Science

Researchers can now identify someone using hair proteins

Researchers can now identify someone using hair proteins

Researchers can now identify someone based on the proteins in their hair, something that may last longer than the DNA prone to degradation. According to the current research — which will be refined in the future — it only takes 185 hair protein markers to identify one person amongst a larger population of a million people. While that may have somewhat limited usage, this method could one day be used to identify a single person in the entire world using one or more strands of hair.

Continue Reading

NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

Yesterday the NASA Osiris-Rex mission launched without a hitch. This mission is heading to an asteroid called Bennu with plans to take a sample of the asteroid and return it to Earth for study. Osiris-REx is an acronym, which is no surprise when you consider how famous NASA is for acronym names. The name stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer.

Continue Reading

Russian river turns blood red in nation’s latest environmental mystery

Russian river turns blood red in nation’s latest environmental mystery

Russia, land of bears and ice and mystery. The nation is no stranger to fireballs falling from the sky and, more recently, huge deep craters appearing in the Siberian ice from seemingly nowhere. Now there's another mystery for locals to ponder: a river has turned blood red, something that doesn't yet have any determined cause but that, some think, may be the result of pollution. As it turns out, the Hope Metals Plant is located upstream and may be leaking.

Continue Reading

Giant pandas’ status downgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’

Giant pandas’ status downgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’

Good news for fans of animals: one of nature's cutest critters, the giant panda, is officially no longer recognized as an endangered species. This announcement comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which clarifies, however, that the animals are still considered "vulnerable" to extinction due to the threat of climate change. In other words, the current state of giant pandas is improving, but they're not out of the fire yet.

Continue Reading

Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

Pistachio scarcity looms as droughts decimate farms

If you love pistachios, stock up while you can: the next few years or more may see a scarcity of the nut as long-running droughts in Iran have decimated entire pistachio farms and have others on the brink of collapse. Pistachios are a vital export for Iran, coming second only to crude oil, with the nation’s various pistachio farms producing 250,000 tons last year. Extreme water scarcity in the nation, though, has led to mass farm loss and more farms are sure to fail soon if something doesn't change.

Continue Reading

Nazi U-boat seen for first time since sinking in 1942

Nazi U-boat seen for first time since sinking in 1942

The German ‘U-boat’ submarine U-576 has been seen for the first time since sinking about 74 years ago. Entombed within are the 45 German sailors who went down with the sub; according to the researchers who discovered it, the hatches are still closed, and most of the other elements — minus the now-rotted wooden deck pieces — are still present. The discovery marks the end of a mission that has been ongoing since 2009, providing an actual look at the vessel that was first 'seen' by sonar in 2014.

Continue Reading

Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Just because Ceres is a dwarf planet doesn't mean that it has nothing of interest on its surface. As scientists have studied Ceres we have found that it may have ice deposits in its permanently shadowed regions. We have also learned that it has salt, mountains, and shiny craters on its surface. NASA has now offered up an image that shows a massive ice volcano sitting on the surface of the dwarf planet.

Continue Reading

Rosetta finds Philae crammed into a crack on comet surface

Rosetta finds Philae crammed into a crack on comet surface

More than a little drama has happened with the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta is the orbiter that circled the comet taking images and recording data while the Philae was a lander that was going to head down to the surface of the comet and send back even more data. The problem was that things didn’t go as planned for Philae.

Continue Reading

NASA spacecraft captures double eclipse in new video

NASA spacecraft captures double eclipse in new video

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, more commonly called the SDO, caught a rare double eclipse up close as both the Earth and the moon crossed in front of the sun. It’s a rare event, and one that we get to see up-close thanks to a video the space agency has made public. All we see are two massive dark shadows, but there’s an easy way to tell them apart — the Earth’s edges look fuzzy when it passes in front of the sun, while the moon’s edges are super sharp and clear.

Continue Reading

Jupiter’s North Pole is so unlike Jupiter, other gas planets

Jupiter’s North Pole is so unlike Jupiter, other gas planets

When you say “North Pole”, people will undoubtedly think of elves, Santa, and snow. Jupiter’s north pole, however, is anything but jolly. Initial data acquired from the Juno spacecraft’s first orbital flyby have started to open up more questions than NASA scientists could have imagine. While both north and south poles are, indeed, as stormy as the tempestuous giant of our solar system, images that Juno have gathered defy expectations and presumptions, revealing a plant that is just as mysterious as it is huge.

Continue Reading

SpaceX rocket explosion destroys Facebook’s first satellite

SpaceX rocket explosion destroys Facebook’s first satellite

Today a SpaceX rocket has exploded during a static fire test at Cape Canaveral, destroying $200 million in payload alone. This explosion destroyed an Amos-6 satellite (which was its payload as it were) - this all having taken place at SLC40 Cape Canaveral specifically at 1307 UTC September 1st, 2016. The explosion happened to a SpaceX Falcon 9 No. F9-029 - that's according to Johnathan McDowell, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Continue Reading

LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

LA’s mountain lions could go extinct in the near future

Mountain lions call the Santa Monica Mountains home, but that could change in the next handful of decades or sooner. According to the National Park Service and a study it did with researchers from UCLA, Utah State University, and UC Davis, LA’s mountain lions may fall victim to their lack of genetic diversity, something stemming from their geographical isolation. The mountain lions' unique location (near such a massive city) has also spurred the development of atypical behaviors.

Continue Reading