December 1 2015
12:05 PM
Oregon State Media Online School of Journalism The Oregon Herald

Scientists debate boundaries, ethics of human gene editing

Tuesday December 1, 2015    2:25 AM

Hundreds of scientists and ethicists from around the world are gathering in Washington this week to debate the boundaries of human gene editing, amid worry that the fast-moving research may outpace safety and ethics scrutiny.It's a question that gained urgency after Chinese researchers made the first attempt at editing genes in human embryos, a laboratory experiment that didn't work well but did raise the prospect of one day altering hu ... Full Story

Bizarre Ancient Sea Creature Was Well-Armed for Feeding

Monday November 30, 2015    6:25 AM

Tribrachidium was a denizen of the shallow seas about 550 million years ago, during the late Ediacaran period. It looked like a disc with three tentaclelike arms protruding from its flat top. Oddly, Tribrachidium had three-fold , meaning three segments  were mirror images of each other. For com ... Full Story

Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space

Thursday November 26, 2015    10:25 AM

Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Th ... Full Story

Gecko's amazing wall-walking talent is all in the genes

Tuesday November 24, 2015    12:15 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Geckos boast one of the most impressive talents of any animal: the ability to scamper up a smooth wall or across a ceiling with ease. How do they do it? Well, it is all in the genes. Scientists on Tuesday said they have sequenced the genome of th ... Full Story

Some of Earth's Rocky Plates Are Gooey on the Inside

Tuesday November 24, 2015    7:55 AM

That is the conclusion of a new study that suggests at least some of the rigid plates that cover the Earth's surface may be stretchier than thought. The plate tectonics findings, which were described today (Nov. 23) in the journal , are based on investigations of t ... Full Story

Antarctica Is Gaining Ice, So Why Is the Earth Still Warming?

Monday November 23, 2015    8:55 AM

NASA recently released a study suggesting that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is gaining more ice than it is losing a finding that, at first blush, seems to contradict the idea of global warming. So, how can Antarctica be gaining ice mass in a warming world where ice sheets are collapsing and the meltin ... Full Story

Jet-Propelled 3D-Printed Drone Claims Speed Record

Friday November 20, 2015    11:01 AM

The drone, which made its debut at the Dubai Airshow earlier this month, looks nothing like your average 3D-printed toy plane. It has a 9-foot-long (3 meters) wingspan and an aerodynamic design that gives it a futuristic appearance. But about 80 percent of the sleek, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is designed and manufactured using methods, a ... Full Story

China plans to launch carbon-tracking satellites into space

Monday November 30, 2015    12:46 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to launch satellites to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions as the country, estimated to be the world's top carbon emitter, steps up its efforts to cut such emissions, official news agency Xinhua said on Monday. News of the plan comes as more than 150 world leaders arrived in Paris for climate change talks and Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama said they would work together towards striking a deal that moves towards a low-carbon global economy. ... Full Story

Debris from U.S. rocket recovered off coast of southwest England

Saturday November 28, 2015    5:11 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Debris from a U.S. rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of southwest England, the UK coastguard has said on Friday. It was covered in barnacles and was initially mistaken for a dead whale. ... Full Story

Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos

Thursday November 26, 2015    7:25 AM

"It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way. People who go into this business do it because they think it is important an ... Full Story

Blue Origin Makes Historic Reusable Rocket Landing in Epic Test Flight

Tuesday November 24, 2015    12:15 PM

Powered by the company's own BE-3 engine, the rocket kicked off the launchpad yesterday (Nov. 23) at 11:21 a.m. Central Time, carrying the New Shepard space vehicle. The stunning feat was released by the company. Shortly after liftoff, the rocket separated from the vehicle. In the past, a spent rocket would fall back to Earth like a stone, having completed its one and only flight. But Blue Origin's rocket didn't fall aimlessly back to Earth; instead, it was guided toward a landing pad, where it re-ignited its engines, hovered briefly above the ground and finally touched down softly on the pad, remaining upright and intact. This soft landing means the rocket can be used for more flights, which Blue Origin and other co ... Full Story

Mars May Become a Ringed Planet Someday

Tuesday November 24, 2015    7:25 AM

In a few tens of millions of years, the Red Planet may completely crush its innermost moon, Phobos, and form a ring of rocky debris, according to the new work. Phobos is moving closer to Mars every year, meaning the planet's gravitational pull on the satellite is increasing. Some scienti ... Full Story

These Ancient Monster Galaxies Have Scientists Perplexed

Monday November 23, 2015    7:55 AM

The objects are so old that they lack a defined shape; the regular ellipses and spiral galaxies solidified later on in the universe's lifetime. (Nov. 18) from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) reveals the ancient galaxies' locations. "We are talking about massive galaxies, ... Full Story

'X-Ray Vision' Tech Uses Radio Waves to 'See' Through Walls

Friday November 20, 2015    11:01 AM

A new system built by computer scientists at MIT can beam out that bounce off the human body. Receivers then pick up the reflections, which are processed by computer algorithms to map peoples movements in real time, they added. Unlike other , however, the new system takes advantage of the fa ... Full Story

'Spooky Action' Heats Up: Atoms Entangled at Room Temperature

Monday November 30, 2015    9:55 AM

Previously, these atoms could be paired only at temperatures cold enough to liquefy . This new achievement could one day be applied to enable more sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, superpowerful  and even unhackable quantum communications networks unhackable by any known current technologies, researchers say. A fuzzy place Quantum physics explains how all known particles behave. A key feature of quantum physics is that the uni ... Full Story

Meteor Showers on Mercury May Explain Astronomical Puzzle

Saturday November 28, 2015    5:11 AM

Earth has , generally occurring when the planet plows through the dust trail left behind by a comet or asteroid passing near the sun. These particles fall into the atmosphere and burn up, creating a trail for skywatchers to follow. Research also suggests that Mars likely got a , when Comet Sidi ... Full Story

Don't Spill the Beans: Zero-G Cup Lets Astronauts 'Smell the Coffee'

Tuesday November 24, 2015    12:15 PM

Drinking in space is a strange experience tilting a cup to your lips will likely leave the liquid unmoved, and any disturbance can send globules of (possibly hot) liquid out into the air. Suffice it to say, drinking is generally done with a straw from a sealed container to avoid dangerou ... Full Story

Songbirds Woo Mates with Invisible Tap Dance

Tuesday November 24, 2015    12:15 PM

A rapid, invisible tap dance performed by courting songbirds may bring good vibrations to the search for a mate. With the help of , researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany have discovered that blue-capped cordon-bleu songbirds (Uraegint ... Full Story

NASA Orders 1st Crewed Mission from SpaceX

Tuesday November 24, 2015    5:55 AM

California-based has secured its first astronaut taxi order under its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with NASA, agency officials announced Friday (Nov. 20). The milestone marks the second of four guaranteed orders the space agency will make under its CCtCap d ... Full Story

More than half of Amazon tree species seen at risk of extinction

Saturday November 21, 2015    2:55 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South America's vast Amazon region harbors one of the world's most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching and other purposes, scientists say ... Full Story

Not So Precious: Eyeless 'Smeagol' Arachnid Discovered in Underground Lair

Friday November 20, 2015    11:01 AM

In a deep, dank cave in Brazil, a pale, blind creature lurks, never venturing out to feel the sun. No, it's not a monster; it's Smeagol (SMEE-guhl), or Iandumoema smeagol, a newly discovered species of arachnid named for the infamous, goblinlike character (also known as Gollum) from the &q ... Full Story
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