Science News Headlines

Latest News

  • On the hunt for the presidency, Jeb … Reuters - Wed 22 Apr, 2015
    On the hunt for the presidency, Jeb …

    By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jeb Bush is eating like a caveman, and he has literally shrunk in size. The former Florida governor, expected to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, is on the popular Paleo diet, which is based on what are believed to be the eating habits of the Paleolithic hunters and gatherers. For Bush, the results have been noticeable. His son George P. Bush, the newly elected Texas land commissioner, talked Jeb and Jeb Bush Jr. into trying it, a source close to Bush said.

  • Monsoon in India seen below average … Reuters - Wed 22 Apr, 2015
    Monsoon in India seen below average …

    India's monsoon rains could be below average in 2015 due to an impact of El Nino weather pattern, which can bring on a dry spell in the region, the weather office said on Wednesday. Rains are expected to be 93 percent of a long-term average, Earth Science Minister Harsh Vardhan said, after releasing the forecast of the India Meteorological Department. India's weather office defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month season. Indian monsoon rains were hit by El Nino weather pattern in 2009, when the four-month long monsoon season turned the driest in nearly four decades.

  • Struggling to remember the name of Jeb … Reuters - Tue 21 Apr, 2015
    Struggling to remember the name of Jeb …

    By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's hard to remember whether Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's super PAC is called America Rising or Right to Rise. The independent political group will likely raise hundreds of millions of dollars to back the former Florida governor's bid for the White House, but it's not meant to attract attention.     The Bush super PAC is in fact Right to Rise. America Rising is another political action committee, unconnected to Bush, that plans to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, although it does share one goal in common with Right to Rise: to defeat Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016. They also share some thematic similarity with the group supporting another Republican presidential hopeful, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Our American Revival), which isn't too different from groups advocating for potential candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (America Leads) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (Pursuing America's Greatness).

  • A dog's life: study reveals people's … Reuters - Thu 16 Apr, 2015
    A dog's life: study reveals people's …

    Researchers in Japan said on Thursday oxytocin, a hormone that among other things helps reinforce bonds between parents and their babies, increases in humans and their dogs when they interact, particularly when looking into one another's eyes. "Oxytocin has many positive impacts on human physiology and psychology," said Takefumi Kikusui, a veterinary medicine professor at Japan's Azabu University, whose research was published in the journal Science. In one experiment, dogs were put in a room with their owners. The researchers tracked their interaction and measured oxytocin levels through urine samples.

  • Upset Watch 2015: My NBA playoffs first-round … Sportskeeda - Thu 16 Apr, 2015
    Upset Watch 2015: My NBA playoffs first-round …

    We have entered the zone of straight-up best-of-seven knockout series. And beyond the single game edge that every ‘home’ team will have in each series, nothing from the past will matter anymore. Like every year, I present a preview in terms of percentage probabilities; as in, the probability of an underdog (away team) to upset the favourite in every series (home team) in the First Round. It’s an inexact science, occasionally wrong, but I promise you, thoroughly entertaining. Here – in ascending order of least probably upset to most – is my preview of all the series in the First Round.

  • Snap, crackle, pop: study reveals secret … Reuters - Wed 15 Apr, 2015
    Snap, crackle, pop: study reveals secret …

    Researchers said on Wednesday they have settled the issue of what occurs inside knuckles to trigger the familiar popping sound, thanks to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments that they jokingly dubbed the "pull my finger study." It turns out the cracking is caused by the rapid formation of a gas-filled cavity within a slippery substance called synovial fluid that lubricates the space between the finger bones, they said. "I quite like the sound, but that's my inner nerd talking," said Greg Kawchuk, a professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who led the study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. The first scientific study on this topic, in 1947, suggested - quite correctly, as it turns out - the sound came from formation of a gas cavity inside the joint. Fryer was so adept that Kawchuk called him "the Wayne Gretzky of knuckle-cracking." "Rapid imaging with MRI was ideal for these studies because it allowed clear visualization of the bones and fluids surrounding them, and critically, the formation of the air cavity," added University of Alberta biomedical engineering professor Richard Thompson.

  • SpaceX rocket blasts off, then lands … Reuters - Wed 15 Apr, 2015
    SpaceX rocket blasts off, then lands …

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - An unmanned SpaceX rocket blasted off from Florida on Tuesday to send a cargo ship to the International Space Station, then flipped around and made a hard landing on a platform in the ocean. “This might change completely how we approach transportation to space,” SpaceX Vice President Hans Koenigsman told reporters during a prelaunch press conference. After sending the capsule on its way to orbit, the rocket’s first stage flipped around, fired engines to guide its descent, deployed steering fins and landing legs and touched down on a customised barge stationed about 200 miles (322 km) off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

  • U.S. has record number of H-1B tech … Reuters - Tue 14 Apr, 2015
    U.S. has record number of H-1B tech …

    Applications for H-1B visas allowing U.S. businesses to hire foreign workers in science, engineering and computer programming totalled a record 233,000 for fiscal 2016, according to government figures released on Monday. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday used a computer-generated lottery process to dole out the visas, and will start processing them by May 11, the agency said on its website. "Year after year, the government falls back on a lottery system to determine which U.S. employers will ‘win’ the ability to hire top world talent," Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration, an industry lobby group, said in an email on Monday in response to the figures. President Barack Obama's move last November to ease immigration rules using his executive authority largely disappointed tech industry leaders.

  • Manuscript by Nazi code breaker Alan … Reuters - Tue 14 Apr, 2015
    Manuscript by Nazi code breaker Alan …

    By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 56-page handwritten notebook that belonged to World War Two Nazi code breaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing, played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the film "The Imitation Game," sold for more than $1 million at an auction in New York, Bonhams said on Monday. Turing, a British mathematical genius, led a team of cryptographers who cracked the wartime Enigma code, which the Germans had considered unbreakable. Cassandra Hatton, senior specialist in Bonhams' fine books and manuscripts department, said the result of the auction as a testament to Turing's legacy.

  • Twitter turns Clinton's "H" … Reuters - Mon 13 Apr, 2015
    Twitter turns Clinton's "H" …

    Worse yet for the would-be 2016 standard-bearer of the left-leaning Democratic Party: The arrow pointed to the right. "So what lucky 3rd grader won the Design the Hillary Clinton Campaign Logo contest?" Tweeted a commentator with the handle @massfubar to nearly 14,000 followers. It also became an early reminder that missteps or hiccups by the campaigns, however small or trivial, can echo across social media at lightning speed. The official Twitter account for WikiLeaks, the organization founded by Julian Assange which publishes secret information leaked from governments and corporations, tweeted its own logo, which also includes a thick red arrow pointing to the right, side-by-side with Clinton's to emphasize the similarities.

  • U.S. Box Office: 'Furious 7' … Reuters - Mon 13 Apr, 2015
    U.S. Box Office: 'Furious 7' …

    "People feel like they're living through the summer movie season right now even though it's not summer," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. The comic look at a documentarian in the throes of a mid-life crisis has earned $2.4 million since debuting three weeks ago.

  • A year after ferry disaster, safety … Reuters - Sun 12 Apr, 2015
    A year after ferry disaster, safety …

    By Ju-min Park and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - Nearly a year after her 16-year-old daughter was among 304 people killed when an overloaded ferry capsized, Park Eun-mi says not much has changed when it comes to safety in South Korea. "Even after what we've been through, I wonder why society doesn't change, and how people so quickly forget," said Park, surrounded in her apartment by photographs of her daughter, who is among nine victims of the ferry disaster whose body has yet to be recovered. Public safety was mostly an afterthought in South Korea's decades of rampant economic growth, defined by an attitude of "pali, pali," or "hurry, hurry." The Sewol ferry disaster on April 16 last year led to much soul-searching - the majority of the victims were, like Park's daughter, teenagers on a school outing. The total number of ship accidents in South Korea, for example, rose in 2014 as did the incidence of fires and the number of people killed in them.

  • Toil and trouble: researchers link Shakespeare … Reuters - Sat 11 Apr, 2015
    Toil and trouble: researchers link Shakespeare …

    By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "This is the short and the long of it," as William Shakespeare wrote in "The Merry Wives of Windsor." A play called "Double Falsehood" published in 1728 by a man who claimed it was based on a lost Shakespeare play but has long been dismissed as a forgery may indeed be the real deal. University of Texas researchers have unveiled a sophisticated new study of "Double Falsehood" that used text-analysing software that helped create a "psychological signature" of the playwright. "I am quite confident that Shakespeare had a direct hand in writing 'Double Falsehood.' Put me down for 97 percent confident," University of Texas social psychologist James Pennebaker, co-author of the study published in the journal Psychological Science, said on Friday.

  • Iran deal could stumble on sensitive … Reuters - Sat 11 Apr, 2015
    Iran deal could stumble on sensitive …

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Beefing up international monitoring of Iran's nuclear work could become the biggest stumbling block to a final accord between Tehran and major powers, despite a preliminary deal reached last week. As part of that deal, Iran and the powers agreed that United Nations inspectors would have "enhanced" access to remaining nuclear activity in Iran, where they already monitor key sites. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, but it has never welcomed intrusive inspections and has in the past kept some nuclear sites secret. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say for Iran on the deal, on Thursday ruled out any "extraordinary supervision measures" over nuclear activities and said military sites could not be inspected.

  • Move over sci-fi: 'Climate fiction' … Reuters - Fri 10 Apr, 2015
    Move over sci-fi: 'Climate fiction' …

    By Kyle Plantz LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Students at a Massachusetts college have just read "The Windup Girl", the tale of a dystopian future Bangkok where climate change has pushed up temperatures and sea levels, and viruses acquired from genetically modified food are killing people. The book, by debut novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, is the product of a new class at Holyoke Community College on "climate fiction" or "cli-fi", a relatively new variant of science fiction. Around the world, from the United States to Britain to India, cli-fi classes are creeping into timetables as academics try to bring a growing international concern into the classroom in a lively way that combines science and emotion. "Cli-fi is capturing what is in the air now, the human impact on the environment, and I think literature is a great tool to raise awareness for this," said Elizabeth Trobaugh who teaches the class at Holyoke and earlier taught a class looking at real-life science in science fiction.

Your Gadgets