22 May 2015

'Tomorrowland' Celebrates Walt Disney's Vision of the Future

'Tomorrowland' Celebrates Walt Disney's Vision of the Future"I grew up during the Cold War," said George Clooney, who plays Frank Walker, a grizzled, disillusioned inventor who sets things in motion in the film. Brad Bird, the director of the film (and previously of "Iron Giant," "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles"), said he gets his optimism from a space-race perspective. In fact, NASA's role in "Tomorrowland" has come full circle.


22 May 2015

Dino-Chicken Gets One Step Closer

Dino-Chicken Gets One Step CloserTalk of a "chickenosaurus" lit up the science world last week when researchers announced they had modified the beak of a chicken embryo to resemble the snout of its dinosaur ancestors. "From a quantitative point of view, we're 50 percent there," said Jack Horner, a professor of paleontology at Montana State University and a curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies. By understanding how and when to modify certain molecular mechanisms, countless changes could be within reach.


22 May 2015

Atheists Inspire Thoughts of Death in Many Americans

Now, research suggests one reason why: Thinking about atheists reminds people of death. Not only do thoughts of death put people in a negative frame of mind, Cook told Live Science, but they also prompt people to hold more tightly onto their own values. "There's a little circular thing going on where encountering atheism will make people grasp their values closer and then become more negative because atheists are perceived as not having values," Cook said.

22 May 2015

Prosecutors: Professor offered China data on US-made device

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The chairman of Temple University's physics department schemed to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments for himself, federal authorities said in charging him with four counts of wire fraud.

22 May 2015

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe FoundThe engine behind the galaxy's brilliance may be a supermassive black hole, researchers said. If this is indeed what's going on with the newly discovered galaxy, which is known as WISE J224607.57-052635.0, it raises an interesting question: How did the supermassive black hole get so big, so fast? The black hole may simply have been born big, researchers said.


22 May 2015

SpaceX capsule splashes down in Pacific with space station cargo

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station in this NASA handout photoBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A Space Exploration Technologies Dragon cargo capsule made a parachute splashdown into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, wrapping up a five-week stay at the International Space Station. The capsule blasted off on April 14 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the orbiting outpost three days later with more than 4,300 pounds (1,950 kg) of food, supplies and science experiments for the live-aboard crew. It was repacked with 3,100 pounds of science samples and other equipment and released back into orbit at 7:04 a.m. EDT (1104 GMT) on Thursday for a return trip to Earth, a NASA TV broadcast showed.


22 May 2015

Testosterone Rules for Women Athletes Are Unfair, Researchers Argue

Elite women athletes are currently barred from competing in top-tier competitions, such as the Olympic Games and World Championships, if their testosterone levels are too high. Most studies have found that men's levels of natural testosterone (often called "T levels") are about 10 times higher than women's, and even the highest levels in women are still far below the lowest levels in men, the researchers said. "This policy excludes women with naturally high T" from competing, said Katrina Karkazis, a co-author of the new editorial published online today (May 21) in the journal Science, and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

22 May 2015

Feds: Temple professor offered China data on US-made device

The chairman of Temple University's physics department was arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments. Xi Xiaoxing, ...

21 May 2015

Lockheed-Boeing rocket venture needs commercial orders to survive

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Launch Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, on Thursday said it would go out of business unless it won commercial and civil satellite launch orders to offset an expected slump in U.S. military and spy launches. ULA President Tory Bruno said the company must attract those kind of orders to remain a "viable economic entity" so it is scrambling to restructure and develop a new rocket that in seven or eight years could launch satellites twice as fast at half the current cost. Formed by the two largest U.S. weapons makers in 2006, ULA has long been the sole company able to launch U.S. military and intelligence satellites into orbit.

21 May 2015

Scientists want you to know plankton is not just whale food

Handout of scientists aboard the Tara Oceans vessel use plankton nets to strain microbes from seawaterBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of the world's ocean plankton, the tiny organisms that serve as food for marine creatures such as the blue whale, but also provide half the oxygen we breathe. Plankton include microscopic plants and animals, fish larvae, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that drift in the oceans. "Plankton are much more than just food for the whales," said Chris Bowler, a research director at France's National Center for Scientific Research, and one of the scientists involved in the study published in the journal Science.


21 May 2015

Mind-controlled prosthetic limbs allow precise, smooth movement

Patient Erik Sorto takes a drink in this handout photoBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than a decade after becoming paralyzed from the neck down, Erik Sorto has been unable to perform even the simplest of daily tasks. "That was the ultimate goal: to drink a beer by myself," said Sorto, a 34-year-old from Los Angeles who became a quadriplegic after a 2002 gunshot wound. Things may be looking up for Sorto and others with similar disabilities.


21 May 2015

Ancient Wolf DNA Could Solve Dog Origin Mystery

Ancient Wolf DNA Could Solve Dog Origin MysteryGenetic evidence from an ancient wolf bone discovered lying on the tundra in Siberia's Taimyr Peninsula reveals that wolves and dogs split from their common ancestor at least 27,000 years ago. "Although separation isn't the same as domestication, this opens up the possibility that domestication occurred much earlier than we thought before," said lead study author Pontus Skoglund, who studies ancient DNA at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute in Massachusetts. "Siberian huskies have a portion of their genome that traces back exclusively to this ancient Siberian wolf," Skoglund told Live Science.


21 May 2015

Bowwow wow! Dog domestication much older than previously known

The lower jawbone of the Taimyr Wolf that lived approximately 27,000 to 40,000 years agoBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Genetic information from a 35,000-year-old wolf bone found below a frozen cliff in Siberia is shedding new light on humankind's long relationship with dogs, showing canine domestication may have occurred earlier than previously thought. Scientists said on Thursday they pieced together the genome of the wolf that lived on Russia's Taimyr Peninsula and found that it belonged to a population that likely represented the most recent common ancestor between dogs and wolves. Using this genetic information, they estimated that dog domestication occurred between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago.


21 May 2015

Bowwow wow! Dog domestication much older than previously known

The lower jawbone of the Taimyr Wolf that lived approximately 27,000 to 40,000 years agoBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Genetic information from a 35,000-year-old wolf bone found below a frozen cliff in Siberia is shedding new light on humankind's long relationship with dogs, showing canine domestication may have occurred earlier than previously thought. Scientists said on Thursday they pieced together the genome of the wolf that lived on Russia's Taimyr Peninsula and found that it belonged to a population that likely represented the most recent common ancestor between dogs and wolves. Using this genetic information, they estimated that dog domestication occurred between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago.


20 May 2015

Scientists reveal Washington state's first dinosaur

SEATTLE (AP) — Scientists say they've discovered Washington state's first dinosaur fossil, an announcement that marks a unique find for the state and a rare moment for North America's Pacific coast.