Thursday, April 24, 2014

Science

Lazaridis: $100-million fund will put Waterloo at forefront of quantum computing

WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin say they have established a $100-million fund for the development and commercialization of quantum computing.
They say the new Quantum Valley Investments fund in Waterloo, Ont., will be a catalyst for breakthroughs in an emerging field that could revolutionize information technology.

New study of tornado-blown debris from 2011 outbreak could lead to more warnings for public

ATLANTA — Photos and mementoes that were snatched up and blown hundreds of miles during a Southern tornado outbreak two years ago are giving researchers new insight on how debris is carried by the storms and how it could threaten the public.

Human-induced climate change played big role in Somalia’s 2011 famine, new study finds

NAIROBI, Kenya — Human-induced climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia’s famine and the tens of thousands of deaths that followed, a new study has found.
It is the first time climate change was proven to be partially to blame for such a large humanitarian disaster, an aid group said Friday.

Number of Monarch butterflies drop by ‘ominous’ 59 per cent in Mexico reserve, experts report

MEXICO CITY — The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59 per cent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday.

Physicists say they are confident they have found the long-sought Higgs boson

GENEVA — Physicists said Thursday they are now confident they have discovered a crucial subatomic particle known as a Higgs boson — a major discovery that will go a long ways toward helping them explain why the universe is the way it is.

World conservation body agrees to regulate international trade of vulnerable timber species

BANGKOK, Thailand — A global wildlife conference has agreed to regulate international trade of several timber species threatened by illegal logging.
Ebony from Madagascar and rosewood from Brazil, Thailand and Central America used in high-end furniture are among the woods gaining protection.

Curiosity rover tests rock, shows Mars had right ingredients to support primitive life

LOS ANGELES — NASA scientists say tests on a Mars rock show the planet could have supported primitive life.
The analysis was done by the rover Curiosity, which drilled into the rock, crushed it and tested a tiny sample. The rover was the first spacecraft sent to Mars that could collect a sample from deep inside a rock.

Comet and crescent moon provide cool photo op, ice ball on 1st-ever tour of inner solar system

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Now’s your chance to see the comet that passed within 100 million miles of Earth last week.
Twilight on Tuesday will provide the best photo op for the comet called Pan-STARRS. It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere just above the western horizon — right next to a crescent moon.

Curiosity sleeps as solar eruption barrels toward Mars; other missions operating normally

LOS ANGELES — Curiosity hunkered down after the sun unleashed a blast that raced toward Mars.
While the hardy rover was designed to withstand punishing space weather, its handlers decided to power it down as a precaution since it suffered a recent computer problem.
“We’re being more careful,” project manager Richard Cook of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Wednesday.

Comet making closest approach ever to Earth, finally becoming visible in Northern Hemisphere

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A recently discovered comet is closer than it’s ever been to Earth, and stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere finally get to see it.

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