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SpaceX successfully delivers 20 mice to the International Space StationA SpaceX capsule rocketed to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Monday, carrying tons of science experiments, plus ice cream. As has become customary on these cargo flights, SpaceX landed its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral shortly after lift-off, a key to its long-term effort to recycle rockets and reduce costs. It was the 14th successful booster landing for SpaceX and the sixth on the giant X at the company's designated touchdown spot at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, just a few miles from its NASA-leased launch pad at Kennedy Space Centre. Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station being launched from Cape Canaveral Credit: SPACEX/SPACEX Experiments make up most of the 6,400 pounds (2900 kg) of cargo, which should reach the orbiting lab Wednesday. That includes 20 mice that will return alive inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule in about a month. The Dragon is also doubling as an ice cream truck this time. There was extra freezer space, so NASA packed little cups of vanilla, chocolate and birthday cake ice cream, as well as ice cream candy bars. A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lands its leftover booster back at Cape Canaveral shortly after liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Credit:  John Raoux/AP The mice are part of a study aimed at better understanding visual problems suffered in space by some male astronauts. Scientists will study the pressure in the animals' eyes, as well as the movement of fluid in their brains. Thirty days for mice in space is comparable to three years for humans, according to Florida State University Michael Delp, who's in charge of the experiment. The investigation may help explain why female astronauts don't have this vision problem, which can linger long after space flight, he added. Also going up on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation: protein crystals that, in space, might shed light on Parkinson's disease. This is the 13th delivery by SpaceX , one of two private shippers hired by NASA.

15-08-2017 01:12:02 ·

Is North Korea a Threat? Not as Much as Artifical Intelligence, According to Elon MuskElon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, speaks during the International Space Station Research and Development Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, on July 19. The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive has long warned of the dangers of AI and issued his latest warning after a bot from OpenAI defeated some of the world’s best players in in a professional gaming competition.

14-08-2017 12:53:02 ·

The Watch That Almost Destroyed an Entire IndustryWatch nerds love to hate quartz watches, and the Girard-Perregaux Caliber 350 is the grandaddy of them all.

14-08-2017 12:19:02 ·

Here Are The Odds An Asteroid Will Hit EarthScientists calculated the odds that a 1,000-foot asteroid will strike Earth in the next century.

14-08-2017 11:37:03 ·

SpaceX to launch super-computer to spaceSpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship toward the International Space Station Monday, including a super-computer that could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions. The liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo ship, is planned for 12:31 pm (1631 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The weather forecast is 70 percent favorable for launch.

14-08-2017 11:37:02 ·

Libraries obsolete? No way, say MillennialsMs. Charry, who is in her mid-20s, recently earned her master’s in library science and now works as a part-time librarian for various Boston Public Library (BPL) branches. Charry says “more and more” Millennials are interested in being librarians. And just as we need to rethink the stereotypical librarian, she says, we need to reimagine what libraries can do for young people. “Before I started working in a library I would hang out in libraries all the time, just as a place where people are willing to have a conversation or make recommendations for me,” says Charry, in between helping patrons at Boston's South End branch.

14-08-2017 11:05:03 ·

Learning a Ton of New Science From 2 Minutes of a Total Solar EclipseThe 2017 total solar eclipse is special. Unlike 1918, we now have the technology to study its entire journey over the U.S.

14-08-2017 11:05:02 ·

In Charlottesville aftermath, Europe sees widening divide with USPresident Trump’s initially vague critique of the white supremacist march through Charlottesville, Va., is being viewed in Europe as a clear sign of divergence between American and European leadership in the face of new expressions of hate in the West. Europeans have expressed doubts about Trump's commitment to post-war bodies such as NATO and to the liberal ideals that undergird the transatlantic relationship. Trump more forcefully denounced white nationalism Monday, telling journalists at the White House that “racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.” For some observers, however – even across the Atlantic – the delay meant it rang hollow.

14-08-2017 10:33:03 ·

More than spectacle: Eclipses create science and so can youNext week's stunning solar eclipse in the United States will generate as much science as oohs and aahs

14-08-2017 10:11:02 ·

After Charlottesville, a calling out of claims on racial superiorityWhether through peaceful rallies, prayer vigils, or family discussions, many Americans gave a strong reproof to the claims of racial superiority that were behind the Aug. 12 violence in Charlottesville, Va. Their president may have failed to quickly join the widespread condemnation. The popular rebuke of racial hatred after Charlottesville, however, seems hardly enough after so many high-profile cases of racially charged violence in the United States.

14-08-2017 10:01:03 ·

By attacking queen bumblebee, pesticide threatens colony: studyA common pesticide used on crops compromises a queen bumblebee's ability to lay eggs, threatening her colony with extinction, according to a study released Monday. Lab experiments used doses of thiamethoxam -- one of the controversial neonicotinoid family -- that corresponded to what a queen bee might encounter in the wild. Exposure to the chemical shifted the timing of colony formation and reduced the number of eggs by more than quarter, the researchers said.

14-08-2017 09:30:02 ·

NASA’s Golden Records Coming Back to Life, 40 Years LaterGolden records were brought aboard the Voyager space shuttle. Each record contained greetings in 55 languages, music and images - the idea was to give extraterrestrials an idea of life on earth. They are now being recreated as a box set and a book.

14-08-2017 09:03:02 ·

Amazon issues refunds to customers who bought counterfeit solar eclipse glassesWith millions purchasing protective eyewear ahead of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Amazon is working to remove potentially counterfeit glasses from its marketplace and issue refunds to those who have already bought them online. "The offers from sellers who provided this safety documentation remain available to customers," the spokesperson said. Amazon did not name any of those listings or specific brands in its statement.

14-08-2017 08:59:02 ·

The Latest: Experiments, ice cream launched to space stationSpaceX launches science experiments to the International Space Station _ plus ice cream

14-08-2017 08:59:02 ·

Those solar eclipse glasses you bought on Amazon might not protect your eyes after allWith a week until 2017's much-anticipated total solar eclipse, Amazon has recalled several eclipse glasses sold on its site over concerns they may not have come from trusted manufacturers. Since the rare phenomenon is unsafe to view with the naked eye, many eager people hoping to safely catch a glimpse of the moon passing in front of the sun purchased protective eyewear in advance.  However, as Oregon broadcaster KGW reported, in some cases, those who purchased the glasses from Amazon recently received email from the company recalling glasses from certain third-party vendors. Amazon is also offering full refunds for recalled products. SEE ALSO: You can do some really cool science during the total solar eclipse In a statement, Amazon said the decision was made out of "an abundance of caution" and that purchasers of affected glasses were notified last week: The company also noted to KGW that anyone who purchased glasses from the manufacturers in question received an email, but for those still concerned here's how to tell if your eclipse glasses or solar viewers are safe. Got the email from Amazon today about the solar eclipse glasses I bought. pic.twitter.com/U4aLkt67xM — Neil Steiner (@neilsteiner4) August 12, 2017 While the recalls and refunds were much appreciated, with the Aug. 21 event fast-approaching, some who purposely bought their glasses in advance can't help but be bummed out over Amazon's oversight.  Just got an email that our solar eclipse glasses I bought months ago may not be safe and now they're sold out everywhere... — Julia Bacon (@missjuliabacon) August 13, 2017 Received email from @amazon this morn: my solar eclipse glasses not NASA apprvd.Don't use. Cred my acct.Now none avail!Bad bus. JustCYA — bloginthewheelLife (@bloginthewheel) August 12, 2017 Though the recall is last minute, have no fear. You can find a list of reputable eclipse glasses and viewers vendors here, and NASA also released an educational DIY video teaching us all how to create a pinhole camera from a cereal box. This way the eclipse can be viewed safely, even without Amazon-purchased eyewear.  WATCH: 20 questions you're too embarrassed to ask about the solar eclipse

14-08-2017 08:28:03 ·

A Chinese Satellite Just Sent an “Unhackable” Quantum SignalThis could be huge.

14-08-2017 08:28:03 ·

Scientists discover 91 volcanoes slumbering beneath the West Antarctic Ice SheetIn a discovery that sounds like the premise for an environmental disaster movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, researchers say they've identified 91 previously unknown volcanoes sitting underneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.  Yes, that's the same ice sheet that climate scientists are concerned has slid into an irreversible collapse, due to human-caused global warming. If verified through other studies, the new results would bring the total number of volcanoes beneath this part of Antarctica to nearly 140, and raise the unsettling possibility that subglacial heat from these volcanoes could speed up the melting of the ice.   SEE ALSO: One of the largest icebergs ever recorded just broke free of Antarctica The study, from researchers at Edinburgh University, used radar data from aircraft and satellites that penetrates through the ice to expose the rock below. They then analyzed the observations to find basalt rock formations closely resembling volcanoes. According to the study, the volcanoes are concentrated along the 1,864-mile-long West Antarctic Rift System, which extends from the Ross Ice Shelf to the Antarctic Peninsula.  "It is fascinating to uncover an extensive range of volcanoes in this relatively unexplored continent," said study co-author Robert Bingham, in a press release. "Better understanding of volcanic activity could shed light on their impact on Antarctica’s ice in the past, present and future, and on other rift systems around the world." If the discovery is validated by further work, the newly-found volcanoes could make the West Antarctic Ice Sheet home to one of the densest volcanic ranges in the world, similar to East Africa's volcanic ridge. Critically, though, the study does not indicate whether the subglacial volcanoes are currently active. But it does raise reasons to be both concerned and also potentially optimistic about how the volcanoes could either hasten or hinder Antarctic ice melt. Data from the study showing the identification of cone-shaped formations under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.Image: M. VAN WYK DE VRIES ET ALOne possibility the study raises is that as more ice melts above these volcanoes, it will encourage molten rock, known as magma, to flow upwards, increasing volcanic activity.  This dynamic, where melting glaciers are leading to more active volcanic activity, has been observed in Iceland, the study notes. Any additional subglacial heat would flow into the bottom of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, speeding its flow into the sea, where it would hasten sea level rise. There is another possibility, though, which is that the protrusions of the subglacial volcanoes could act to "pin" parts of the ice sheet in place, the study found.  In this way, it could actually slow the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. "Numerical models used to project potential rates of  WAIS [West Antarctic Ice Sheet] retreat show that, once initiated, ice retreat will continue unabated as long as the ice bed is smooth and downslopes inland, but that any increase in roughness or obstacle in the bed can act to delay or stem retreat," the study states.  "We have identified here a number of volcanic edifices sitting within the [West Antarctic Ice Sheet's] deep basins; these edifices, which are likely to owe their existence to volcanism, could represent some of the most influential pinning points for past and future ice retreat," the study says.  So, if you live in a coastal location and are worried about sea level rise, you might want to add volcanic activity to your list of things to closely watch for signs of how Antarctica will respond to a warming climate. 

14-08-2017 07:56:06 ·

312 dead as mudslides, flooding sweep through Sierra Leone capitalAt least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless on Monday when heavy flooding hit Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown, leaving excavators to pull bodies from rubble and overwhelming the city's morgues. An AFP journalist saw several homes submerged in Regent village, a hilltop community, and corpses floating in the water in the Lumley West area of the city, as the government held an emergency meeting to plan its response to one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the city. Red Cross spokesman Patrick Massaquoi told AFP the death toll was 312 but could rise further as his team continued to survey disaster areas in Freetown and tally the number of dead.

14-08-2017 07:56:05 ·

NASA’s next spacecraft may launch from virtual and augmented realitiesNASA astronauts have already visited Mars in virtual reality. Now the agency is exploring new ways to apply virtual and augmented realities for scientists and engineers, from designing next-gen spacecraft to interpreting cosmic data.

14-08-2017 07:24:03 ·

New study: pesticides increase extinction risk for bumblebee populationsExposure to neonicotinoids could lead to fewer bumblebee colonies, less pollination, and ultimately to population extinctions.

14-08-2017 07:24:03 ·
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