Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Science

25 years after CF gene isolated, researchers still building on its discovery

TORONTO — Twenty-five years ago this month, the medical world was turned on its ear with the isolation of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, a devastating inherited disease that usually killed children by their late teens.

European Space Agency announces site for first comet landing in November

BERLIN — Talk about a moving target.
Scientists at the European Space Agency on Monday announced the spot where they will attempt the first landing on a comet hurtling through space at 55,000 kph (34,000 mph).
The manoeuvr is one of the key moments in the decade-long mission to examine comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and learn more about the origins and evolution of objects in the universe.

Rare calico lobster, a 1-in-30 million find, turns up at Maine bait shop

BETHEL, Maine — The owner of a Maine bait and tackle shop says she found a rare calico-colored lobster that was caught off the state’s coast.
Sarah Lane says the crustacean, covered in orange blotches, appeared in a crate of lobsters brought from the Pemaquid Lobster Co-op in Bristol last weekend. The University of Maine says the odds of finding one are about one in 30 million.

DNA spills beans on what makes coffee tick: Caffeine was genetic accident, study finds

WASHINGTON — Scientists have woken up and smelled the coffee — and analyzed its DNA.
They found that what we love about coffee — the caffeine — is a genetic quirk, not related to the caffeine in chocolate or tea.

Massive ‘fearless’ dinosaur from Argentina should help reveal secrets of ancient behemoths

NEW YORK — Researchers studying the remains of an enormous dinosaur — a creature that was bigger than seven bull elephants — have given it an equally colossal name: Dreadnoughtus, or “fearing nothing.”
Scientists hope its unusually well-preserved bones will help reveal secrets about some of the largest animals ever to walk the Earth.

Global poll indicates support for stronger Arctic conservation: Greenpeace

A poll commissioned by Greenpeace suggests that a clear majority of people in 30 countries want to see stronger efforts made to preserve the Arctic environment from industrial development.
The four-question poll of more than 30,000 people found some of the strongest support for conservation comes from Canada.

New study finds global warming, melting sea ice connected to polar vortex chilly outbreaks

WASHINGTON — A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of cold air as the world gets warmer.

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.

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