Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Science

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.

Scientists decode genome of plague that struck 800 years before Black Death

TORONTO — It’s not nearly as well-known as the Black Death, but the sixth-century Justinian plague was just as deadly, wiping out an estimated 30 million to 50 million people in only two years as it spread across Asia, North Africa, Arabia and Europe.

Comet-chasing probe awakens

BERLIN—Waking up after almost three years of hibernation, a comet-chasing spacecraft sent its first signal back to Earth this week, prompting cheers from scientists who hope to use it to land the first space lander onto a comet.
The European Space Agency received the all-clear message from its Rosetta spacecraft at 1:18 p.m. (EST) on Monday—a message that had to travel some 800 million km.

’Hello World!’ Comet-chasing spacecraft wakes from hibernation, sends signal back to Earth

BERLIN — Waking up after almost three years of hibernation, a comet-chasing spacecraft sent its first signal back to Earth on Monday, prompting cheers from scientists who hope to use it to land the first space lander onto a comet.

Phone home! European Space Agency hopes for sign of life from comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta

BERLIN — Scientists at the European Space Agency are expecting an important call.
Their comet-chasing probe Rosetta is due to wake from an almost three-year hibernation at 11 a.m. Monday (1000 GMT; 5 a.m. EST) and phone home to say all is well.

Not just winging it: Birds in V formation choreograph flapping to save energy, study suggests

NEW YORK — The next time you see birds flying in a V, consider this: A new study says they choreograph the flapping of their wings with exquisite precision to help them on their way.

Dozens still chasing Mars trip

MONTREAL—Dozens of star-struck Canadians are surprised, excited, and brimming with confidence after reaching the next round of selections for a planned one-way mission to Mars.
They now are one step closer to the possibility of being among the first humans to ever set foot on the red planet.

Changes needed to ensure access to full results of medical studies: researchers

TORONTO — About $240 billion is spent globally on medical studies each year, but only about half of the results end up being made public for use by other researchers and doctors treating patients.

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