Parkinson's may get its start not in brain but in appendix
2018-10-31 21:29:40 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found a new clue that Parkinson’s disease may get its start not in the brain but in the gut — maybe in the appendix.
People who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting the tremor-inducing brain disease decades later, researchers reported Wednesday.
Why? A peek at surgically removed appendix tissue shows this tiny organ, often considered useless, seems to be a storage depot for an abnormal protein — one that, if it somehow makes its way into the brain, becomes a hallmark of Parkinson’s.
The big surprise, according to studies published in the journal Science Translationa...
European lawmakers vote to ban single-use plastics
2018-10-25 19:15:10 UTC
European lawmakers have approved measures to reduce plastics polluting seas and oceans. A proposed ban targets the top 10 single-use plastic products that litter Europe's beaches.
The European Parliament on Wednesday approved measures that could lead to a ban on single-use plastic items, including straws, cotton swabs and disposable plastic plates and cutlery, by 2021. The parliament backed the proposals with a 571-53 majority.
In May, the European Commission proposed EU-wide rules to target the top 10 single-use plastic items that litter Europe's beaches or are found in its seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gea...
Laser Trio Win Nobel Prize In Physics
2018-10-02 18:38:17 UTC
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - A trio of American, French and Canadian scientists won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for breakthroughs in laser technology that have turned light beams into precision tools for everything from eye surgery to micro-machining.
They include the first female physics prize winner in 55 years.
Canada’s Donna Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel for physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.
Florence: US Facing the Challenges of Climate Change
2018-09-12 00:11:05 UTC
Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities.
But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.
"Freshwater flooding poses the greatest risk to life," explains James Kossin, an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And Florence could cause extensive freshwater flooding for two reasons.
First, Florence is moving slowly and could all but stop when it reaches land.
"The storm could be over No...
Germany to end its reliance on 'cyber security' from US
2018-08-30 00:21:47 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany announced a new agency on Wednesday to fund research on cyber security and to end its reliance on digital technologies from the United States, China and other countries.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters that Germany needed new tools to become a top player in cyber security and shore up European security and independence.
“It is our joint goal for Germany to take a leading role in cyber security on an international level,” Seehofer told a news conference with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “We have to acknowledge we’re lagging behind, and when one is lagging, one needs completely new a...
Trump’s ‘unmitigated crap’ on California wildfires
2018-08-07 21:23:33 UTC
U.S. President Donald Trump has weighed in on the California wildfires. But it wasn’t to express condolences for the victims or to praise the incredible bravery of firefighters — it was to try to score political points.
And he did so by badly twisting the science of how wildfires work. In a now-deleted tweet, Trump blamed “bad environmental laws” for “diverting” water into the Pacific Ocean.
Scientists mock Trump’s tweet on wildfires as ‘comedically ill-informed’ and ‘unmitigated crap.’
His climate denial is "a crime against the planet" warns climatologist.
Apple became the first $1 trillion listed US company
2018-08-02 18:06:54 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company on Thursday, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.
The tech company’s stock jumped 2.8 percent to as high as $207.05, bringing its gain to about 9 percent since Tuesday when its reported June-quarter results above expectations and said it bought back $20 billion of its own shares.
Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple has pushed its revenue beyond the economic outputs of P...
Detection of water on Mars by italian scientists
2018-07-25 22:26:02 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using a radar instrument on an orbiting spacecraft, scientists have spotted what they said on Wednesday appears to be a sizable salt-laden lake under ice on the southern polar plain of Mars, a body of water they called a possible habitat for microbial life.
The reservoir they detected — roughly 12 miles (20 km) in diameter, shaped like a rounded triangle and located about a mile (1.5 km) beneath the ice surface — represents the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars.
<blockquote><img alt="Detection_of_water_on_mars_by_italian_scientists" src="/system/images/16480/original/Detection_of_water_on_Mar...
EU privacy law: Companies to be more attentive to user data
2018-05-25 06:40:19 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - New European privacy regulations that go into effect on Friday will force companies to be more attentive to how they handle customer data, while bringing consumers both new ways to control their data and tougher enforcement of existing privacy rights.
The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the bloc’s patchwork of rules dating back to 1995 and heralds an era where breaking privacy laws can fetch fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue or 20 million euros ($23.48 million), whichever is higher, as opposed to a few hundred thousand euros.
Many privacy advocates around the world have ...
Earth Hour: Millions of people turn off lights for nature
2018-03-24 22:38:27 UTC
Millions of people around the world are observing the annual Earth Hour to raise awareness about climate change. Dubai and Australia's Sydney Opera House were among the places to join the blackout.
People around the world are turning off their lights for one hour on Saturday as part of the annual Earth Hour campaign, which aims to raise awareness about climate change caused by burning fossil fuels.
<img alt="Italian_earth_hour_in_rome" src="/system/images/10491/original/Italian_Earth_Hour_in_Rome.jpg?1521931003" /><strong><i>
Italian Earth Hour in Rome</i></strong><hr>
The 11th edition of Earth Hour aims to build supp...
A Loss for All Humanity: Physicist Stephen Hawking Died
2018-03-14 08:27:15 UTC
British physicist Stephen Hawking has died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 76, according to a family spokesperson. Known around the globe, he worked to make complicated scientific fields accessible to the public.
Stephen Hawking, a renowned mathematician and physicist has died at the age of 76.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world," his three children said in a statement.
Hawking died in his sle...
Study: Dying Polar Bear Connected to Global Warming
2018-02-04 05:42:12 UTC
Millions have seen the heart-wrenching video of a polar bear clinging to life, its white hair limply covering its thin, bony frame. Shot by Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier of the nonprofit group Sea Legacy, and published on National Geographic in early December, the video ignited a firestorm of debate about what scientists know, and don’t know, about the impacts of global warming on polar bears.
Without examining the bear in the video—thought to have died—it’s impossible to know for sure what ailed that individual, but now scientists have published new findings that shed more light on the risk to the species overall.
Homo sapiens trekked out of Africa far earlier than previously known
2018-01-25 21:32:55 UTC
Homo sapiens were wandering out of Africa at least 177,000 years ago — some 60,000 years earlier than previously thought.
The new migration date comes after ancient stone tools and part of a fossilised Homo sapiens jaw bone with teeth were discovered in a cave in northern Israel.
Until now, the oldest evidence for modern humans outside Africa were only 90,000 to 120,000 years old.
Homo sapiens first appeared in Africa, with the earliest-known fossils roughly 300,000 years old. A key milestone was when our species first ventured out of Africa en route to populating the far corners of the globe.
iPhone overuse could hurt children’s developing brains
2018-01-09 04:39:42 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc investors are shrugging off concerns raised by two shareholders about kids getting hooked on iPhones, saying that for now a little addiction might not be a bad thing for profits.
Hedge fund JANA Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) pension fund said on Saturday that iPhone overuse could be hurting children’s developing brains, an issue that may harm the company’s long-term market value.
<blockquote><img alt="Iphone_overuse_could_hurt_children%e2%80%99s_developing_brains" src="/system/images/16642/original/iPhone_overuse_could_hurt_children%E2%80%99s_developing_brai...
Highly-skilled foreign workers favor Canada, not the U.S.
2017-12-18 03:45:11 UTC
Petra Axolotl knew her chances of getting an H-1B visa were slim. She had an MBA from Wharton and a job offer at Twitter, but luck would decide the Dutch data scientist's fate – and in 2016, it did not fall in her Favor.
Axolotl missed out in the lottery for the coveted visa but remained determined to work in Silicon Valley, a place she considered the global capital of tech innovation. The plan was to reapply this year.
Then Donald Trump became president, and she prepared to move somewhere else – Canada.
Unlike many liberal-leaning technology workers in Silicon Valley, Axolotl doesn't consider herself "anti-Trump." But the new a...
The Next GOOGLE Could Come From Europe
2017-11-30 06:38:48 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Europe is making major strides to eliminate barriers that have held back the region from developing tech firms that can compete on the scale of global giants Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon.com Inc or Tencent Holdings Inc, a report published on Thursday shows.
The region has thriving tech hubs in major cities, with record new funding, experienced entrepreneurs, a growing base of technical talent and an improving regulatory climate, according to a study by European venture firm Atomico.
While even the largest European tech ventures remain a fraction of the size of the biggest U.S. and Asian rivals, global music stream...
What happens to your body when it's donated to science
2017-10-24 20:19:03 UTC
When Americans leave their bodies to science, they are also donating to commerce: Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market.
Since it's not regulated by a federal agency, there's no official number, but it is estimated about 20,000 bodies per year are donated to medical schools around the U.S., according to the Harvard Business School.
Frequently asked questions: Is it really legal to sell bodies?
<blockquote>LAS VEGAS – The company stacked brochures in funeral parlors around Sin City. On the cover: a couple clasping hands. Above the image, a promise: “Providing ...
Scientists Detect Light From Gravitational Wave
2017-10-16 19:27:03 UTC
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - When neutron stars collide: Scientists in Europe and the U.S. have for the first time detected gravitational waves, the ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein, at the same time as light from the same cosmic event, according to research published on Monday.
The waves, caused by the collision of two neutron stars some 130 million years ago, were first detected in August by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories, known as LIGO, in Washington state and Louisiana as well as at a third detector, named Virgo, in Italy.
<blockquote>Two seconds later, observatories across earth a...
Einstein's gravitational waves win Nobel Prize in physics
2017-10-03 16:50:23 UTC
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Three U.S. scientists won the 2017 Nobel prize for physics on Tuesday for opening up a new era of astronomy by detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time foreseen by Albert Einstein a century ago.
The work of Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne crowned half a century of experimental efforts by scientists and engineers.
Measuring gravitational waves offers a new way to observe the cosmos, helping scientists explore the nature of mysterious objects including black holes and neutron stars. It may also provide insight into the universe’s very earliest moments.
The first detection of the...
Apple rolled out its much-anticipated iPhone X and cellular Watch
2017-09-12 19:21:35 UTC
CUPERTINO, Calif. (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday rolled out its much-anticipated iPhone X, a redesigned product of glass and stainless steel with an edge-to-edge display that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
The phone features wireless charging, an infrared camera and special hardware for facial recognition, which will replace the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The home button found on previous iPhones is also gone, and users will instead tap the device to wake it up.
Florence, a 4.4-km-wide asteroid, passing Earth today
2017-09-01 07:41:42 UTC
Asteroid 3122, named after Florence Nightingale, will reach its peak brightness tonight (Thursday August 31 into Friday September 1).
But the asteroid will actually be closest to Earth at 8:05 a.m. ET (1pm BST) tomorrow (Friday September 1), according to NASA.
The asteroid will come as close as 4.4 million miles (7 million km) to Earth but NASA has confirmed that it will not hit our planet.
Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, said: “Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began.”
The asteroid, which is ...
A Solar Eclipse Reflective Of America's Dark Mood
2017-08-21 16:35:24 UTC
Now America has a solar eclipse to match its dark mood.
The solar eclipse seems made to order for our current national mood. Darkness at midday? Just further proof of the gloomy times we’re living in.
Pick up any newspaper and the evidence is clear: most Americans feel pessimistic about the nation’s future. Since 2009, polls have consistently shown that over 70% of Americans worry that the country is on the wrong track. A full 65% believe the country is now “in a state of decline”. More than 40% fear an imminent terrorist attack.
Worries over race relations are at a record high. Bookstore shelves are lined with titles like T...
Google takes action against 'anti-diversity memo'
2017-08-08 04:49:59 UTC
San Francisco (Reuters) - Internet giant Google has fired the male engineer at the center of an uproar in Silicon Valley over the past week after he authored an internal memo asserting there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry.
James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal, saying in an email to Reuters on Monday that he had been fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes".
Damore said he was exploring all possible legal remedies, and that before being fired, he had submitted a charge to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing Google upper management of trying t...
Google Earth users will be able to post stories, video and photos
2017-07-14 22:16:57 UTC
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Google wants users to post millions of stories, video and photos on its 'Google Earth' platform in the next few years, the program chief said on Tuesday at a launch event in Brazil for content focused on showcasing the Amazon rainforest.
The "Voyager" tool allows internet surfers to take interactive tours of exotic destinations on Google Earth led by the likes of primatologist Jane Goodall, with photos, information and maps.
However, regular users will be able to create their own unedited content for private or public use within two to three years, Google Earth Director Rebecca Moore told Reuters.
Astronomers Detect Supermassive Black Holes, with Billions of Times the Mass of the Sun
2017-06-28 02:12:06 UTC
The two black holes, with a combined mass 15 billion times that of the Sun, are likely separated by only about 24 light-years, extremely close for such a system.
"This is the first pair of black holes to be seen as separate objects that are moving with respect to each other, and thus makes this the first black-hole 'visual binary,'" said Greg Taylor, of the University of New Mexico (UNM).
Supermassive black holes, with millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun, reside at the cores of most galaxies. The presence of two such monsters at the center of a single galaxy means that the galaxy merged with another some time in the pas...