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On the Calendar:  Wednesday, 10/1/2014
BOOKMOBILE OUTREACH: Union Parish Elementary 10:00-3:00 (3rd grade) Calendar

Science News
News provided by Yahoo
Gene plays key role in monarch butterfly's miraculous migration

Monarch butterflies fly at the El Rosario butterfly sanctuary in MichoacanBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 3,000-mile (4,800-km) mass migration of monarch butterflies in North America is one of the insect world's fantastic feats, with millions embarking on the arduous journey from as far north as Canada down into Mexico and the California coast each autumn. Scientists who scoured the genome of these colorful insects offered new insight on Wednesday into this annual airborne adventure. They pinpointed a single gene related to flight muscle efficiency that plays a major role in the monarch butterfly's migration. ...

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:05:06 -0400
Obama's BRAIN initiative awards $46 million in grants

U.S. President Obama announces his administration's BRAIN Initiative at the White House in WashingtonBy Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wearable brain scanners and lasers that can turn hundreds of cells on and off were among 58 projects awarded $46 million in federal grants as part of President Obama's $100 million initiative to unlock the secrets of the human brain. Launched in 2013, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is designed to give scientists greater insight into how the healthy brain works and a better understanding of what systems go awry in diseases ranging from Alzheimer's to schizophrenia. ...

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:59:23 -0400
China launches media campaign to back genetically modified crops

By Dominique Patton BEIJING (Reuters) - China's government has kicked off a media campaign in support of genetically modified crops, as it battles a wave of negative publicity over a technology it hopes will play a major role in boosting its food security. The agriculture ministry earlier this week announced it would try to educate the public on GMO via TV, newspapers and the Internet. It hopes to stifle anti-GMO sentiment that has gathered momentum in the wake of incidents such as reports that genetically-modified rice had been illegally sold at a supermarket in the center of the country. ...

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:19:29 -0400
Protest over contract award to delay work on NASA space taxi

NASA handout shows the Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser flight vehicle being readied for 60 mph tow tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in EdwardsBy Irene Klotz TORONTO (Reuters) - Work on a pair of U.S. commercial spaceships to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station will be delayed after a losing contender protested the NASA awards, agency Administrator Charles Bolden said on Monday. The U.S. space agency awarded contracts worth up to $6.8 billion to Boeing and privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to finish designs, build, test and ultimately fly crews to the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that orbits about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth. The awards, announced on Sept. ...

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:11:04 -0400
Global wildlife populations down by half since 1970: WWF

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, far faster than previously thought, the World Wildlife Fund said on Tuesday. The conservation group's Living Planet Report, published every two years, said humankind's demands were now 50 percent more than nature can bear, with trees being felled, groundwater pumped and carbon dioxide emitted faster than Earth can recover. ...

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:33:13 -0400
Drone Captures Incredible Footage of Massive Hong Kong Protests

Drone Captures Incredible Footage of Massive Hong Kong ProtestsA high-flying drone swept over throngs of protesters lining the highways of Hong Kong's central business district yesterday (Sept. 29), capturing sweeping panoramic shots of the thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators. On Sunday (Sept. 28), a small student-led group in Hong Kong started a sit-in to demand democratic elections in the city. After police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to disrupt the peaceful sit-in, other Hong Kong residents flocked to the movement, joining the demonstration by the thousands, the New York Times reported. Hong Kong is a semiautonomous Chinese territory, but Beijing does not allow open nominations for the city's chief executive leader.

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:26:08 -0400
Your Sense of Smell Could Predict When You'll Die

Known as "olfactory dysfunction," the loss of smell is an even stronger predictor of when a person will likely die than conditions such as heart failure, cancer or lung disease, according to researchers at the University of Chicago. "We think loss of the sense of smell is like the canary in the coal mine," lead author Dr. Jayant Pinto, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. For the study, researchers administered a simple smell test to 3,005 participants ages 57 to 85. Five years after this initial smell test, the researchers confirmed which of the study participants were still alive.

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:53:41 -0400
Antarctica Meltdown Weakens Earth's Gravity

Antarctica Meltdown Weakens Earth's GravityWest Antarctica's incredible weight loss can be felt from space, a new study reports. So much ice has disappeared from West Antarctica in recent years that Earth's gravity is now weaker there, researchers reported in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The new results come partly from the European Space Agency's GOCE satellites, a four-year endeavor to finely map Earth's gravity. The GOCE gravity map was combined with gravity measurements recorded from the GRACE satellites, an ongoing NASA-Germany mission that tracks changes in Earth's ice sheets via gravity.

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:02:58 -0400
US, India to Team Up on Mars Exploration

US, India to Team Up on Mars ExplorationIndia's recent Mars success appears to have turned some heads. NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will investigate ways to collaborate on futuremissions to Mars, officials said Tuesday (Sept. 30). The announcement comes just one week after India put its first-ever Mars probe in orbit around the Red Planet, becoming just the fourth entity after the United States, the Soviet Union and the European Space Agency to do so. NASA and ISRO also signed an agreement Tuesday that lays out their respective roles on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, which is scheduled to launch to Earth orbit in 2020 to study the consequences of climate change on a fine scale.

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:24:16 -0400
Huge Cloud on Saturn's Moon Titan Is Made of Toxic Cyanide

Huge Cloud on Saturn's Moon Titan Is Made of Toxic Cyanidenature: It's made of cyanide gas. The discovery suggests that the air above Titan's poles can get much cooler than previously thought, scientists said. Cassini images show that the giant spinning cloud growing over Titan's southern pole covers an area of more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers). "The cloud was first seen in images from Cassini's cameras taken in 2012," study co-author Nick Teanby at the University of Bristol in England said in a statement.

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:24:06 -0400
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