists said on Tuesday. The team from Duke University in North Carolina said they were the first to achieve this feat using adult skin or blood cells which were "reprogrammed" into a juvenile, versatile state. Like naturally-occurring stem cells found in embryos, they can become any other type of human cell.
Physicists studying atomic spin surprised themselves by discovering that spinning protons bizarrely change direction when they crash into larger particles, like the nuclei of gold atoms. On a pool table, you’d expect a left-spinning cue ball to deflect off to the right after it hits another ball. What the physicists observed would be the equivalent of a left-spinning cue ball acting normally when striking another billiards ball, but deflecting to the left—and way more forcefully—after striking a bowling ball, according to a press release from the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Climate change has been disastrous for coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's also spelling trouble for the more than 200,000 green sea turtles which make the area home, one of the world's largest populations. SEE ALSO: Weather and climate disasters cost the U.S. a record $306 billion in 2017 Researchers are seeing young populations in the Great Barrier Reef turn almost entirely female, according to a study published in
Current Biology. Unlike humans and most other mammals whose development of sex is determined by chromosomes, the sex of reptiles (such as turtles) is determined by an egg's incubation temperature. Warmer temperatures results in a female being born, while cooler temperatures means males. For an exact number of female and males to be born, scientists refer to the pivotal temperature which sits at 29.3 degrees Celsius (84.74 degrees Fahrenheit) for the green sea turtle. But here's the thing: There's a range of only a few degrees separating the possibility of 100 percent males or females. Certainly a concern, as global warming continues. "This research is so important because it provides a new understanding of what these populations are dealing with," the paper's lead author and NOAA marine biologist, Michael Jensen, said in a statement. "Knowing what the sex ratios in the adult breeding population are today and what they might look like 5, 10 and 20 years from now when these young turtles grow up and become adults is going to be incredibly valuable." Image: WWF-AUSThere are two distinct populations of green sea turtles along the Great Barrier Reef. On warmer northern nesting beaches, researchers noted 99.1 percent of juveniles, 99.8 percent of subadults, and 86.8 percent of adults were female. Down in the cooler south, the population was 65 percent to 69 percent female. Left unchecked, the lack of males in future could be detrimental to green sea turtle populations. "First back-to-back mass coral bleaching and now we find that virtually no male northern green turtles are being born," WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said in a statement. "Finding that there are next to no males among young northern green turtles should ring alarm bells, but all is not lost for this important population. Scientists and wildlife managers now know what they are facing and can come up with practical ways to help the turtles." In the case of the endangered loggerhead turtle, Queensland's Department of Environment have experimented with shade cloths help keep nests cool and produce more males. Ultimately, as O'Gorman notes, more needs to be done to achieve ambitious climate change targets — something much of the world is proving to be not good at committing to, so far. WATCH: This robot can plow the snow for you
An Iranian oil tanker ablaze off China's east coast was at risk of exploding or sinking on Monday, as fears grew for 32 missing sailors amid warnings of a potential environmental disaster. The huge fire was still raging Monday morning around the stricken vessel, which had been carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil, some 36 hours after it collided with a cargo ship. Earlier the transport ministry said rescuers trying to locate the crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis were being beaten back by toxic clouds.
Steve Bannon hoped to parlay Trump’s victory in 2016 into a nationwide insurgency against the Republican establishment, backing a slate of primary challengers to sitting senators. But his guerrilla campaign lost a crucial battle in Alabama, and now seems to have collapsed entirely, as Trump has disavowed him in the wake of the “Fire and Fury” book. What happens now to the candidates he was backing?
The vast majority of green sea turtles in the northern Great Barrier Reef are now female because of warmer temperatures due to climate change, which influences their sex during incubation, researchers said Monday. "With average global temperature predicted to increase 4.7 Fahrenheit (2.6 Celsius) by 2100, many sea turtle populations are in danger of high egg mortality and female-only offspring production," said the report. Since figuring out the sex of buried eggs is too difficult, researchers decided to catch sea turtles and use genetic tests to find out where they'd come from.
If you're one of the many casual science observers hoping that mankind will one day discover evidence that life once thrived on Mars, 2017 was a very, very exciting year for you. From derelict alien ships to cannonballs, NASA spotted lots of weird things on the Martian surface last year. It seems 2018 is going to continue the trend, and the Curiosity rover is starting the year strong with the discovery of some incredibly strange "stick-like figures" laying exposed on the planet's dusty surface.
"Each is about a quarter-inch long," NASA explains on the official Twitter account of the Curiosity rover. "Maybe they're crystals? Or they could be minerals that filled spaces where crystals dissolved away. Stay tuned! Science continues."
The odd whitish lines in the tan rock are reminiscent of fossils, and plenty of people both on Twitter and elsewhere are incredibly intrigued. Theories about what the lines represent range from ancient tire tracks or Martian dinosaur bones to "angel poop," but as usual there's a much more realistic explanation waiting to rain on the alien parade.
At present, the most realistic explanation is that the odd lines are simply crystals that formed inside cracks in larger rocks. As erosion took its toll, the hardened crystals remained, withstanding the wind and dust slightly better than the surrounding rock. Today, the crystals stick out from the eroded rock, catching our eye and making us dream of alien worms.
To help give viewers some context, NASA also tweeted out a wider shot of the same feature. As you can see in the surrounding rock, there doesn't appear to be any out of the ordinary about the area, and certainly nothing that would indicate a larger collection of "fossils" or remnants of past life.
Realistically, the odds of finding signs of life on the surface of Mars are very low, and not just because recent research has suggested the planet may have always been hostile to life. Even if Mars was a lush green paradise filled with amazing life forms, that would have been hundreds of millions or even billions of years ago. On a timeline like that, erosion would have long since wiped the planet clean, leaving behind the cold, dusty rock that we see today. Deep underground, however, is another story.
NASA announced the death of pioneering astronaut John Young on January 6. A veteran space traveler, Young was the first astronaut to fly to space six times. John Young suits up for prelaunch test exercises.
"You like me because I'm a scoundrel," interstellar smuggler Han Solo confidently told Princess Leia Organa in the 1981 film "The Empire Strikes Back." And scientists recently discovered a similar preference in bonobos, the great apes that are close relatives of chimpanzees. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are helpful sweethearts compared with their more aggressive chimp cousins (Pan troglogytes). Prior research has shown that bonobos go out of their way to help others, even when their assistance hasn't been requested and they receive no reward for lending a hand.
John Young, a legendary US astronaut who went into space six times, orbited the moon and then walked on its craggy surface, has died, NASA announced Saturday. "NASA and the world have lost a pioneer," agency administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. Young joined Gus Grissom on the Gemini 3 mission, then commanded Gemini 10, the first mission to rendezvous with two other spacecraft during a single flight.