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Ash rained down Saturday on the dry hills and multi-million-dollar homes of Montecito, where firefighters chased spot blazes fanned by winds in one of California's largest wildfires in decades. The fire, named "Thomas", broke out almost two weeks ago and is now the state's third-largest wildfire since 1932. On Saturday it led to evacuation orders for areas in Santa Barbara County, including Montecito more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles along the Pacific coast.
(Reuters) - A trio of U.S. and Japanese astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off from Kazakhstan on Sunday for a two-day trip to the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed. Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and flight engineers Norishige Kanai of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Scott Tingle of NASA lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:21 p.m. local time (0721 GMT/0221 EST). The crew will gradually approach the station, which orbits about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, for two days before docking. ...
A Taiwanese steel firm behind a toxic spill that killed tonnes of fish in central Vietnam last year was fined for a second time for illegally burying "harmful" waste, official sources said Sunday. The deadly dump from Formosa's $11 billion steel plant in Ha Tinh province sparked one of the country's worst environmental catastrophes, decimating livelihoods along swathes of coastline and prompting months of rare protests in the authoritarian country. The firm was initially fined $500 million for pouring toxic chemicals -- including cyanide -- into the ocean in April 2016, and has now been ordered to pay an additional $25,000 on separate charges of burying harmful solid waste in the ground, according to the official Cong Ly newspaper.
Several hundred metres underground, thousands of labourers grind away day and night on a mammoth hydroelectric project in contested Kashmir, where India and Pakistan are racing to tap the subcontinent's diminishing freshwater supplies. The arch rivals have been building duelling power plants along the banks of the turquoise Neelum River for years. The two projects, located on opposite sides of the Line of Control -- the de facto border in Kashmir -- are now close to completion, fuelling tensions between the neighbours with Pakistan particularly worried their downstream project will be deprived of much-needed water by India.
For five years, the Pentagon ran a secret program to investigate UFO sightings. Although government funding ended, the head of the program recently resigned and said the investigations are still continuing.
In a new study published on Thursday in the journal PLOS Genetics, researchers used artificially bred fruit flies to examine the role of genes in the sleep process. “This study is an important step toward solving one of the biggest mysteries in biology: the need to sleep,” lead study author Susan Harbison, an investigator in the Laboratory of Systems Genetics at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), said in a statement. Harbison and her colleagues analyzed 13 generations of wild fruit flies—some of which they bred to sleep up to 18 hours each day, while others were bred to sleep only three hours each day.
The Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Let's be clear: "U.F.O." is an acronym for "unidentified flying object." It doesn't necessarily mean aliens. But it also might mean aliens. Sorry, Miriam. SEE ALSO: That interstellar asteroid probably isn't aliens, but the hunt continues A Saturday report in the New York Times lays out the details of a secret, Defense Department-funded "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program," formed to investigate UFO reports. Among the more sensational details is the revelation that a number of buildings in Las Vegas were modified to house "metal alloys and other materials ... from unidentified aerial phenomena." It's a seemingly minor detail in a much larger story about a program that was established in 2007 under the guidance of then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat turned an interest in space phenomena into a DoD-funded $22 million investigation. Reid confirmed the existence of the program, as did Pentagon officials, though the latter claim that the program ended in 2012. "It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change," Pentagon spokesperson Thomas Crosson told the Times. Still, the Pentagon's engagement here is a big surprise: This is one of the few times — if not the first — that an arm of the U.S. government confirmed the existence of a modern program designed to look into extraterrestrial events. The Las Vegas storage location(s) were constructed by Robert Bigelow, a friend of Reid's and a NASA contractor who is currently working with the aerospace and aeronautics research agency on human habitats for outer space. The Times writes: Although the Pentagon confirms that funding for the program came to an end in 2012, former military intelligence official and program administrator Luis Elizondo claims that research efforts continue. The Times unearthed a great deal more information about this program and its beginnings, supporters, and operations. Definitely give that story a look if you're interested in learning more. (This is about UFOs, folks: Are any of you not interested in learning more?) WATCH: Here's a breakdown of the beloved 'Star Wars' character, the porg
Fifty-two-year-old Letizia Marsili and her mother, two sons, sister, and niece have had low sensitivity to pain since childhood. It's affected their family in a number of ways, including frequent burns from hot drinks and serious injuries from sports, Marsili explained to the BBC. “The members of this family can burn themselves or experience pain-free bone fractures without feeling any pain.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- End-of-Life and Palliative Care Health Literacy: Improving Outcomes in Serious, Advanced Illness (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
- End-of-Life and Palliative Care Health Literacy: Improving Outcomes in Serious, Advanced Illness (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Human Subjects Mechanistic and Minimal Risk Studies (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
- NIBIB Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21) (Clinical Trial Optional)
- Sleep disorders and circadian clock disruption in Alzheimers disease and other dementias of aging (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)