Science News

The upper hand: study points to early tool use by human ancestors

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WASHINGTON - Human ancestors may have been capable of using tools much earlier than previously thought.

Rosetta spacecraft raises new questions about comet’s origin

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Scientists using Europe’s comet-orbiting Rosetta spacecraft have discovered that the complicated ancient body is coated with surprisingly simple organic molecules and surrounded by a changing cloud of gases, according to new research released on Thursday.

22 Jan 2015

Countdown to catastrophe: Doomsday Clock moved closer to midnight

- Rising threats from climate change and nuclear arsenals prompted the scientists who maintain the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic countdown to global catastrophe, to move it two minutes closer to midnight on Thursday, its first shift in three years.

Lake Tahoe's tiny creatures dying off at dramatic rate: scientist

- The smallest critters who occupy the bottom of the cold, clear waters of Lake Tahoe are dying off at an alarming rate and scientists are trying to find the cause to protect the fragile ecosystem of the lake high in the Sierra Nevada range.

Environment 21 Jan 2015

SpaceX raises $1 billion in funding from Google, Fidelity

- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), founded by Elon Musk, said it has raised about $1 billion in a financing round with two new investors, Google Inc and Fidelity.

Deals 20 Jan 2015

Scientists create 'genetic firewall' for new forms of life

NEW YORK - A year after creating organisms that use a genetic code different from every other living thing, two teams of scientists have achieved another "synthetic biology" milestone: They created bacteria that cannot survive without a specific manmade chemical, potentially overcoming a major obstacle to wider use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

21 Jan 2015

New satellite system to track illegal 'pirate fishing'

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - About 20 percent of the world's fishing catch is taken illegally by poachers, experts estimate, but a new satellite tracking system launched on Wednesday aims to crack down on the industrial-scale theft known as "pirate fishing."

Environment 21 Jan 2015

Atlas rocket blasts off from Florida with military communications satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday with a next-generation communications satellite designed to provide cellular-like voice and data services to U.S. military forces around the world. | Video

U.S. 21 Jan 2015

First round-the-world solar flight to take off next month

ABU DHABI - A plane powered by the sun will attempt an unprecedented flight around the world next month, the project's founders said, seeking to prove that flying is possible without using fossil fuel.

20 Jan 2015

Ancient scrolls charred in Vesuvius eruption come to life

WASHINGTON - The contents of hundreds of papyrus scrolls that were turned into charcoal in the eruption of Italy's Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD - one of the great natural disasters of antiquity - have long remained a mystery. That soon may change.

Italy 20 Jan 2015
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After Ebola, WHO to set up contingency fund, develop 'surge capacity'

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday it will create a contingency fund and an emergency workforce to respond quickly to crises after strong criticism of the agency's delay in confronting the Ebola epidemic.