Scientists' evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard'
2019-02-25 18:33:18 UTC
OSLO (Reuters) - Evidence for man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, adding pressure for cuts in greenhouse gases to limit rising temperatures, scientists said on Monday.
“Humanity cannot afford to ignore such clear signals,” the U.S.-led team wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change of satellite measurements of rising temperatures over the past 40 years.
They said confidence that human activities were raising the heat at the Earth’s surface had reached a “five-sigma” level, a statistical gauge meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming.
Germany to Accelerate Development of Autonomous Driving
2019-01-23 18:33:15 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s top carmakers including BMW and Volkswagen are looking at ways to speed up development of the next generation of self-driving cars, possibly by even working together, as tech giant Google forges ahead with plans to mass produce such vehicles.
Carmakers and tech companies have been in a race to develop self-driving robotaxis since 2012 when Google unveiled a self-driving car. BMW announced a development pact with tech firm Mobileye in 2016 and Daimler struck an alliance with autos supplier Bosch in 2017.
BMW and Daimler’s first-generation autonomous cars will start to emerge after 2020/2021 using comput...
China's Chang'e-4 Probe Touched Down on Far Side of Moon
2019-01-06 05:35:05 UTC
China's Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday morning.
The successful "soft landing" marks a groundbreaking development in space exploration, being the first time that a spacecraft has landed on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth.
Chang'e-4, which is named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, entered its planned orbit to allow the landing on Sunday.
It landed in the Von Karman crater, which is in the lunar South Pole's Aitken Basin, at about 0226 UTC.
<strong>Lunar surface explorer</strong>
Chang'e-4 is set to release a rover to map contours and surface...
China’s Population to Reach 1.442 Billion in 2029
2019-01-06 05:03:07 UTC
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s population is set to reach a peak of 1.442 billion in 2029 and start a long period of “unstoppable” decline in 2030, government scholars said in a research report published on Friday.
The world’s most populous country must now draw up policies to try to cope with a declining labor force and a rapidly ageing population, according to the summary of the latest edition of the “Green Book of Population and Labor” published by the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Growth in the working population had now stagnated, the report said, and the rising number of elderly people will have a far-reaching impact o...
Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change
2018-11-25 02:46:14 UTC
(Reuters) - Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a government report issued on Friday that the White House called inaccurate.
The congressionally mandated report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming on every corner of American society in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.
“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic secto...
Scientists show how toxoplasmosis parasite hides away in the brain
2018-11-13 17:21:30 UTC
<h3>Scientists have shown how the toxoplasmosis parasite hides away in the brain, altering synapses and potentially causing depression, schizophrenia and autism.</h3>
Mice infected with toxoplasmosis parasites behave strangely: They lose their natural fear of cats.
Presented with the smell of cat urine, they even seem attracted to the deadly predator, scientists have found. Toxoplasmosis is caused by the pathogen Toxoplasma gondii, a unicellular parasite that occurs worldwide. It affects birds and mammals, including humans. However, it can reproduce only in the digestive system of a cat.
<strong>From cat poo to car crashes</strong...
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...
Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts
2018-10-12 17:50:55 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago.
The exact number hadn’t been known before. Originally Facebook said 50 million accounts could have been affected, but Facebook didn’t know if they had been misused.
The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers from those 29 million accounts. For 14 million of those accounts, hackers got even more data, such as hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into or 15 most recent searches. One million accounts were affected but hackers didn’t gain information. The social media servic...
Dominated by men: Amazon scraps tool that showed bias against women
2018-10-11 21:53:47 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women.
The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters.
Automation has been key to Amazon’s e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions.
<blockquote><h2>Amazon’s experimental hiring tool</h2>The company’s experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to fiv...
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.
Green crabs from Nova Scotia threaten coastal ecosystem
2018-09-19 05:21:29 UTC
BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Canadians are known as friendly folks, but these crabby brutes migrating from Canadian waters are better suited for the hockey rink.
Green crabs from Nova Scotia are the same species as their cousins that already inhabit Maine waters, but are ornerier and angrier, threatening to accelerate harm to the coastal ecosystem by gobbling up soft-shell clams and destroying native eel grass, a researcher said.
The docile green crabs shrink from a threat, while the newcomers are more apt to wave their pincers and charge.
“What we’re seeing is this insane level of aggressiveness,” said Markus Frederich, a professor at...
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...
Mercedes-Benz launches 'all-electric SUV with 450 km range'
2018-09-04 18:13:12 UTC
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mercedes showed on Tuesday how it is “aggressively” gunning for top spot in upscale battery cars market currently dominated by Tesla, as it unveiled the EQC, its first fully electric car, at an event in Stockholm.
The event marks the start of the German onslaught against the American upstart and showcased a SUV with a 450 kilometer range, distinctively full-width rear light and clean-cut interiors that Mercedes hopes will find favor with luxury customers and tech-savvy millennials alike.
Daimler aims to have up to 10 electrified car variants by 2022, a target reiterated on Tuesday by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, ...
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...
Volkswagen offers carsharing service with electric vehicles
2018-07-04 19:11:31 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen plans to start offering car sharing services using fully electric vehicles in German cities next year as part of efforts to serve consumers who don’t want to buy their own vehicles.
Its offering will compete in its home market with DriveNow and Car2Go, the soon-to-be-merged carsharing services of BMW and Daimler Benz.
Volkswagen said on Wednesday the new carsharing service would be expanded to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia as early as 2020 and focus on core VW brand cars.
VW is seeking to move on from its diesel emissions scandal of 2015, the repercussions of which are still being...
Mars: Earth’s neighbor may have harbored life
2018-06-07 19:30:00 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A NASA rover has detected a bonanza of organic compounds on the surface of Mars and seasonal fluctuations of atmospheric methane in findings released on Thursday that mark some of the strongest evidence ever that Earth’s neighbor may have harbored life.
But National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists emphasized there could be nonbiological explanations for both discoveries made by the Curiosity rover at a site called Gale crater, leaving the issue of Martian life a tantalizing but unanswered question.
Three different types of organic molecules were discovered when the rover dug just 2 inches (5 cm)...
Tesla in 'Autopilot' mode crashes into parked police vehicle
2018-05-29 21:53:47 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The driver of a Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) vehicle crashed into an unoccupied, parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach, California, on Tuesday and the driver told investigators the Tesla was in “Autopilot” mode at the time, a police spokesman said.
The driver suffered minor injuries, Laguna Beach Sergeant Jim Cota said. Asked about Tuesday’s crash, Tesla said, “When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times. Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.”
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 ...
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted, shoots lava into sky
2018-05-04 06:00:22 UTC
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, sending lava shooting into the air in a residential neighborhood and prompting mandatory evacuation orders for nearby homes.
Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.
Footage shown on local television showed lava spurting into the sky from a crack in a road. Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking through a forest.
Lava fountains were shooting 150 feet (46 meters) in the air, and molten lava spread out over an area about 200 yards (183 meters) wide behind one house in Leilani Es...
Facebook tracks people whether they have accounts or not
2018-04-15 17:05:17 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Concern about Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not.
Privacy concerns have swamped Facebook since it acknowledged last month that information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign among its clients.
Zuckerberg said on Wednesday under questioning by U.S. Representative Ben...
Science is afraid of tackling some of events of religious significance
2018-04-01 07:31:20 UTC
Science and journalism are kindred spirits: Both rely on curiosity, the courage to ask tough questions, and deal fairly and ethically with the answers. Sure, it doesn't always happen that way — there are plenty of dodgy scientists and many more unscrupulous hacks. But you get the idea.
So why are science and journalism so scared of tackling — either proving or disproving — some of the greatest, unsolved propositions of our human existence? It's Easter. So, yes, I'm talking about events of religious significance, such as the Resurrection of Christ.