Friday, April 17, 2015

Science

Minnesota reports 2 more bird flu cases, state vet says wild birds pose a challenge

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Keeping wild waterfowl from spreading bird flu to Minnesota turkey farms won’t be easy, the state veterinarian said as officials announced the sixth and seventh cases of the disease in the country’s top turkey-producing state.

Northern long-eared bat listed as threatened species as it deals with deadly fungal disease

DETROIT — The federal government said Wednesday that it is listing the northern long-eared bat as threatened, giving new protections to a species that has been nearly wiped out in some areas by the spread of a fungal disease.

Agribusiness giant Monsanto donates $4 million to help stem decline of monarch butterflies

ST. LOUIS — Agribusiness Monsanto Co., whose popular weed killer Roundup has been partly blamed by critics for knocking out monarch butterflies’ habitat, said Tuesday it is committing $4 million to efforts to stem the worrisome decline of the black-and-orange insects.

Alaska officials say 100 wood bison delivered safely to village; release planned for April

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A hundred wood bison that will be the foundation for the first wild herd on U.S. soil in more than a century have been safely delivered to a rural Alaska village, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
“They are acclimating very rapidly,” said department biologist Cathie Harms. “They are doing very well so far.”

NASA: 2020 launch of big mission where robot grabs rock off asteroid for astronauts to explore

WASHINGTON — NASA is aiming to launch a rocket to an asteroid in five years and grab a boulder off of it — a stepping stone for an eventual trip sending humans to Mars.

Canadian, U.S. agencies approve genetically engineered B.C. apples as safe

BOISE, Idaho — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada have approved non-browning Arctic Apples for commercial sale in Canada.
In a letter sent to Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. on Friday, the CFIA said Arctic Apples “are as safe and nutritious as traditional apple varieties.”

Feds: Review of 4 decades of North Pacific seabird surveys indicates 2 per cent loss every year

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The number of seabirds, including gulls, puffins and auklets, has dropped significantly in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Bering Sea, a possible consequence of warmer waters, according to a preliminary federal analysis of nearly 40 years of surveys.

Clear view of total eclipse over Svalbard islands in Arctic, clouds obscure in Faeroe Islands

LONGYEARBYEN, Norway — Sky-gazers in the Arctic were treated to a perfect view of a total solar eclipse Friday as the moon completely blocked out the sun in a clear sky, casting a shadow over Norway’s remote archipelago of Svalbard.

Man with a vision: Quest for world’s oldest telescopes takes curator to corners of the globe

CORNING, N.Y. — You could say Marvin Bolt takes the long view.
The science and technology curator at New York’s Corning Museum of Glass is on a worldwide quest to track down the oldest telescopes known to man, including those dating to the early 1600s and the days of Galileo.

Magnetic fields being probed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—NASA launched four identical spacecraft yesterday on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun’s magnetic fields.
The unmanned Atlas rocket—and NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft—soared into a clear late-night sky right on time.
Within two hours, all four observatories were flying free.

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