2 July 2015

Nyah! Nyah! How Goldfish Eluded Huge Predator for Years

The goldfish was tossed into the tank of an arapaima, a massive, predatory fish native to South America. Though it sounds far-fetched, the goldfish's survival in such a strange environment is not all that surprising, said Sudeep Chandra, an aquatic ecosystems researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno. The goldfish was originally intended to be fed to the arapaima, which are among the biggest freshwater fish in the world, with some reaching a whopping 484 pounds (220 kilograms).

2 July 2015

New Horizons Spots Methane Ice on Pluto

New Horizons Spots Methane Ice on PlutoMethane was first discovered on Pluto in 1976, so the find by New Horizons is not surprising. With the announcement of the methane detection, the mission team also released a series of new images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, which are steadily coming into focus as the probe nears its target. The source of methane on Pluto is currently unknown: it could be primordial, having come from the chemical soup that eventually formed the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.


2 July 2015

Pluto Probe's Hazard Search Turns Up No New Moons

Pluto Probe's Hazard Search Turns Up No New MoonsThe New Horizons probe has spotted no signs of rings or additional moons in the Pluto system, so the spacecraft will remain on its original trajectory when it zooms past the dwarf planet on July 14, NASA officials announced Wednesday (July 2). "Not finding new moons or rings present is a bit of a scientific surprise to most of us," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement. "We presented these data to NASA for review and received approval to proceed on course and plan.


2 July 2015

Ancient Ritual Bath Found Under Unsuspecting Family's Floorboards

Ancient Ritual Bath Found Under Unsuspecting Family's FloorboardsThe ancient ritual bath, called a "miqwe" or "mikveh," was discovered in the town of Ein Karem, a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem that claims to be the birthplace of John the Baptist. "Such instances of finding antiquities beneath a private home can happen only in Israel and Jerusalem in particular," Amit Re'em, a Jerusalem District archaeologist, said in a statement. Ein Karem, a mountainous region, is a sacred place for Christians not only because John the Baptist may have called it home, but also because it is where the Bible says his pregnant mother Elisabeth met with the Blessed Virgin Mary.


2 July 2015

Southern Lights Shimmer in Antarctica's Night Sky (Photo)

Southern Lights Shimmer in Antarctica's Night Sky (Photo)A dark, moonless sky is awash in light radiating from an aurora over Antarctica in a new image released by NASA. The satellite photo captures the aurora australis, or "southern lights," in the early morning hours of June 24. Solar flares, or intense radiation bursts from the sun, release a torrent of particles and electromagnetic energy toward Earth, flooding the atmosphere with lights that radiate around the North and South Poles.


2 July 2015

How Not to Get Stung by a Portuguese Man-of-War

Like cast members on a distasteful reality show, Portuguese man-of-war "jellyfish" are descending upon the Jersey Shore in increasing numbers. Last week, one of these venomous creatures (which are related to jellyfish) washed up in Harvey Cedars, a town on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Man-of-war fish have stinging cells that are still active and capable of stinging even after the creature is dead, according to Paul Bologna, associate professor of biology at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

1 July 2015

Study: Polar bears could feel global warming's sting by 2025

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2007, file photo, a polar bear mother and her two cubs are seen in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba. About a third of the world's polar bears could face imminent threat from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey released Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The effects of diminished sea ice will lead to population declines throughout the century, and scientists didn't see a rebound in population numbers from the modeling that went up to the year 2100, according to the report. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDITANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — About a third of the world's polar bears could be in imminent danger from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade, a U.S. government report shows.


1 July 2015

Total recall: brain process for memory formation revealed

Authors of study on memory seen in undated handoutBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With a little help from Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Aniston and Josh Brolin - or at least photos of them - scientists have gained a new understanding of how memories of everyday events are formed in the brain. Researchers said on Wednesday a study involving people with electrodes implanted in their brains has shown that individual neurons in a region called the medial temporal lobe play a central role in swiftly forming these memories. The devices also enabled the researchers to pinpoint individual neurons that encoded memories.


1 July 2015

Ex-Iowa State scientist gets prison for faking HIV research

FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, former Iowa State University researcher Dong-Pyou Han leaves the federal courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Han, who pleaded guilty in February to making false statements about a potential HIV vaccine in research reports, was sentenced Wednesday, July 1, 2015 to 4 and one half years in prison and must repay a federal government agency more than $7 million. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa State University scientist who altered blood samples to make it appear he had achieved a breakthrough toward a potential vaccine against HIV was sentenced Wednesday to more than 4 ½ years in prison for making false statements in research reports.


1 July 2015

Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking & the 'Terminator' Talk Science

What scientific questions does Mark Zuckerberg want answered? Stephen Hawking wants to know. In a town hall-style Q&A session held Tuesday (June 30) on Zuckerberg's Facebook profile, the acclaimed British physicist asked the site's co-founder and CEO to share some of the "big questions in science" that he'd like to see answered.