But the stop-gap measure, now before Congress, includes a provision that some regard as a major step backward
For the 40 million people who depend on water from the Colorado River Basin, including me, there’s no escaping this stark reality: Our thirst for water exceeds what’s actually available.
That’s mostly because rising temperatures are sapping moisture from the environment even as demand for water resources in the region is going up.
The result: a run on the banks &mda ...read more
Dickinson, Janis L. & Bonney, Rick. (eds). Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research. Cornell University Press, 2012. 279 pages. Paperback $US 29.95.
Though it was published in 2012, Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research is relevant to our present moment. As discussions of environmental research increase in frequency and urgency, institutions at all levels will continue to raise questions about the public’s scientific liter ...read more
After a year of downtime to perform hardware upgrades, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is ready for action and will turn on its twin detectors, one in Washington state and the other in Louisiana, on April 1. This time, it will also be joined by the Virgo collaboration based out of Italy, and possibly also by the KAGRA detector in Japan later in the year. Combined with the hardware upgrades, scientists expect these updates to allow LIGO to spot more observations ...read more
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) are two of the most stunning naked-eye sights you can spot in the southern sky. Over the past few billion years, these two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way have been locked in a complex dance that has led to numerous interactions between them. And each time they get close, their gravitational forces disrupt the gas clouds within them, spawning the formation of thousands of new star clusters.
Now, astron ...read more
The last and only time astronomers got a close look at Neptune’s moon Triton was in 1989, when Voyager 2 sped by, taking images of just one side of the moon. But that brief encounter revealed plumes of material shooting out from a world so distant and cold that any activity was immediately fascinating. Scientists now think the moon has an underground ocean. This makes it a prime target for finding potential alien life in a frozen zone of the solar system well outside the standard ...read more
A few weeks ago, a spending bill passed by Congress included $100 million earmarked for NASA to develop nuclear thermal rocket engines. In spite of the ever-present backlash to nuclear material, it’s not uncommon when it comes to space exploration. The Curiosity rover is just one of many NASA missions powered by nuclear material, in this case, a multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) that converts heat from decaying plutonium-238 into electricity. But that's ...read more
With the warm weather upon us and the once-frozen plants coming back to life, springtime feels like a long-awaited oasis for most people. But for some, the resurgence of trees and grass can trigger seasonal allergies, and turn springtime into a sneezy, snotty mess. Instead of just popping your allergy meds and hoping for the best, a group of researchers think they may have just enabled a new approach to allergy relief.
Research published on March 19 in the journal Cornea shows how con ...read more
Antibiotics save us from all kinds of unfortunate ailments, from strep throat to ear infections. But the bacteria that cause these and other ailments are gaining an edge. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are on the rise around the world and spreading in people as well as the environment, making it harder to treat infectious diseases.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria grow in places that humans interact with, like our water systems. Urban wastewater treatment plants teem with antibiotic ...read more
People have long known that the canine sense of smell is a powerful tool. Dogs lend their super snouts to help find missing people, illegal drugs, and even screen for diseases like malaria and cancer. Now, scientists say that dogs can add a new talent to their sniffing repertoire: detecting seizures.
A small study has found that humans emit a distinct odor during epileptic seizures, and that some dogs can be trained to recognize the smell. In a new paper published in Scientific Reports th ...read more
NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn may have ended in 2017, but researchers are still analyzing the vast amount of data it sent back over its final spectacular months. Astronomers most recent findings, published Thursday, center on five of Saturn’s small ring moons: Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Epimetheus. During six close flybys near the end of its mission, Cassini uncovered new insights into how the moons formed, and what gives them their different colors.
And astronomer ...read more
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