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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky yesterday at 05:40. 1 comments

The First Batch of Data from NASA's Sun-Visiting Probe Is Now Available to the Public

The First Batch of Data from NASA's Sun-Visiting Probe Is Now Available to the Public

NASA’s daring mission to kiss the Sun is now into its 15th month, with the Parker Solar Probe steadily drawing closer to our host star with each passing orbit. Data gathered by the probe during its first two stellar flybys is now available online, with NASA making it “available for interested public users to manipulate, analyze, and plot in any way they choose.”

Since entering into space on...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky yesterday at 00:45.

China May Be Concealing Organ Harvesting Through Fake Donation Data, Scientists Report

China May Be Concealing Organ Harvesting Through Fake Donation Data, Scientists Report

China has been using an equation to produce fake organ donation data, according to researchers who used a forensic technique that sniffs out suspicious patterns in statistical datasets.

New research published yesterday in BMC Medical Ethics is raising concerns that China is continuing to harvest organs from executed prisoners, despite the country’s assurances to the contrary. Exploiting...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 15, 2019 at 04:37. 1 comments

Congress Is Increasingly Wary About NASA's 2024 Moon Landing Deadline

Congress Is Increasingly Wary About NASA's 2024 Moon Landing Deadline

At a House hearing held yesterday in Washington D.C., members of Congress and space experts voiced serious concerns about NASA’s current plan to send American men and women to the Moon in just five years.

On March 26, 2019, Vice President Mike Pence told NASA it has five years to put Americans back on the Moon, which was four years ahead of the previously scheduled return date of 2028. This...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 15, 2019 at 00:50.

Stunning Fossil Discovery Uncovers the Second-Most Primitive Flying Bird

Stunning Fossil Discovery Uncovers the Second-Most Primitive Flying Bird

Paleontologists in Japan have uncovered the fossilized remains of a 120-million-year-old flying dinosaur that’s seriously shaking up the bird family tree.

Many of you have likely heard of Archaeopteryx—a winged, long-tailed dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period some 160 million to 140 million years ago. This creature, with its flight and tail feathers, is the earliest known...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 14, 2019 at 04:46. 4 comments

The Location for NASA’s Next Mars Rover Is Even More Intriguing Than We Realized

The Location for NASA’s Next Mars Rover Is Even More Intriguing Than We Realized

Satellite observations of Jezero crater on Mars, the chosen landing site for NASA’s next rover mission, have revealed evidence of minerals that are exceptionally good at preserving traces of ancient life, making this an even better place to send the rover than initially thought.

If primitive life existed on Mars billions of years ago—and that’s still a big if—there’s an excellent chance the...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 14, 2019 at 01:00.

Promising Plant Sciences Breakthrough Could Lead to Photosynthesis 2.0

Promising Plant Sciences Breakthrough Could Lead to Photosynthesis 2.0

By solving a complex protein structure, biologists have unlocked a critical mechanism in plants that could lead to improvements in how photosynthesis works, and by consequence, greater crop yields.

Photosynthesis is a brilliant invention of nature, but that’s not stopping scientists from trying to make it even better. New research published today in Nature describes how a team at the...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 13, 2019 at 03:55. 1 comments

Japan's Asteroid Probe Is Finally Returning to Earth With Its Precious Cargo

Japan's Asteroid Probe Is Finally Returning to Earth With Its Precious Cargo

The Japanese space agency has declared an end to the exploratory phase of the Hayabusa2 mission. Beginning tomorrow, the overachieving spacecraft will leave Ryugu and head back to Earth, bringing—hopefully—its asteroid samples along with it.

After a year and a half of exploratory work around the Ryugu asteroid, the time has finally come for JAXA’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft to return home.

At 10:05...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 13, 2019 at 00:30. 6 comments

Japan to Reinvent Fukushima as a Renewable Energy Hub

Japan to Reinvent Fukushima as a Renewable Energy Hub

Plans have been announced to convert abandoned areas in Fukushima to a renewable energy hub, a scheme that will involve the construction of new solar plants, wind farms, and a power transmission grid that will feed Tokyo with electricity.

It’s been eight years since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The immediate area around the...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 12, 2019 at 04:40. 3 comments

Stingray-Shaped Probes Could Explore Venus’s Atmosphere

Stingray-Shaped Probes Could Explore Venus’s Atmosphere

Researchers with the University at Buffalo are working on a conceptual design that would see a morphing aircraft explore the skies above Venus, including its elusive “dark side.”

It’s called BREEZE, or Bio-inspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Explorations. Like a stingray propelling itself through water with its pectoral fins, this morphing probe would flap its wings during flight,...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 11, 2019 at 23:00. 6 comments

'Lost' Species of Mouse-Deer Spotted in Vietnam After 30 Years

'Lost' Species of Mouse-Deer Spotted in Vietnam After 30 Years

Using dozens of motion-activated camera traps, conservationists in Vietnam have captured photographic evidence of the silver-backed chevrotain—an impossibly adorable deer-like creature that hadn’t been seen since 1990.

“In an age of mass extinctions, confirming the survival of lost species provides rare second chances for biodiversity conservation,” opens a new research article published today...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 09, 2019 at 09:08. 3 comments

Stunned Fishermen Rescue a Deer Swimming 5 Miles off the Coast of Maine

Stunned Fishermen Rescue a Deer Swimming 5 Miles off the Coast of Maine

In a fish tale like no other, a crew of lobstermen pulled in young deer that somehow managed to swim a whopping 5 miles (8 kilometers) from shore.

Writing on Facebook, Captain Ren Dorr said the deer was spotted in the waters off the Maine coast on November 4, 2019. The deer was in a bad way, “drifting farther away from land.” Unwilling to “let the poor guy suffer,” his team “brought him...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 09, 2019 at 01:10. 15 comments

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists working at a site near Mexico City have unearthed a 15,000-year-old trap built by humans to capture mammoths, in what’s the first discovery of its kind.

Early settlers of the Mexico Basin subdued giant mammoths by digging out deep, wide trenches and then driving the animals into the pits, according to a press release issued by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 08, 2019. 13 comments

Boeing Reveals Its Proposed Lander for NASA's 2024 Moon Mission

Boeing Reveals Its Proposed Lander for NASA's 2024 Moon Mission

Boeing has submitted its proposal to NASA for a lunar lander concept that the company claims will return Americans to the Moon in 2024 with the “fewest steps” possible.

Under orders from President Trump, NASA is working to deliver American astronauts to the Moon by 2024. Since late September, the space agency has been soliciting proposals for a human lunar lander system to be used in this...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 07, 2019. 4 comments

Ancient Apes May Have Learned to Walk Upright in the Trees

Ancient Apes May Have Learned to Walk Upright in the Trees

Scientists in Germany have discovered the fossilized remains of a previously unknown ancient ape with an unusual way of moving through the treetops. By standing upright on two feet and grasping branches with its long arms, this animal may have set an important evolutionary precedent for the bipedal primates that followed.

The ability to stand upright and walk on two feet may have emerged as a...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 07, 2019. 13 comments

National Security Commission Warns Pentagon of Falling Hopelessly Behind in the AI Arms Race

National Security Commission Warns Pentagon of Falling Hopelessly Behind in the AI Arms Race

An interim report compiled by a national security panel warns the U.S. government of falling too far behind China and Russia in the AI arms race, while calling for new investments to foster innovation.

Released yesterday, the November interim report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) advises the U.S. government to get its act together on the development...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 06, 2019. 17 comments

Henry Kissinger Warns That AI Will Fundamentally Alter Human Consciousness

Henry Kissinger Warns That AI Will Fundamentally Alter Human Consciousness

Speaking in Washington, D.C. earlier today, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he’s convinced of AI’s potential to fundamentally alter human consciousness—including changes in our self-perception and to our strategic decision-making. He also slammed AI developers for insufficiently thinking through the implications of their creations.

Kissinger, now 96, was speaking to an...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 06, 2019. 5 comments

Satellite Captures Awful Scar Left by California’s Historic Kincade Fire

Satellite Captures Awful Scar Left by California’s Historic Kincade Fire

California’s Kincade Fire is into its 13th day, and mercifully the blaze is now mostly contained. The scope of the damage, however, has been extensive, as this disturbing new satellite image reveals.

This image was taken at 11:01 a.m. PST (2:01 p.m. EST) on November 3, 2019 by NASA’s Terra satellite, according to a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory press release. The Terra satellite is equipped...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 04, 2019. 13 comments

Boeing Completes Dramatic Abort Test of Spacecraft That Could Take Astronauts to the ISS

Boeing Completes Dramatic Abort Test of Spacecraft That Could Take Astronauts to the ISS

NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program hit a key milestone today following an apparently successful abort test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, in which the module reached 650 miles per hour (1,046 km/h) in just 5 seconds.

The pad abort test of an uncrewed CST-100 Starliner happened at 7:15 a.m. MT (9:15 a.m. ET) today from Launch Complex 32 on White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 02, 2019.

Yet More Evidence That Neanderthal Bling Included Eagle Talons

Yet More Evidence That Neanderthal Bling Included Eagle Talons

New fossil evidence suggests the Neanderthal practice of collecting eagle talons, which were likely worn as jewelry or used to create powerful symbols, was more extensive than previously thought. Remarkably, the dating of these artifacts suggests modern humans might have copied this practice.

New evidence presented on Friday in Science Advances bolsters a theory that suggests Neanderthals used...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 01, 2019. 10 comments

Scientists Say New Research Tracing the Origin of Modern Humans to Botswana Is Deeply Flawed

Scientists Say New Research Tracing the Origin of Modern Humans to Botswana Is Deeply Flawed

A new paper claiming that modern humans originated in northern Botswana some 200,000 years ago is being criticized by experts, who say the researchers relied on unproven and outdated techniques while also excluding competing lines of evidence. Alarmingly, the paper is also being criticized for its colonial undertones.

The elusive search for the proverbial Garden of Eden has led an...

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