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Kentucky governor says he exposed his children to chickenpox

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 17:45

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said in a radio interview that he deliberately exposed his children to chickenpox so they would catch the highly contagious disease and become immune.


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Bobcat killed by car after surviving California wildfire

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:48

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a bobcat that survived a Southern California wildfire has been hit and killed by a car.


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Khamenei says Iran has successfully resisted U.S. sanctions

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:22

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday in a new year speech broadcast on state TV that the Islamic Republic successfully resisted "unprecedented, strong" U.S. sanctions. Iran has faced economic hardship since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions. Khamenei also said that economic hardship and the fall of the currency remain top problems and that the government should confront these issues by boosting production. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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Sarah Silverman's 'butt' T-shirt garners interesting reactions — but nothing tops cancer survivor Marcia Cross's response

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:16

With just a few words, "Desperate Housewives" alum — a cancer survivor — turned the whole topic into an educational one.


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US judge halts hundreds of drilling projects in groundbreaking climate change ruling

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:08

In a rebuke of the Trump administration’s ‘energy-first’ agenda, a judge rules greenhouse gas emissions must be considered Drilling has been halted on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming. Photograph: Brennan Linsley/AP In the first significant check on the Trump administration’s “energy-first” agenda, a US judge has temporarily halted hundreds of drilling projects for failing to take climate change into account.Drilling had been stalled on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming after it was ruled the Trump administration violated environmental laws by failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions. The federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages US public lands and issues leases to the energy industry, to redo its analysis. The decision stems from an environmental lawsuit. WildEarth Guardians, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Western Environmental Law Center sued the BLM in 2016 for failing to calculate and limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from future oil and gas projects. The agency “did not adequately quantify the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing”, said Rudolph Contreras, a US district judge in Washington DC, in a ruling late Tuesday. He added that the agency “must consider the cumulative impact of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” generated by past, present and future BLM leases across the country. The decision is the first significant check on the climate impact of the Trump administration’s “energy-first” agenda that has opened up vast swaths of public land for mining and drilling. Environmental advocates are praising the move, with Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program director, calling it a “triumph for our climate”. “This ruling says that the entire oil & gas drilling program is off the rails, and moving forward illegally,” said Nichols. Under Trump, the pace of leasing public lands for oil and gas development has surged. A recent study found the administration has made more than 13m onshore acres available for leasing, far more than any similar period under Obama. The vast majority are located in the western states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The administration also plans to make large portions of the Atlantic available for oil and gas development, and the interior department has been criticized for favoring the energy industry. The BLM did not reply to a request for comment. The Western Energy Alliance, one of the defendants in the case, also did not respond to a request. Kathleen Sgamma, its president, told the Washington Post: “This judge has ignored decades of legal precedent in this ruling. The judge is basically asking BLM to take a wild guess on how many wells will be developed on leases, prematurely.” Nichols predicts there will be implications for public lands across the west. His group is now poised to bring litigation to block drilling on hundreds of thousands of acres in other states. “With the science mounting that we need to aggressively rein in greenhouse gases, this ruling is monumental,” said Kyle Tisdel, attorney and Energy and Communities program director for the Western Environmental Law Center. “Every acre of our public land sold to the oil and gas industry is another blow to the climate, making this ruling a powerful reality check on the Trump administration and a potent tool for reining in climate pollution.”


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World Health Organization joins fight against lax genetic editing standards

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:04

It's now been several months since Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that he had successfully edited the genes of human embryos, which were then carried to term, resulting in the first genetically modified humans. His work was quickly shunned by all corners of the scientific community, and his fate remains unknown.Last week, a large group of geneticists and researchers called for a moratorium on genetic editing until a robust regulatory framework could be established. Now, the World Health Organization is weighing in, and while it stops short of suggesting a prohibition on current genetics work, the group makes it clear that it supports regulations and oversight in genome editing.In a new bulletin, WHO reveals what it believes are the next steps that need to be taken in order to ensure safe and responsible genetics research. The group says it plans on building a "central registry on human genome editing research" so that scientists around the world can update colleagues on progress of various research efforts, holding everyone accountable.WHO also commits to forming a framework by which scientists can adhere in order to ensure their work is being conducted responsibly:> Over the next two years, through a series of in-person meetings and online consultations, the committee will consult with a wide range of stakeholders and provide recommendations for a comprehensive governance framework that is scalable, sustainable and appropriate for use at the international, regional, national and local levels. The committee will solicit the views of multiple stakeholders including patient groups, civil society, ethicists and social scientists."Gene editing holds incredible promise for health, but it also poses some risks, both ethically and medically," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. "This committee is a perfect example of WHO's leadership, by bringing together some of the world's leading experts to provide guidance on this complex issue. I am grateful to each member of the Expert Advisory Committee for their time and expertise."


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The Towering GREENOX Urban Residence is Turkey’s First Vertical Forest

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:00

Unrealistic renderings of fantastical concept architecture can really test our ability to suspend disbelief, with design features like cantilevered platforms somehow supporting the weight of enormous trees above them. Indeed, many concepts for tall buildings featuring vertical greenery are little more than wishful thinking, failing to consider the engineering challenges associated with keeping the plants […]


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Boeing delays flight test to International Space Station: sources

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:42

Reuters reported last month that NASA has warned Boeing and rival contractor SpaceX of design and safety concerns the companies need to address before flying humans to space. Boeing's first test flight was slated for April but it has been pushed to August, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The new schedule means that Boeing's crewed mission, initially scheduled for August, will be delayed until November.


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Jury finding upends Bayer's Roundup defense strategy: experts

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:39

Bayer shares tumbled more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a unanimous jury in San Francisco federal court found Roundup to be a "substantial factor" in causing California resident Edwin Hardeman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury decision was a blow to Bayer after the judge in the Hardeman case, at the company's request, had split the trial, severely limiting evidence plaintiffs could present in the first phase. Tuesday's defeat on terms considered advantageous to Bayer sets up the second phase to be even tougher and limits the grounds on which the company could appeal any final verdict, the experts said.


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My Daughter Has Cystic Fibrosis, and in Our Home, Five Feet Apart Is a Harsh Reality

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:31

I had no reason to believe that my infant daughter's struggle to gain weight was anything more than a complication of breastfeeding. But after several trips each week to check her weight and meet with a lactation consultant, everything seemed to be working as it should.


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Senate panel to hold aviation safety hearing after two Boeing 737 Max crashes

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:29

Panel plans to call Boeing and other aviation manufacturers to testify following fatal Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes FAA said in a bulletin to foreign regulators and airlines that its ‘ongoing review of this software installation and training is an agency priority, as will be the rollout of any software, training or other measures’. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters A US Senate committee plans a hearing on 27 March on aviation safety after two fatal Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashes since October, and said it will also schedule a hearing with Boeing and other manufacturers, officials said on Wednesday. The hearing on federal oversight on commercial aviation by the Senate commerce subcommittee on aviation and space will include the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) acting administrator, Dan Elwell, National Transportation Safety Board chairman, Robert Sumwalt, and transportation department inspector general, Calvin Scovel. The panel plans to call Boeing and other aviation manufacturers to testify amid a scramble to discover what caused the crashes of an Ethiopian Airlines flight last week and a Lion Air flight in Indonesia last October. The news came as it was announced by the FAA on Wednesday afternoon that Boeing is developing a service bulletin instructing airlines to install new flight control computer operational program software in the now grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The agency said in a bulletin to foreign regulators and airlines that its “ongoing review of this software installation and training is an agency priority, as will be the rollout of any software, training, or other measures”. Boeing previously said it planned a software upgrade. The FAA and other regulators grounded the aircraft type after two fatal crashes since October. The US grounded the planes last Thursday, following on the heels of other countries. The panel, chaired by the Texas senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, said: “In light of the recent tragedy in Ethiopia and the subsequent grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, this hearing will examine challenges to the state of commercial aviation safety, including any specific concerns highlighted by recent accidents.” A second hearing on aviation safety is planned “in the near future to hear from industry stakeholders that would include Boeing, other aviation manufacturers, airline pilots, and other stakeholders”, the committee said. Boeing Company, the world’s biggest planemaker, faces growing obstacles to returning its grounded 737 Max fleet to the skies, while details emerged of potential similarities between the two crashes. Meanwhile, later on Wednesday, Boeing announced that it had delayed, by three months, its first un-crewed flight to the International Space Station under Nasa’s human spaceflight program, and pushed its crewed flight until November, industry sources said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The news agency reported last month that Nasa has warned Boeing and rival contractor SpaceX of design and safety concerns the companies need to address before flying humans to space.


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The Training Bundle You Need To Become an Amazon Web Services Cloud Expert

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:59

You could be on your way to a six-figure salary.


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Union Accuses Amazon of Breaking Federal Law by Firing Activist

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:46

The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union submitted a complaint Wednesday to the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the retailer violated federal law when it terminated Staten Island fulfillment center employee Rashad Long. In December, Long joined a rally at City Hall protesting Amazon’s proposed expansion in Queens. During the protest, a participant read out a statement from Long criticizing Amazon for what he deemed disrespectful management, unfair discipline, inadequate security and poor health and safety.


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Oil major Total CEO's compensation drops 17 percent in 2018: company document

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:25

The board of French oil and gas major Total has proposed total 2018 compensation for Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne of 3.1 million euros ($3.55 million), compared with 3.8 million in 2017, company documents showed on Wednesday. The total pay includes 1.4 million euros in fixed compensation, the same as in 2017, and 1.72 million in annual variable compensation, compared with 2.4 million in 2017, and 69,000 in other benefits, the documents showed. The company said in a statement that the decrease in variable compensation resulted from criteria based on the average three-year change in Total's adjusted net income in comparison with those of its peers.


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The U.S. Will Get the World's First Exascale Computer in 2021

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:07

The most powerful computer, dozens of times faster than any other computer in the world, will be built just outside Chicago.


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NASA put the electronic brains of the Mars 2020 rover through a torture test

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:52

Building a robotic vehicle that will eventually travel to another planet is a complicated undertaking. With just one NASA rover, Curiosity, currently roaming around on Mars after the death of Opportunity, the much-hyped Mars 2020 mission takes on even more significance.Getting it right means testing, tweaking, testing, tweaking, and then testing some more, and NASA just published a new behind-the-scenes look at the intense trial process the rover's on-board computers have to endure. Tucked away inside a cleanroom at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the 2020 mission's hardware was tasked with landing on a simulated Martian surface that exists only in the spacecraft's complex computer brain.The Mars 2020 mission will target the Jezero Crater on Mars as its landing site. It's a new area of Mars that hasn't been explored by a rover, and NASA's flight software has to be tweaked for the unique challenges that landing in a new spot can pose. In its first real trial, called Systems Test 1 (ST1), the rover's guts proved that they were up to the task."We first landed on Jezero Crater on Jan. 23rd," JPL's Heather Bottom said in a statement. "And the rover successfully landed again on Mars two days later."Successful tests are certainly something worth celebrating when you're talking about a piece of hardware as complex as a Mars rover. The vehicle's various systems are typically designed and built separately, and it's not until they're married together that engineers can begin to see if any dire issues arise. In this case, it was a matter of seeing how the electronic components and software systems matched up with the flight hardware."Nothing was visibly moving, but underneath the outer structure, there were flight computers swapping sides, radios sending and receiving transmissions, fuel valves moving in and out, subsystems being energized and later turned off, and electrical signals being sent to nonexistent pyrotechnic devices," Bottom explains. "There was a lot going on in there."The Mars 2020 mission won't actually arrive on the Red Planet until February of 2021. However, when it finally lands it will be the most powerful piece of exploratory hardware to ever land on the planet, an NASA hopes it will reveal some of Mars' many secrets.


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Trump to Finalize $3.7 Billion in Aid for Troubled Nuclear Plant

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:49

The guarantees, expected to be announced Friday when U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry visits Plant Vogtle alongside Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Southern Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning, represents a critical lifeline for the project, which is more than five years behind schedule and has doubled in cost to $28 billion. The additional help also puts taxpayers on the hook for more money if the project were to collapse.


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Bolsonaro gets Trump's praise but few concessions, riling Brazilians

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:31

Diplomats and other officials said Brazil got few immediate concessions in return for granting a unilateral visa waiver for U.S. visitors, a tariff-free quota for wheat imports and easier access for U.S. space launches from Brazil. Bolsonaro, an outspoken Trump admirer who seemed eager to please at their first meeting, failed to win more room for Brazil's sugar exports or overturn a U.S. ban on fresh Brazilian beef - both major objectives of the country's farm sector.


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