Science


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When snakes strike, lives shatter

On June 15, 2015, four-year-old Chepchirchir Kiplagat's life changed forever. Sleeping beside her on a mattress on the floor of their modest, mud-walled home, Chepchirchir's two-year-old sister Scholar was also bitten. "It was hard to tell what had happened because the children were crying from the pain," their father Jackson Chepkui, a 39-year-old livestock farmer, told AFP at home in the tiny village of Embosos in Kenya's remote western Baringo county.
Tags: Science, Kenya, Afp, Baringo, Chepchirchir Kiplagat, Chepchirchir, Jackson Chepkui, Embosos


Physicist Marcelo Gleiser: 'Science does not kill God'

The annual Templeton Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to "affirming life's spiritual dimension," was awarded Tuesday to Brazilian Marcelo Gleiser -- a theoretical physicist dedicated to demonstrating science and religion are not enemies. A physics and astronomy professor whose specializations include cosmology, 60-year-old Gleiser was born in Rio de Janeiro, and has been in the United States since 1986. "Atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method," Gleiser told AFP Mon...
Tags: Science, United States, New Hampshire, Rio De Janeiro, Dartmouth College, Afp, Marcelo Gleiser, Gleiser


Chickens Peck Intruder Fox to Death, Because They're Dinosaurs

One fox learned the hard way that it's unwise to mess with a flock of dinosaurs.The young fox, just about 6 months old, probably thought it had struck gold when it snuck into a chicken coop at dusk last week at a farm school in Brittany, in northwestern France.But chickens, like all birds, are the descendants of dinosaurs. And this particular coop held 3,000 hens. As soon as the sun set and the light-controlled, automatic hatch door closed behind the fox, the birds channeled their inner Tyra...
Tags: Science, France, Brittany, Afp, Daniel, Ouest France, Le Gros Chêne, Pascal Daniel, Peck Intruder Fox


Global climate rally kicks off with kids Down Under

A global day of student protests aimed at spurring world leaders into action on climate change to protect the planet for future generations kicked off in Australia and New Zealand Friday. Thousands of youths marched in Wellington carrying placards reading "Time's Melting Away" and "Act Now or Swim" as part of an ambitious plan to stage 1,000 demonstrations in more than 100 countries during a worldwide day of action. "This is young people taking the reins and realising that they do have people ...
Tags: Science, Australia, Time, New Zealand, Wellington, Afp, Abigail O Regan


The Atlantic Ocean is rising and 11-year-old Levi is worried

Levi Draheim is an 11-year-old kid who lives on a barrier island separating the coast of Florida from the Atlantic Ocean. "I don't even know if the Earth is going to be around when I'm older at the rate that we're going," Levi told AFP in a phone interview before his swim class in Indian Harbour Beach, just south of Cape Canaveral. Levi is the youngest of 21 plaintiffs in legal action launched in 2015 by two associations, Our Children's Trust and Earth Guardians, against the US government -- a...
Tags: Florida, Science, US, Earth, Levi, Atlantic Ocean, Afp, Levi Draheim, Indian Harbour Beach, Cape Canaveral Levi


How a vintage film format brought 'Apollo 11' back to life

It blends images that are well known with long lost gems found in a National Archives warehouse and digitized for the first time. "A good 50 percent of the film is images that have never been seen before but really, 100 percent of it has really never truly been seen before -- the quality of it all," director Todd Douglas Miller told AFP in a recent interview. The visuals are mesmerizing: seen in color in a theater, the tracks of the giant NASA crawler-transporter -- used to carry the massive S...
Tags: Science, Nasa, Afp, Todd Douglas Miller


World's first graffiti-busting laser helps Florence's 'Angels'

A beam of silver light erases scrawled black letters on Florence's historic Ponte Vecchio, as "Angels" wielding a revolutionary new laser wage war on graffiti in the UNESCO site. Now a team of volunteers in the Tuscan city dubbed the "Angels of Beauty" is determined to restore famous monuments to their former glory thanks to a latest-generation infrared wand, donated by Italian laser developer El.En. "The laser evaporates the graffiti, without damaging the stone underneath," Daniela Valentini,...
Tags: Science, Angels, Unesco, Florence, Afp, Ponte Vecchio, Daniela Valentini


Japan okays research using human cells in animals

Japan has given the green light to a controversial research process involving implanting animals with human stem cells that could eventually help grow human organs for transplant inside animal hosts. The decision by the education and science ministry Friday to revise its guidelines means Japanese researchers can now apply for permits to carry out studies employing the technique, a ministry official told AFP. The process involves implanting embryonic animals, likely first pigs, with human "indu...
Tags: Japan, Science, Afp


Italy's polluted Po Valley gasps for fresh air

It is only the end of February, but air pollution in Milan has already exceeded the legal limit for 2019, and the Po Valley swims in a soupy smog. "I can really feel when there's smog, I suffer all winter long," 45-year old Milan local Fabio Cigognini told AFP, describing the asthma-like symptoms which plague him during the cold months. Set against the mountains, far from the ocean and cleansing sea breezes, Italy's major northern city and the Po Valley have always been at a disadvantage, clim...
Tags: Science, Milan, Italy, Afp, Po Valley, Fabio Cigognini


Japan probe seems to have landed on asteroid: space agency

A Japanese probe that aims to examine a distant asteroid for clues about the origin of the solar system appears to have landed successfully Friday, the space agency said. "We confirmed data communication with the probe recovered after the touchdown, and it seems that touchdown was successful, but we have to analyse various data that we are receiving step by step... before the final confirmation," JAXA spokeswoman Chisato Ikuta told AFP. A live webcast of the control room showed dozens of JAXA ...
Tags: Japan, Science, Afp, JAXA, Chisato Ikuta


Japan govt, Fukushima operator told to pay over nuclear disaster

A Japanese court Wednesday awarded nearly $4 million in fresh damages to scores of residents forced to flee their homes after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The Yokohama district court ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 419.6 million yen ($3.8 million) to 152 local residents, a court spokeswoman told AFP. The verdict was the fifth time the government has been ruled liable for the disaster in eastern Japan, the world's most serious nuclear accident since Che...
Tags: Japan, Science, Fukushima, Chernobyl, Afp, Yokohama, Tokyo Electric Power Co TEPCO


Danish economist picked to be new UN environment chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has picked Danish economist and environmentalist Inger Andersen to be the new UN environment chief, turning the page on a scandal over expenses that rocked the UN agency, according to a letter seen by AFP on Friday. Andersen, who heads the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is set to succeed Erik Solheim of Norway, who resigned in November amid an outcry over his huge travel expenses. UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed told a me...
Tags: Science, Un, Norway, Afp, Andersen, Erik Solheim, Antonio Guterres, Guterres, Amina Mohammed, Inger Andersen


Remote-Controlled Probe Picks up Radioactive Debris at Fukushima for the First Time

Tepco, the state-owned operator of the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, has conducted an important test in which a remote-controlled probe managed to grasp several small grains of radioactive debris, AFP reports. The successful operation marked an important achievement for the company as it prepares for a clean…Read more...
Tags: Science, Robots, Disasters, Fukushima, First Time, Afp, Tepco, Nuclear Reactors, Nuclear Meltdowns, Fukushima disaster


Richard Branson says he'll fly to space by July

British billionaire Richard Branson plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship, he told AFP Thursday. 
Tags: Science, Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, Afp


Richard Branson says he'll fly to space by July

British billionaire Richard Branson plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship, he told AFP Thursday. "My wish is to go up on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, that's what we're working on," the head of the Virgin group said on the sidelines of an event to honor Virgin Galactic at the Air and Space Museum in Washington. Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin, on its way to sending passengers into space ...
Tags: Science, Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, Blue Origin, Afp, Air and Space Museum, Washington Virgin Galactic


Egypt unveils more than 40 ancient mummies

Tunah Al-Gabal (Egypt) (AFP) - They are more than 2,000 years old but remain in "good condition": Egypt on Saturday unveiled over 40 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era at a burial site in the centre of the country. Journalists clambered down a ladder and through an underground chamber beneath the sandy soil of Tunah Al-Gabal, 260 kilometres (160 miles) south of Cairo, to glimpse the recent finds. Archaeologist Rami Rasmi told AFP that 12 children and six animals were among the more than ...
Tags: Science, Egypt, Cairo, Afp, Tunah Al Gabal Egypt AFP, Tunah Al Gabal, Rami Rasmi


'They always come back': French Guiana battles illegal gold hunters

A soldier stealthily emerges from the dense undergrowth of French Guiana's jungle, grabbing the shoulder of a man blasting gaping holes into the forest floor with a high-pressure hose, hoping the dirt will yield a golden payoff. "At sites that are easy to get to, near the river, they come back with two motors and a chainsaw and restart their operations in three days, as soon as we're gone," said Thomas, a lieutenant-colonel in France's Ninth Marine Regiment, giving only his first name in line w...
Tags: Science, France, Thomas, Afp, Guiana, Maroni, Ninth Marine Regiment


Brazil mining dam collapse hits indigenous water supply

Muddy waste from a ruptured dam at a mine in Brazil's southeast is reaching an indigenous community in the region, contaminating its water supply, a chief told AFP. The muddy change to the Paraopeba river was the result of the dam collapse that occurred last Friday at the mine owned by mining giant Vale, close to the town of Brumadinho. More than $16 billion was wiped off Vale's market capitalization on Monday as investors digested the news, which was compounded by a previous mining dam disast...
Tags: Science, Brazil, Afp, Vale, Paraopeba


Underground in Jerusalem, a rare look at an ancient tomb

Flashlight beams pierce the darkness and reveal an archaeological gem in underground Jerusalem few have had the chance to glimpse in recent years. It serves as a remarkable example of a Roman-era tomb -- considered among the largest in the region -- but it remains closed for now and largely forgotten in a corner of east Jerusalem. Talks are ongoing between France, which owns the site known as the Tomb of the Kings, and Israel to reopen it, and AFP was recently given an exclusive tour.
Tags: Science, France, Israel, Jerusalem, Kings, Afp


Jet-setting Davos elite frets about climate

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos is one of the few places where environmental activists attend the same events as the private jet crowd, and get a chance to try to convince them to change their ways face-to-face. Coming is "not for us a given, because this is a group of elites who have gotten us into the lot of messes that we have around the world right now," the environmental organisation's executive director Jennifer Morgan told AFP. Last year, US President Donald Trump came to addres...
Tags: Science, US, Davos, Paris, Donald Trump, Afp, Wef, World Economic Forum WEF, Jennifer Morgan


Space is new arena for war, Donald Trump says as he unveils missile defence strategy

Space is the new arena for war, Donald Trump said on Thursday as he announced a major drive to update America’s missile defence system and touted his “Space Force” proposal.  The US president said that he wants a “layer” of sensors placed among the stars that can detect missile launches and will demand that the technology is funded in his next budget. The item was one of a host of improvements the Pentagon is attempting to make to its decades-old missile system, outlined in its new Missile Defen...
Tags: Science, North Korea, China, Russia, US, America, United States, Ronald Reagan, Pentagon, Defence, Donald Trump, US Air Force, Trump, Afp, Interfax, Kim Jong


Hong Kong scientists claim 'broad-spectrum' antiviral breakthrough

Hong Kong scientists claim they have made a potential breakthrough discovery in the fight against infectious diseases -- a chemical that could slow the spread of deadly viral illnesses. A team from the University of Hong Kong described the newly discovered chemical as "highly potent in interrupting the life cycle of diverse viruses" in a study published this month in the journal Nature Communications. The scientists told AFP Monday that it could one day be used as a broad-spectrum antiviral fo...
Tags: Hong Kong, Science, Afp, Nature Communications, University of Hong Kong


New app gives throat cancer patients their voice back

Vlastimil Gular's life took an unwelcome turn a year ago: minor surgery on his vocal cords revealed throat cancer, which led to the loss of his larynx and with it, his voice. "I find this very useful," Gular told AFP, using the app to type in what he wanted to say, in his own voice, via a mobile phone. "I'm not very good at using the voice prosthesis," he added, pointing at the hole the size of a large coin in his throat.
Tags: Science, Afp, Vlastimil Gular, Gular


Swedish hospital investigates suspected case of Ebola

A patient in Sweden has been admitted to hospital with a suspected case of Ebola, a highly infectious and potentially fatal disease, health care officials said Friday. "Test results will probably be received sometime this evening. At this stage it is just a suspicion, other illnesses are entirely possible," a statement from regional health authorities in Uppsala, about 45 miles north of Stockholm, said. "The patient is being treated at the infectious diseases clinic at Uppsala University Hospita...
Tags: Science, Sweden, Congo, Burundi, Stockholm, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Afp, Kohler, Uppsala, Uppsala University Hospital, Linkoping University Hospital, Mikael Kohler, Uppsala Region


What exactly is the 'dark side of the Moon', and six other questions about the Chinese Moon landing

For centuries, humans have written books, songs, and poems about the so-called “dark side of the Moon”, but only today did a man-made object make physical contact with the rugged, unexplored area. The news, revealed in the early hours of Thursday, that China’s space agency successfully landed the unmanned Chang’e-4 probe on the far side of the Moon prompted the appropriate levels of excitement, with photographs of its arid landscape beamed over to Earth within minutes. Announcing the momentous s...
Tags: Science, China, Nasa, Earth, Bbc, Moon, Luna, Neil Armstrong, Afp, Sichuan Province, Soviet Union, Chang, Andrew Coates, Fred Watson, South Pole Aitken Basin, UCL 's Space Science Laboratory


Ultima Thule: First photographs taken by New Horizons spacecraft reveal distant world resembles snowman

Nasa has revealed the first photo of the distant world of Ultima Thule, the most distant object that humanity has ever explored. The tiny, icy object resembles a snowman in the photo, which is just the first of a whole host of data that the space agency hopes to receive back from its New Horizons spacecraft. The picture came after flight controllers said they had had success in the high-risk, middle-of-the-night encounter at the mysterious body known as Ultima Thule on the frozen fringes of our ...
Tags: Science, Nasa, Afp, Moore, Stern, Thule, Alan Stern, Ultima Thule, Carly Howett, Jeff Moore, AFP Ultima Thule


Ultima Thule: First photos taken by New Horizons spacecraft reveal distant world resembles snowman

Nasa has revealed the first photo of the distant world of Ultima Thule, the most distant object that humanity has ever explored. The tiny, icy object resembles a snowman in the photo, which is just the first of a whole host of data that the space agency hopes to receive back. The picture came after flight controllers said they had had success in the high-risk, middle-of-the-night encounter at the mysterious body known as Ultima Thule on the frozen fringes of our solar system, about four billion ...
Tags: Science, Nasa, Afp, Moore, Stern, Thule, Alan Stern, Ultima Thule, Carly Howett, Jeff Moore


'All lives matter': Indonesia saves tsunami-stranded turtles

"The turtle was really large and it got stuck in a pile of rubbish, lying almost upside down," Adi Ayangsyah, a member of a search and rescue team in hard-hit Lampung on Sumatra island, told AFP Friday. An eruption of the Anak Krakatoa volcano, which sits in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, caused a section of the crater to collapse and slide into the ocean, triggering the killer tsunami on Saturday evening.
Tags: Science, Indonesia, Java, Afp, Sumatra, Lampung, Sunda Strait, Anak Krakatoa, Adi Ayangsyah


Scientists investigate upsurge in polio-like illness in children

Health authorities in England are investigating an increase in cases of a rare polio-like illness in children, an outbreak of which has been puzzling doctors in the United States. So far in 2018, there have been 28 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in England, the majority of which have been reported since September. Normally authorities would expect to see just a "handful" of cases of the disease in the UK, said Public Health England (PHE). AFP affects the nervous system, causing one or mo...
Tags: UK, England, Science, Cdc, US, United States, Pakistan, Public Health England, Phe, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, Afp, National Center for Immunization, Mary Ramsay, Nancy Messonnier, Public Health England PHE AFP, Astudy


Argentina puts 65-million-year-old dinosaur replica on display

"We've been working since 2009 until now to liberate the fossil from the rock surrounding it, making a reproduction and hanging it here in the museum hall," paleontologist Fernando Novas of the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Science Museum in Buenos Aires told AFP. The fossil is of a marine reptile found in Cretaceous period rocks close to the southern town of El Calafate, 2,800 kilometers (1,700 miles) from Buenos Aires. Plesiosaurs were huge marine reptiles that lived in seas throughout the en...
Tags: Science, Argentina, Buenos Aires, Afp, El Calafate, Fernando Novas, Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Science Museum, Buenos Aires Plesiosaurs



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