A "monster" cyclone that smashed into northeast Australia with coastal residents battling lashing rain and howling winds was downgraded to a tropical low system on Wednesday as Australians got ready to assess the damage. There were fears its arrival would coincide with early morning high tides and cause severe flooding, but it slowed before making landfall between the towns of Bowen and Airlie Beach in the early afternoon. Great Barrier Reef islands popular with foreign tourists were also battered.
An elderly woman in Florida had oil in her lungs — for decades — from a now-outdated procedure she received in her 20s to treat tuberculosis (TB), according to a new report of the woman's case. This cloudy area was concerning to her doctors, because it could have meant that she had fluid buildup in the space between her chest wall and her lung, known as the pleural cavity. However, the woman remembered having oil injected into her lungs decades earlier, as a treatment for tuberculosis.
Voluntary efficiency programmes -- including one targeted for elimination by the Trump administration -- have led to energy savings of up to 30 percent in commercial buildings in Los Angeles, researchers have reported. Describing their study as the first large-scale analysis of green certification schemes for big buildings, a pair of researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles reviewed data on nearly 179,000 properties in the city. "We found that -- with the programmes -- there is a significant improvement in energy efficiency," said co-author Magali Delmas, an environmental economist.
Scientists from the University of Bristol and NHS Blood and Transplant announced a recent breakthrough that makes it possible to mass produce red blood cells, opening the door for the wide-scale use of manufactured blood.
The Falcon 9 first stage that is relaunching this week. On Thursday, SpaceX is set to launch yet another satellite into orbit from the Florida coast — but this mission will be far from routine for the company. The Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX is using for the launch has already flown before.
Conservationists on Tuesday hailed the discovery of a new breeding population of tigers in Thailand as a "miraculous" victory for a sub-species nearly wiped out by poaching. Images of some tigers including six cubs, captured by camera traps in an eastern Thai jungle throughout 2016, confirm the presence of what is only the world's second known breeding population of the endangered Indochinese tiger. The only other growing population -- the largest in the world with about three dozen tigers -- is based in a western forest corridor in Thailand near the border with Myanmar.
Undoing man's folly is, sometimes, a robot's work. Unwittingly introduced to the Atlantic Ocean over a quarter of a century ago, the lionfish, which is native to the Pacific, is responsible for an ecological disaster of epic proportions in the Caribbean, Bermuda's, and off the shore of Florida coast, and it's spreading up the coast. A complete lack of predators, voracious appetite and ability to reproduce at an astonishing rate has resulted in a mushrooming lionfish population that is decimating ecosystems, coral reefs and the fishing business. SEE ALSO: A fish that doesn't belong is wreaking havoc on our ocean Catching and eating lionfish, which are delicious, sounds like a reasonable solution, but the fish can't be netted, and are generally fished one person and one spear at a time. If fisherman can't catch lionfish en masse, they can't sell them at quantities to food stores and restaurants. Supply creates demand, which generates more demand that fisherman can supply. If they can figure out how to catch the fish. RISE, which stands for Robots in Service of the Environment, has come up with a very 21st century solution to the lionfish disaster: robots. "Erika and I love diving and, through diving, became increasingly aware of the crisis," said Colin Angle who co-founded RISE with his wife Erika. Angle is also the co-founder and CEO of iRobot (Roomba robot vacuum, Packbot military robot). On one dive, their boat captain challenged Angle, "Okay, you build robots, build one to go hunt lionfish." This was not as crazy of an idea as it sounds and Angle had already been wondering "if there was still a way to use robot technology to solve larger environmental problems and maybe more proactively than merely sending our defense robots to natural disaster zones." The Lionfish challenge Image: rise Robots for good sounds cheesy, but there were more practical considerations. Could, Angle wondered, a robot even do the job and could it do it at scale? "Spending half a million dollars to build a robot that kill 10 lionfish is absurd," he told me. Angle shared a few details of the robot they built and that will make its public debut next month. They started with fresh-water electro fishing technology and adapted it for salt water. The robot stuns, but doesn't kill the lionfish and then it sucks them into the robot. It does this over and over again, until full of unconscious fish and then rises to the surface where a fisherman can unload the catch and deliver them to waiting restaurants and food stores. "Ultimately, the control of this device is like a PlayStation game: you're looking at screen and using a joystick controller. Zap it, catch it, do it again, said RISE Executive Director John Rizzi who told me that a team of unpaid volunteers have been working on the prototype for over a year. They also got some seed funding from The Angle Family, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners and the Anthropocene Institute. Stunning, eating and feeding brains RISE is a two-pronged effort: slow damaging growth of the lionfish population and create a rich curriculum around this and future RISE work that can be used in American middle schools. Erika Angle, herself a biochemist, has spent a decade working with the non-profit Science from Scientist, which brings real scientists into classrooms where they not only talk about their work, but offer hands-on science demonstrations. "It's such an integral part of RISE mission...We're trying to reach these kids with knowledge. Ultimately, we’re going to be relying on these kids to save planet for next generation," said Erika Angle. RISE will, she said, build a curriculum around the RISE lionfish robot that can go anywhere in the country. While there's currently no plan for a practical lesson, like going on a boat and piloting one of the robot-catching fish, that could happen in the future. For now, though, the biggest demonstration of the RISE's lionfish hunter will happen in Bermuda on April 19, as part of the America's Cup festivities. There'll even been a celebrity chef lionfish cook-off, the 11th Hour Racing #EatLionfish Chef's Throwdown. All of it designed to help launch RISE's Kickstarter project, which Colin Angle hopes can help raise funds to further developer, build and deliver these robots to commercial fishermen and woman at about $500-to-$1,000 each. What if the robot is so effective, it wipes out the lionfish in the Atlantic? "That's a perverse reality you can worry about, but we're confident that the lionfish can reproduce so quickly [one fish produces 30,000-to-40,000 eggs every few days] that it would be hard to eliminate them," said Rizzi. Colin, though, reminded me that that's still the goal. "This is an invasive species," he said. A significant reduction in lionfish numbers would help the fish and reef ecosystem to recover. There is another benefit to using robots like this to solve ecological problems. "Unlike biological systems that once you deploy are out of your control, this one you can simply turn off," said Angle. WATCH: Invasion of the lionfish - Part 1 - The threat
A tomb thought to be that of the brother of one of the most important governors of Egypt's 12th dynasty, Sarenput II, has been unearthed at the site of Qubbet el-Hawa, on the western bank of the Nile. A number of elite burials are known to be located at Qubbet el-Hawa, many dating from the time of the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2649-2150 BC). This tomb dates back to roughly 3,800 years ago and was discovered during excavations by the Spanish Archaeological Mission led by Dr Alejandro Jimenez-Serrano.
A small group of U.S. oil producers has been trying to exploit advances in DNA science to wring more crude from shale rock, as the domestic energy industry keeps pushing relentlessly to cut costs and compete with the world's top exporters. Shale producers have slashed production costs as much as 50 percent over two years, waging a price war with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Now, U.S. shale producers can compete in a $50-per-barrel oil market, and about a dozen shale companies are seeking to cut costs further by analyzing DNA samples extracted from oil wells to identify promising spots to drill.
A group of naturalists surveying the Maerdy colliery site in the Rhondda Valley has unearthed a new species of arthropod. The brown-hued millipede has been nicknamed the 'Maerdy Monster' and is thought to be the first arthropod found in Britain for over 33 years. Scientist Liam Olds said: "It's not every day that you find a species new to science.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than half of Southern California's beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100 as the sea level rises, according to a study released Monday.
It's a view that very few people will ever get to see firsthand: Legs dangling in free fall above the Earth with nothing but empty space between you and the planet's blue surface 250 miles below. If you're an astronaut on a spacewalk, however, this vertigo-inducing perspective is something you'll need to get used to, and fast. SEE ALSO: NASA Space Selfie Is Out of This World NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough shared his unique perspective with people on social media after he ventured outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk on March 24. View of our spectacular planet (and my boots) during the #spacewalk yesterday with @Thom_astro. pic.twitter.com/mCMd7aSLha — Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) March 25, 2017 Spacewalking, which involves donning a bulky spacesuit to leave the relative safety of the Space Station, is one of the more dangerous activities an astronaut can take part in while in orbit. Astronauts use tethers to move around outside of the laboratory, and even simple tasks, like using a wrench or removing and replacing experiments, can be strenuous in the extreme environment. Even moving your hands in the bulky gloves attached to a spacesuit can be difficult. That said, NASA mission controllers monitor the astronauts the entire time they're moving around outside the station, giving them instructions and helping them through difficult tasks as needed. A spacewalk selfie of Shane Kimbrough snapped on March 24. Image: nasa Kimbrough stepped outside for his walk with European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet in order to perform some maintenance on the orbiting outpost. The two astronauts were outside for about 6.5 hours in total. This is only the start of a series of spacewalks planned for the Space Station in the next week. Kimbrough and NASA's Peggy Whitson will also head out into the vacuum of space for another spacewalk on March 30. And on April 6, Whitson and Pesquet will leave the airlock for the last spacewalk in the series. WATCH: Astronaut Scott Kelly takes first space walk
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk has launched a company called Neuralink Corp through which computers could merge with human brains, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Musk calls the "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts, the Journal reported. It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to space launch company SpaceX and Tesla, the Journal report said.
The remains of an ancient palace complex dating back 2,300 years have been unearthed Mexico's Valley of Oaxaca. It is the oldest royal building excavated to date in the area, providing some of the earliest evidence of early states' emergence in Mesoamerica. Finding evidence for the emergence of early state societies is a major challenge for archaeologists.
A majority of EU countries voted on Monday against allowing two new genetically modified crops to be grown in Europe, batting the contentious decision on GM cultivation in Europe back to the EU executive, according to two sources. EU governments were asked to vote on the future of two grades of GM maize, Pioneer's 1507 and Syngenta's Bt11, which kill insects by producing their own pesticide and are also resistant to a particular herbicide.
A shrine built over a cave that is revered as the tomb of Jesus is in danger of "catastrophic" collapse, according to a report by National Geographic. The shrine (or the "Edicule," as it is often called) is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. According to legend, Helena, the mother of emperor Constantine the Great (A.D. 272-337) visited Jerusalem in the fourth century and discovered the cave where Jesus was buried after being crucified.