Science RSS Feeds
Work and school were canceled for a second day after power went out on Monday afternoon in much of the country, less than two weeks after the country's worst-ever blackout left residents scrambling to find food and drinking water. "I think this is going to be worse than the first blackout," said Julio Barrios, 60, an accountant who was looking for open stores to buy food or ice. "A lot of people want to work but there's no transportation, and if there's nobody working the country will be paralyzed." The ruling Socialist Party accuses the United States government of sabotaging its electricity network, though Guaido and opposition critics call it the result of a decade of corruption and mismanagement.
Two incredible new images from the Hubble Space Telescope show galaxies in all their shining glory.The first photograph, of a galaxy called Messier 49, includes some 200 billion stars, although there's no way to pick out most of the individual pinpricks of light within the image.Most of the stars within this elliptical galaxy are about 6 billion years old, and those within its 6,000-odd globular star clusters are even older. And then there's the supermassive black hole at the heart of Messier 49, which contains the mass of 500 million suns. It's all quite a lot to fit in just one image, even an image of an object 56 million light-years away. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of a galaxy called Messier 28. ESA/Hubble & NASA, J.E. Grindlay et al.Both this galaxy and that shown in the second new image, Messier 28, were first categorized by astronomer Charles Messier, although he wasn't always sure what he was seeing. That's because he didn't have the benefit of Hubble's view from beyond Earth's atmosphere, which produces much sharper photographs.Sharp like this picture of the stunning globular star cluster, Messier 28, which looks like a smear of light near the constellation Sagittarius when viewed from Earth. Messier 28 is also much closer than Messier 49 is, at just 18,000 light-years away from Earth. So, unburdened by atmospheric interference, Hubble can pick out Messier 28's individual stars in stunning detail. * Hubble in Pictures: Astronomers' Top Picks (Photos) * 15,000 Galaxies Shine in This 1 View from the Hubble Space Telescope * How Artists Turn Hubble's Space Discoveries into Gorgeous Stellar ImagesEmail Meghan Bartels at firstname.lastname@example.org follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcomand on Facebook.
On its salty surface, the Dead Sea is famous for making giddy tourists float like beach balls. Hundreds of feet below the water, however, life is a little less fun.There, choked by some of the saltiest water on Earth, single-celled microorganisms called archaea struggle to carry out life's basic functions without oxygen, light or fresh forms of sustenance. According to a new study published March 22 in the journal Geology, the survival of microbial life beneath the Dead Sea may have once even depended on eating the dead. [The 10 Strangest Places Where Life Is Found on Earth]In their study, researchers from Switzerland and France analyzed long sediment cores drilled out of the center of the Dead Sea, and found evidence that ancient microbial life accumulated the energy it needed to survive by gobbling up bits of dead neighbors that couldn't hack the harsh conditions.According to the researchers, these results open a window into Earth's mysterious deep biosphere -- the subterranean world between Earth's surface and its core -- where potentially millions of undiscovered microbial species thrive in improbably extreme conditions."The Dead Sea's subsurface environment constitutes one of the most extreme ecosystems on the planet," the authors wrote in their paper. "By studying an environment that pushes life to its limits, we catch a glimpse of the processes that fuel life in the deep subsurface." Dead in the waterThe Dead Sea (which is not really a sea, but a salt lake straddling the borders of Israel, Jordan and Palestine) begins about 1,400 feet (430 meters) below sea level, making it the single lowest place on land. The lake is also one of the saltiest: its waters are nearly 10 times saltier than the world's oceans, giving only the most salt-loving archaea a fair shot at survival.To better understand the microbial history of this extreme ecosystem, the study authors investigated ancient sediment samples buried up to 800 feet (245 m) below the lake's surface. Inside these deep slices of lakebed, the team found traces of long-dead microbial life.In the saltiest layers of the lake's underbelly, the team found lots of microbial compounds called wax esters -- a type of energy-storage molecule that the world's smallest organisms can create when their survival is pushed to the limits. Think of it as a tiny carbon refrigerator -- but, in order to turn it on, an organism needs to gobble up some of the fatty bits left behind by dead microbes that couldn't survive their harsh habitats.Bacteria have been known to turn bits of their dead neighbors into wax esters before, but archaea don't seem to have this skill, the authors wrote. So, the team concluded, the wax esters found deep below the Dead Sea probably came from rough-and-tumble bacteria that had no choice but to feed on the corpses of dead archaea in order to survive their super-salty environment.This is surprising, as bacteria were previously thought to be incapable of adapting to the lake's extreme ecosystem. However, by "recycling" bits of better-adapted microbes, that survival may have been possible in the past, the authors wrote. This may not only be true for the Dead Sea ecosystem, but could also apply to other severe environments scattered throughout the planet's vast underground biosphere."Our results illustrate the high adaptability of the subsurface biosphere and its ability to use varied strategies for energy production and preservation under adverse conditions," the authors concluded.In other words, the Dead Sea might not be as dead as you thought. * The 10 Driest Places on Earth * The 8 Hottest Places on Earth * Microscopic Monsters: Ugly Bugs Under the MicroscopeOriginally published on Live Science.
Notice of Correction to RFA-CA-19-007 "The Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (UM1 Clinical Trial Required)"
Notice of Availability of Administrative Supplements for the INCLUDE (Investigation of Co-occurring Conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project (Administrative Supplement/ Clinical Trial Optional)
French archaeologists have unearthed an Etruscan tomb containing a skeleton and dozens of artefacts in Corsica, a rare discovery that could shed new light on the wealthy civilization of northern Italy and its assimilation into the Roman Empire. The archaeologists found the vault, chiselled into the rock and dating back to the fourth century B.C., within a large Roman necropolis containing thousands of tombs in Aleria, in the east of the French Mediterranean island. The Etruscans originated in Tuscany during the Bronze Age in around 900 B.C. and left little written trace of their culture.
The Etruscans originated in Tuscany during the Bronze Age in around 900 B.C. and left little written trace of their culture. "It's the missing link which will allow us to piece together Etruscan funerary rites, but it also reinforces the hypothesis that before the Roman conquest (in -259 B.C), Aleria was a transit point in the Tyrrhenian Sea, blending Etruscan, Carthaginian and Phocaean interests", head curator Franck Leandri said.
Blockchain technology has been touted as a solution for a variety of industries since its rise into the mainstream over the past decade, but land ownership is not one of them according to new research. Tim Robustelli of New America, a non-partisan think tank, said that blockchain technology is poorly understood by governments and that it is not a solution to the world’s biggest problems, contrary to popular belief. “There’s a general notion that blockchain is a magic bullet that can save the rainforest or solve world hunger – that’s not true,” he said at a World Bank conference in Washington DC this week, via Reuters. “It cannot, for example, make up for sloppy or incomplete data collection,” he said, The post Research claims ‘poorly understood’ blockchain technology cannot solve land rights issue appeared first on Coin Rivet.
Indonesian authorities said Wednesday they had seized five komodo dragons and dozens of other animals being sold on Facebook, as the country battles to clamp down on the illegal wildlife trade. The vast Southeast Asian archipelago nation's dense tropical rainforests boast some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world and it has for years been a key source and transit point for animal trafficking. "The suspect VS sold the komodos online through Facebook," East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said in a statement.
Many of these good jobs require Ph.D.s. A survey by Paysa found in 2017 that about 35 percent of AI jobs required a doctorate. In finance, Ph.D.s are heavily recruited for top quant trading jobs — as a professor at Stony Brook University, I helped advise applied-math doctoral students who were aiming for that industry. Plenty of workers at top tech companies such as Intel have Ph.D.s too.
A Russian court on Wednesday ruled that a widely-condemned China-backed project to bottle water from Lake Baikal illegally received the go-ahead from authorities. A judge at a district court in the Siberian city of Irkutsk ruled that the official permit for the plant's construction was "illegal", TASS state news agency reported from the courtroom. The water "will be shipped to China," the petition said, warning that the facility would block local access to the lake and "inflict irreparable damage" to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Paleontologists have unearthed the remains of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, according to a new study. The 42-foot-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty" for a celebratory bottle of scotch the night it was found, roamed what is now the Canadian province of Saskatchewan some 66 million years ago. Scotty was believed to weigh more than 19,400 pounds, making it bigger than any other carnivorous dinosaur, according to the study published last week in The Anatomical Record, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
The U.S. tech giant will come face to face with the Belgian data protection authority in a Brussels appeals court for a two-day hearing starting on Wednesday. The company will challenge the 2018 court order and the threat of a daily fine of 250,000 euros ($281,625) should it fail to comply. Armed with new powers since the introduction of stronger European Union data protection rules, Belgium’s privacy watchdog argues Facebook “still violates the fundamental rights of millions of residents of Belgium.” The Brussels Court of First Instance in February 2018 ruled that Facebook doesn’t provide people with enough information about how and why it collects data on their web use, or what it does with the information.
Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier recently threw a real brain bender at scientists, who realized that instead of shrinking, the glacier is actually growing thicker, they reported in a new study.The glacier -- known as Jakobshavn, which sits on Greenland's west coast -- is still contributing to sea level rise, but it's losing less ice than expected. Instead of thinning and retreating inland, its ice is thickening and advancing toward the ocean, the researchers found.The big question: Why is this happening? [Images: Greenland's Gorgeous Glaciers]After much sleuthing, a team of scientists from the United States and the Netherlands found that the glacier is likely growing due to colder ocean currents. In 2016, a current that passes by Jakobshavn Glacier was cooler than usual, making waters near the glacier the coldest they'd been since the mid-1980s.This cooler current came from the North Atlantic Ocean, more than 600 miles (966 kilometers) south of the glacier, according to data from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and other observations.The finding took the scientists completely by surprise. "At first, we didn't believe it," study lead researcher Ala Khazendar, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years." But the cold water isn't a one-off. Data from OMG shows that the water has been cold now for three years in a row.The front of Iceland's Jakobshavn Glacier, where icebergs calve off. NASA/OIB/John SonntagIt appears that the cold water is the result of a climate pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which makes the northern Atlantic Ocean slowly switch between warm and cold water about once every 20 years, the researchers said. The cold phase just recently started, and has cooled the Atlantic Ocean in general, they said. In addition, some extra cooling of the waters around Greenland's southwest coast helped keep the glacier chilly.But this crisp change won't last forever. Once the NAO climate pattern flips back, the Jakobshavn will likely start melting faster and thinning again, the researchers said."Jakobshavn is getting a temporary break from this climate pattern," Josh Willis, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the principal investigator of OMG, said in the statement. "But in the long run, the oceans are warming. And seeing the oceans have such a huge impact on the glaciers is bad news for Greenland's ice sheet." Huge ice loss … then small gainScientists have watched Jakobshavn with concern for decades. After losing its ice shelf in the early 2000s (an ice shelf forces a glacier to flow more slowly into the ocean, like dirt clogging a drain), Jakobshavn began losing ice at an alarming rate. Between 2003 and 2016, its thickness (from top to bottom) dwindled by 500 feet (152 meters).A wider view of the calving front of Jakobshavn Glacier, as seen from a NASA research plane flying overhead. NASA/John SonntagBut in 2016, the waters flowing from Greenland's southern tip to its western side cooled by more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, the NAO climate pattern caused the Atlantic Ocean near Greenland to cool by about 0.5 F (1 C) between 2013 and 2016. By the summer of 2016, these cooler waters reached the glacier, and they are likely the reason that Jakobshavn slowed its rate of ice loss to the ocean, the researchers said. [Image: Greenland's Dramatic Landscape]In all, Jakobshavn grew about 100 feet (30 m) taller between 2016 and 2017, the researchers found. But, as mentioned, the glacier is still contributing to ocean level rise worldwide, as it's still losing more ice to the ocean than it is gaining from snow accumulation, the researchers said.The findings shed light on how much ocean temperatures can affect glacier growth, said Tom Wagner, a NASA Headquarters program scientist for the cryosphere, the frozen part of Earth."The OMG mission deployed new technologies that allowed us to observe a natural experiment, much as we would do in a laboratory, where variations in ocean temperatures were used to control the flow of a glacier," Wagner, who was not involved in the study, said in the statement. "Their findings -- especially about how quickly the ice responds -- will be important to projecting sea level rise in both the near and distant future."The study was published online March 25 in the journal Nature Geoscience. * Photos: Craters Hidden Beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet * Photos: Top-Secret, Cold War-Era Military Base in Greenland * Stunning Photos of Greenland's Supraglacial LakesOriginally published on Live Science.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Notice of Correction to Application and Submission Information for PAR-18-543 "CREATE Bio Development Track: Nonclinical and Early-Phase Clinical Development for Biologics (U44 Clinical Trial Optional)"
- National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Bridges to the Doctorate (T32)
- Notice of Clarification to the Award Budget for PAR-18-894, "Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity (R36 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the NIH Common Fund Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures Program: Multisite Clinical Center Acute Pain from Musculoskeletal Trauma or Acute Peri-operative Pain (UM1 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Notice of Change to the Award Budget for PAR-18-802 "Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Technologies for Low-Resource Settings (R41/R42 - Clinical Trial Optional)".