Monday, April 27, 2015

Science

USDA to spend $3M to help honeybees by improving pastures in Upper Midwest

MILWAUKEE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend millions of dollars to help farmers and ranchers improve pastures in five Midwestern states to provide food for the nation’s struggling honeybees under a program to be announced Tuesday.

Mexican researchers spot endangered ‘water monster’ axolotl, easing fears no more were in wild

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s salamander-like axolotl apparently hasn’t disappeared from its only known natural habitat in Mexico City’s few remaining lakes.
Researchers say they have sighted, but not caught, two of the slippery little creatures during a second effort to find them.

University of Hawaii approves lease of land for giant telescope

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii on Thursday approved a plan to lease land at the summit of Mauna Kea for construction of the world’s largest optical telescope.
The Board of Regents voted 15 to 1 to approve subleasing the land atop the Big Island volcano for the Thirty Meter Telescope. The university leases summit land, which hosts about a dozen telescopes in total, from the state.

Brain on jazz: novel study puts pianists in MRI scanners to show link between music, language

WASHINGTON — Jazz musicians are famous for their musical conversations — one improvises a few bars and another plays an answer. Now research shows some of the brain’s language regions enable that musical back-and-forth much like a spoken conversation.
It gives new meaning to the idea of music as a universal language.

Cancer researchers discover pre-leukemic stem cell at root of AML and relapse

TORONTO — Canadian researchers have discovered a pre-leukemic stem cell that may be at the root of acute myeloid leukemia and also be the “bad actor” that evades chemotherapy and triggers a relapse in patients who have gone into remission.

World’s largest thermal solar power plant rises in Mojave Desert, but it comes with a cost

PRIMM, Nev. — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.

Head of Ky. Creation Museum debates Bill Nye the ‘Science Guy’ on evolution, earth’s origin

PETERSBURG, Ky. — “Science Guy” Bill Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and said “billions and billions,” referring to the age of the Earth while speaking at a Kentucky museum that has become widely known for teaching that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Oregon chub becomes 1st fish taken off endangered list due to recovery

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A tiny minnow that lives only in Oregon backwaters is the first fish ever taken off U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer threatened with extinction.

Environmental health risks of Alberta oilsands probably underestimated: study

EDMONTON — A new study suggests the environmental health risks of oilsands operations in Alberta’s Athabasca region have probably been underestimated.
Researchers say emissions of potentially hazardous air pollution that were used in environmental reviews done before approving some projects did not include evaporation from tailings ponds or other sources, such as dust from mining sites.

Mexico reports dramatic drop in Monarch butterflies, migration may disappear

MEXICO CITY — The stunning and little-understood annual migration of millions of Monarch butterflies to spend the winter in Mexico is in danger of disappearing, experts said Wednesday, after numbers dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993.

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