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Science News

Barbara Bush Described as 'First Lady of the Greatest Generation' at Funeral

Barbara Bush Described as 'First Lady of the Greatest Generation' at FuneralHistorian Jon Meacham recalled Barbara Bush's quick wit during her funeral on Saturday



04/21/2018 - 09:45 AM

 

Keeping Earth alive: How photosynthesis is essential to our survival

Keeping Earth alive: How photosynthesis is essential to our survivalHappy Earth Day! Us humans depend on plants for survival – they help provide us with food, fuel, medicine, oxygen, and so much more. And plants’ survival depends on one incredible natural process: Photosynthesis. Here’s how it works.



04/21/2018 - 04:59 AM

 

Researchers say humans are responsible for mammals being so small today

Researchers say humans are responsible for mammals being so small today

Have you ever wondered why land animals are so small today? Fossils have shown us that many dinosaurs were absolutely massive beasts, evolving over millions and millions of years to become huge, intimidating creature that could crush small animals under their mighty feet, and modern day mammals, by contrast, are tiny. Sure, elephants are big, but that seems to be a rare exception rather than the rule. As it turns out, the plight of many modern elephant species tells us everything we need to know about why mammals are so small: humans keep killing all the big ones.

A new study from a team of researchers from several American universities points to humans being the main reason why modern day animals are so tiny compared to the past. The research was published in Science. This is why we can't have nice things.

“We used to have animals on the Earth that weighed over 10 tons,” Felisa Smith, a paleoecologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the research, told Seeker. “Now the biggest thing is an elephant that on average is only about three and a half-ish, and if they go extinct, then we’re talking about things no bigger than 900 kilos (2,000 pounds). And that’s maximum size. If you look at mean size, it’s much, much different.”

The work focuses on what life roamed the earth in the post-dinosaur world, with creatures like the the wooly rhinoceros, mastodon, and the giant sloth which was as large as an elephant. These examples of "megafauna" began to disappear right around the time human ancestors pushed their way out of Africa. The scientists have drawn a pretty damning link between large-scale extinction of huge mammals and the arrival of human ancestors with insatiable appetites.

Even more unsettling than what our family tree has done to the animal kingdom may be what lies ahead. Smith and her fellow researchers suggest that, based on the trends humans have set in motion, such as climate change, larger modern animals face a similar fate as the ones we've already pushed to extinction.

"If we don’t cope with it, we actually are going to end up with an Earth where there is nothing bigger than a cow," Smith says. "And that’s a depressing thought for me personally.”



04/20/2018 - 12:01 PM

 

Swaziland's King Declares His Country Will Now be Called the Kingdom of eSwatini

Swaziland's King Declares His Country Will Now be Called the Kingdom of eSwatiniHe explained the change as a reversion to the country's original name before colonization



04/19/2018 - 11:29 PM

 

Students at a Florida High School Planned to Join the National Walkout Against Gun Violence. But Then a Student Was Shot

Students at a Florida High School Planned to Join the National Walkout Against Gun Violence. But Then a Student Was ShotThe student has been taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries



04/20/2018 - 11:57 AM

 

Chemical Weapons Inspectors Collect Samples in Syria in Wake of Gas Attack

Chemical Weapons Inspectors Collect Samples in Syria in Wake of Gas AttackThe visit would enable an investigation into the chemicals used the attack



04/21/2018 - 04:29 PM

 

Oil spills can be sucked up by this 'sponge' that's also made from oil

Oil spills can be sucked up by this 'sponge' that's also made from oilOil spills are disastrous for the environment, but a newly developed absorbent polymer could prove a novel cleaning solution. Developed by Australian and European researchers, with details published in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems, the material is actually a combination of used cooking oils and sulphur — the latter of which is a waste product of the petroleum industry. SEE ALSO: New Zealand bans new offshore oil exploration to tackle climate change Like a sponge, the polymer sucks up crude oil, which then can be squeezed and reused again. While there have been other sponge-like solutions to oil spills mooted in the past, this new polymer solution is created from waste products, which is of additional benefit to the environment. "This application can consume excess waste sulfur that is stockpiled around the globe and may help mitigate the perennial problem of oil spills in aquatic environments," Justin Chalker, the research's lead and synthetic chemistry lecturer at Flinders University, said in a statement. Sulphur and cooking oils are hydrophobic, which means they repel water, but they have an affinity for hydrocarbons like crude oil. As per a laboratory demonstration, it takes less than one minute for the polymer to absorb the crude oil, forming a floating cluster that can be then removed with a net.  In 2017 alone, there was approximately 7,000 tonnes of crude oil spilt by tankers into the ocean, according to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation. Currently, there are several ways to clean up crude oil spills. If there is no risk of polluting coastal regions or marine industries, the oil can be left to break down naturally. For heavier spills, the oil is contained with booms and skimmers that are deployed to remove the substance off the water's surface. Biological agents or dispersants can be introduced to speed up the oil's degradation. When produced at scale, researchers anticipate the polymer to be an inexpensive solution to cleaning up oil spills, given the low cost of waste cooking oils and sulphur which forms the basis of the polymer. That low cost means it could be an effective solution for smaller, localised oil spills in countries where clean-up resources can be limited. The world's largest oil spill, BP's Deepwater Horizon in 2010, released 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, costing $61.6 billion to clean up.   "This is a new class of oil sorbents that is low-cost, scalable, and enables the efficient removal and recovery of oil from water," Chalker added. WATCH: This experimental road is one very long charger for electric vehicles



04/19/2018 - 11:00 PM

 

Legendary scientist at lab that developed atomic bomb dies

Legendary scientist at lab that developed atomic bomb diesLOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Scientist Nerses "Krik" Krikorian, who was born a refugee and later became a legend in the once-secret New Mexico city where the atomic bomb was developed, has died. He was 97.



04/20/2018 - 07:17 PM

 

Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoards 17,000 Pieces of Mail to Focus on 'Important' Deliveries

Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoards 17,000 Pieces of Mail to Focus on 'Important' DeliveriesHe now faces federal charges



04/20/2018 - 08:12 AM

 

Waitresses talk about on-the-job sexual harassment: Part 1

Waitresses talk about on-the-job sexual harassment: Part 1"My Reality: A Hidden America": Waitressing is a first job for many in the workforce and these women say they have dealt with lewd comments, inappropriate touching and predatory situations at work.



04/20/2018 - 08:03 PM

 

Suspended Syracuse Fraternity Says Offensive Video Was Intended as a 'Satirical Sketch'

Suspended Syracuse Fraternity Says Offensive Video Was Intended as a 'Satirical Sketch''Every single member of Theta Tau would like to apologize'



04/20/2018 - 11:01 AM

 

Igor the Siberian tiger gets stem-cell hip treatment in Hungary

Igor the Siberian tiger gets stem-cell hip treatment in HungaryIgor, a Siberian tiger in a Hungarian zoo, received stem-cell joint treatment on Wednesday which doctors hoped would help heal its hip and allow it to live happily, on less medicine. Igor is a 13-year old tiger living in the zoo in the southern Hungarian town of Szeged. It has been suffering from hip joint pains for years.



04/21/2018 - 05:16 AM

 

Arrests Made as Georgia City Braces for Face-Off Between Neo-Nazi and Anti-Fascist Groups

Arrests Made as Georgia City Braces for Face-Off Between Neo-Nazi and Anti-Fascist GroupsRoughly 400 public safety officers will be on hand.



04/21/2018 - 11:11 AM

 

Sweden's new road powers electric vehicles – what's the environmental impact?

Sweden's new road powers electric vehicles – what's the environmental impact?Sweden's smart road allows electric cars to charge in motion. But alternative technologies might be a better option.



04/20/2018 - 05:11 AM

 

Inside the mission to rid the world of chemical arms

Inside the mission to rid the world of chemical armsMichael Barrett has an old-fashioned flip phone. As appalling images of panicked children and adults apparently victims of poison gas or cruel nerve agents go viral, the labs and the equipment store of the world's global chemical arms watchdog hum with activity. Tucked away in a small industrial zone in the Dutch suburb of Rijswijk, the two-storey building, with about 20 staff, has been key to the two decades of painstaking work by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the world's toxic arms stockpiles.



04/21/2018 - 07:07 AM

 

'I Wrapped My Arm Around Her.' Southwest Passenger Describes Helping Victim After Engine Explosion

'I Wrapped My Arm Around Her.' Southwest Passenger Describes Helping Victim After Engine ExplosionHollie Mackey was seated in the aisle seat on the same row as Jennifer Riordan



04/20/2018 - 04:47 AM

 

Bill Gates and Other Rich Investors Want to Watch Over Earth from Space

Bill Gates and Other Rich Investors Want to Watch Over Earth from SpaceEarthNow expects to deliver satellite imagery from virtually every corner of our planet. The company added that its project would initially help detect a wide array of developments, from illegal fishing to forest fires and hurricanes as they evolve—but even your house can be under surveillance, according to LiveScience. The project will be shored up by Wyler’s OneWeb technology, yet the total cost of its initial investment hasn't been disclosed.



04/21/2018 - 09:32 AM

 

Minnesota Woman Suspected of Killing Her Husband and Another Woman Has Been Captured in Texas

Minnesota Woman Suspected of Killing Her Husband and Another Woman Has Been Captured in TexasA Minnesota woman suspected of killing her husband and another woman in southwest Florida was captured Thursday at a South Texas resort



04/20/2018 - 01:24 AM

 

A Militant Linked to the 9/11 Attacks Has Been Captured by U.S.-Backed Forces in Syria

A Militant Linked to the 9/11 Attacks Has Been Captured by U.S.-Backed Forces in SyriaMohammad Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German national, was captured by U.S.-backed forces



04/20/2018 - 12:58 AM

 

What technologies are used to avoid major airline disasters?

What technologies are used to avoid major airline disasters?Delta and Southwest airline accidents open the door to safety concerns. The 'CyberGuy' Kurt Knutsson reacts on 'Fox & Friends First.'



04/20/2018 - 06:37 AM

 

10 stylish ways to remove single-use plastic from your life

10 stylish ways to remove single-use plastic from your lifeThe UK government has announced plans to ban the sale of many single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Get ready for it now with this list of great eco-friendly alternatives that are already on the market. SEE ALSO: Plastic straws, cotton buds, and drinks stirrers could be banned in the UK According to the UK government,"There are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste". We all know that this level of waste is unsustainable and with the ban looking like it could apply as early as next year, it's a good time to start thinking about ways in which you can minimise your plastic waste.  Cotton buds  The hazards of plastic stemmed cotton buds have long been recognised. According to The Ecologist, "The plastic from cotton buds has been discovered in the stomachs of Loggerhead Turtles, seabirds and many species of UK-caught fish. The bits of plastic that aren't eaten get broken down into micro-plastics — of which the dangerous effects are still unknown".  Do your bit for the world's waterways with these Simply Gentle organic cotton buds; produced on biodegradable paper stems with 100 percent organic cotton tips grown without artificial pesticides.  Image: Amazon Simply Gentle organic cotton buds - Pack of 200. £2.99 See Details Drinking straws According to the recent UK Government report, "8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in the UK". Upgrading to an eco-friendlier lifestyle is easy by switching from petroleum-derived plastic straws to reusable natural bamboo straws. Dishwasher-friendly, durable, and reusable, these straws can be used for hot or cold drinks and even include a free cleaning brush. The straws are also compostable, so, they will never end up polluting the environment. If you prefer a more disposable option, these biodegradable black straws by Bendy Eco (pack of 250 for £4.99) are also a great alternative. Image: Amazon Reusable Biodegradable Bamboo Drinking Straws - £12.99 See Details Toothbrushes Plastic toothbrushes are a big contributor to pollution and these Amazon Choice bamboo toothbrushes are another way to keep plastic out of the ocean and landfill. The Tevra toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable and boast zero-waste packaging, which means everything is recyclable. The charcoal bristles are a good choice for and those who have sensitive gums but still want white teeth and also means you can avoid using chemical-laden whitening gels that can damage the enamel of your teeth. Tevra are so confident that you will love their toothbrushes that they are even offering a money-back guarantee. Why not also upgrade to natural toothpaste and dental floss while you are at it? Image: Amazon Tevra Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles - £10.86 See Details Sandwich wrappers Banish disposable cling film or foil with these reusable sandwich wrappers. BPA free, machine washable and adaptable to different shapes and sizes, there ain't no lunch these bad boys can't handle. Image: Amazon Roll'eat Boc'N'Roll Reusable Sandwich Wrapper - £7.95 See Details Bin Liners Plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Unlike everyday plastic bin bags, these compostable bin liners will break down to CO2 and bio mass in 6-12 weeks depending on the composting conditions. They can contain up to 30 litres and are suitable for medium-sized pedal bins, garden waste, grass clippings, local authority kerbside waste bins and pretty much anything. Image: Ethical super store Compostable Bin Liners - 30 litre - Pack of 25. £10.65 See Details Napkins Table napkins can have a surprisingly significant environmental impact. According to Groundswell, "if 50% of the U.S. population (about 150MM people), used 1 paper napkin per meal 3 times a day, 164,250,000,000 (yes billion) napkins would be used over just a 1-year period."  Selecting napkins that are made from recycled paper not whitened with chlorine bleach and can be composted after use can go along way to helping to combat this. These eco-friendly and biodegradable 2-ply napkins from Greencane made from sugarcane and sustainably sourced wood pulp are a step in the right direction.  Image: Mashable Greencane 2-ply Napkins (100) £2.79 See Details Handcrafted Wireless Bamboo Keyboard  Although not generally of single use, the quantity and speed that we discard consumer electronics has increased rapidly in recent years, fuelled by the industry-wide push on consumers to buy new items quickly by artificially reducing the lifespan of products. Discarded plastic electronic devices can produce large quantities of waste, so why not consider this handcrafted wireless bamboo keyboard or a biodegradable laptop case. Beautiful and stylish and one step closer to reducing your plastic footprint. Image: Amazon Handcrafted Wireless Bamboo Keyboard. £39.99 See Details Biodegradable Laptop case This case features mould-proof lining material, soft wear and scratch resistance flannel, and high quality grey felt for shock absorption. It's made using sustainable, chemical-free materials that are plastic-free and metal-free. Did we mention it’s biodegradable?  Image: Amazon Inateck 15.4 Inch MacBook Pro Retina Case, biodegradable, with Small Case for Accessory - £15.99 See Details Reusable water bottles and coffee cups Single-use plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups are definitely not helping the environment. It's time to seriously consider alternatives and the Miu Glass water bottle or Contigo Steel travel mug are some great options. Image: Amazon Glass Water Bottle, with Eco-friendly Borosilicate Glass Bottle, BPA, PVC, Plastic and Lead Free - £12.99 See Details Reusable Coffee Cup This cup made out of BPA free translucent tritan copolyester, with vacuum-insulated technology, keeps beverages hot for 4 hours and cold for 12 hours. You can also save money with the discount that many coffee outlets offer when you bring your own cup. Image: Amazon Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug - £19.85 See Details



04/20/2018 - 07:51 AM

 

Behind the Photo That Made People Think Earth Day Was Founded by a Convicted Killer

Behind the Photo That Made People Think Earth Day Was Founded by a Convicted KillerThis photo has caused many to think that a convicted murderer founded Earth Day. Here's the real story



04/20/2018 - 12:28 PM

 

SpaceX is planning to build its new ‘BFR’ space vehicles in Los Angeles

SpaceX is planning to build its new ‘BFR’ space vehicles in Los AngelesIn his annual State of the City address on Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Elon Musk's SpaceX would be building its Big Falcon Rocket ships in none other than the Port of Los Angeles.



04/20/2018 - 11:02 AM

 

What It's Like to Study at the Strictest School in Britain

What It's Like to Study at the Strictest School in BritainStudents at Michaela Community School can get a detention for slouching or forgetting a pen. But they seem happy, and they're getting good grades...



04/20/2018 - 10:20 AM

 

Deep Sea Mystery: How Do These Sea Nomads Free-Dive 230 Ft Deep?

Deep Sea Mystery: How Do These Sea Nomads Free-Dive 230 Ft Deep?The freediving Bajau people of Southeast Asia, however, are not your average people. Scientists have discovered the group of “sea nomads” may have developed genetic adaptations that allow them to free dive to depths of up to 230 ft. Bajau members report lasting up to thirteen minutes underwater in a single dive. For more than 1,000 years the Bajau have lived off of the seas in Southeast Asia.



04/20/2018 - 07:53 AM

 

Meet Daisy: Apple’s 200-phone per hour recycling robot

Meet Daisy: Apple’s 200-phone per hour recycling robotSay hello to Daisy, Apple’s latest iPhone recycling robot. Equipped to dissemble 200 iPhones every hour, Daisy allows the company to access parts traditional recyclers cannot.



04/20/2018 - 01:02 PM

 

Smallville Actress Arrested for Role in Alleged Sex Cult that Branded and Enslaved Women

Smallville Actress Arrested for Role in Alleged Sex Cult that Branded and Enslaved WomenProsecutors say she helped recruit sex slaves for leader Keith Raniere



04/20/2018 - 03:46 PM

 

Why We Shouldn't Be So Sure of Our Predictions About the Future

Why We Shouldn't Be So Sure of Our Predictions About the FutureIncluding those regarding the coming of the end of time, writes Rabbi David Wolpe



04/20/2018 - 09:36 AM

 

The Pipeline: How A Mars 2020 Engineer Started Her Career Later In Life

The Pipeline: How A Mars 2020 Engineer Started Her Career Later In LifeWhen Melony Mahaarachchi interviewed at SpaceX in 2010, she was asked a question that would make most candidates go into panic mode: “We hire rock stars at SpaceX. You just presented a failed project. Mahaarachchi didn’t skip a beat when she answered, “Two reasons: Number one, rock stars are rock stars because they failed at the beginning and learned from their mistakes.



04/20/2018 - 01:30 PM

 

Arizona Teachers Vote for the First-Ever Statewide Walkout to Demand Increased Funding

Arizona Teachers Vote for the First-Ever Statewide Walkout to Demand Increased FundingArizona teachers voted to walk off the job to demand better school funding. The strike builds on a movement for higher pay in other states



04/20/2018 - 03:00 AM

 

Here's How Celebrities Are Reacting to Avicii's Tragic Death

Here's How Celebrities Are Reacting to Avicii's Tragic DeathHe was just 28 years old



04/20/2018 - 03:13 PM

 

Gray Whale Facts: All About the Species Adorning Oregon License Plates

Gray Whale Facts: All About the Species Adorning Oregon License PlatesIf you are driving down the highway next year and see a gray whale tagging along with the car in front of you, it’s just the new Oregon license plate. The upcoming design is called the “Coastal Playground” and will be an option available through the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, The Oregonian reported. Depicted on the vehicle tag are a mama gray whale and her calf swimming near the state’s coast.



04/20/2018 - 02:46 PM

 

 

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