Henin takes winning streak to 27

first_imgFirst published on Thu 10 Jan 2008 19.04 EST “It’s important to get this kind of match so close to the Australian Open [which starts on Monday], that’s what I really need,” Henin said. “The conditions were pretty tough. It’s not as hot as it is in Melbourne, but still it was quite difficult on the court and pretty windy.”Kuznetsova also had to battle before coming through 7-5, 7-6 in her semi-final against the Czech Nicole Vaidisova to set up a repeat of last year’s US Open final, which Henin won at the cost of only four games. In the men’s event, no seeds reached today’s semi-finals. Tomas Berdych, the Czech world No14, was the only seed to reach the last eight before he went out 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 to the Australian wildcard Chris Guccione, who had beaten his compatriot Lleyton Hewitt the previous day.The tall left-hander, ranked No125 in the world, faced Radek Stepanek in the semi-finals after the Czech accounted for Argentina’s Agustin Calleri 6-2, 6-4.Stepanek spent the off-season training at altitude in Mexico and said he felt like a new man when he returned to sea level. “I noticed at the zero level I was able to breathe for three other people,” he said. “I was drunk from the air up there.”Meanwhile in Tasmania, the Russian Vera Zvonareva overpowered Ashley Harkleroad 6-2, 6-1 to set up a final with Eleni Daniilidou, of Greece, at the Hobart International. Zvonareva needed just under an hour to humble the American qualifier, while Daniilidou powered into the final with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the Italian Flavia Pennetta.Zvonareva, who has been seeded 23rd for the Open, converted five of seven break point opportunities in the match. ” It was a tough match, the score seems to [make it look] much easier but we had really good rallies,” she said. “There is nothing else I could wish for but being in the final.” Tennis Tennis Henin takes winning streak to 27 Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Shares00 Thu 10 Jan 2008 19.04 EST Share on Facebook Read more Julian Linden in Sydneycenter_img Share on Messenger The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share on LinkedIn The world No2 Svetlana Kuznetsova was determined not to be overawed by the long winning streak of Justine Henin as she went into today’s final of the Sydney International warm-up event against the world No1. “She’s going in as favourite and that’s fine with me. I’m just going to play my game,” the Russian said.Henin had struggled with her service in the humid conditions before she registered her 27th straight victory in her semi-final against the Serbian Ana Ivanovic. The Belgian served 11 double-faults and was broken three times before running out the 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 winner. Share on Facebook Share via Email Share via Email Topics Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Lumb ton leads Rose Bowl revival

first_imgTopics Share on Twitter Hampshire … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook Lumb ton leads Rose Bowl revival Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian Mike Averis in Southampton Overnight Lumb was 49 and went on to reach his half-century, off 105 balls, in the third over of the day. Ninety three deliveries later he had passed three figures, but Somerset did not make it easy.There were elegant drives and cuts before the nerves set in. Andy Caddick, captaining for the injured Justin Langer, joined in the mind games, rotating his bowlers before he took the new ball with Lumb on 95 and lunch an over away. Caddick’s second delivery was eased smoothly up to the pavilion for a 15th boundary. The third ball was horribly mistimed, but flew safety between mid-off and bowler for two runs and an embrace from Sean Ervine.Six runs into the afternoon Lumb was gone, edging a fired-up Caddick to the wicketkeeper, but Hampshire began to build on their 226 for six. Ervine, with 69 off 97 deliveries, and Dimitri Mascarenhas, with 41 from 58, upped the pace.They were rattling along at better than six an over before Marcus Trescothick slowed things down with two fine slip catches. When Mascarenhas was trapped lbw, Somerset had the three points needed to pull alongside Notts at the top, but any chance of moving on was ended when rain returned with 26 overs remaining. Hampshire Somerset316 41-0 Since you’re here… Hampshire After a season and a half and 39 matches trying, Michael Lumb finally got an elusive first century for Hampshire yesterday. The 28-year-old Yorkshireman took almost five hours getting the job done, but on yet another overcast day at the Rose Bowl the relief was palpable and an understanding crowd managed a standing ovation.In six seasons with Yorkshire he made only eight centuries, 14 fewer than his father Richard, a former opening partner of Geoff Boycott’s. Last season he got to 50 eight times without converting one, his last championship ton coming when he made 105 as a Yorkshire middle-order bat against Hampshire in July 2006. This time – and for the first time – Hants pushed him up the order and promotion worked. County Championship Division One match reports Read morecenter_img Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Somerset County Championship 2008 Division One Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share via Email First published on Wed 20 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Wed 20 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Pinterest Cricket Shares00 Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Texas Supreme Court Seeks Comments on Mandatory Limits on Discovery and Trials

first_img Lost your password? Password Remember me Usernamecenter_img Defense and plaintiffs lawyers are critical of the one-size-fits-all cases approach. Litigators also worry that language in the order that might allow the court to apply the rules to disputes involving more than $100,000. Click on the headline to read the full story . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

Polsinelli Names New Shareholders One in Dallas

first_img Password © 2013 The Texas Lawbook.By Brooks IgoStaff Writer for The Texas LawbookPolsinelli associate Joshua Weaver is one of 33 new shareholders at the firm, according to a press release issued by the firm. He is the only promoted shareholder in Dallas, Polisnelli’s lone office in Texas.The SMU Dedman School of Law graduate focuses his practice on health care law. Weaver effectively became a shareholder Nov. 1.The number of shareholders promoted by Polsinelli increased by 12 this year. The Kansas-City based firm has been named . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.center_img Lost your password? Usernamelast_img read more

FCPA Blog Low Oil Prices Hurt FCPA Compliance Efforts

first_img Lost your password? Energy and natural resource executives highlight specific areas of concern in a KPMG International survey . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Passwordcenter_img Username Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

Life Biosciences contributes 100000 to fund its biomedical innovation course on aging

first_imgAug 17 2018The MDI Biological Laboratory has announced that Life Biosciences, a biotech company co-founded by David Sinclair, Ph.D., a leading researcher on aging and age-related diseases, has contributed $100,000 to fund its biomedical innovation course on aging.Other sponsors of the recent course, Comparative and Experimental Approaches to Aging Biology Research, included the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and the Gerontological Society of America.The intensive, two-week course attracted graduate and post-doctoral students from around the globe to the coast of Maine to study the latest advances in the biology of aging with the leaders in the field, and to gain hands-on experience in working with the techniques and laboratory models used to study aging.The course emphasized the advantages of various model animal systems for addressing mechanisms relevant to the field. The participants engaged in hypothesis-driven research utilizing experimental methods including CRISPR, mRNA translation profiling, microinjection of animal models, quantitative fluorescence microscopy (QFM) and health/survival assays.The course also featured a “Live Longer, Live Better” lecture series for the public, which included a talk by Sinclair, who, in addition to being co-founder and chairman of Life Biosciences, is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging.The aim of the lecture series was to bridge the gap between the public’s perception of how close science is to being able to extend healthy lifespan, and what is really occurring. The speakers described many therapies now under development for extending lifespan and delaying the onset of the age-related degenerative diseases. The series is available for viewing on the”The biggest thing that will happen in this century is our ability to control biology,” Sinclair said in his lecture, which was entitled “Why Reversing Aging is Easier Than Reversing Baldness.” “It’s happening so fast that even I cannot believe it. I am regularly reading about things that even as recently as two years ago were considered — if not impossible — then far-in-the-future technologies. My head is spinning.”Related StoriesIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data TsunamiRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationScientists discover rare autoimmune disease triggered by testicular cancerThe course, which was first held in 2016, is an outgrowth of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to extend healthy lifespan by developing new therapies to prevent or repair damage due to age-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.”Both Life Biosciences and the MDI Biological Laboratory view many of today’s biggest health challenges — from Alzheimer’s and heart disease to cancer and macular degeneration — as responses to the aging process,” said David Setboun, vice president of the Academy, a not-for-profit branch of Life Biosciences. “By attacking the aging process, we can also attack its manifestations.”Life Biosciences is focused on extending “healthspan” — or the period of life spent in good health — by researching the eight components of aging in order to delay or reverse them. The Boston-based company, described by Sinclair as a “Manhattan Project” for aging, serves as an investment platform for a group of early-stage biotech companies focused on these critical components.”The partnership with Life Biosciences is a natural extension of our goal to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying aging,” said MDI Biological Laboratory scientistThe course represents a natural link between the scientists at Life Biosciences, who are at the forefront of aging research, and the next generation of aging biology scientists, who will continue to build on the rapidly accelerating body of knowledge in the field, he added.”The introduction of therapies to prolong healthy lifespan isn’t science fiction — it’s happening right now,” said Source:https://mdibl.org/press-release/life-biosciences-funds-mdi-biological-laboratory-aging-course/last_img read more

Medical marijuana may alter brain connections to provide relief from chronic nerve

first_img Source:https://www.aan.com/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 6 2018When medical marijuana is taken for chronic nerve pain, it may provide pain relief by reducing connections between the areas of the brain that process emotions and sensory signals, according to a study published in the September 5, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study looked specifically at radicular pain, a type of nerve pain that radiates from the spine into the legs. Sciatica is a common form of radicular pain.The component of marijuana examined in this study was tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of many cannabinoids found in marijuana and the one most commonly associated with producing a high.”Pain is a complex experience that involves both the senses and emotions,” said study author Haggai Sharon, MD, of the Sagol Brain Institute, Tel Aviv Medical Center in Israel. “Our study results link pain relief from THC with a reduction in the connections between areas of the brain otherwise heavily connected, suggesting that THC may alleviate pain by disrupting signals between these pain processing pathways.”The study involved 15 men with chronic radicular nerve pain with an average age of 33. Women were excluded since hormone fluctuations during menstruation may affect pain sensitivity. All participants had medium to high radicular pain for over six months.Before treatment, participants rated their pain levels and had brain scans with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at the connections between various areas of the brain. Participants were then given treatment with THC.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskFor the first visit, nine participants were given an average of 15 milligrams of THC oil placed under the tongue and six were given placebo oil. One hour after treatment, participants were questioned again, and had another brain scan approximately two hours after treatment.At least one week later, participants returned for a second visit and those who had the placebo now received the treatment, and vice versa.Researchers found that THC reduces a person’s pain when compared to placebo. On a scale of zero to 100, before taking medication, on average participants rated their pain levels at 53. After taking THC oil, they rated their pain levels at an average of 35 compared to an average of 43 for those who were given the placebo.In addition, the more pain relief a person experienced, the greater the reduction of connections between the areas of the brain involved in processing pain.”Interestingly, our results also show that the more connected the areas of the brain that process emotion and sensory prior to treatment, the greater the pain relief experienced when taking THC,” said Sharon. “Larger studies are needed to confirm our findings.”Limitations of the study are that women were excluded and the number of participants was small. Also, this study looked only at THC. Future studies are needed to examine how other components of the marijuana plant, like cannabidiol, may be useful in relieving pain in combination with THC.last_img read more

Why ants dont get into traffic jams

first_imgRush hour usually brings a stop-and-go nightmare as we inch our way home from the office. But for ants, more traffic doesn’t always lead to a slow crawl. New research published in The Science of Nature has found that some ants actually travel faster when more of them take to the roads. To uncover this odd rule, ecologists set up a traffic camera on a small stretch of trail built by black-backed meadow ants (Formica pratensis, pictured). The researchers placed some tuna out of frame, farther up the trail, to goad the ants out of their hill. Then, they used software to track the insects in the video. The team counted the ants and calculated the speed of about 500 individuals. Surprisingly, they found that the bugs hit the gas instead of the brakes as it got more crowded, upping their speed by about 25% as their density doubled. The ants even collided more often while maintaining their speedy synchronized commute. That may be evidence that collisions serve an important role, the new study reports, allowing incoming foragers to give tips about a new site. The researchers write that studying the traffic patterns of ants might help alleviate congestion on our own roads, assuming we can avoid the fender-benders.last_img read more

Leafcutter ants use chemical warfare to keep fungus at bay

first_imgLeafcutter ants, which can live in colonies of a million or more, maintain a famously complex relationship with several species of fungi—some of which provide the insects with nutrients and some of which, like Escovopsis, are dangerously parasitic. Scientists have wondered how the ants can live in such large numbers without being ravaged by disease. New research published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B hints that some members of the Atta genus may combat infection with a foul-smelling acid. Whenever they spot Escovopsis, they secrete phenylacetic acid from a special gland in their thoraxes, a strategy that kills the fungus and sets the ants apart from close relatives that cultivate bacteria and other microbes to fight off the fungi. The team also found that as colonies grew larger, Atta ants acquired more specialized roles and body shapes. An entire subset of small worker ants, for example, develops enlarged glands and seem to specialize in finding and treating fungus outbreaks. So far, there have been no observed instances of an Escovopsis outbreak destroying a colony. The fungi are fighting back, though: The authors state that populations of the fungus living alongside the ants display an increased resistance to phenylacetic acid. How the ants have managed to use the same chemical treatment for millions of years without being overrun remains unclear, but the authors speculate that part of the ants’ success may result from an extremely judicious use of their acid defense; they never use it unless there’s an infection, and they only treat infected areas using a precise grooming method.last_img read more

Early dinosaur may have flown like a bat

first_imgTest your dinosaur knowledge: The creature depicted here is a) the only known dino with wings like those of a bat; b) lived right around the time of the earliest known birds; or c) has the shortest name ever given to a dinosaur. If you said “all three,” you are correct. This 160-million-year-old dino, called Yi qi (“strange wing” in Mandarin Chinese, pronounced “ee chee”) and discovered in northeastern China, weighed just under 400 grams and belonged to a group of pigeon-sized dinosaurs closely related to the first birds (like the 150-million-year-old Archaeopteryx). But unlike any other known bird or dino, Yi qi had a long, stiff, slightly curved rod projecting from each of its wrists, made of either bone or calcified cartilage. The team thinks that these rods supported wings made of skin, because patches of a membranous, soft-tissue material were found stretched between the long rods and the shorter fingers of its forelimbs. Although no dinos or birds have these rodlike bones, flying squirrels and bats do have similar structures, as did the prehistoric flying reptiles known as pterosaurs. Thus, Yi qi could also likely fly, the team reports online today in Nature, but whether it was a glider or capable of flapping-powered flight is not yet clear.last_img read more

Think you can tell when your kid is lying Think again

first_imgYour favorite vase lies broken on the floor, and your 8-year-old blames the cat. Is he telling the truth? Chances are, you can’t tell, according to a new study. Data gathered from 45 experiments involving more than 10,000 kids and adults suggest that although most adults think they know when a mumbling, fidgeting, shifty-eyed kid is deceiving them, they can only correctly identify lies 47% of the time. That’s no better than if they just guessed, researchers report in Law and Human Behavior. The findings also strengthen a long-held hypothesis: Kids become better liars as they age. Professionals like social workers and teachers are also slightly better than laypeople at detecting lies, the team found. The authors caution that their investigation was only a meta-analysis, which combines the results of many scientific studies, and that many of these projects weren’t conducted the exact same way—something that could shift results in one direction or the other. But they hope their paper will highlight important areas of future research, which someday might help parents, teachers, and neighbors better detect fibbing kids.last_img read more

Mexican scientists feel the Trump effect

first_imgMEXICO CITY—For Andrés Moreno-Estrada, the news was welcome but the timing, terrible. Moreno-Estrada, who hunts for genetic variations linked to disease, recently learned that he had won a 13-million-peso grant from Mexico and the United Kingdom to sequence DNA from blood samples in a public health biobank. But 13 million pesos isn’t what it was before Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency. When the population geneticist at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Irapuato, Mexico, submitted his proposal in November 2015, the exchange rate was 16 pesos to the dollar, and his grant would have been worth $812,500. Now, the rate is 21 pesos to the dollar. “There’s no way I can do what I committed to,” he says, unless he raises more money.The fall of the peso, provoked in part by Trump’s insistence on building a border wall and making Mexico pay for it, is one contributor to the waves of angst sweeping through the Mexican science community. “Every time Trump tweets something about Mexico, the peso takes a hit,” says Daniela Robles-Espinoza, a cancer geneticist who is outfitting a new lab at the International Laboratory for Human Genome Research in Juriquilla, Mexico. As the dollar value of grants shrinks, so does buying power: Mexican scientists purchase most of the research materials and equipment they use from the United States. The peso depreciation also strains Mexican scientists hoping to travel to international conferences or publish in journals that require publication fees.Trump’s harsh stance toward Mexico has made scientists here nervous about the fate of U.S. funding for cross-border collaborations. “The worry is that [Trump] will limit, or perhaps end, some of the academic exchange we have,” either through new regulations or by cutting off money for collaborations, says Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi, a geophysicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) here and president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. The U.S. National Science Foundation currently supports about 200 projects with Mexican collaborators. Mexico’s National Council for Science Technology (Conacyt) said in a statement that “it is an opportune moment” to expand collaborations with other countries including the European Union and China. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Economic turmoil could also harm industries that support innovation in Mexico. Many Mexican scientists and engineers work in auto manufacturing, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on cars assembled in Mexico, which has already prompted Ford to abandon plans for a new factory in San Luis Potosí. If foreign companies that have been hiring Mexicans with advanced degrees stop doing business in the country, “that would be a true disaster,” says Luis Herrera-Estrella, director of LANGEBIO. “It would cause terrible unemployment in Mexico.”Geography made us cousins. This is like breaking up a family.Carlos Gay, National Autonomous University Amid nationwide calls to support Mexican businesses and boycott U.S. firms, Lorenza Haddad sees a glimmer of hope. A Mexican geneticist who studied in the United States, she’s the CEO of Código 46, a new company in Cuernavaca that plans to offer genotyping services for personalized medicine to Mexican clients starting next month. “The way Mexico has been talked about lately, it puts us on the map a lot more than before,” she says.Chilly relations may also change the calculus for promising young Mexican scientists planning to go abroad. Like scientists from countries targeted by Trump’s immigration order, Mexican researchers who normally would come to the United States for graduate training or postdocs say they may find a warmer welcome elsewhere. In 2016 Conacyt awarded 1550 grants to graduate students and researchers studying in the United States, making it the No. 1 destination for Mexican scientists abroad. Santiago Rábade, who is working toward his master’s degree in earth sciences at UNAM, says that many peers are now considering pursuing degrees in the European Union or Japan—“where there is less anti-Mexican sentiment.” Rábade says he still plans to apply to doctoral programs at U.S. universities, but he is uneasy. “I’m making a major life decision. Is the United States really a good place to be for 5 years?” he asks. “It no longer seems like a friendly place.”“Geography made us cousins,” says UNAM climate scientist Carlos Gay. “This is like breaking up a family.”Additional reporting by Jeffrey Mervis. 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Our treeclimbing human ancestors could walk upright like us study of chimps

first_img Konrad Wothe/Minden Pictures By contrast, humans, who have a shorter pelvic bone called an ischium (informally known as a “sit bone”), can hyperextend their legs in a way that generates less force on the hamstrings at the knees. When humans take a stride, the muscles that attach to the ischium—the hip flexors and the hamstrings—swing in a broader arc from front to back than in other living apes so they use less energy to move farther. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Ann GibbonsApr. 2, 2018 , 3:00 PM With their opposable toes and flat feet, early human ancestors have often been portrayed as weird walkers, swaying from side to side or rolling off the outside edges of their feet. Now, a new study finds that this picture of awkward upright locomotion is wrong: Early members of the human family, or hominins, were already walking upright with an efficient, straight-legged gait some 4.4 million years ago. The study helps settle a long-standing debate about how quickly our ancestors developed a humanlike gait, and shows that ancient hominins didn’t have to sacrifice climbing agility to walk upright efficiently.For years, some paleoanthropologists argued that hominins like the famous 3.1-million-year-old Lucy weren’t graceful on the ground because they retained traits for climbing trees, such as long fingers and toes. In one famous experiment, researchers donned extra-long shoes—one critic called them clown shoes—to mimic walking with longer toes. The scientists stumbled over their long feet and concluded that early hominins would have been just as clumsy. But other researchers argued that natural selection would have quickly favored adaptations for efficient walking given the dangers on the ground, even while hominins were still scurrying up trees.To test these hypotheses, evolutionary anthropologist Herman Pontzer of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City and his team compared how humans, living apes, and monkeys use their hips, leg bones, and muscles when they walk and climb. CUNY graduate student Elaine Kozma filmed chimps, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons, and other primates in zoos so she could measure the precise angles of their legs and hips when they walked upright. She then calculated the stresses on their bones during maximum extension and found that apes put a lot of force on their massive thighs, hamstrings, and knees—forces that also help them power up trees. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The size and orientation of a pelvic bone called the ischium (green) determines the range of motion (yellow angle) in a primate’s stride and how much power the leg has in its hamstring as it walks upright or climbs a tree. In the new study, Pontzer and Kozma also calculated the range of hip and leg extensions of three species of ancient hominins. Lucy and other members of Australopithecus had the full human range of motion, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, even though they still had traits that helped them climb trees (albeit less powerfully than other living apes).Even older ancestors may have been able to take straight-legged strides. The 4.4-million-year-old hominin known as Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus) had pelvic bones oriented in such a way that its hip flexors could extend almost as much those of modern humans, despite having a long, apelike ischium. That reveals a flexible adaptation that allowed Ardi to walk upright efficiently but still power up trees, Pontzer says. “Ardi seems to have been able to bridge both worlds,” says paleoanthropologist Carol Ward of the University of Missouri in Columbia, who was not part of the team.Whereas Pontzer thinks natural selection favored energy-efficient gaits, paleoanthropologist Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University in Ohio suggests Ardi and its descendants may have cared more about avoiding injury. “If you run with a massive thigh and must stop suddenly, it’s much easier to tear a hamstring,” says Lovejoy, who was not involved in the study. “And if you tear one, you’ll be consumed by a pack of wild dogs. Good luck with that.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe When chimps walk upright, they use an inefficient bent-legged gait, unlike the straight-legged stride of humans. Our tree-climbing human ancestors could walk upright like us, study of chimps and other primates shows E. Kozma et al., PNAS 10.1073 (2018) Emaillast_img read more

Hurricane Florence is coming Scientists are scrambling to prepare

first_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Hurricane Florence is coming. Scientists are scrambling to prepare NASA Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Frankie SchembriSep. 12, 2018 , 2:30 PM Here are some snapshots of how scientists up and down the coast are getting ready for what experts say could be one of the most consequential storms to strike the mid-Atlantic region in more than a century.What do whales do in a hurricane?At the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, researchers are pulling small research vessels out of the water, and helping students collect as many data as possible if their in-water experiments are likely to be destroyed by the storm, says lab director Andrew Read. “One of our Ph.D. students has been using exclosures [barriers that exclude animals from study areas] to look at the effects of large rays and small sharks on the structure of seagrass ecosystems,” Read says. “She’ll probably lose most of her exclosures in the storm.”But the hurricane is also providing research opportunities. For instance, Florence could provide a chance to understand how whales behave in the middle of a hurricane. Duke researchers have previously tagged deep-diving whales and will be monitoring their movements via satellite. And Read says Duke microbiologist Dana Hunt is planning a posthurricane study that will examine how bacteria living in waters inside North Carolina’s barrier islands respond to the expected massive influx of saltwater from the storm surge, followed by a huge pulse of fresh water from the rain.At The Duke Forest, a 2800-hectare forested site operated by the university near Durham, North Carolina, staff have been helping researchers either secure or remove their equipment, says Sara Childs, the forest’s director. Air-quality monitors on 30-meter-high towers have been removed, she says, and those at ground level in open fields were fastened more securely.Saving “precious samples”Heather Patisaul, a professor of toxicology at North Carolina State University (NC State) in Raleigh, sat her research group down this week to make a list of their “most precious samples,” so they could figure out which of the animal tissues used in multiyear studies should be moved to freezers with backup power supplies. Patisaul told her doctoral students to put a priority on anything absolutely essential for their dissertation projects. “I’m also going to have at least two coolers of dry ice at home,” Patisaul says. “So, if our freezers go down, at the very least I can get into campus with those coolers and get our most precious samples on dry ice.” The researchers have also moved computers, microscopes, and tissue-slicing equipment away from windows and off of floors.Ann Ross, a professor of forensic anthropology at NC State, says her lab is taking special precautions to store the human and animal bones they are now examining in their evidence lockers. Because the lab is certified to assist North Carolina law enforcement agencies in their forensic casework, Ross says she’s most concerned about maintaining her lab’s security if the power goes out, which is crucial for assuring an unbroken chain of custody.“It just isn’t worth it”David Eggleston, director of NC State’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, spent all day Tuesday in a truck towing a boat, which he and his team used to retrieve water-based instruments from eight study sites. “It’s always a trade-off between collecting data during the storm and losing equipment,” Eggleston says. The team “rolled the dice with Hurricane Irma” last year and ended up losing a number of expensive sensors, he says.This year they aren’t taking any chances. They are pulling up all their hydrophones, the underwater microphones they use to track fish by listening for their grunts and clicks. Olivia Caretti, one of Eggleston’s doctoral students and the truck’s driver, was using the data to create a soundscape of marine ecosystems.A different team retrieved 15 signal receivers for a second fish-tracking experiment looking at cobia, striped bass, and endangered sturgeon. “It’s tough to make the call, knowing you’ll lose several weeks of data,” Eggleston says. “But we took a look at the size and strength of Florence and said: ‘It just isn’t worth it.’”A surge of gaugesResearchers from four universities are getting ready for Florence by installing wave gages—pressure sensors that can help scientists model the height and shape of storm waves—on buildings in the hurricane’s path. The team installed five gauges in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, earlier this week, and plans to install five more gauges (some of which had to be express mailed from Wisconsin) on nearby Topsail Island.Spencer Rogers, a coastal construction expert at NC State’s North Carolina Sea Grant (NCSG), a collaborative research program involving several colleges, is leading the team, which also includes researchers from the University Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana; and the University of North Carolina in both Wilmington and Chapel Hill. Rogers says the researchers are most interested in looking at how buildings are affected by the hurricane’s storm surge, waves, and erosion impact, as well as creating better models of storm surge.Crews from the U.S. Geological Survey, meanwhile, are installing more than 190 temporary storm-tide sensors and water level gauges in the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Known as rapid deployment gauges, they are designed to augment the agency’s network of permanent instruments and can be quickly installed on bridges and piers. They will provide real-time information on water levels to the government agencies coordinating emergency responses. The storm-tide sensors will collect information on changes to ocean tides caused by the hurricane and can help emergency responders plan for current damage while improving forecasting models for future storms. Barbara Doll, a water quality and protection specialist at NCSG, is also planning to collect data on the expected extreme inland flooding near the North Carolina coast for an ongoing project with the state’s Department of Transportation. The goal is to develop an early warning system to alert officials to close roads ahead of deadly flooding around the Neuse and Cashie rivers.Watching the storm, in real timeResearchers and others looking to monitor the storm in real time can turn to a web portal run by the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) in Charleston, South Carolina. The group, one of 11 ocean monitoring programs led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will be collecting and displaying as much Hurricane Florence information as it can through its online data portal, says Debra Hernandez, SECOORA’s executive director.There are live video feeds from seven beaches on the east coast, weather buoys reporting coastal wind speed, and a high-frequency radar network showing the real-time direction and speed of the hurricane. Hernandez says she and her research partners have some “severe worries” about the safety of their measurement tools out in the field, as the process to get federal funding to replace and repair damaged equipment it is often a lengthy one. They are still waiting on funds to replace some sensors that were lost last year during Hurricane Irma.NOAA and academic researchers are also involved in an effort to use several torpedo-shaped, robotic deep-sea gliders to study the hurricane. The automated vehicles are hardy enough to continue collecting data throughout the storm, says Catherine Edwards, a glider researcher at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah. Two gliders are now moving up and down through the water column near the storm, gathering information on salinity and temperature, and providing researchers with a glimpse of what’s going on beneath the surface. “There’s growing recognition that subsurface data is really important for getting ocean predictions correct,” Edwards says. A state of emergency has been declared for much of the United States’s mid-Atlantic seaboard as Hurricane Florence, a swirling spiral more than 550 kilometers wide with winds gusting to more than 225 kilometers per hour, churns toward the coast. Florence is expected to cause life-threatening flooding as it makes landfall on Friday, and 1.5 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia have already been ordered to board up their homes and flee.Researchers at the universities and government facilities in Florence’s predicted path are bracing for the storm. Some are scrambling to protect sensitive samples against power outages and secure expensive instruments from winds and floods. Others are rushing to deploy new experiments to collect as many data as possible before, during, and after the hurricane.ScienceInsider will be tracking how Hurricane Florence affects the research community. Tell us your story—or send us a tip about a story you think we should be covering—by emailing fschembri@aaas.org, or tweeting to @ScienceInsider.last_img read more

New Horizons reveals a snowman at the edge of the solar system

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country LAUREL, MARYLAND—Humanity is getting its first good look at a primordial planetary building block, in images sent back by this afternoon by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after its flyby of MU69, a small icy body at the far fringes of the solar system.For a half-year, the New Horizons team had puzzled over the possible shape of MU69, which was little more than an oblong dot in Hubble Space Telescope images. Is it two icy objects orbiting each other, or a single “peanut”? It turns out to be both. Resembling a 33-kilometer-long interplanetary “snowman,” in the words of Alan Stern, a planetary scientist from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, and principal investigator for the $800 million mission, MU69 appears to have formed when two spherical objects gently smooshed together billions of years ago. Mutual gravitational attraction keeps them married despite their gentle, 15-hour rotation. “What you’re seeing is the first contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft,” Stern said today at a press conference here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.The 140-meter-resolution image, taken 28,000 kilometers from MU69 half an hour before the spacecraft’s closest approach, reveals two bumpy, reddish spheres, with one three times the volume of the other. The object has a mottled look, with the bright patches concentrated in mysterious circles while the darker areas seem more linear. The “neck” between the two lobes is particularly bright, perhaps because small, reflective particles tumbled into its crevasse, said Cathy Olkin, a deputy project scientist and planetary scientist at SwRI. Although the photo doesn’t show shadows, MU69’s profile suggests it could have hills as tall as a kilometer. Email NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute By Paul VoosenJan. 2, 2019 , 5:30 PM New Horizons reveals a ‘snowman’ at the edge of the solar system MU69 appears to have few craters or other signs of violent impact, supporting the idea that the solar system’s building blocks formed when friction and gravity gently drew together clouds of dust and gravel—a theory known as pebble accretion. Closer to the sun, these building blocks would go on to form Earth, Mars, and all the other planets. But in the Kuiper belt, the region of icy bodies beyond Neptune, they formed but did not evolve further, said Jeff Moore, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and the mission’s geology lead. Kuiper belt objects “are the first planetesimals,” he said. “These are the only remaining basic building blocks.”Seeing one close up could clear up many debates. For example, comets that visit Earth from the Kuiper belt have had a peanutlike profile similar to MU69, prompting debate about whether they were sculpted by the sun’s heat or looked that way from the start. The latter now seems likely. “This really puts the nail in the coffin now,” Stern said. “We know this is how many objects like this form.” (The discovery also suggests the rubber-duck comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was actually the first contact binary to be explored by a spacecraft when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta visited it in 2014.)The MU69 story is only starting to unfold, Stern added. Less than 1% of the data has returned so far. More will be presented tomorrow, perhaps giving a better indication of its composition. New Horizons’s journey into the solar system’s past has just begun.*Correction, 3 January, 10:55 a.m.: This story has been updated to note that MU69 may not be the first contact binary visited by a spacecraft.last_img read more

The International Space Station has found its scientific calling

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The International Space Station has found its scientific calling By Paul VoosenMay. 2, 2019 , 12:05 PM NASA Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Earth-observing instruments roost on a platform attached to a Japanese module. The savings have helped NASA preserve the breadth of its earth science missions, after two spectacular launch failures: the loss of the original OCO satellite, which crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009, and the 2011 demise of Glory, meant to track atmospheric particles. Although Freilich marshaled support to build OCO-2, costs doubled for several other planned satellites, putting smaller missions in jeopardy.Around this time, Japan added a module to the ISS. Its flat terrace, jutting off its human-habitable module, was a good perch for 10 plug-and-play instruments. If putting Earth-observing instruments there would let NASA get much of the science for a fraction of the cost, that seemed like a good deal, Freilich says. “Everybody benefits. [NASA’s human program] gets to show the utility of the station,” while the earth science division flies more experiments.OCO-3 will be the third prominent NASA mission to be mounted on the Japanese module within the past year. Ecostress, attached in July 2018, measures the heat given off by plants to gauge the impact of heat waves and drought. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), launched in December 2018, uses a laser to probe the height of tree canopies and understories. Later this year, a Japanese hyperspectral imager that can detect land use and forest type will take a fourth spot. Other instruments mounted elsewhere on the ISS in the past 2 years measure lightning, incoming sunlight, and ozone.Like OCO-2, OCO-3 carries a spectrometer that spies on wavelengths of light absorbed by carbon dioxide (CO2), providing a count of all CO2 molecules on a path from the ISS to the surface. Based on how CO2 concentrations vary from place to place, the missions can map some emission sources along with absorption by plants. But the measurements are difficult given the vast background of CO2 already in the atmosphere.At first the OCO-3 team wasn’t thrilled to end up on the ISS, says Annmarie Eldering, the mission’s project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. But they came to see advantages. The erratic timing of its observations will make it challenging for OCO-3 to infer trends over weeks or months but will allow the instrument to explore how plant carbon emissions vary over the course of the day. “That’s going to be very useful,” Eldering says, especially when combined with measurements taken simultaneously by GEDI and Ecostress.OCO-3’s angled perch on the ISS also required a pivoting mount to allow it to see straight down. By pivoting, it can map CO2 over large regions, roughly the size of the Los Angeles, California, basin, during a single pass. Such regional maps could capture emissions from local sources such as cities and industry, says Christopher O’Dell, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and enable OCO-3 to test the promise of verifying CO2 cuts from space. “That’s the goal,” O’Dell says. “We don’t know if that’s possible.”The ISS has one key constraint: space. After 3 years, OCO-3 is likely to be displaced on the Japanese module. NASA and Japan are already talking about what will go next to take its slot, Eldering says. Afterward, she says, “They will take us off and burn us up in the atmosphere.”Yet the promise of a space-based platform for making multiple simultaneous measurements of Earth at lower cost will live on. Rudranarayan Mukherjee, a JPL engineer, is developing a concept called the Science Station: a robotic mini–space station with trusses and a robotic arm that could host a dozen Earth-observing instruments in low orbit. The space station, he says, “has shown the benefit of having a platform in lower Earth orbit that’s a shared resource.” NASA hasn’t yet committed to the concept, he says. But he adds, “People can instantly see, yeah, I could see how that could work.” The International Space Station (ISS) has never been known as a hotbed of science, even though the United States and partner nations spent more than $100 billion to build it. Inside its cramped bays, astronauts study the biological effects of microgravity, and a few astrophysical experiments are mounted to its exterior. But 2 decades after it started to take shape, the ISS has finally found a scientific calling: looking down at its home planet.The ISS is now home to five instruments that observe Earth, with two more set to join this year. One, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3), was scheduled for launch this week from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a routine resupply mission. Its launch marks a political victory: President Donald Trump has proposed canceling OCO-3 several times, only to be rebuffed each time by Congress. It also marks a victory of expedience over perfection.The ISS is not the ideal platform for OCO-3, which was built to fly on a stand-alone satellite. In fact, “It’s probably not the perfect platform for almost anything,” says Michael Freilich, who led NASA’s earth science division in Washington, D.C. for 12 years until his retirement in February. “It’s big. It flexes. It travels around in a cloud of contaminants.” And, most important, its orbit misses the poles and revisits sites at a different time each day. But compared with launching a satellite, mounting the instrument on the ISS is vastly cheaper: At $110 million, OCO-3 costs a quarter as much as OCO-2, which launched as a stand-alone mission in 2014. Emaillast_img read more

103yrold GreatGreat Grandmother Becomes Grand Canyon Junior Ranger

first_imgSituated along the Colorado River in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a United States National Park as well as an undeniably breathtaking world geological feature. Spanning a length of 277 miles, the Canyon celebrates its 100th anniversary as a National Park on February 26, 2019. The park is younger, however, than Rose Torphy, a member of the Junior Ranger Program of the Grand Canyon National Park. Ms. Torphy is 103 years old and became a Scorpion in January when visiting the Canyon with her family. This official title is given to those who swear the Junior Ranger pledge:“I promise to discover all I can about Grand Canyon National Park and to share my discoveries with others. I pledge to enjoy and protect Grand Canyon and all national parks to be a friend to my planet Earth.”Grand canyon at sunrise with river ColoradoThe pledge is very important to Ms. Torphy, who told Good Morning America, “My parents taught me to care for the land, but not all kids have that.”A great-great-grandmother, Ms. Torphy enjoys the company of her ever-expanding family: her own three children, nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren. She hopes to endow her reverence for nature upon her clan so that they will be inspired to visit the Grand Canyon one day, and maybe even to help protect it.Junior Ranger Rose Torphy. Photo Courtesy Cheryl L Torphy StoneburnerThe Grand Canyon began to come into existence approximately five to six million years ago as the Colorado River snaked its way across the Colorado Plateau. It was considered as a protected site in the 20th century thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt, who was part of a conservation group called the Boone and Crockett Club. Together, they formed the National Parks Association.Through the latter’s Antiquities Act of 1906, President Roosevelt had it in his power to create a national park encompassing the Grand Canyon. Like any political legislation, he found his attempts blocked by interested parties of miners looking to tap into the Canyon’s rich resources.Luckily, President Woodrow Wilson managed to finally pass the law in 1919, making the Grand Canyon the 17th U.S. National Park.Photo Courtesy Cheryl L Torphy StoneburnerSuch opposition from those wanting to exploit the natural wonder hasn’t faded over the years, unfortunately. The Grand Canyon faces many risks to its well-being. Home to endangered species like the California condor and victim of noise pollution, forest fires and water disputes, it is understandable why Rose Torphy wants to encourage support for the Canyon.Ms. Torphy’s granddaughter currently works at the Grand Canyon, already showing signs of the centenarian’s influence.Photo Courtesy Cheryl L Torphy Stoneburner.The visit in January was a meaningful recreation of Ms. Torphy’s first trip to the Canyon over 30 years ago with her late husband. Though dependant upon a wheelchair, the newly instated Scorpion Junior Ranger was still able to see over the edge. Her daughter remarked upon the impressive accessibility at the National Park.They also saw to recreate a photo Ms. Torphy had taken with her husband in the ‘80s, instilling family tradition.Photo Courtesy Cheryl L Torphy Stoneburner.To celebrate its 100th birthday, the National Parks Service is hosting a year’s worth of events for the Grand Canyon. On its actual birthday, February 26th is the kick-off event. Demonstrations from neighboring Native tribes, school choirs, and the Grand Canyon Conservancy staff will run all day at the Visitor Center.Most importantly, there will be birthday cake! Here’s hoping it’ll rival the Canyon in size.Read another story from us: Looking Back at the Life of the World’s Oldest ManAt 103, Rose Torphy can welcome the Grand Canyon into the centennial club. This Junior Ranger has worn her official commemorative pin every day since she gave her pledge, proudly boasting her position of conservationist. One can only hope the Canyon’s 100th birthday inspires at least 100 more people to get involved in conservation efforts.last_img read more

Australian student missing in North Korea is released

first_img North Korea, Australian student missing in North Korea, Australian missing in North Korea, Alek Singley With no diplomatic presence in North Korea, Australia had mounted an aggressive search for Sigley through third parties. (Reuters/File)An Australian student who went missing in North Korea has been released, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. “Mr Alek Sigley has been released from detention in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Morrison told Parliament, referring to North Korea by its official name. Published: July 4, 2019 10:23:40 am Mitch McClenaghan reveals how Ben Cutting motivated Jason Behrendorff before England game Australian govt seeks information about man detained in North Korea Advertising Australian model avoids US prison sentence after fracas on international flight Post Comment(s) “Alek is safe and well … we were advised that the DPRK have released him from detention and he has safely left the country and I can confirm that he has arrived safely.”North Korea-focused news site NK News earlier reported that Sigley had arrived in Beijing and would soon travel on to Tokyo, citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation.Sigley, 29, one of only a handful of Western students in the secretive country, went missing last week, with his family saying they had not heard from the university student, who was based in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, since June 25.With no diplomatic presence in North Korea, Australia had mounted an aggressive search for Sigley through third parties. Related News last_img read more

Trump officials warn of active threats to US elections

first_imgDirector of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and other officials “made it clear there are active threats and they’re doing everything they can” to stop them, said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. Dingell called the closed-door presentation “very impressive” and said the issue was “one we all need to take seriously.”Coats, Wray and other officials, including acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, met separately with the House and Senate in classified briefings at the Capitol. Democrats requested the sessions as they press legislation to keep Russia and other foreign adversaries from interfering with the U.S. political system.House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., called the briefing helpful and said it reinforced the importance of remaining vigilant against outside threats to U.S. elections. While acknowledging that Congress may need to act, McConnell said he’s skeptical of Democratic-passed bills on election security, saying they give too much control over state and local elections to the federal government.Democrats “have twice passed bills aimed at centralizing election administration decisions in the federal government, in part on the hope that election attorneys _ not voters _ will get to determine the outcome of more elections,” he said Wednesday.Democrats disputed that and said urgent action is needed to guard against Russian interference.“We know that nefarious foreign and domestic actors continue to meddle in our democratic systems, and we’ve been put on notice that previous efforts were only trial runs presumably for our next election in 2020,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chief sponsor of the House election security bill. Advertising Trump campaign fires pollsters after mixed messaging US elections 2020: The peril in Elizabeth Warren’s fundraising gamble Best Of Express Post Comment(s) “It’s interesting that some of our colleagues across the aisle seem to have already made up their minds before we hear from the experts that a brand-new, sweeping Washington, D.C., intervention is just what the doctor ordered,” he said. Advertising Advertising In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Joe Biden aggressively defends Obamacare Related News By AP |Washington | Published: July 11, 2019 8:38:07 am Federal agencies “continue to learn from the mistakes of the 2016 election, when the (Obama) administration was flat-footed in their response” to Russian interference, Scalise said. “We need to stay vigilant.”Special counsel Robert Mueller laid out details of Russian interference in the 2016 election in his report earlier this year, and lawmakers from both parties have warned that the Russians are likely to try to interfere again in 2020.Democrats say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked bipartisan bills to address election security, and they pressed for the briefings as a way to force his hand.McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said he welcomed the briefings. The “smooth and secure execution” of the 2018 midterm elections “was not a coincidence” and showed the success of measures the administration has already taken, he said. Trump officials warn of 'active threats' to US elections Despite his joking request to Putin _ “Don’t meddle in the election” _ Trump takes the issue seriously, the official said.The Trump administration warned of unspecified “active threats” to US elections as top security officials briefed Congress Wednesday on steps the government has taken to improve election security in the wake of Russian interference in 2016. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook The FBI and other law enforcement “definitely upped their game in 2018,” said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. “But the Russians and others will be back.”While national security officials “are working their hearts out,” they were not helped when President Donald Trump joked about election interference with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, Warner said. Congress also must act, Warner and other lawmakers said, as they urged bills that would create a paper ballot system to back up election machines and impose sanctions on foreign countries that interfere with U.S. elections.National security officials said in a statement Wednesday that election security is a top priority and that officials are taking a “whole-of-government approach” to securing the 2020 elections, along with state, local and private sector partners.A senior administration official said there have been about two dozen policy-coordinating meetings on the topic in the past year and Trump has been briefed on at least two occasions.Despite his joking request to Putin _ “Don’t meddle in the election” _ Trump takes the issue seriously, the official said. The exchange with Putin has not affected the administration’s work on the issue, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue and spoke only on condition of anonymity.Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has co-sponsored a bill imposing sanctions on foreign governments that interfere with U.S. elections, said the Congress must “do everything possible to secure our election systems.” His bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., would ensure that “Vladimir Putin _ or whoever _ knows that if they do this again … what the price will be,” Rubio said.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the classified briefing was important but “by no means sufficient.”Congress must “debate and adopt measures to protect our democracy and preserve the sanctity of elections,” Schumer said. He accused McConnell of doing “nothing when it comes to one of the greatest threats to our democracy: that a foreign power would reach in and interfere (with U.S. elections) for its own purposes.”The bill approved by the House would require paper ballots in federal elections and authorize $775 million in grants over the next two years to help states secure their voting systems. It also would prohibit voting systems from being connected to the internet or wireless technologies and tighten standards for private companies that provide election infrastructure.McConnell said again Wednesday that the GOP-led Senate is unlikely to vote on the bill. More Explained NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home last_img read more