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Sounds of Jupiter sent back by NASA's Juno are oddly familiar
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The spacecraft studying the giant planet picks up some wave signals, and NASA slows them to a frequency humans can hear.
Tech makes dirty water drinkable — with a little help from carbon dioxide
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A multidisciplinary team of researchers have developed a new method of making water drinkable -- by counterintuitively mixing it with carbon dioxide, which is normally considered a pollutant.
Marijuana Extract Reduces Seizures in Kids with Rare Disorder
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A highly anticipated clinical trial has shown that treating patients with epilepsy with a compound derived from marijuana can significantly reduce and, in some cases, eliminate seizures in children and young adults. In the study, children and young adults with a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome who took doses of marijuana extract experienced half as many seizures per month as those who received a placebo.
Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Sleep
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
About a third of Americans already toss and turn. Warming temperatures will spread the insomnia.
On This Day: President John F. Kennedy Asked Congress To Send A Man To The Moon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
JFK was aiming high when he asked Congress to send a man to the moon.
Scientists found a way to turn ordinary clothes into power generators using body movement
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Movement is energy. Anytime you move an object, including your arms or legs, you’re transferring energy to it. That kinetic energy can be turned into other types of energy, which means you could potentially harvest it and turn it into a power source—a dream scientists have been working on for some time. One group of…
Forget Supersonic. Hypersonic Is the U.S. Military’s New Speed
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Pentagon is pushing speeds above Mach 5 for quicker access to space.
Trump's budget cuts West Coast quake warning system funding
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump's budget proposal would cut federal funding for an earthquake early warning system for California, Oregon and Washington state, a development that seismology experts and some local leaders say would be the end of the project.
Sergey Brin is building the world’s biggest aircraft for humanitarian missions and family trips
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Google co-founder Sergey Brin's secret airship will be used for humanitarian missions, but it will also serve as a giant RV in the sky for his friends and family, according to The Guardian. The dirigible, which was first revealed by Bloomberg one month ago, is reportedly going to wind up being the biggest aircraft in the world at 200 meters long. The giant humanitarian sky yacht is being built at Moffett airfield, which is part of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Northern California, where Google’s Planetary Ventures division holds a 60-year lease valued at $1 billion.
Boxing Day Tsunami: Scientists drill deep in ocean to find out why Indonesia earthquake was so deadly
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have long been puzzled about why the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was so devastating, as it didn't unfold as traditional hazard models would have expected. New analyses of the sediments entering the subduction zone have allowed them to come up with a potential explanation. It was accompanied by a huge tsunami – which remains known today as Boxing Day tsunami because it occurred on 26 December.
Survey finds US honeybee losses improve from horrible to bad
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a glimmer of hope for America's ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday.
Ancient Hunter Gatherers And Farmers Had Children Together, Study Finds
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Previous research said the two groups did not intermix.
A Very Confusing Makeup Guide for Field Scientists
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It’s called McMurdo Station, and it’s fully equipped with a bunch of laboratories, three harrowing aircraft runways literally made of ice and compacted snow, a couple of bars, and an interfaith chapel. In the summer, the place is teeming with “field scientists” — folks who trade in their lab coats for immersion survival suits or headlamps or affectionately nicknamed “Big Red” parkas (yup, the same ones you see everywhere on the streets of New York) to investigate what’s happening in the great outdoors. You might not think that field scientists all the way down at McMurdo Station care about how they look.
Sweet Therapy: Chocolate May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Eating chocolate has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, and now a new study from Denmark suggests that regular consumption of the treat may help to prevent the development of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. Researchers found that adults in the study who ate chocolate at least once a month — or more frequently than that — had rates of atrial fibrillation that were 10 to 20 percent lower than those who ate chocolate less than once a month, according to the findings published today (May 23) in the journal Heart. Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's two upper chambers, known as the atria, do not beat at the same pace as the heart's two lower chambers, resulting in an irregular heartbeat.
How whales went from just big to absolutely enormous
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Blue whales are among the biggest creatures on the planet today. But a few million years ago, they were practically petite. Scientists think they know why these whales gained so much weight. Environmental changes likely altered the distribution of whales' food supplies in a way that rewarded gargantuan creatures, a new study found. That likely prompted blue whales to balloon ten-fold, from roughly 10 feet long to their present size of up to 100 feet. SEE ALSO: Dozens of humpback whales have died in the last year and nobody knows why Scientists traced the transformation of whale sizes back nearly 30 million years. They found that very large whales only appeared along several branches of the family tree some 2 million to 3 million years ago, according to a study published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  "We live in a time of giants," Jeremy Goldbogen, an author of the paper and a marine biologist at Stanford University, said in a press release. Baleen whales, the filter-feeding beasts that include blue whales, "have never been this big, ever." Gonna get me some krill.Image: silverback films/bbcGoldbogen and colleagues from the University of Chicago and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History measured more than 140 museum specimens of fossilized whales. Using a statistical model, they found that several distinct lineages of baleen whales developed independently of one another starting around 4.5 million years ago. "...All of a sudden — 'boom' — we see them get very big, like blue whales," Nicholas Pyenson, an author of the paper and the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian, told the New York Times .  "It's like going from whales the size of minivans to longer than two school buses," he said. Their expansion coincided with the early development of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere, which likely changed the distribution of the tiny krill and plankton that whales eat. Up until then, the minuscule prey would've been fairly evenly distributed throughout the ocean. As filter feeders, whales can swallow swarms of crustaceans in a single massive gulp, but they were still only moderately large marine mammals. A blue whale, the largest vertebrate animal ever in the history of life, engulfs krill off the coast of California.Image: silverback films/bbcAs glaciers formed, however, run-off from the new ice caps would've washed nutrients into coastal waters at particular times of the year, boosting food supplies seasonally, instead of year-round. The Earth's cooling poles also affected ocean currents in a way that caused dense patches of prey to become more predominant. This all created a seafood feast for the whales. But it meant they had to travel farther and work harder to find each meal. Being large meant the whales could not only swallow more prey when they found it, but they could also migrate very long distances to sustain that all-you-can-eat feeding style. Researchers said the new findings on ancient whales could shed light on what's happening on the planet today.  Human-caused global warming is accelerating the thinning and retreating of sea ice, causing glaciers to melt at unprecedented rates, and warming and acidifying the oceans — not over the course of millennia, but mere centuries.  "With these rapid changes, does the ocean have the capacity to sustain several billion people and the world’s largest whales?" Pyenson said in a press release. "The clues to answer this question lie in our ability to learn from Earth’s deep past... embedded in the fossil record." WATCH: Man swims and frolics with a orca whale in the wild
Rocket Lab launches orbital
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rocket Lab has made history today, launching an orbital-class rocket to space from a private launch facility for the first time ever. The launch took place at 16:23 NZST (9:23 PM PT) on Thursday, using one of Rocket Lab's Electron rockets which took off from Rocket Lab Complex 1 in New Zealand.While the launch got the rocket up in the air and...
From 'Magic' Mushrooms to Meth: The ER Rates for Drug Users
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Alcohol and marijuana may be the most commonly used recreational drugs in the world, but "magic" mushrooms appear to be the safest, a new survey finds. At the opposite end, the drug that resulted in the most emergency medical treatments was methamphetamine: Nearly 5 percent of the 1,500 people who reported using it said they wound up needing treatment, the Global Drug Survey found. The Global Drug Survey is a London-based research group that's focused on making drug use safer.
Boeing teams up with DARPA to create a new spaceplane
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The plane maker and secretive government agency are teaming up to make shooting satellites into orbit more like catching a flight home for the holidays, if your layover were in space, that is.
Monstrous cyclones churning over Jupiter's poles
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Monstrous cyclones are churning over Jupiter's poles, until now largely unexplored
In "Massive Fail," Dying Star Mysteriously Reborn as Black Hole
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A massive, dying star that astronomers thought would explode has instead quietly collapsed into a black hole. The event, which NASA calls a “massive fail,” could be a more common pattern for giant stars than astronomers previously suspected. Referred to as the “Fireworks Galaxy” for the frequent supernovae—explosions of stars—known to happen there, the star cluster has held NASA’s attention for several years.
'Shape
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers at MIT have been playing with their food in the name of science, concocting a shape-shifting dining experience that could significantly reduce food shipping and packaging costs. The team from MIT’s Tangible Media Group created flat sheets of gelatin and starch that transform into 3D shapes, such as flowers and pasta forms, when submerged in water. “We did some simple calculations, such as for macaroni pasta, and even if you pack it perfectly, you still will end up with 67 percent of the volume as air,” said Wen Wang, a co-author of the research, set to be published in a paper this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2017 Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
How Alcohol & Gut Fungus Team Up to Damage Your Liver
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Heavy drinking can lead to liver disease, but a new study suggests that it's not just the alcohol that damages the liver — fungi that commonly live in the human gut appear to contribute to the disease as well. The study, which involved experiments in both mice and a small number of people, found that consuming alcohol is linked with changes in the types of fungi living in the gut, and that the fungi that tend to be more common in people who drink also worsen the effects of alcohol on the liver. The study is the first to link fungi and liver disease, the researchers said.
Scientists prove that our brains have a little bit of Jedi in them
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Have you ever wished you had Jedi powers? You might think you'll never reach the level of wisdom, power, and grace as those noble warriors from a galaxy far, far away, but a new study suggests that we all have at least one Jedi trait built right into our brains. A group of researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands just published a paper proving that humans have the ability to predict the movement of objects thanks to high-speed visualization techniques that simulate the outcome in our own minds before the movement actually happens. Woah. The study, which was published in Nature Communications, used a simple test consisting of a white dot moving across a black screen. The team used an fMRI to track brain activity, painting a clear picture of the areas of the brain which were observing and learning the pattern. Then, after a short break, the more than two dozen volunteers were hooked back up and shown a similar animation, though this time only the first half of the dot's movement was displayed. However, fMRI data revealed that the brain was actually simulating the dot's full path, having learned it earlier, and it was processing that information twice as fast as when shown the full animation. In short, the brains of the test subjects were running their own visual simulation of what it expected to see, predicting the outcome as though it was watching it actually happen. Scientists believe it's this predictive cognition that aids us in both large and small aspects of everyday life, like catching a dropped set of keys out of midair or knowing exactly when and where a car will pass on the street. Essentially, our brains are predicting these things will happen before they happen, and we're reacting in sync with that prediction, rather than relying solely on our own concrete observation. If "seeing things before they happen" is indeed a Jedi trait, our brains are clearly big Star Wars fans.
Poorly understood Mars landing conditions led to probe’s demise: report
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Europe's Schiaparelli spacecraft came very close to a successful landing on Mars last year, but engineers failed to realize how jarring the probe's parachute descent could be, dooming the touchdown, a report released on Wednesday said. Schiaparelli flew to Mars with the Trace Gas Orbiter, which is studying gases in the planet’s atmosphere from orbit. Its parachute worked as designed, but atmospheric forces at supersonic speed were not well understood, the report, commissioned by the European Space Agency, said.
How the Media Has Failed
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Spotlight Top Pick InVitae Corp (NYSE:NVTA) has seen its stock decline and one culprit was a recently published article “How a cancer test maker started by former Twitter, Google execs hopes to change the world” that has caught the market off guard. Friends, what has happened with Invitae relative to this news story is a wonderful example of all of this. With its $249 test to screen for 30 genes linked to eight hereditary cancers, Color Genomics Inc. has pushed to detect cancer earlier but also take price away as a barrier.
Ancient Bizarre Sea Monster the Size of a Bus Discovered in Russia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The well-preserved 5 foot-long skull of an extinct reptile was first discovered on the bank of the Volga River in 2002, but until now had not been identified as a new species. The fossil belongs to a group of marine reptiles called plesiosaur.
Plasma Jet Engines: Is Flying At 20Km Per Second Possible?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Plasma engines have long been a staple of sci-fi movies, from Star Wars to The Space Between Us, but a recent breakthrough may soon make them a reality
Scientists discover a star that exploded 970 million years ago
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Astronomy amateurs have helped Australian scientists find a star that exploded around 970 million years ago – long before the dinosaurs even roamed the Earth. Such exploding stars are known as supernovae. Although they burn only for a short amount of time, they can tell astronomers a lot about the universe.
These science emoji could appear on your keyboard soon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The tool section of the emoji keyboard boasts an array of knives, a syringe, a water gun, a beeper, a battery, and a bomb. But when it comes to objects you might find in a laboratory, the options are slim to none. Scientists are hoping to change that by proposing a slate of science-specific emoji. If approved, items such as lab goggles, a petri dish, a test tube, and a DNA double helix could join the ranks of things you text your friends. SEE ALSO: Your hairstyle may be getting its very own emoji soon Industrial giant GE and the American Chemical Society last month proposed 10 emoji to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that oversees the official list of these icons. Nine emoji were deemed candidates for the next selection process, meaning all or some of these could hit keyboards in summer 2018. Eight of nine proposed science emoji.Image: GE and american chemical societyNancy Briscoe, an audience development manager at GE, said the emoji were part of a broader effort to make STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields more culturally accepted. "Giving people the right tools to express scientific thought is important to keep the subject relevant and accessible in a fast-paced world," she said in an email. "We think it's important that we all be able to communicate about science more clearly, so why not create (emoji) to aid that process?" Efforts like these could influence more than just our texts. A mainstream cultural embrace of scientists and their work may have political ramifications, as well. In the U.S., the Trump administration has indicated that government-backed research is a low priority, while top officials have met mainstream scientific findings with hostility and skepticism. Just this week, the White House proposed cutting billions of dollars for basic and applied research funding. Image: American Association for the Advancement of ScienceTrump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would cut total research funding by 16.8 percent, or $12.6 billion, below the 2017 omnibus spending bill. No administration appears to have proposed research cuts this deep in more than 40 years, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) said in a preliminary analysis. Scientists say they're worried about losing their jobs or running out of funding to conduct crucial research. In April, thousands of people in the U.S. and worldwide joined the March for Science to urge officials and the public to support fact and reason. A handful of science-themed emoji won't change this. But they could at least begin to demystify and destigmatize science in popular culture. Image: ge and american chemical society  Image: ge and american chemical society"Science is definitely having a moment right now, whether it's ensuring access to proper science education, funding of grants, or advancing certain fields like engineering and aeronautics," Briscoe said. "Because of this, the [emoji] proposal covers a wide range of accessible science objects." The nine proposed emoji aren't the only science-themed icons up for consideration. At the first-ever Emojicon in San Francisco last fall, science enthusiasts and designers submitted formal proposals to Unicode for other planets in our solar system besides Earth, including the not-to-be-forgotten dwarf planet Pluto.  Craig Cummings, vice-chair of Unicode's technical committee, said in November that the planet emoji proposal could be fast-tracked for inclusion in the 2017 summer update, Nature reported. The path for other science emoji is a bit longer. If approved, those icons could be included in the 2018 summer update. WATCH: This adorable emoji python will cure your fear of snakes
Failed computer replaced during U.S. astronauts' spacewalk
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Two U.S. astronauts completed a hastily planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Tuesday to replace a computer that failed on Saturday, NASA said. Station commander Peggy Whitson assembled a new computer from spare parts aboard the station and installed it during a 2.5-hour spacewalk as the orbiting outpost sailed 250 miles (400 km) over Earth. The 50-pound (23-kg) computer, which is about the size of a microwave oven, is one of two that control equipment, including solar power panels, cooling loops, radiators and robotics gear, on the U.S. side of the station.
Saturn’s stunning north pole actually changed colors
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA's Cassini orbiter was the first to deliver a really clear look at the eye-catching, hexagonal storm swirling on Saturn's north pole, so it's only fitting that the craft has now delivered a photo of the peculiar phenomenon that adds a new layer of awe. As part of Cassini's recent photo sweep, the orbiter took a nice long look at Saturn's northernmost point once more and discovered that it has almost completely changed color. How's that for a surprise? Saturn's seasons are really, really long. A single trip around the sun — what we think of as a year here on Earth — takes nearly thirty times as long for Saturn. Like many planets, Saturn's surface undergoes changes as seasons progress and change, and since Cassini has been orbiting the planet since way back in 2004, the craft has had the opportunity to observe a full season, and all the dramatic changes that came with it. http://media.zenfs.com/en_US/News/BGR_News/pia21611_figa_main.gif?itok=eBkkfjGB One of those changes was the increase in what NASA refers to as "springtime hazes." That haze is what makes the planet look a giant ball of blurry clouds, and an increase in haze at the north pole has caused the bluish-green hue of the massive hexagon to transition into a mix of dull brown and tan, with just a hint of green remaining in the very center of its eye. It's a fantastic observation, and a great example of the kind of amazing material we'll be missing out on when Cassini ends its mission later this year.
Will This Miracle Material End All Energy Storage Problems?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When graphene was first isolated, the researchers responsible won The Nobel Prize in physics, and now it is a central candidate for solving global energy storage issues
Biggest exhibit of human
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Ed Stoddard THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND, South Africa (Reuters) - An exhibit of the largest collection of fossils of close human relatives ever to go on public display opened on Thursday in South Africa, not far from the caves where they were unearthed. Launched on "Africa Day" in an area named "The Cradle of Humankind," the exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the widely-held view that humanity's evolutionary roots lay in Africa.
Time Travel and Parallel Universes: a Scientist vs a Literature Professor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Literature professor Simon John James and physicist Richard Bower were both involved in the curating the exhibition, Time Machines–the past, the future, and how stories take us there. Simon John James: Richard, what does the term “time travel” mean for a physical scientist? Richard Bower: Time travel is the basis of modern physics, and, for anyone that looks up at the night sky, an everyday experience.
Correction: Snowy Plover Chick story
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — In a story May 24 about the Western snowy plover, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Oregon requires dogs to be kept on leash in snowy plover nesting areas. The state bans dogs from all active nesting areas.
How Regular Exercise May Make Your Body 'Younger'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Getting regular exercise may help slow the aging of your body's cells, a new study finds. Compared with the people in the study who didn't exercise at all, the highly active people had a "biological age" that was about nine years younger, said study author Larry Tucker, a professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University in Utah. To reap these benefits of exercise, you'd need to spend 30 to 40 minutes running, five days a week, according to the study.
Wild horses could be sold for slaughter in Trump budget plan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
PALOMINO VALLEY, Nev. (AP) — President Donald Trump's budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the U.S. West without the requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won't be resold for slaughter.
First results from Juno mission show surprisingly strong magnetic field and huge polar cyclones
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first scientific results from NASA's mission to Jupiter are already stunning scientists.
Less Than 1 Drink Per Day May Raise Your Breast Cancer Risk
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Women who can't wait to have their glass of wine at the end of the day, take note: A new report concludes that even one small drink daily can raise a woman's risk of breast cancer. The report includes data gathered from more than 12 million women worldwide — 260,000 of whom had breast cancer — during nearly 120 studies. In the report, which was published today (May 23), researchers cut through the clutter of breast cancer studies, and offer a clear set of recommendations to help women reduce their risk of the disease.
New Zealand test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
California-based company Rocket Lab says it has launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn't reach orbit as hoped
Trump's budget screws over climate research, but don't freak out yet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Shots fired.  President Donald Trump may be 6,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, but that didn't stop him from launching an all-out assault on climate science and related energy research. The weapon of choice? His fiscal year 2018 budget proposal. The cuts are staggering in scope, and the consequences are already starting as federal employees and contractors — spooked by the figures out this week — begin job searching in earnest.  SEE ALSO: Trump might pick a non-scientist to be USDA's 'chief scientist' Every single agency that touches climate change research, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the Department of Energy, NASA, and especially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would see sharp reductions and eliminations of climate research programs. NASA project scientist Nathan Kurtz surveys an iceberg locked in sea ice in Greenland.Image: Mario Tama/Getty ImagesWhile the proposal is just the start of negotiations with Congress over a final, enacted budget, it represents the clearest statement yet of Trump's priorities for governing the country.  And those priorities do not put climate change — ranked by other major industrialized and developing countries as one of the top threats facing the world today — high on the list.  According to Mick Mulvaney, the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the administration targeted climate funding for sharp reductions, but he rejected the charge that it's anti-science. “I think the National Science Foundation last year used your taxpayer money to fund a climate change musical. Do you think that’s a waste of your money?” he said, citing a well-worn example from 2014 of wasteful research spending often pointed to by Republican lawmakers who deny the link between human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.  “What I think you saw happen during the previous administration is the pendulum went too far to one side, where we were spending too much of your money on climate change, and not very efficiently,” Mulvaney said at a budget briefing on Tuesday morning.   “We don’t get rid of it here. Do we target it? Sure," he said. "Do a lot of the EPA reductions aimed at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes." "Does it meant that we are anti-science? Absolutely not." Losing our eyes and ears The budget cuts Trump is proposing would leave climate scientists without critical data and would shrivel up the job market for researchers at a time when climate change expertise is more needed than ever.  One budget cut at NASA would hit an instrument meant to improve scientists' ability to monitor the amount of solar radiation entering and exiting the atmosphere, which is a foundational measurement needed for keeping tabs on and projecting climate change.  Tens of thousands of protestors gathered on April 22, 2017  to protest the Trump administration's anti-science moves.Image: LO SCALZO/EPA/REX/ShutterstockAnother would eliminate a mission known as CLARREO-PF, which is a satellite instrument aimed at increasing our understanding of how clouds and particles known as aerosols affect the climate.  This would address one of the biggest uncertainties in climate science, but hey, Trump and his cabinet members do like citing uncertainty as a reason not to act on global warming, so...  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ NASA's overall Earth Science Mission, which helps provide research and observations of our planet, would be cut by nearly 9 percent, including the elimination of five Earth observation missions and an education program aimed at supporting the next generation of space science researchers. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the office responsible for helping restore and protect our coasts in a time of sea level rise would be completely eliminated. The agency's climate research programs, considered to be among the best in the world, would also take a funding cut on the order of 30 percent. The NOAA budget also contains some bizarre cuts that the meteorology community will likely strongly object to, including getting rid of the array of Pacific Ocean buoys that enable forecasters to detect El Niño events, as well as a network of specially-designed ocean instruments to detect destructive tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean before they hit land.  In addition, the NOAA budget would slow the National Weather Service's implementation of more accurate computer models, increasing the gap between U.S. capabilities and those in Europe and elsewhere, which have surpassed this country. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey, would be cut by more than 10 percent. Even before these cuts, the agency has been having trouble maintaining its network of river gauges that the National Weather Service relies on for triggering flood warnings. So just as heavy rains are becoming more common in a warming climate, the number of functioning gauges is declining.  The Energy Department's Office of Science, which funds research in physical sciences and cutting edge computer modeling, would also see a funding decrease of 17 percent.  None of these decreases are small, and all would reverberate across labs scattered across the country and throughout universities that depend on government grants for research funding. Picking the losers as winners The cuts could also fundamentally change the energy landscape, eliminating the government program that helped launch innovative renewable energy companies such as Tesla.   Under former president Barack Obama, the Energy Department turned into a massive venture capital firm dedicated to funding potentially transformational energy technologies. Now Trump is proposing to eliminate that program, known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency: Energy, or ARPA-E. If the current administration has its way, the office would see its budget plunge from $290 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to just $20 million as it is put to rest completely, along with hopes that the next Tesla will crop up in the U.S., and not, say, in China or another economic competitor. But the shift in priorities doesn't end there.  The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would be cut by 70 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2017 levels, a staggering decrease that sets the government up against market trends as solar, wind and battery technologies comprise more and more newly-built electric facilities.  Last one: select S&T agencies and programs, requested changes from omnibus levels. #sciencebudget pic.twitter.com/6HoswXd42R — Matt Hourihan (@MattHourihan) May 23, 2017 Don't worry though, fossil fuels like coal and oil would fare just fine under the budget request. And nuclear power, which has stagnated due to regulatory hurdles and lower natural gas, wind, and solar prices, would get a boost in funds. Here comes the brain drain Major science groups that are normally inclined to avoid partisan combat have already come out and slammed the budget as misguided at best.  Rush Holt, a physicist and former congressman who is the director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said the budget would have a near-term impact on public health and overall science and technology capabilities in America.  "What we see is not just a reduction in government programs, what we see is a failure to invest in America," Holt said on a conference call with reporters. "We’re not just talking about the long-term future either. The harm to public health and to other areas would start to be felt really very soon." @AAAS_GR R&D by character, as a share of GDP. Research funding would hit a 40-year low in 2018. #Science @AAAS_GR pic.twitter.com/btVEj3RxMQ — Matt Hourihan (@MattHourihan) May 23, 2017 According to one AAAS analyst, the only science and technology-related government agency to see a funding increase under Trump's budget is the secretive Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA.  The funding cuts, if they get through Congress as proposed, which is doubtful, would also discourage those seeking to go into science and engineering careers from doing so, as it would eliminate thousands of post-doctoral and career positions.  One contractor who works with the federal government on environmental issues, but asked not to be identified since he is not authorized to speak to the press, told Mashable that he and "many others" he knows have already begun "changing their career plans" as they brace for job cuts. "The ramifications of these cuts – which are below the FY17 omnibus levels – will have significant impacts on the health and welfare of the nation," Chris McEntee, the executive director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union, which is the world's largest organization of Earth scientists, said in a statement. Joanne Carney, director of government relations at AAAS, said the budget cuts will hurt the U.S. by impeding our ability to anticipate the ramifications of climate change.  "...This is about dealing with reality at all levels of government," she said.  "So defunding the very programs that seek to allow us to better understand the Earth and our changing environment isn’t helping the U.S. to address climate-related changes. It’s not allowing us to make informed decisions on how to adapt or to mitigate, and it has long-term consequences." There is some good news It is virtually certain that Congress will restore some of the funding for climate science. Many members of Congress of both parties were declaring the budget request dead on arrival on Tuesday.  However, even a fraction of the proposed cuts would still hit the science community hard and potentially erode America's leadership position in global climate research. Maria Gallucci contributed reporting for this story. WATCH: It's official, 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record
Brain scans show how fathers are more attentive to daughters than sons
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Dads not only act differently in their daily interactions with the children, but scans of their brains also revealed different patterns of activity depending on whether they have a boy or a girl. In recent years, a number of studies has shown that fathers treat girls and boys differently – suggesting in some cases that their behaviours could reinforce gender stereotypes in their children. For instance, studies often rely on parents' self-reports of their interactions with their children.
Everest rescuers retrieve bodies of two Indian climbers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rescuers have retrieved the bodies of two Indian climbers who died on Mount Everest last year but whose remains could not be moved due to bad weather, an official said Thursday. A team of Nepali climbers retrieved the bodies of Goutam Ghosh and Paresh Nath from the balcony, an area just below the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain. Ghosh's remains were only located this year by other climbers on the mountain.
Teraphysics to Present at the 7th Annual LD Micro Invitational
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Beyond Fiber Optics: Teraphysics Set to Enable the Future of 5G With Wireless High-Speed Data Delivery Technology LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 24, 201 7 / Teraphysics, developer of ultrahigh-speed ...
New Zealand launches into space race with 3D
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rocket Lab, a Silicon Valley-funded space launch company, launches the maiden flight of its battery-powered, 3-D printed rocket from New Zealand's remote Mahia Peninsula. No reporter narration.
In Europe, Trump feels the heat on climate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
At every stop in Donald Trump's whirlwind of summit meetings in Europe, the issue of climate change -- and the US president's threat to ditch the 196-nation Paris Agreement -- is never far from the surface. "I am still trying to convince the doubters," German Chancellor Andrea Merkel said Tuesday at informal 30-nation climate talks in Berlin, where China's climate tzar, Xie Zhenhua, also urged the United States to stay the course. Newly minted French President Emmanuel Macron, on the eve of his May 7 victory, likewise vowed to "do everything possible" to keep the former reality TV star on board.
Artifacts From Ancient Americans Show Advanced Culture
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Artifacts recovered from an ancient American civilization show people who lived 15,000 years ago were more advanced than we’ve given them credit for.
Agency takes tectonics study to earthquake
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the other 49 states combined, and it's about to have its ground examined like never before
Nerd Nite meets NASA, sparking memories for an astronaut with deep Northwest roots
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The High Dive is known for drawing crowds into the local music scene, but this week, music wasn’t what drew nearly 200 people to the venue – it was NASA. Nerd Nite Seattle is a monthly gathering at the bar in the city’s Fremont neighborhood, featuring beer, tasty Mexican food, science talks and, of course, nerdy Seattleites. Tuesday night’s event drew in plenty of the regulars, plus an assortment of first-timers. One of the first-timers was NASA astronaut Anne McClain. She mingled with the crowd, and then got on stage to speak about her rigorous astronaut training, share hilarious stories about… Read More
Peru: Ancient pyramid excavation reveals extremely complex society 15,000 years ago
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The ancient civilisation that populated the coasts of Peru some 15,000 years ago was more advanced than archaeologists had previously imagined. Ancient artefacts suggest that these people had developed efficient techniques to extract resources from the sea early on. The site of Huaca Prieta in coastal Peru is home to the earliest pyramid in Latin America.