How the Blue Cut Blaze Spawns Those Insane Firenadoes

Wired News - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
Firenadoes are spinning columns of smoke and fire, caused by wind interacting with the blaze itself---a complex mix of fire and fluid dynamics. The post How the Blue Cut Blaze Spawns Those Insane Firenadoes appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Body Slams and BMX: The Best Olympic Photos, Part Two

Wired News - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
The second week of the Olympic Games was even more exciting. Here's photographic proof. The post Body Slams and BMX: The Best Olympic Photos, Part Two appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Help This Designer Illustrate Every Gold-Winning Woman at Rio

Wired News - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
"There's such a wide variety of body types out there," says graphic designer Wendy Fox. "But then, there's a huge variety of sports, as well." The post Help This Designer Illustrate Every Gold-Winning Woman at Rio appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Inside the Fisker Karma’s Impossible Return From Automotive Hell

Wired News - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
An exclusive look at how Karma Automotive brought the lovely, doomed Fisker Karma back to life. The post Inside the Fisker Karma’s Impossible Return From Automotive Hell appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
On Aug. 21, 2017, American skywatchers will be treated to a rare and spectacular celestial show — the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States in nearly four decades. Here's what to look for.
Categories: Science

Mistaken Identity: Ancient Supernova Explosion Gets New Backstory

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 11:00am
A stellar explosion witnessed by Chinese astronomers in the 4th century has for years been associated with a supernova remnant known as G11.2-0.3, but new evidence shows the two are actually not related at all.
Categories: Science

NASA and Navy Set World Record for Most Engines in One Rocket Flight

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 10:37am
NASA and the Naval Research Lab have set a world record for highest number of rocket engines used on a single flight: a total of 44 engines, which flew on a sounding rocket last year.
Categories: Science

Astronauts Taking Spacewalk to Install New Space Station Docking Port Today: Watch Live

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 10:21am
Astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station this morning to install a docking port that will allow private space taxies to link up with the station on future missions.
Categories: Science

Oxygen on 'Exo-Venus' Wouldn't Mean Life

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 10:10am
As we get better at studying atmospheres on alien worlds, we'll need to keep in mind that the detection of oxygen doesn't necessarily point to extraterrestrial biology.
Categories: Science

US Air Force Wants To Plasma Bomb The Sky To Improve Radio Communication

Slashdot - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Scientist: [The U.S. Air Force has plans to improve radio communication over long distances by detonating plasma bombs in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites. Itâ(TM)s not the first time weâ(TM)ve tried to improve radio communication by tinkering with the ionosphere. HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Alaska, stimulates the ionosphere with radiation from ground-based antennas to produce radio-reflecting plasma.] Now the USAF wants to do this more efficiently, with tiny satellites -- such as CubeSats -- carrying large volumes of ionized gas directly into the ionosphere. As well as increasing the range of radio signals, the USAF says it wants to smooth out the effects of solar winds, which can knock out GPS, and also investigate the possibility of blocking communication from enemy satellites. [There are at least two major challenges. One is building a plasma generator small enough to fit on a CubeSat â" roughly 10 centimeters cubed. Then thereâ(TM)s the problem of controlling exactly how the plasma will disperse once it is released. The USAF has awarded three contracts to teams who are sketching out ways to tackle the approach. The best proposal will be selected for a second phase in which plasma generators will be tested in vacuum chambers and exploratory space flights.]

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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NASA Test-Fires Engine for Most Powerful Rocket Ever

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 9:20am
NASA engineers blasted an RS-25 rocket engine for 7 minutes yesterday (Aug. 18) at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as part of a development test for hardware that will make up the most powerful rocket ever.
Categories: Science

Are Black Holes Truly Black? Lab Test Supports Stephen Hawking's Theory

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 9:14am
Black-hole conditions created in the lab reveal the first traces of emission predicted over 40 years ago.
Categories: Science

Olympic Golf Was Supposed to Be Huge. So Why’d It Land in the Rough?

Wired News - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 8:30am
Golf at the Olympics seemed like a hole in one. So far, it's landed in the rough. The post Olympic Golf Was Supposed to Be Huge. So Why’d It Land in the Rough? appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Flaming 'Blue Whirl' Could Be Used In Fuel Spill Cleanup

Slashdot - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 7:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science News: An unfortunate mix of electricity and bourbon has led to a new discovery. After lightning hit a Jim Beam warehouse in 2003, a nearby lake was set ablaze when the distilled spirit spilled into the water and ignited. Spiraling tornadoes of fire leapt from the surface. In a laboratory experiment inspired by the conflagration, a team of researchers produced a new, efficiently burning fire tornado, which they named a blue whirl. To re-create the bourbon-fire conditions, the researchers, led by Elaine Oran of the University of Maryland in College Park, ignited liquid fuel floating on a bath of water. They surrounded the blaze with a cylindrical structure that funneled air into the flame to create a vortex with a height of about 60 centimeters. Eventually, the chaotic fire whirl calmed into a blue, cone-shaped flame just a few centimeters tall, the scientists report online August 4 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The soot-free blur whirls could be a way of burning off oil spills on water without adding much pollution to the air, the researchers say, if they can find a way to control them in the wild. You can view the clean-burning 'blue whirl' here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

NASA Astronauts Successfully Install New Space Station Docking Port

Space.com - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 6:35am
Two NASA astronauts successfully installed a new parking spot at the International Space Station today (Aug. 19), which is a key step toward accommodating new commercial space taxis that visit the orbiting lab.
Categories: Science

Mayo Clinic, collaborators working to advance aging research via clinical trials

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 6:04am

(credit: iStock)

Mayo Clinic and other members of the Geroscience Network* have developed strategies for taking new drugs to clinical trials — specifically, drugs that target processes underlying multiple age-related diseases and disabilities. And they’ve written six supporting articles that appeared Wednesday Aug. 17 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A – Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

The Geroscience Network consists of 18 academic aging center, with the participation of more than 100 investigators from across the U.S. and Europe.

Aging may be a modifiable risk factor

“Aging is the largest risk factor for most chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, dementias, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, blindness and frailty,” said James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging.

However, he said recent research suggests that aging may actually be a modifiable risk factor. “The goal of our network’s collaborative efforts is to accelerate the pace of discovery in developing interventions to delay, prevent, or treat these conditions as a group, instead of one at a time.”

Felipe Sierra, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging and a member of the Geroscience Network, describes the potential impact of such discoveries in his article, “Moving Geroscience into Uncharted Waters.” He notes that in addition to the direct health issues, care for the elderly currently accounts for 43 percent of the total health care spending in the U.S,, or approximately 1 trillion dollars a year, and that this number is expected to rise as baby boomers reach retirement age.

“Reducing these costs is critical for the survival of society as we know it,” he said. “A 2013 paper by Dana Goldman and colleagues calculated that a just modest increase (2.2 years) in lifespan and healthspan could reduce those expenses by 7 trillion dollars by 2050.”

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Paul Glenn Foundation, Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence for the Biology of Aging, the Connor Group, and the Noaber and Ted Nash foundations.

The first two articles cited below are open-access.

* In addition to Mayo Clinic, members of the Geroscience Network are Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, National Institute on Aging, the Scripps Research Institute, Stanford University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Arkansas, the University of Connecticut, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, and Wake Forest University as well as members from other institutions across the U.S. and Europe.

Categories: Science

Satellite Images Can Map Poverty

Slashdot - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 3:30am
A new study using satellite images and machine learning plans to map poverty from space in an effort to "fix the world's problems." Satellite imagery can be less dangerous, slow and expensive than gathering the data on the ground. BBC reports: "A team from Stanford University were able to train a computer system to identify impoverished areas from satellite and survey data in five African countries. The latest study looked at daylight images that capture features such as paved roads and metal roofs -- markers that can help distinguish different levels of economic wellbeing in developing countries. They then used a sophisticated computer model to categorize the various indicators in daytime satellite images of Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. 'If you give a computer enough data it can figure out what to look for. We trained a computer model to find things in imagery that are predictive of poverty,' said Dr Burke. 'It finds things like roads, like urban areas, like farmland, it finds waterways -- those are things we recognize. It also finds things we don't recognize. It finds patterns in imagery that to you or I don't really look like anything... but it's something the computer has figured out is predictive of where poor people are.' The researchers used imagery from countries for which survey data were available to validate the computer model's findings." The results of the study are published in the journal Science.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

New oral diabetes drugs may also protect patients' kidney health

Science Daily - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 1:29am
In a clinical trial of patients with type 2 diabetes, canagliflozin (a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor) slowed kidney function decline to a greater extent than glimepiride (a sulfonylurea), while having similar blood sugar–lowering effects, report investigators.
Categories: Science

Ethnicity of women undergoing fertility treatment can affect outcomes, study finds

Science Daily - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 1:29am
The ethnicity of women undergoing fertility treatments like IVF can affect the rate of successful live births, according to new research. After adjusting for certain factors including age of patient at time of treatment, cause of female or male infertility, and type of treatment, the study found that White Irish, South Asian Indian, South Asian Bangladeshi, South Asian Pakistani, Black African, and Other Asian women had a significantly lower odds of a live birth than White British women.
Categories: Science

'Ecosystem canaries' provide early warning signs of catastrophic changes to ecosystems

Science Daily - Fri, 19/08/2016 - 1:28am
'Ecosystem canaries' can provide early warning signals of large, potentially catastrophic, changes or tipping points in ecosystems, say researchers. Like canaries that coal miners used to check for poisonous gasses deep underground, ‘ecosystem canaries’ are species that are often the first to disappear from a stressed ecosystem. Their vanishing can be linked to changes in the functioning of ecosystems, which can serve as a warning that a tipping point is approaching.
Categories: Science