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Fossils from New Zealand have revealed a giant penguin that was as big as a grown man, roughly the size of the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The creature was slightly shorter in length and about 20 pounds (9 kilograms) heavier than the official stats for hockey star Sidney Crosby. If the penguin and the Penguin faced off on the ice, however, things would look different.
PARIS (AP) — It is a dream come true for U.S.-based climate scientists — the offer of all-expenses-paid life in France to advance their research in Europe instead of in the United States under climate skeptic President Donald Trump, two of the winners say.
A landmark case involving a group of 21 young Americans who are suing the federal government for its failure to protect them from the adverse consequences of climate change is inching closer to a trial date. The case, known as Juliana v. United States, was scheduled to go to trial in Oregon beginning on Feb. 5. That court date has been postponed due to a rare request from the federal government to have an Appeals Court step in and halt the proceedings. On Monday, a panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding the Trump administration's move to squash the case using a little-used legal tactic known as a writ of mandamus. If granted, the writ would have the Appeals Court review a 2016 U.S. District Court decision not to dismiss the case. If the Appeals Court grants the writ, it could halt the case in its tracks, preventing a trial by declaring that the District Court made one or more errors in its consideration of the case. SEE ALSO: To obtain funding, scientists may be avoiding use of the term 'climate change' in research proposals However, questions from the three-judge Appeals Court panel to the Justice Department indicated they are skeptical of the need to review the District Court's decision. The Justice Department argued that this case, which seeks a remedy involving government action to address global warming, is "unprecedented" for its claims and broad scope, among other factors. The case already broke new legal ground when a District Court judge declared the plaintiffs have a constitutional right to a stable climate. Among the issues to be determined at trial is whether the government's actions — including its use of federal lands for energy extraction over the past several decades (the years when scientists' understanding of global warming solidified) — violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights. Global average temperature anomalies from 2012-2016, compared to the 20th-century average.The case asks the judicial branch to help determine the remedy to ensure the plaintiff's rights are no longer being violated. This could mean that the courts tell the government what its climate policy should be, which traditionally is the purview of the legislative and executive branches of government, not the courts. (That breach is one of the arguments put forward by the Justice Department to halt the case.) "This court is on a collision course with the Executive Branch," said Eric Grant, a deputy assistant attorney general. However, Julia Olson, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs who works for Our Children's Trust, an advocacy group, rejected that argument. She was accompanied in the courtroom by her co-counsel, as well as 18 of the 21 plaintiffs. “Plaintiffs seek a judicial safeguard against the continued degradation of their rights," she said — but this safeguard could come from the appropriate branch of government, meaning that the plaintiffs are not asking the courts to set climate policy. Rather, a possible remedy would be for the court to demand that the government enact policies to cut global warming pollutants, leaving the specific details up to Congress and federal agencies. “What the complaint alleges is that the federal defendants collectively and through the fossil fuel energy system are affirmatively depriving these young people of their rights to life, liberty, and property,” Olson said. In response to judges' questions about whether the plaintiffs have legal standing to sue on the basis of being deprived of a stable climate, Olson said yes, because they will experience a rapidly deteriorating climate system for the rest of their lives unless action is taken soon. “Children are disproportionately experiencing the impacts of climate change,” Olson said. She noted that children will bear the brunt of the impacts of global warming, giving them standing in their case. “Your honor, these children will live far longer than you, they will live till the end of the century, when the seas are projected by these federal defendants to be 10 feet higher,” she said. 18 of the 21 youth-plaintiffs were before the 9th Circuit in San Francisco challenging the U.S. Government for not protecting them from #climate change. pic.twitter.com/zE0ltHO6BF — Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) December 11, 2017 “The significance of the harm, the monumental threat that these injuries pose to these plaintiffs is very distinguishable from the rest of the country.” Once the Ninth Circuit rules on the writ of mandamus, the case will either proceed to trial in District Court in Oregon, or head down another unprecedented path. Many experts have consistently underestimated the likelihood that this suit would reach this far, considering how other judicial approaches to address climate change have failed. If the 21 young people succeed in getting a judge to order the Trump administration to alter its pro-drilling, climate denial policies, they will have succeeded where no environmental activists or international allies have, simply by alleging a constitutional violation of their rights. While this is an unlikely outcome, it gets more and more plausible with each passing legal proceeding. WATCH: Different parts of the US are experiencing totally opposite weather extremes
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a researcher from Japan identified a new type of optical illusion, and it’s sure to blow your mind. According to study researcher, Kohske Takahashi, a psychologist at Chukyo University, Japan, this is the first time that anyone has ever identified this particular illusion, to the best of his knowledge, Indy 100 reported. When the brain is unclear as to whether it is looking at a curve or an angle, then it may default to seeing bends as corners, Discover Magazine reported.
'Oumuamua: Did E.T. Send Us Our First Interstellar Asteroid? Scientists Are Going to Find Out This Week
Scientists have been watching 'Oumuamua, the first known interstellar asteroid, with fascination since it landed on their screens in October. And beginning on Wednesday, a team will be studying it in search of something that would make the object even more groundbreaking: signals indicating it is in communication with extraterrestrial intelligent life.
Yield10 Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:YTEN) shares are shooting up 268% faster than Jack's magic bean sparking right into a giant beanstalk, thanks to today's news of a granted non-exclusive research license to Monsanto Company to evaluate the agricultural bioscience company's novel algal genes C3003 and C3004. Specifically, Monsanto intends to study these two yield traits within the scope of its soybean pipeline as a larger game plan to enhance plant yields. The name of the game for Yield10 is all about boosting seed yield as well as oil content in oilseed crops, which includes the likes of canola.
Ancient Fishing Hooks Found at Burial Site Could Rewrite Our Understanding of Pleistocene Gender Roles
The discovery of the world’s oldest known fishing hooks to be placed in a burial mound may end up rewriting the history of gender roles in Pleistocene-era Indonesia. The hooks—five of them—were found in a 12,000-year-old grave on Alor Island, and appear to be arranged around the head of a woman. Sue O’Connor, the archaeologist from the Australian National University who found the hooks, wrote in a new paper that the men of this region and time period were the ones assumed to be doing most of the fishing.
Spark Therapeutics Inc (ONCE) Tanks as Hemophilia A Drug Disappoints in Trial; J.P. Morgan Shares Two Cents
Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE) tanked over 35% today after data from a Phase 1/2 study showed that patients suffering from hemophilia A may not benefit from the company's gene therapy. Spark presented additional Hemophilia A data on four patients treated with SPK-8011 at doses of 5E11vg/kg and 1E12vg/kg. Unfortunately, there was no difference in Factor VIII levels between patients given the low 5E11 dose, and the mid 1E12 dose. J.P. Morgan Cory Kasimov commented, "Though admittedly early, we were quite underwhelmed by the results from ONCE’s update for SPK-8011 in Hemophilia A presented this morning at ASH (significant variability and lack of consistency in factor expression levels).
People blame Mercury retrograde for everything from delayed planes to relationship troubles — but scientists say it's totally bogus
Mercury is in retrograde for the fourth time this year. The astrology community says Mercury retrograde can affect your relationships, communication, and travel plans. In reality, Mercury in retrograde isn't such an unusual occurrence: The planet goes into retrograde about four times a year.