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Two-thirds of the closely monitored U.S. fish species once devastated by overfishing have bounced back in a big way thanks to management plans instituted 10 to 15 years ago, a new study says. And fish aren't the only ones celebrating. Recovering populations can mean more revenue and jobs for some fishermen—but unfortunately success hasn't been universal.
Synthetic biology has made such strides in recent years that the notion of reviving extinct species is no longer crazy talk. Researchers gathered recently in Washington, D.C. to discuss the prospects of bringing back a whole menagerie of fascinating creatures, including the passenger pigeon, once the most numerous bird in North America.
The plan to bring back this iconic bird, which has been extinct for nearly a century, will push the bounds of genetic engineering. But let’s just say for now that the technical challenges are surmountable. If researchers actually do create a genetic replica of a passenger pigeon, what should they do with it?.
Research carried out by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and collaborators reveals that the last region on earth to be colonised by humans was home to more than 1,000 species of birds that went extinct soon after people reached their island homes.
The paper was published today (25th) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
North Korea's weapons program is not the only nuclear headache for South Korea. The country's radioactive waste storage is filling up as its nuclear power industry burgeons, but what South Korea sees as its best solution—reprocessing the spent fuel so it can be used again—faces stiff opposition from its U.S. ally.
South Korea fired up its first reactor in 1978 and since then the resource poor nation's reliance on atomic energy has steadily grown. It is now the world's fifth-largest nuclear energy producer, operating 23 reactors. But unlike the rapid growth of its nuclear industry, its nuclear waste management plan has been moving at a snail's pace.
Environmentalists and beekeepers are calling on the government to ban some of the country's most widely used insect-killing chemicals.
The pesticides, called neonicotinoids, became popular among farmers during the 1990s. They're used to coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn. Neonics, as they're called, protect those crops from insect pests.
But they may also be killing bees.
Contrary to convention, vegetation, when well-maintained, can lower the rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery and burglary, in cities, according to a Temple University study, "Does vegetation encourage or suppress urban crime? Evidence from Philadelphia, PA," published in the journal, Landscape and Urban Planning.
A 63-year-old woman who was expected to die after her heart stopped for 45 minutes, is recovering well.
Advocates of Electronic Voice Projection (EVP) claim they can use radio equipment to communicate with the dead. But are they just hearing what they want to hear?
Terri Leigh Cox, 17, says that she saw something hunched over and bounding around on all fours from her bedroom window in Dorchester, Dorset, and took a photograph of it on her mobile phone. The teenager said that the park's visitor, which she insisted was not a dog or cat, then ran up a tree and out of sight.
In 1983, a company in Garfield, N.J., accidentally spilled thousands of pounds of hexavalent chromium, the same toxic carcinogen that Erin Brockovich made famous.
When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman recently reversed his stance on gay marriage after his son came out as gay, he joined a tidal wave of Americans who have altered their views on the subject.
"There's just been a real huge sea change in how people view gay marriage," says Dawn Michelle Baunach, a sociologist at Georgia State University who has tracked attitudes toward same-sex marriage over the past two decades.
Do American writers express more emotion than their British counterparts? A scientific paper, just published, has concluded that Stateside writers are champions at emotional incontinence, streets ahead of glacial, buttoned-up, clenched-buttock Limeys.
The Expression of Emotions in 20th Century Books, is the promising title of the study by four academics at Bristol, Stockholm, Sheffield and Durham universities. The quartet reached their conclusion by taking a number of “mood-words”, expressive of strong feelings, in six categories – Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Surprise – and seeing how often they appeared in “roughly 4 per cent of all books published” between 1900 and 2008.
A renewed interest in hallucinogens—particularly the Amazonian tea ayahuasca—is giving the substances a new image that emphasises spiritual learning over hedonism and excess.
Taking psychedelics might conjure up images of colourful designs, trippy music and the heady and sometimes tragic hedonism of the ‘60s counterculture. But 50 years on there’s been a reassessment of what these substances can offer, and a renewed respect for ancient teachings that treat them as gateways to spiritual experience.
A week today discussions at TED about their decision to limit access to talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake will cease and at that point TED will have effectively got away with a bizarre act of censorship without ever really having to account for its behaviour. A month from now the whole matter will be forgotten and TED will be able to move on as though nothing ever happened to disturb the wholesome image that it has cultivated so successfully.
After deleting the talks from their TEDxYoutube channel on 14 March (where they had jointly notched up 170,000 views) TED’s tactic has been to create a series of ever-receding “blog” pages where people are invited to discuss the talks. Hancock and Sheldrake have both declined to be involved since they have already refuted all the original allegations of “pseudo-science” that TED levelled as justification for the removal of the talks from the TEDx Youtube channel. TED’s allegations (now crossed out), and Hancock and Sheldrake’s refutations, as well as the talks themselves, can be seen here:
To move things forward Hancock and Sheldrake have both issued challenges to TED to engage them face to face in free and fair public debate, Hancock here:
and Sheldrake here:
If you’re concerned about what this issue means for freedom of speech, and for whether we will live in a society in the future that respects our right to make sovereign decisions about our own consciousness, then please take two minutes to register as a poster on those pages and demand that TED stop hiding behind smokescreens and respond to Hancock’s and Sheldrake’s challenges.
For a certain category of armchair scientists and intellectuals, TEDTalks have become the catnip du jour. The New York-and Vancouver-based conference corporation, whose name originally reflected Technology, Entertainment and Design but whose concerns are now much broader, is beloved for its free, punchy, online videos of leading thinkers expounding Jobs-like on what it calls "ideas worth spreading."
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — The equator of Jupiter's icy moon Europa may be covered with huge spikes of ice, scientists say.
A Friday night flash of light in the skies over the East Coast sparked a rash of meteor sighting reports, followed by a mad dash to track down photos and videos of the event.
If you thought finding a definition for Pluto was contentious, try defining the edge of the solar system.
Men are idiots. Hence the common chorus of "but using a condom doesn't feel good." (The fact that having AIDS and/or babies feels much worse seems to have escaped these folks.) To be fair: The condom is still fairly primitive; the use of latex was the last major innovation (sorry, Trojan, your "fire and ice" condoms are weird and don't count), and that was decades ago. This is 2013! We are developing invisibility cloaks! We have cars that drive themselves! We have a giant telescope that can see into the past!
Michigan Technological University's invisibility cloak researchers have done it again. They've moved the bar on one of the holy grails of physics: making objects invisible. Just last month, Elena Semouchkina, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech, and her graduate student, Xiaohui Wang, reported successful experimental demonstration of the use of non-conductive ceramic metamaterials to cloak cylindrical objects from microwave-length electromagnetic waves. Previously, Semouchkina had designed a non-conductive glass metamaterial cloak that worked with infrared frequency waves, which are shorter than microwaves.
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