Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Science

Warm waters divert sockeye salmon run to Canada instead of Washington

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Unusually warm water off the Washington coast is sending the vast majority of the sockeye salmon run to Canadian waters, leaving Puget Sound fishermen with nearly empty nets.
According to data from the Pacific Salmon Commission, nearly 2.9 million sockeye salmon have been caught in Canadian waters, while only about 98,000 have been netted in Washington through Aug. 19.

Beware of giant snails! USDA seizes more than 1,200 African snails that eat buildings, crops

WASHINGTON — The giant African snail damages buildings, destroys crops and can cause meningitis in humans. But some people still want to collect, and even eat, the slimy invaders.

Study finds when people move, their bacterial fingerprint rapidly takes over new home

WASHINGTON — Sorry, clean freaks. No matter how well you scrub your home, it’s covered in bacteria from your own body. And if you pack up and move, new research shows, you’ll rapidly transfer your unique microbial fingerprint to the doorknobs, countertops and floors in your new house too.

3 playful lion cubs debut at Johannesburg Zoo, bringing a new generation and hope for breeding

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Three playful lion cubs made their public debut Wednesday, pouncing their way into a large enclosure at the Johannesburg Zoo.
Their arrival heralds a new generation of lions at the zoo, which hasn’t successfully bred the king of the jungle in five years.

National Park Service considers moving grizzly bears into Washington’s North Cascades

SEATTLE — The National Park Service said Thursday it will consider moving grizzly bears into the North Cascade Mountains of Washington state to aid their recovery.
The agency is launching a three-year process to study a variety of options for helping their population. Director Jonathan B. Jarvis stressed that the process is required under federal law but no decision had been made.

GPS devices find huge water losses, rising earth crust in western US because of drought

SAN DIEGO — About 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost to drought in the western United States, enough to blanket the region with 4 inches of water, according to a study published Thursday.

Another Ebola problem: How to prevent new outbreaks without knowing the virus’s natural source

A scary problem lurks beyond the frenzied efforts to keep people from spreading Ebola: No one knows exactly where the virus comes from or how to stop it from seeding new outbreaks.
Ebola has caused two dozen outbreaks in Africa since it first emerged in 1976. It is coming from somewhere — probably bats — but experts agree they need to pinpoint its origins in nature.

Not just Ebola: Drugs manufactured in tobacco plants being tested against array of diseases

NEW YORK — It’s an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories.

Bizarre Wyoming cavern reveals ancient bones to paleontologists in first dig there in 30 years

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — North American lions, cheetahs and short-faced bears: Those are just a few fearsome critters from 25,000 years ago paleontologists already might have found in their first excavation of a bizarre northern Wyoming cave in 30 years.

Probe swings next to comet

DARMSTADT, Germany—Turning what seemed like a science fiction tale into reality, an unmanned probe swung alongside a comet yesterday after a four-billion mile chase through outer space over the course of a decade.

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