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Terrifying video shows a bridge sagging under the weight of a massive bus

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:28

Please enjoy this deeply terrifying video of a bridge flexing under the weight of a bus.  The historic Beaver Bridge in Arkansas is a one-lane suspension bridge built in 1949 that offers picturesque views of Table Rock Lake. It's delicate — and the lane is made out of wood.  SEE ALSO: This viral mashup of Kendrick Lamar and 'Take On Me' is the catchiest thing you'll hear today A viral video shows a massive 35 ton bus — weighing more than three times the bridge's 10 ton weight limit — ambitiously driving across. As the bus ambles along, the bridge's suspension sags and the road seems to dip with the vehicle.  Nearby cars honk at the bus, and the person recording the video says, "Holy cow, look at that!"  It seems pretty unsafe.  A spokesperson from the Arkansas Department of Transportation told 40/29 News that the local highway police are supposed to enforce the bridge's 10 ton weight limit. State officials shut the bridge down on Tuesday for a structural inspection.  In an announcement, the Arkansas Department of Inspection said:  Holy cow, indeed. WATCH: Boston Dynamics 'parkour' robot took more than 20 attempts to nail it


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She Had a Nobel Prize—But Not a Wikipedia Page

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:24

She Had a Nobel Prize—But Not a Wikipedia Page


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EPA puts off final say on science transparency rule

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:16

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it is putting off for at least a year any final announcement on a controversial proposal overhauling how the agency evaluates science.


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Evidence of earliest life on Earth disputed

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:12

When Australian scientists presented evidence in 2016 of life on Earth 3.7 billon years ago -- pushing the record back 220 million years -- it was a big deal, influencing even the search for life on Mars. The truth hinges on whether the cone-shaped formations in question are genuine stromatolites, layered structures left in the wake of water-dwelling microorganisms. Previously, the earliest confirmed stromatolites were found in 3.45-billion year old rocks in Australia.


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Secret of dandelion flight discovered by scientists 

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 11:00

Fluffy dandelion seeds are known to travel 500 miles on the wind, but until now it has been a mystery how they did it. Although light enough to be whisked into the air in updrafts, their downy heads are 90 per cent empty space - a poor design for a parachute - and scientists have puzzled as to how they manage to stay afloat for so long. Now researchers at Edinburgh University have discovered that the soft bristles work together to create a ring-shaped bubble of air which keeps the seed aloft. This type of flight has never before been seen in nature and the experts believe that the technique could be used to help windbourne micro-drones stay in the air without using power so they can explore remote and inhospitable regions, or even other planet in the Solar System. Dr Cathal Cummins, of the University of Edinburgh's Schools of Biological Sciences and Engineering, who led the study, said: “Taking a closer look at the ingenious structures in nature - like the dandelion's parachute - can reveal novel insights. “We found a natural solution for flight that minimises the material and energy costs, which can be applied to engineering of sustainable technology. “The dandelion has managed to create a parachute which is virtually entirely empty space. Our research is suggesting that basically, less is more.” Dandelion seeds balancing on top of each other  Credit: University of Edinburgh The unique aerodynamic capabilities of dandelions make them one of the most successful of all wind pollinators, and a single plant can produce 12,000 seeds in its clocks. A 2003 study at the University of Regensburg in Germany found that 99.5 per cent of dandelion seeds land within 10 metres of their parent, but the University of Cornell calculated that some can travel for 500 miles. To find out how dandelion seeds achieved the feat, researchers at Edinburgh built a tiny vertical wind tunnel which blew air softly upwards, allowing seeds to hover at a fixed height so they could study how air moved around the fluffy seed head, known as a pappus. They then recorded how air currents moved around the fluffy seed head - known as a pappus - using long-exposure photography and high-speed imaging. The images revealed that a ring-shaped air bubble forms as air moves through the bristles, enhancing the drag that slows each seed's descent to the ground. A single dandelion plant can produce up to 12,000 seeds  Credit: Rolfo The newly found air bubble - which scientists have named the separated vortex ring -follows the seed like a little halo. This mass of whirling air helps increase the drag on the seed, and is created when neighboring filaments on the seed interact with each other as it floats along. The amount of air flowing through, which is critical for keeping the bubble stable and directly above the seed in flight, is precisely controlled by the spacing of the bristles. According to the researchers, it is four times more efficient than what is possible with conventional parachute design, according to the research. Researchers suggest that the dandelion's porous parachute might inspire the development of small-scale drones that require little or no power consumption. Such drones could be useful for remote sensing or air pollution monitoring. The study was published in Nature.  


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Mysterious U.S. whale die-off is now deep in its 2nd year. We still don't know the cause.

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:59

Using a tractor, state and town officials in coastal New Hampshire attempted to drop the carcass of a minke whale into a dumpster in mid-September. But the dead cetacean proved too big, bouncing off the red bin and flopping onto the pavement of a beachside parking lot. The minke whale — which can weigh up to 20,000 pounds — is one of 55 that have turned up dead on East Coast shores of the United States since January 2017.  The strange die-offs have officially been labeled as an "Unusual Mortality Event" (UME) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The cause of whale deaths in this vastly-understudied species largely remain an inconsistent puzzle.  "We have had 12 minke whales stranded in Massachusetts alone in 2018, so the numbers are still very high for this species," Jennifer Goebel, NOAA's public affairs officer in the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, said via email. A healthy minke whale.Image: noaaBut abundant minke whales aren't the only Atlantic species dying strange deaths in high numbers.  Both the famously charismatic humpbacks and endangered North Atlantic right whales are experiencing Unusual Mortality Events. Yet, there's no clear link or commonalities between any of their deaths. "We currently do not have one cause of stranding or death that is common across the three species involved in the different UMEs, additionally strandings across the three species are not clustering in space or time," said Goebel. Finding a clear cause for the spike in deaths of these wild seafaring animals is daunting. This year, scientists have performed 18 necropsies — examinations of corpses — on dead minke whales.  SEE ALSO: The wilderness has returned to idyllic Cape Cod. That means great white sharks. "Final results are still pending for the majority of the cases," noted Goebel, but eight are suspected to have died from an infectious disease, two appear to be have been struck by vessels, and nine show evidence of having been entangled in fishing lines.  "These are the known deaths," Tony LaCasse, a spokesperson for the New England Aquarium, said in an interview. The unknown deaths could be twice that number, he added. Sleuthing out an explanation  A notable problem in determining why minkes are experiencing such a mortality event is that the species, while known to be abundant in oceans globally, isn't well understood. 2nd dead minke whale found in Bay of Fundy in less than a monthhttps://t.co/3yECgnneoO pic.twitter.com/LUrA0QUZ85 — CBC Nova Scotia (@CBCNS) October 1, 2018 "There is an absolute dearth of information on them," Rachel Cartwright, a whale biologist at Cal State Channel Islands who has studied minke whales, said in an interview. "They're very understudied," added LaCasse. "There’s literally nobody that I know of on the U.S. East Coast that studies these animals full time." Regardless, the health of baleen whales — who consume tiny fish and plankton — are visible indicators of greater problems in the seas. "Baleen whales are recognized as indicator species," said Cartwright. "They can tell you that there’s something larger amiss in the food chain." And although NOAA has been very clear that there's presently still no smoking gun for these mortality events, "there’s speculation that there’s a disease element to this," said LaCasse. Fortunately for minkes, they're an abundant, stable species — so they may withstand a bout of infectious, spreading disease.  However, the same cannot be said of the 450 or so right whales remaining in the Atlantic. The rise of minke whale deaths since Jan. 2017.Image: noaaWeird things are also transpiring in the Pacific — though there's certainly no evidence these disparate marine events are related. Cartwright researches humpback populations that migrate between Hawaii and southeastern Alaska. They've experienced a recent, severe decline.  "It's an unusual time for a lot of whale populations," she said. "Our populations in Hawaii have dropped dramatically in the last few years. Suffice to say, the mother and calves are going down by 80 percent." The humpbacks leave their winter Hawaiian breeding grounds to feed on fish in the frigid southeastern Alaskan waters. Typically, Cartwright observes plenty of calves there who have made the long journey with their mothers. "This year we saw three," said Cartwright. Humpback whales are considered to be the most charismatic whale species.Image: noaaIn the Pacific Ocean, unusually warm waters due to a recent wide-scale marine heat wave may be to blame, noted Cartwright.  This could have caused the food chain to crash and drive prey species well north — ultimately imperiling the vulnerable calves.    But out on the East Coast, it appears the minkes have bounties of food. "The minkes we're seeing are often young and underweight, which is a little puzzling because there’s a lot of forage fish around," said LaCasse. "They’ve [forage fish] been really exceptional near the shore." Whatever the ultimate cause of the Atlantic whale mortality events, the unusual deaths may very well be connected, and the dead whales are still coming ashore.  "This event started in January 2017, and is continuing through today," said Goebel. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?


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Responsibilities of Recipient Institutions in Communicating Research Misconduct to the NIH

NIH Funding Opportunities - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:50
Notice NOT-OD-19-020 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
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Elon Musk Plans First Commercial Flights To Mars

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:00

Despite the headwinds he faced with Tesla, Elon Musk is taking big steps with SpaceX and is already planning the first commercial trips to Mars


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Turkish Police Search Saudi Consul's Home for Clues in Jamal Khashoggi's Disappearance

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 09:44

The new search put further pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened


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Why a City in China Wants to Launch an Artificial Moon Into Space

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 09:07

Why a City in China Wants to Launch an Artificial Moon Into Space


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Israel Retaliates With Airstrikes After Rocket Fired From Gaza Hits House

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:58

A rocket fired from Gaza struck a residential home in southern Israel early Wednesday and the Israeli military began attacking militant sites in Gaza in response after days of rising tensions


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There Are Very Fine Scientists on Both Sides. On Both Sides.

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:56

Donald Trump, American president, again displays a completely moronic grasp of the scientific method.


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Basic Neurodevelopmental Biology of Circuits and Behavior (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NIH Funding Opportunities - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:53
Funding Opportunity PAR-19-027 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits research projects focused on the dynamic and mechanistic links between the maturation of brain circuits and behaviors across development in rodents and non-human primates. The goal is to build a foundation for understanding how interactions within and among brain regions change over pre- and post-natal development, allowing for the emergence of cognitive, affective and social behaviors. To this end, projects supported will focus on neurodevelopmental trajectories in rodents or non-human primates and investigate questions using in vivo neural measures in awake, behaving animals. This FOA uses the R01 grant mechanism, whereas its companion funding opportunity seeks shorter, higher-risk R21 grant applications.
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Basic Neurodevelopmental Biology of Brain Circuits and Behavior (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NIH Funding Opportunities - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:53
Funding Opportunity PAR-19-028 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits research projects focused on the dynamic and mechanistic links between the maturation of brain circuits and behaviors across development in rodents and non-human primates. The goal is to build a foundation for understanding how interactions within and among brain regions change duringover pre- and post-natal development, allowing for the emergence of cognitive, affective and social behaviors.
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Modified cotton could be human food source after U.S. green light

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:47

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Tuesday lifted the regulatory prohibition on cultivation by farmers of the cotton plant, which was developed by Texas A&M University scientists. The plant's cottonseed cannot be used as food for people or as animal feed yet in the United States because it lacks Food and Drug Administration approval. Cotton is widely grown around the world, with its fiber used to make textiles and the cottonseed used among other things to feed animals such as cattle and sheep that have multiple stomach chambers.


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Taylor Swift Has a New Political Message for Her 112 Million Followers

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:41

“Something I wish I knew about when I was 18 and voting for the first time: ?EARLY VOTING?,” Swift wrote.


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10 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:31

Cardiovascular disease remains America’s biggest killer


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