Science

Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

The city of Salem, Oregon had a plan that must have seemed brilliant in someone's mind: renting goats to mow down a city park's brambles, berry bushes, and other troublesome plants one bite at a time. The spirit of the experiment was a noble one -- goats are more environmentally friendly than lawn tractors, and presumably aren't as loud as a gas-powered motor. Unfortunately, they do have one very big downside: a hoard of them together in a park produce a pretty terrible smell.

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NASA’s latest Pluto photo reveals frozen canyons

NASA’s latest Pluto photo reveals frozen canyons

It's been some time now since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft completed its flyby of dwarf planet Pluto, but the project is still producing amazing insights and images. Following recent photos of mountainous regions and a potential ice volcano, NASA has now published an image of the North Pole region, revealing a pockmarked topography full of frozen canyons and valleys. To get a better understanding of just how large and deep all these pits are, the widest area of the planet seen in this photo measures 21,000 miles across.

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SpaceX cancels yet again its second launch mission

SpaceX cancels yet again its second launch mission

Elon Musk and Space X might dream of space travel that is as common as a plane flight, but we are far, far away from that future if this week's aborted launch attempts are any indication. Imagine if you had your flight canceled twice, the last one just minutes before take off. That, unfortunately, is the reality of SpaceX latest launch mission, which has now twice been canceled, first due to inclement weather and now due to technical difficulties, the latter just 2 minutes before launch.

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Earth’s first critter was a sea sponge

Earth’s first critter was a sea sponge

The first animal to inhabit our planet was probably the sea sponge, according to a new study. Researchers with MIT performed a genetic analysis on 640-million-year-old rocks and found a molecule hailing from the lowly sea sponge. Based on this, scientists believe the creature was probably Earth’s first animal, with it arriving a considerable amount of time before most other animals.

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NASA boasts record number of astronaut applications

NASA boasts record number of astronaut applications

NASA says it has received a record number of astronaut training applications, with more than 18,300 people submitting their bid to become one of the nation’s next space travelers. In comparison, only 8,000 applications were received back in 1978. The number further dwindled to 6,300 in 2012. NASA had opened to new applications last month, and just recently stopped accepting them on February 18, tallying up the numbers before the long process of picking out finalists.

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Dodos weren’t as dumb as believed, had high sense of smell

Dodos weren’t as dumb as believed, had high sense of smell

Researchers have revealed that dodos, the extinct flightless bird upon which a certain insult is based, weren’t as dumb as commonly believed. The assertion follows an analysis of a dodo’s brain structure and size, the results of which hint at an intelligence level akin to that of pigeons. While the brain was small, it matched the birds’ average body size and indicated an exceptional sense of smell.

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Talcum Powder And Cancer Linked In $72 Million Johnson & Johnson Jury Award

Talcum Powder And Cancer Linked In $72 Million Johnson & Johnson Jury Award

Could there be a link between talcum powder and cancer? It depends on whether you choose to believe the scientific evidence or the recent actions of a jury in the state of Missouri, which this past week awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder.

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German city bans single-use coffee pods

German city bans single-use coffee pods

Coffee pods -- those little plastic single-serve coffee containers you pop into, for example, a Keurig -- have been partially banned in the German city Hamburg. The ban covers single-use coffee pods, which are used once and then thrown away, rather than reusable coffee pods, which can be manually refilled with coffee grounds and essentially function as tiny coffee filters. The move was made out of environmental concern.

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Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

Mars Express images reveal past Red Planet flooding

The European Space Agency has published images of a Mars region showing marks left by water in the Red Planet’s distant past. According to the ESA, water has left “a variety” of marks on Mars, parts of which have been captured as part of the agency’s Mars Express mission. A large impact basin is shown in the newly published images, as well as thin grooves that had been cut by flowing water long ago.

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Tweet NASA your artwork and they’ll send it to an asteroid

Tweet NASA your artwork and they’ll send it to an asteroid

If you've ever thought of your artwork floating among the star, NASA has the opportunity for you. The space agency has launched a campaign dubbed "We The Explorers," where their OSIRIS-REx will be traveling to the asteroid Bennu and back, carrying art from anyone sent in via Twitter. It's basically a public time capsule that's being sent into space and deposited on an asteroid, where it will remain for all time.

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Virgin Galactic officially debuts SpaceShip Two, the VSS Unity

Virgin Galactic officially debuts SpaceShip Two, the VSS Unity

It's been some time in the making, but Virgin Galactic, the commercial space flight division of Sir Richard Branson's company, has officially taken the wraps off the new SpaceShip Two. As the first new craft from Virgin Galactic since the tragic crash during a 2014 test flight, killing one of two crew members, the ship will bear the name VSS Unity, which was given by none other than Stephen Hawking.

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Russia plans to use modified missiles to shoot asteroids

Russia plans to use modified missiles to shoot asteroids

The danger of large asteroids colliding with Earth is always a concern for space agencies around the world, and there are a number of plans on how to prevent this from happening. Russia, however, seems to have plans that involve a more direct approach: blowing up any approaching meteorites using intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Apparently this is the country's strategy for revenge for the 2013 meteor that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring over 1,000 people.

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