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Preview: PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories



Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.



 



Sunrise II: A second look at the Sun

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:35:03 EDT

scillating fibrils, explosive increases in temperature, and the footprints of coronal loops: 13 articles published today provide an overview of the results of the second flight of the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise.



Juno spacecraft set for fifth Jupiter flyby

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:31:27 EDT

NASA's Juno spacecraft will make its fifth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops on Monday, March 27, at 1:52 a.m. PDT (4:52 a.m. EDT, 8:52 UTC).



1.4M Illinois job seekers may have had personal data hacked

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:25:53 EDT

About 1.4 million job seekers in Illinois may have had their personal information compromised when one of the state's employment security agency vendors was hacked, the governor's office said Friday.



More big brands pull ads from YouTube in widening boycott

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:25:34 EDT

An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening, a sign that big-spending companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.



California air regulators vote to keep tough fuel standards

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:21:50 EDT

California air regulators voted Friday to keep the state's tough vehicle emissions standards through 2025.



Surprising twist in confined liquid crystals: A simple route to developing new sensors

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:20:02 EDT

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have found a material used for decades to color food items ranging from corn chips to ice creams could potentially have uses far beyond food dyes.



Bad breath: Study find array of bacteria when orcas exhale

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:31:51 EDT

When the mighty orca breaks to the surface and exhales, the whale sprays an array of bacteria and fungi in its his breath, scientists said, some good, and some bad such as salmonella.



Scientists make new discovery about bird evolution

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:27:24 EDT

In a new paper published in National Science Review, a team of scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature, and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology (all in China) described the most exceptionally preserved fossil bird discovered to date.



Spacewalk a success for French, US astronauts

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:13:56 EDT

A French and an American astronaut floated outside the International Space Station Friday on a successful spacewalk to upgrade the orbiting outpost for the arrival of future space crews.



Crop-destroying armyworm caterpillars spread to Uganda

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:06:54 EDT

A plague of crop-destroying fall armyworm caterpillars has spread to East Africa where officials confirmed their presence for the first time in Uganda on Friday.



Trump approves Keystone XL pipeline, hails 'great day' for jobs

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:06:37 EDT

True to his pledge, President Donald Trump gave final approval on Friday for TransCanada to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, overriding environmental concerns in favor of boosting jobs and energy supply.



Apple: Software flaws in latest WikiLeaks docs are all fixed

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:06:07 EDT

Apple said purported hacking vulnerabilities disclosed by WikiLeaks this week have all been fixed in recent iPhones and Mac computers.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Caleb's heaviest rainfall

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:03:32 EDT

Tropical cyclone Caleb formed on March 23 in the South Indian Ocean southwest of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. The GPM core observatory satellite had a fairly good view of the newly formed tropical cyclone when it flew overhead and analyzed its rainfall and found the heaviest precipitation was affected by westerly winds.



NASA sees System 91P coming together east of Queensland

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:03:03 EDT

The area of tropical low pressure designated System 91P appears to be organizing in NASA satellite imagery on March 24. Visible imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite revealed that the tropical low is consolidating and strengthening in the Coral Sea, South Pacific Ocean.



Extreme space weather: Protecting our critical infrastructure

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:02:50 EDT

Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space. A new report from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) calls for bridging knowledge gaps and for better coordination at EU level to reduce the potential impact of space weather events.



Land-based microbes may be invading and harming coral reefs

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:01:17 EDT

A new study suggests that coral reefs—already under existential threat from global warming—may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from land-based sources, such as outfall from sewage treatment plants and coastal inlets. The study raised the possibility that microbes from these sources are invading reefs off of the southeastern coast of Florida. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.



In a quantum race everyone is both a winner and a loser

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:00:01 EDT

Our understanding of the world is mostly built on basic perceptions, such as that events follow each other in a well-defined order. Such definite orders are required in the macroscopic world, for which the laws of classical physics apply. The current work by a team of physicists from the University of Vienna is the first experimental quantification of such a superposition. It will be published in an upcoming issue of Science Advances.



Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:05:06 EDT

Researchers at Lancaster University have found a way to detect subtle early warning signs that reveal a frog population is at risk from pollution.



UTA quantifying coral species' disease susceptibility by examining immune traits

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:52:27 EDT

A biologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is leading a new study aimed at quantifying how susceptible coral species are to disease by examining their immunity through a series of novel experiments and approaches.



Researchers grow a versatile diamond foil in a test reactor

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:51:45 EDT

Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg (FAU) researchers have come a step closer to their goal of providing large diamond foils for practical applications. In a test reactor, they have succeeded in producing the world's largest diamond foil with a diameter of 28 centimetres. Diamond foils can be used as ultimate wear protection in industrial applications and for research into thermoelectric power generation - an emerging market.



Twitter eyes paid 'premium' service for power users

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:30:26 EDT

Twitter confirmed Friday it is considering a paid subscription service that would give frequent users more tools to use the social network for marketing, journalism and other fields.



OSIRIS-REx asteroid search tests instruments, science team

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:30:09 EDT

During an almost two-week search, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission team activated the spacecraft's MapCam imager and scanned part of the surrounding space for elusive Earth-Trojan asteroids—objects that scientists believe may exist in one of the stable regions that co-orbits the sun with Earth. Although no Earth-Trojans were discovered, the spacecraft's camera operated flawlessly and demonstrated that it could image objects two magnitudes dimmer than originally expected.



Why do guillemot chicks leap from the nest before they can fly?

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:24:54 EDT

It looks like a spooky suicide when small, fluffy guillemot chicks leap from the cliffs and fall several hundred metres towards the sea - long before they are fully fledged. But researchers have now discovered that there is good reason behind this seeming madness.



Geologist for Shell says company hid Nigeria spill dangers

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:16:03 EDT

Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational.



Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:42:25 EDT

Unlike experimental neuroscientists who deal with real-life neurons, computational neuroscientists use model simulations to investigate how the brain functions. While many computational neuroscientists use simplified mathematical models of neurons, researchers in the Computational Neuroscience Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) develop software that models neurons to the detail of molecular interactions with the goal of eliciting new insights into neuronal function. Applications of the software were limited in scope up until now because of the intense computational power required for such detailed neuronal models, but recently Dr. Weiliang Chen, Dr. Iain Hepburn, and Professor Erik De Schutter published two related papers in which they outline the accuracy and scalability of their new high-speed computational software, "Parallel STEPS". The combined findings suggest that Parallel STEPS could be used to reveal new insights into how individual neurons function and communicate with each other.



Predatory lizard enters Brazil clandestinely

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:41:25 EDT

It all began with a photograph of a lizard posted on Facebook in August 2015 by the Brazilian Herpetology group. It was a strange lizard that had been observed in a residential area near the Port of Santos, São Paulo State, by Ricardo Samelo, a biology student at the Santos Coast campus of the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP).



New lab-on-a-chip platform seeks to improve pathogen detection

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:41:00 EDT

Nuclear amplification testing is commonly used for pathogen detection; however, the process is currently manually intensive and complex, and requires dedicated equipment. This prevents its use in some settings, and pathogen detection in individual samples.



Image: Rome captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:40:01 EDT

Rome and its surroundings are pictured in this image from the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite, captured on 17 January 2016.



Novel oil spill cleanup technology successfully tested

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:39:40 EDT

Tests conducted last week of a novel technology that can greatly accelerate the combustion of crude oil floating on water demonstrated its potential to become an effective tool for minimizing the environmental impact of future oil spills. Called the Flame Refluxer, the technology, developed by fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with funding from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), could make it possible to burn off spilled oil quickly while producing relatively low levels of air pollutants.



Study into who is least afraid of death

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:37:18 EDT

A new study examines all robust, available data on how fearful we are of what happens once we shuffle off this mortal coil. They find that atheists are among those least afraid of dying... and, perhaps not surprisingly, the very religious.