Science News

Philae lander shows there's more to comets than soft dust

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BERLIN/FRANKFURT - The comet lander Philae may be uncommunicative at the moment, but the pictures and measurements it took after it touched down on a comet in November have shown scientists that the comet is covered with coarse material, rather than dust, and is harder than expected.

U.S. Air Force closely following SpaceX blast probe: general

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force is involved in and closely following a SpaceX-led investigation into the explosion that destroyed an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket minutes after liftoff from Florida on June 28, a top general said on Friday.

31 Jul 2015

U.S. drones capture breath samples from humpback whales in study

BOSTON - Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod have begun using a helicopter-style drone to monitor humpback whales off the coast, collecting breath samples from their blowholes and taking aerial pictures.

03 Aug 2015

Star Trek-style home elevator could replace stairlifts

For people living in a house with more than one storey, stairlifts or home elevators are often a necessity of life as they get older and find it harder to get up and down the stairs. Normal stairlifts have the disadvantage of being a permanent and visible addition to a staircase, while traditional home elevators are bulky and often impractical for most homes. | Video

Tech 03 Aug 2015

Earth's 'magnetic personality' much older than previously thought

WASHINGTON - Earth's magnetic field has been a life preserver, protecting against relentless solar winds, streams of charged particles rushing from the Sun, that otherwise could strip away the planet's atmosphere and water.

30 Jul 2015

Saving rhinos in a lab

San Francisco, California - Matthew Markus, of biotech company Pembient, is holding up a rhinoceros horn worth thousands of dollars on the black market because a poacher had to risk his life to kill an endangered species to obtain it.  | Video

30 Jul 2015

When is a jackal not a jackal? When it's really a 'golden wolf'

WASHINGTON - They look alike, act alike and long have been considered to be the same species. But, in the case of the golden jackals found across parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, it turns out that appearances can be deceiving.

Environment, 30 Jul 2015

Minority Report-type insect robots jump on water

The spider robots that invade the bath of Captain John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, were one of the highlights of iconic 2002 film Minority Report. Now a team of international researchers has created a similar insect android that can launch itself easily from the water. | Video

Tech 30 Jul 2015

GM moths could end cabbage ravage

Scientists in Britain say they have developed a way of genetically modifying and controlling an invasive species of moth that causes serious pest damage to cabbages, kale, canola and other similar crops world-wide. | Video

30 Jul 2015

U.S. investigators blame Virgin Galactic crash on lax pilot training

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Federal investigators cited inadequate training of test pilots by a Northrup Grumman Corp subsidiary on Tuesday as a leading factor behind last year's fatal crash of an experimental Virgin Galactic passenger spaceship over the Mojave Desert.

U.S., 28 Jul 2015
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Senate blocks Planned Parenthood defunding measure

WASHINGTON - Republican legislation to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood failed to gather enough support in the U.S. Senate on Monday, halting at least for now moves to punish the women's health group for its role in gathering fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.