Yahoo! News: Science


When changing a light bulb is a really big deal

Lighthouses have been upgrading to more efficient LED lights, but for some that is a step too far.
Tags: Science

Choking air from Western fires just won't ease up

Relief from putrid, dangerous air spewing from massive wildfires across the West won't come until later in the week or beyond, scientists and forecasters say, and the hazy and gunk-filled skies might stick around for even longer. People in Oregon, Washington and parts of California were struggling under acrid yellowish-green smog — the worst, most unhealthy air on the planet according to some measurements. It seeped into homes and businesses, sneaked into cars through air conditioning vents an...
Tags: Science, California, Portland, Powell, Oregon Washington, Oregon Zoo

Funds and firms call for tougher 2030 EU climate target

Investors managing trillions in assets and more than 120 business leaders called on the European Union to commit to cut emissions by at least 55% by 2030 on Tuesday, saying anything less would fail to unlock the private financing needed. This would be in line with a proposal due to be put forward on Thursday by the European Commission to curb EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, draft plans seen by Reuters show. The existing target is a 40% cut, and some poorer...
Tags: Science, Eu, European Union, European Commission, Reuters

Scientists create gene-edited animals as 'surrogate sires' to boost food production

Scientists have created gene-edited pigs, goats and cattle to produce sperm with traits such as disease resistance and higher meat quality in what they say is a step towards genetically enhancing livestock to improve food production. The process could help farmers rear healthier, more productive animals using fewer resources such as feed, medicines and water, they said. "With this technology, we can get better dissemination of desirable traits and improve the efficiency of food production," sa...
Tags: Science, United States, Washington State University, Jon Oatley

How this year's destructive U.S. West wildfire season came to be

The region's increasingly dry and overgrown forests have become large-scale tinderboxes over decades while wildfires have become more frequent, more intense and more deadly. U.S President Donald Trump blames poor forest management - mainly a failure to cull overgrown forests - for the increasing number and intensity of fires. The governors of California and Oregon - the states worst hit this season - say climate change is largely responsible.
Tags: Science, California, Oregon, Donald Trump

Wildlife in 'catastrophic decline' due to human destruction, scientists warn

Conservation group WWF says global wildlife populations have shrunk by two-thirds since 1970.
Tags: Science, Wwf

Why NASA won't send humans to Venus

Although Venus is easier to reach than Mars, scientists and space agencies around the world show little interest in exploring the planet.
Tags: Science, Nasa, Venus

Why it's okay to eat the brown part of an avocado

Is brown avocado safe to eat? How about brown guacamole? Well, it depends on how long you've let it sit out for.
Tags: Science

Flu outbreaks may be linked to COVID-19; arthritis drug benefit seen

Influenza outbreaks may be linked with the spread of COVID-19 infections, according to a European study. The researchers created a mathematical model of transmission of the novel coronavirus in Belgium, Italy, Norway and Spain. It calculates that higher rates of influenza infections would be associated with increased coronavirus transmission in each of the countries, Matthieu Domenech de Cellès of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin told Reuters.
Tags: Science, Berlin, Spain, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, COVID, Belgium Italy Norway, Matthieu Domenech

Fifteen scientists launch critique of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine data

A group of scientists sent a formal letter to the Lancet on Monday outlining doubts about the accuracy of early data on Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, one of the authors said, adding further fuel to a dispute surrounding the "Sputnik-V" shot. Fifteen scientists from five countries signed the letter presenting their concerns to the international medical journal, Enrico Bucci, biologist adjunct professor at Philadelphia's Temple University, told Reuters. The official letter came days after a larger ...
Tags: Science, Russia, Moscow, Philadelphia, Lancet, Temple University, Reuters, Bucci, Enrico Bucci

Astronomers found a gas in Venus' clouds that could signal alien life

Scientists discovered trace amounts of phosphine gas in clouds on Venus. On Earth, this gas is typically produced by microbes.
Tags: Science, Earth

Blue Origin and partners pass key milestone for lunar lander design

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture says the aerospace team that it's leading has completed its first "gated milestone" in a NASA-funded effort to develop a lunar lander for crewed missions. The milestone — known as the system requirement review, or SRR — involves specifying the baseline requirements for the missions, the space vehicles and the landing system's ground segment. "The design proceeded to the NASA Certification Baseline Review, followed by the lower-level el...
Tags: Amazon, Science, Nasa, Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, National Team, SRR, NASA Certification Baseline Review

Potential sign of alien life detected on inhospitable Venus

Scientists said on Monday they have detected in the harshly acidic clouds of Venus a gas called phosphine that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth's inhospitable neighbor, a tantalizing sign of potential life beyond Earth. The researchers did not discover actual life forms, but noted that on Earth phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. The international scientific team first spotted the phosphine using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and confirm...
Tags: Science, Earth, Hawaii, Venus, Alma, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope

Factbox: Venus, named for the goddess of love, is no cuddly place

Here is a look at key facts about the planet Venus, based on information from the U.S. space agency NASA and recent research findings. -- Venus, with a diameter of about 7,500 miles (12,000 km), is slightly smaller than Earth. It is the second planet from the Sun and is Earth's closest planetary neighbor.
Tags: Science, Nasa, Earth, Venus

Netflix delves into the 'human side' of Challenger disaster

School children across the country had tuned in to see Christa McAuliffe become the first teacher in space. One person watching was Steven Leckart, a space-obsessed elementary school kid. Leckart has returned to that dark day as co-director of the four-part Netflix documentary series “Challenger: The Final Flight,” executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Glen Zipper.
Tags: Science, Netflix, J J Abrams, Christa McAuliffe, Steven Leckart, Leckart

Astronomers see possible hints of life in Venus's clouds

Astronomers have found a potential sign of life high in the atmosphere of neighboring Venus: hints there may be bizarre microbes living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of the hothouse planet. Two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile spotted in the thick Venusian clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is only associated with life, according to a study in Monday’s journal Nature Astronomy.
Tags: Science, Chile, Hawaii, Venus

Vaccine-Makers Keep Safety Details Quiet, Alarming Scientists

The morning after the world learned that a closely watched clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine had been halted last week over safety concerns, the company's chief executive disclosed that a person given the vaccine had experienced serious neurological symptoms.But the remarks were not public. Instead, the chief executive, Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, spoke at a closed meeting organized by J.P. Morgan, the investment bank.AstraZeneca said Saturday that an outside panel had cleared its tr...
Tags: Science, Britain, United States, New York Times, Food And Drug Administration, Astrazeneca, Philadelphia, Fda, West Virginia University, University of Pennsylvania, Pfizer, University of Oxford, Pascal Soriot, Usa Today, Donald Trump, Baltimore

Eli Lilly's drug cuts COVID-19 recovery time in remdesivir-combo study

The drug baricitinib, branded as Olumiant, cut the median recovery time by about a day when added to remdesivir, compared to patients treated with the antiviral alone, Lilly said. Remdesivir was granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) in May after trial data showed it helped shorten hospital recovery time by 31%. Lilly said it plans to discuss the potential for an EAU for baricitinib with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, based on the results from the trial, which tested more than 1,...
Tags: Science, U S Food and Drug Administration, Lilly, EUA, Eli Lilly, COVID, Remdesivir

Burned jaguars, fire tornadoes: Blazes in Brazil wetland deliver climate warning

POCONÉ, Brazil (Reuters) - A fire has been burning since mid-July in the remote wetlands of west-central Brazil, leaving in its wake a vast charred desolation bigger than New York City. This massive fire is one of thousands of blazes sweeping the Brazilian Pantanal - the world's largest wetland - this year in what climate scientists fear could become a new normal, echoing the rise in climate-driven fires from California to Australia. The Pantanal is smaller and less-known than its famous cousi...
Tags: Amazon, Science, Australia, California, New York City, Brazil, POCONÉ Brazil Reuters

Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf

A big chunk of ice breaks away from the Arctic's largest remaining ice shelf - 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden.
Tags: Science, Arctic, Greenland

First US spring flight to Antarctica aims to keep out virus

The first U.S. flight into Antarctica following months of winter darkness arrived Monday with crews taking extra precautions to keep out the coronavirus. Antarctica is the only continent without the virus, and there is a global effort to make sure incoming scientists and workers don’t bring it with them. The U.S. Air Force flight left Monday from the gateway city of Christchurch carrying 106 passengers and crew, said Tony German, the U.S. Antarctic program's representative in New Zealand.
Tags: Science, US, Antarctica, Christchurch, U S Air Force, U S Antarctic

When the Otters Vanished, Everything Else Started to Crumble

In 1970, Jim Estes made his first trek up to Alaska's Aleutian Islands. He was greeted by an ocean filled with furry faces.Everywhere the young biologist looked, there were sea otters -- lollygagging on kelp beds, shelling sea urchins, exchanging their signature squeals. Back then, crowds of these charismatic creatures shrouded the sprawling archipelago, congregating in "rafts and bunches, as many as 500 at once," said Estes, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "There w...
Tags: Science, Maine, Alaska, New York Times, Griffin, University of California Davis, Duke University, Boyd, ESTES, Aleutian Islands, University of California Santa Cruz, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Jim Estes, Science Without, Doug Rasher, Anjali Boyd

Groups turn to hotels to shelter fire evacuees amid virus

Fearing one disaster will feed another, relief groups are putting some people who fled their homes during West Coast wildfires into hotels to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, stringing up shower curtains to separate people in group shelters and delivering box lunches instead of setting up buffets. Large disaster response organizations like the American Red Cross are still operating some traditional shelters in gyms and churches, where they require masks, clean and disinfect often and try t...
Tags: Science, Red Cross, West Coast

Black scientists call out racism in the field and counter it

University of Washington ecologist Christopher Schell is studying how coronavirus shutdowns have affected wildlife in Seattle and other cities. “I wear the nerdiest glasses I have and often a jacket that has my college logo, so that people don’t mistake me for what they think is a thug or hooligan,” said Schell, who is African American. Tanisha Williams, a botanist at Bucknell University, knows exactly which plants she's looking for.
Tags: Science, Seattle, University of Washington, Bucknell University, Schell, Christopher Schell, Tanisha Williams

World's largest carbon market faces revamp under draft EU plan

The world's biggest carbon trading market faces a major overhaul under European Union climate change plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster this decade, a draft seen by Reuters shows. Under the EU emissions trading system (ETS) factories and power plants have to buy pollution permits to cover the greenhouse gases they emit, while airlines must do so for flights within Europe. The draft document, which confirms that the European Commission will next week propose that the EU sets a target ...
Tags: Europe, Science, Eu, European Union, European Commission, Reuters, ETS

Sir David Attenborough makes stark warning about species extinction

The naturalist warns that a million species are at risk but says it is not too late to save them.
Tags: Science, David Attenborough

Brian Cox and Adele's producer Paul Epworth discuss music and the cosmos

How do physics and space travel inspire musicians? Award-winning producer Paul Epworth finds out.
Tags: Science, Adele, Brian Cox, Paul Epworth

China says Mars probe stable; no word on reusable spacecraft

China's Mars probe Tianwen-1, which blasted into space in July, is now more than 15 million kilometers (9 million miles) from Earth en route to the red planet, the National Space Administration said Saturday. The administration, however, has yet to release information about a mysterious reusable experimental spacecraft that returned to Earth a week ago after a two-day flight. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and marks China's most ambitious Mars mission yet as it se...
Tags: Science, China, Earth, United States, Mars, National Space Administration

Scientists confounded by new findings on universe's mysterious dark matter

Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies including our own Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be dis...
Tags: Science, Yale University, Priyamvada Natarajan

Scientists confounded by new findings on universe's mysterious dark matter

Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies including our own Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be dis...
Tags: Science, Yale University, Priyamvada Natarajan