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Scientists are developing heat-resistant cows to prepare for a hotter planet

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 18:58

Researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are trying to genetic engineer heat-resistant “cows of the future” -- and they’ve received a federal grant to help them.

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SpaceX plans expansion of rocket refurbishing facilities in Florida

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 17:23

SpaceX wants to expand facilities in Florida to refurbish and store its reusable rocket boosters as it increases the pace of launches, documents filed with authorities show. The privately owned rocket company, operated by entrepreneur Elon Musk, proposes building a 67,222-square-foot (6,245-square meter) hangar just south of its Cape Canaveral launch sites to prepare recovered Falcon boosters for reflight, according to the documents. The Port Canaveral Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider SpaceX's proposed lease on Wednesday.

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Science groups ask Trump to retain advisory board integrity

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 16:48

WASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of science and engineering groups called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to make sure that his review of the role of scientific advisory boards respects the importance of accurate scientific data.

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Uranus' Magnetosphere Opens And Closes Each Day, Study Finds

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 16:34

The planet lets in solar wind by acting like a light switch.

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China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plants

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 16:17

If tree-covered skyscrapers act like enormous air filters, this cluster of buildings will be a clean air oasis. China has broken ground on a "forest city" in the southern city of Liuzhou. The development, which will span two-thirds of a mile along the Liujiang River, involves blanketing offices, apartments, hotels, and schools with more than a million plants and about 40,000 trees. SEE ALSO: How drones are helping to plant trees The verdant towers will help soak up urban air pollution, produce clean oxygen, and boost local biodiversity. The greenery also provides shade on sunny days and acts as an insulating blanket during winter, allowing tenants to use less heating and electricity. Liuzhou Forest City will span 175 hectares, or 0.67 miles, along the Liujiang River.Image: stefano boeri architettiIf the concept sounds familiar, that's because these buildings are the work of Stefano Boeri Architetti, the same architecture firm behind the two "vertical forest" buildings planned for Nanjing in eastern China.  Liuzhou city officials commissioned the Italian company to build the development, which will host about 30,000 people and be connected to the main Liuzhou city — population 3.8 million — via a fast-rail line used by electric cars. The forest city, now under construction, is expected to be completed by 2020, the Milan-based architects confirmed by email. 'Vertical forest' buildings in the Liuzhou development.Image: stefano boeri architettiThe development is a flashy but tiny effort to combat the dangerous smog and toxic air pollution that's choking China's industrialized cities. It comes as China is building more wind and solar power than any country in the world to slash emissions from coal plants, factories, and vehicles, and to combat climate change. Stefano Boeri's firm, which recently completed two verdant towers in Milan, is planning to expand into other smoggy cities, including China's Shijiazhuang, Guizhou, Shanghai, and Chongqing. In the Liuzhou Forest City, buildings, parks, and gardens will absorb almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of fine dust pollutants per year, while producing about 900 tons of oxygen, the architects said in a press release.  By comparison, the two green towers in Nanjing will absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide and produce 0.06 tons of oxygen.  An electric railway will link the 'forest city' to the main Liuzhou city.Image: stefano boeri architettiBeyond sucking up toxic air, the urban greenery is also expected to stifle noise pollution and support biodiversity by providing a habitat for the local birds, insects, and small animals that inhabit Liuzhou. The project will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, plus two schools and a hospital. Along with plants, the buildings will also feature rooftop solar panels to produce clean electricity and use geothermal energy systems for interior air-conditioning. Stefano Boeri Architetti said the Liuzhou Forest City represents its broader effort to design a "new generation" of architecture and urban environments to address climate change. WATCH: China's big, beautiful, green 'vertical forests' will suck up toxic smog

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Multibillion-dollar contract for Los Alamos lab up for bid

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 15:05

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The competition for a multibillion-dollar contract to manage the U.S. laboratory that created the atomic bomb is beginning as criticism intensifies over the troubled safety record of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Reducing Fossil Fuel Emissions Isn't Stopping CO2 Rise

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:57

Scientists worry that we may have saturated the Earth's natural carbon sinks.

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An outlandish surgeon is aiming to transplant human heads as a way to beat mortality

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:40

During a recent Skype call with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero, he waved a tattered grey...

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Paint-stripping chemical poses new ozone risk: study

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:33

Earth's protective ozone layer, on a slow path to recovery since the 1987 Montreal Protocol banned chemicals that erode it, may be in danger anew, scientists warned Tuesday. Levels in the stratosphere of dichloromethane, a chemical not covered by the ozone rescue pact, are increasing rapidly and could delay the layer's recovery, they said. Although "currently modest, the impact of dichloromethane on ozone has increased markedly in recent years," a team reported in the journal Nature Communications.

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Future of Air Travel: NASA Takes Major Step Toward Making Supersonic Commercial Flights a Reality

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:07

The speed of sound is 761 miles per hour. When a plane eclipses this speed, it creates shock waves that emit a loud cracking sound, called a sonic boom. In February 2016, NASA teamed up with Lockheed Martin to try to fix this pesky problem, aiming to engineer a "low boom" X-plane that would pave the way for supersonic passenger travel.

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Puppy Love! How Baby Animal Photos Could Help Your Marriage

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:56

That "squeee!" you feel when you look at pictures of cute puppies or bunnies might be good for your love life. A new study finds that looking at baby-animal photos may increase couples' levels of satisfaction with their relationships. Researchers found that study participants who looked at the photos of their spouses paired with photos of cute animals or with other pleasant images over a few weeks seemed to see their partners in a more positive light by the end of the study, compared with people who looked at the photos of their spouses paired with other images over the same period.

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60% of Moms Have Been Mom-Shamed

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:55

More than half of mothers of young children say they've been criticized for their parenting decisions. So-called "mom-shaming" comes most frequently from family members, a new survey found, with 37 percent of mothers reporting their own parents had criticized them, 31 percent reporting criticism from their in-laws, and 36 percent reporting criticism from their spouse or their child's other parent. The survey found that 61 percent of moms of young kids said they'd been shamed for their parenting at some point.

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Canada Issues Guidelines for Safer Use of Marijuana

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:55

As many countries move toward legalizing pot, officials in Canada are releasing guidelines for how people can lower the health risks that may be associated with the drug if they choose to use it. The guidelines, which were released today (June 23) by the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse, are meant to educate marijuana users so that they can make choices that could modify the risks from the drug. The researchers likened the new pot guidelines to recommendations that already exist to help people lower the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

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Amazon's Delivery Drones Could Take Off from Beehive-Like 'Airport'

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:36

If Amazon's package-carrying drones ever become a reality, they may one day pick up deliveries from beehive-shaped buildings strategically placed in cities around the world, according to a patent application filed by the company. The patent, published online on June 22, describes something called the "multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned aerial vehicles," demonstrating how Amazon plans to take package delivery to the next level. These days, Amazon's warehouses "are typically large-volume single-floor warehouse buildings," located on the outskirts of cities, the company wrote in the patent, which was filed in 2015.

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US mayors bypass Trump to back Paris climate goals

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:57

President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord has triggered a bipartisan push from US mayors to stick to the emissions cuts Washington had pledged to hit, the mayor of Atlanta said Tuesday. Mayor Kasim Reed said he was sending a signal of "optimism, passion and action" on fighting climate change to mayors worldwide despite the pullout Trump announced this month. "President Trump's disappointing decision to withdraw from the agreement will actually have the opposite effect in terms of execution," Reed told a meeting of mayors from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America in Brussels.

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Tech firms want to detect your emotions and expressions, but people don't like it

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:16

If Facebook already knows how you feel from reading what you post, soon it will know from reading the expressions on your face.

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Why 'Greener' Gas-Powered Vehicles Aren't As Clean As You Think

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:09

Gas-powered vehicles that use cleaner technology may still be spewing tons of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, new research suggests. Newer "greener" vehicles are equipped with technology that traps most particulate matter and mostly emit vapors. When cars combust gasoline, they produce a mixture of vapor, teensy droplets and miniscule solid particles that leave a vehicle's exhaust pipe and rise up into the atmosphere.

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Bone-Sniffing Dog Detectives Join the Hunt for Amelia Earhart's Remains

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:08

A search party set sail for a remote Pacific island this weekend to look for clues about the fate of Amelia Earhart. In the latest National Geographic-sponsored expedition seeking Earhart’s remains, a group of forensic dogs will be brought to the island of Nikumaroro to sniff for human bones. Among her many other records, she was the first woman, and second person after Charles Lindbergh, to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.

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4 Dead, Liverless Sharks Wash Ashore in Weird Whodunit

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 09:15

Orca whales have claimed the life of another great white shark by eating its liver and leaving it for dead, making it the fourth such gristly death in less than two months. During a four-day period in early May, researchers reported finding the bodies of three great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that had washed ashore along South Africa's Western Cape province. Now, a fourth dead, liverless shark has washed ashore, according to a post today (June 26) on the Marine Dynamics blog, a site hosted by a shark cage diving company.

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The amazing secrets behind 'flying ant day'

Tue, 06/27/2017 - 08:29

The things they'll do for love ...

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