Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Science

Supreme Court says isolated human genes cannot be patented

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries.

China’s latest manned space craft docks with space station

BEIJING — China’s latest manned space capsule docked with an orbiting space station Thursday, and the three astronauts climbed aboard what will be their home for the next week, state media reported.

While speed of cheetahs is amazing, scientists in awe of their acceleration, power, agility

WASHINGTON — Everyone knows cheetahs are blazingly fast. Now new research illustrates how their acceleration and nimble zigzagging leave other animals in the dust and scientists in awe.

Regulator, industry find oilsands cleanup harder than first thought

EDMONTON — Alberta’s energy industry has found that cleaning up oilsands tailings is much harder than it thought.
The province’s energy regulator says all oilsands companies affected by tailings reduction rules missed what were supposed to be legally binding targets — some by wide margins. All were given extra years to meet reductions that should have been done by now.

Bonus rock: Astronomers find small asteroid circling bigger 1 set to whiz by on Friday

WASHINGTON — Astronomers getting their first close-up glimpse of a giant asteroid about to whiz by Earth found a surprise bonus rock. A smaller moon asteroid is circling the larger space rock, an unusual but not unheard of space phenomenon.

Active hurricane season expected

HALIFAX—The Canadian Hurricane Centre is backing U.S. predictions of an active season this year, telling residents in the Atlantic provinces they should prepare.
The Canadian centre said today an unusually warm tropical Atlantic Ocean is one of the factors behind the forecast of an active hurricane season, which continues a 15-year period of high hurricane activity.

The Galapagos are now just a click away: Google photographs famous islands for Street View

SAN FRANCISCO — Few have explored the remote volcanic islands of the Galapagos archipelago, an otherworldly landscape inhabited by the world’s largest tortoises and other fantastical creatures that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Solar plane lands in Texas, completes 2nd leg of trip intended to boost clean energy interest

DALLAS — A solar-powered plane has landed in Texas, completing the second leg of a trip across the United States.
The Solar Impulse is making the first attempt by a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S.
The plane landed early Thursday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after taking off Wednesday from Phoenix.

Boreal forest talks collapse

MONTREAL—Three years of efforts to protect Canada’s boreal forest have ended in failure as negotiations broke down between environmentalists and the forest industry.
Resolute Forest Products said today it could not accept a proposal from environmentalists that it said would have threatened thousands of jobs in remote communities.

US scientists finally get stem cells from cloned human embryos, possible step to treatments

NEW YORK — Scientists have finally recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos, a longstanding goal that could lead to new treatments for such illnesses as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
A prominent expert called the work a landmark, but noted that a different, simpler technique now under development may prove more useful.

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