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Einstein's gravitational waves detected in landmark discovery
Multiple images of a distant quasar are visible in this undated combined view from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space TelescopeBy Will Dunham and Scott Malone WASHINGTON/CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Scientists for the first time have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesized by Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery announced on Thursday that opens a new window for studying the cosmos. The researchers said they identified gravitational waves coming from two distant black holes - extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein - that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together at high speed to form a single, larger black hole. The waves were unleashed by the collision of the black holes, one of them 29 times the mass of the sun and the other 36 times the solar mass, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth, the researchers said.
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:38:20 -0500
NASA delays space station cargo run due to mold on packing bags
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA's next cargo run to the International Space Station will be delayed for at least two weeks after black mold was found in two fabric bags used for packing clothing, food and other supplies, the U.S. space agency said on Wednesday. The source of the mold, a common fungal growth in humid climates like Florida's, is under investigation by NASA and Lockheed Martin, which prepares NASA cargo for launch aboard two commercial carriers, Orbital ATK and privately owned SpaceX. An Orbital Cygnus cargo ship was more than halfway packed for the launch, scheduled for March 10, when the mold was found during routine inspections and microbial sampling, NASA spokesman Daniel Huot said. Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:14:39 -0500
World's top scientists pledge to share all findings to fight Zika
A health technician analyzes a blood sample from a patient bitten by a mosquito at the National Institute of Health in LimaBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Thirty of the world's leading scientific research institutions, journals and funders have pledged to share for free all data and expertise on Zika to speed up the fight against an outbreak of the viral disease spreading across the Americas. Specialists welcomed the initiative, saying it showed how the global health community had learned crucial lessons from West Africa's Ebola epidemic, which killed more than 11,300 people and saw scientists scrambling to conduct research to help in the development of potential treatments and vaccines. Zika, a viral disease carried by mosquitoes, is causing international alarm as an outbreak in Brazil has now spread through much of the Americas.
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:02:42 -0500
Researchers find new Zika clues to birth defect in fetus study
Daniele Santos holds her son Juan Pedro who is 2-months old and born with microcephaly at their house in RecifeBy Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Researchers on Wednesday reported new evidence strengthening the association between Zika virus and a spike in birth defects, citing the presence of the virus in the brain of an aborted fetus of a European woman who became pregnant while living in Brazil. An autopsy of the fetus showed microcephaly or small head size, as well as severe brain injury and high levels of the Zika virus in fetal brain tissues, exceeding levels of the virus typically found in blood samples, researchers in Slovenia from the University Medical Center in Ljubljana reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings help "strengthen the biologic association" between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, wrote in an editorial that accompanied the paper.
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:35:30 -0500
Maths link to future locust dispersal
A mathematical model of locust swarms could help in the development of new strategies to control their devastating migration, according to British researchers. Mathematicians at the universities of Bath, Warwick, and Manchester analyzed the movements of different group sizes of locusts that had been filmed by colleagues at the University of Adelaide. By studying the interactions between individual locusts they were able to create a mathematical model mimicking the pest's collective behavior. Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:34:15 -0500
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