Friday, October 31, 2014

Science

Earth-size planet found with rocky core like ours, but close to its sun and too hot for life

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Scientists have found a planet way out in the cosmos that’s close in size and content to Earth — an astronomical first.
But this rocky world is so close to its sun that it’s almost certainly too hot for life.

SARS-like viruses found in Chinese bats; closest hit yet to 2003 outbreak virus

TORONTO — A consortium of international scientists has discovered a SARS-like virus recovered from a Chinese horseshoe bat, further solidifying the theory that these bats are the ultimate source of the virus that killed more than 900 people around the globe in 2003.

Scientists still dig for Ice Age fossils in Los Angeles after a century of discoveries

LOS ANGELES — Surrounded by a gooey graveyard of prehistoric beasts, a small crew diligently wades through a backlog of fossil finds from a century of excavation at the La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of Los Angeles.

Ozone hole over the South Pole shrinks by 6 per cent; scientists credit warm upper air

WASHINGTON — Scientists say warm upper air this September and October helped shrink the man-made ozone hole near the South Pole slightly.

California ‘sea serpents’ baffle scientists, draw gawkers

LOS ANGELES — The silvery carcasses of two giant oarfish were discovered along the Southern California coast last week, baffling scientists and gaining a growing online following who gawked at the bony, snake-like creatures.

How sure is sure? Scientists liken certainty of global warming to deadliness of smoking

WASHINGTON — Top scientists from a variety of fields say they are about as certain that global warming is a real, man-made threat as they are that cigarettes kill.
They are as sure about climate change as they are about the age of the universe. They say they are more certain about climate change than they are that vitamins make you healthy or that dioxin in Superfund sites is dangerous.

NASA launches drones to study how tropical weather intensifies

ATLANTIC, Va. — NASA scientists are using former military surveillance drones to help them understand more about how tropical storms intensify, which they say could ultimately save lives by improving forecast models that predict a hurricane’s strength.

The search for sarin’s fingerprint comes down to 3 numbers, lots of testing and retesting

WASHINGTON — Three simple numbers will prove whether sarin was used to gas Syrians last month: 99-125-81.

Scientists find some whales tan to protect themselves from sunburns

VANCOUVER — Some pale whales appear to tan in order to protect themselves from sunburn, says a new study.
An international team of scientists took mitochondrial DNA samples from blue whales, fin whales and sperm whales to check for genetic damage from ultraviolet rays.

Study raises red flag for universal flu vaccine; may explain 2009 ‘Canadian problem’

TORONTO — A new study sounds a cautionary note for work that is being done to try to develop vaccines to protect against all subtypes of influenza.

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