Friday, December 5, 2014

NASA Launches Orion Spacecraft Into Orbit

NASA’s new Orion spacecraft rode into orbit on a pillar of flame, ushering in what the agency hopes will be a new era of space exploration.
- The New York Times

What Could Be Lost as Einstein’s Papers Go Online

Walter Isaacson says that even in our digital age, scholars should visit their subjects’ archives—not just surf their sites
- The Wall Street Journal

Did the Moon Once Contain a Dynamo?

Scientists have long debated the source of magnetized moon rocks in the absence of a lunar magnetic field. Now, a new study suggests that our natural satellite once had an active and complex interior.
- The Christian Science Monitor

Africa Likely to See More Rain as Greenhouse Emissions Continue

"The future impact of greenhouse gases on rainfall in Africa is a critical socioeconomic issue," says study's lead author.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Indonesian Shell Has 'Earliest Human Engraving'

Zig-zag patterns found on a fossilised shell in Indonesia may be the earliest engraving by a human ancestor. According to a new study, the engraving is at least 430,000 years old, meaning it was done by the long-extinct Homo erectus.
- BBC News

'Clean' Sun-Like Stars a Boon for Alien Planet Hunters

The presence of dust in the interplanetary environment of many mature sun-like stars is providing astronomers with better conditions to seek out and directly image extrasolar planets, or exoplanets.
-Discovery News

African Giraffe on Verge of Extinction

Newly revealed statistics have shown that population of some sub-species of giraffe have fallen by more than 40% over the duration of past 15 years. Conservationists now fear that after elephants and rhinos, giraffe, which is among Africa's iconic animals, is also under the threat of being extinct.
- Uncover Michigan

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Long-Term Environmental Damage by CO2 Emissions

Refuting common misconceptions that today's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a problem only for the future generations, researchers have found that a single carbon emission takes only about 10 years to reach its maximum effect. 
- The Economic Times

NASA: Antarctic Ice Loss Triples in a Decade

Global warming caused the melt rate of glaciers in west Antarctica to triple in the past 10 years, according to a new study. That surge means the glaciers lost a Mt. Everest-sized amount of water every two years over the past 21 years.
- USA Today

Alan Alda Challenges Scientists: Explain Sleep to Kids

Actor-turned-part-time professor Alan Alda has a new challenge for scientists: Explain sleep to an 11-year-old.
- The Seattle Times

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Manned Spaceship a Stepping Stone to Mars, Says NASA

NASA's Orion space capsule, built to carry humans, is about to venture into deep space for the first time in more than four decades. 
- The Christian Science Monitor

Will Artificial Intelligence End Mankind?

Stephen Hawking, one of Britain's pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.
- BBC News

Hotter, Weirder: How Climate Has Changed Earth

In the more than two decades since world leaders first got together to try to solve global warming, life on Earth has changed, not just the climate. It's gotten hotter, more polluted with heat-trapping gases, more crowded and just downright wilder.
- The Seattle Times

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ripples in Space-Time Could Reveal 'Strange Stars'

By looking for ripples in the fabric of space-time, scientists could soon detect "strange stars" -- objects made of stuff radically different from the particles that make up ordinary matter, researchers say.
- Discovery News

Five Practical Uses for "Spooky" Quantum Mechanics

Fifty years after Bell's Theorem, tools that harness the weird properties of quantum mechanics are at work all around you

Origins of Human Alcohol Consumption Revealed

Human ancestors may have begun evolving the knack for consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze. Researchers believe the ability to break down alcohol likely helped human ancestors make the most out of rotting, fermented fruit that fell onto the forest floor.
- Live Science