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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Telescope

Long-lost lunar rover successfully zapped with laser

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© NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
Lunokhod 1 (arrow) travelled more than 10 kilometres over the lunar surface over the course of 10 months after it landed in 1970.
Mirror mirror, on the moon, whose discovery has been a boon? The answer: a long-lost lunar rover. Now that we have a fix on its location, the rover's reflectivity could come in particularly handy for studying the moon's wobble.

Astronomers measure the moon's distance from Earth by bouncing laser beams off reflectors delivered to the surface by lunar missions. Three were left behind by Apollo astronauts and one is attached to the back of a Soviet-built robotic rover, Lunokhod 2.

Laptop

The 3 Most Common Types of PC Virus Infections

Web security and the vexing problem of malicious software made headlines again last week when computer antivirus software maker McAfee sent out a botched update that crashed thousands of computers around the world.

Such hiccups in computer security software are rare. What isn't rare is the damage caused by the malicious software known as malware that antivirus software is designed to thwart. Last year hackers stole approximately 130 million credit card numbers, according to an Internet Security Threat Report released this month by security software maker Symantec. And in the third quarter of 2009 alone, there was over $120 million in reported losses due to online banking fraud.

David Perry, global director of education for security software maker Trend Micro, is a 22-year veteran of fighting malware. He gave TechNewsDaily a guided tour of malware's trinity, the three most likely sources of malware infection

Sherlock

Remains of "Noah's Ark" Discovered 12,000 Feet Up a Turkish Mountain, Archaeologists Claim

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© Getty Images
A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers from Noah's Ark Ministries International claim to have found the ark, 4,000 metres up a Turkish mountain
A group of explorers claim to have found the remains of Noah's Ark.

The discovery was made 12,000ft up a Turkish mountain and comes 4,800 years after the vessel was said to be afloat.

The Chinese and Turkish evangelicals said specimen samples taken from the structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey underwent carbon testing, which linked them to the time period.

The team made the announcement of their find yesterday - the same day the Bible says the flood waters abated and the ark came to rest.

Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong documentary filmmaker and member of the 15-strong team from Noah's Ark Ministries International, said: 'It's not 100 per cent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it.'

He said the structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, which were believed to house animals.

Magnify

New giant virus discovered

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Scientists in France have isolated a new giant virus that lurks inside amoeba and whose gene pool includes genetic material from other species. The virus "is a completely new viral form," said Didier Raoult, head of infectious and emerging tropical disease research at Aix-Marseille 2 University in France.

The genome of the so-called Marseillevirus encompasses a complex repertoire of genes that are "very different from the DNA of other virus forms," and shows that there is genetic exchange between other micro-organisms such a giant viruses and bacteria found in amoeba, he told AFP in an interview.

Amoeba, single-cell life forms that can be parasites on either human or animals, are acting as "a sort of cradle of creation for new viruses and bacteria," Raoult said, whose research was also published this week by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Info

Study details at least four epic droughts in Asia

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© Unknown
Tree Ring researchers Edward Cook(l) and Paul Krusic.
A study of tree rings provided Thursday the most detailed record yet of at least four epic droughts that hit Asia over the past millennium, including one that helped end China's Ming Dynasty in 1644.

Data collected over the past 15 years for the study is expected to help scientists understand how climate change can unleash large-scale weather disruptions.

Any drastic shifts to the seasonal monsoon rains in Asia, which feed nearly half the world's population by helping crops grow, could have serious socio-economic consequences, according to scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Magnify

Archaeologists unearthed ancient city in the Egyptian eastern borders

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© Unknown
Archaeological discoveries - Head of Antiquities of Lower Egypt Department of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud said that archaeological missions working in North Sinai have unearthed Tharu , an ancient fortified city, a move which stressed the importance of this area as the eastern gate of Egypt.

Abdel-Maqsoud was speaking at a symposium held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. He said that the discovery reveals the features of Horus military route between Egypt and the Palestinian lands.

Meteor

Where comets emit dust

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© Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Luisa Maria Lara)/MPS
A look at the comet Tempel 1 through a telescope. The active regions are responsible for the bright jets (left). With the help of their computer simulation the MPS-scientists can reconstruct the image seen from Earth (right).
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research identify the active regions on the surface of comets.

Studying comets can be quite dangerous - especially from close up. Because the tiny particles of dust emitted into space from the so-called active regions on a comet's surface can damage space probes. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany have now developed a computer model that can locate these regions using only the information available from Earth. The new method could help calculate a safe flight route for ESA's space probe Rosetta, which is scheduled to arrive at the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. (Astronomy & Astrophysics, 512, A60, 2010)

Info

Scientists Discover Underwater Asphalt Volcanoes

© Dana Yoerger, WHOI
High-resolution bathymetry shows extinct asphalt volcanoes on the sea-floor off California.
About 10 miles off the Santa Barbara coast, at the bottom of the Santa Barbara Channel, a series of impressive landmarks rise from the sea floor.

They've been there for 40,000 years, but have remained hidden in the murky depths of the Pacific Ocean--until now.

They're called asphalt volcanoes.

Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), University of California at Davis, University of Sydney and University of Rhode Island, have identified the series of unusual volcanoes.

The largest of these undersea Ice Age domes lies at a depth of 700 feet (220 meters), too deep for scuba diving, which explains why the volcanoes have never before been spotted by humans, says Don Rice, director of NSF's Chemical Oceanography Program, which funded the research.

"They're larger than a football-field-long and as tall as a six-story building," says David Valentine, a geoscientist at UCSB and the lead author of a paper published on-line this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. "They're massive features, and are made completely out of asphalt."

Telescope

The powerful Hubble Space Telescope already has a successor

© The Breaking News
Washington (DPA). The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope will be the James Webb, but is expected to become operational in 2014. The U.S. space agency NASA promises wonders with this new device.

The infrared telescope mirror will be twice as large as the Hubble and will capture six times more light. James Webb, as well as other telescopes, will be scrutinizing the past and shed light on those dark periods in which there were still no stars or galaxies.

This new telescope costs at least U.S. $ 4,500 million and is named after the former director of NASA's James Webb, who led the organization between 1961 and 1968.

The James Webb will be placed in an orbit more than 1.5 million miles from Earth.

Protection, the size of a tennis court, will capture the sun's rays and infrared radiation from the Earth and Moon, for at least possible that irritate the eyes powerful telescope, so that it can take a look at the beginning the universe, dating back to 200 million years after the Big Bang, Big Bang.

Info

Pseudo-Scientific Defense of GMO Safety is Smoke and Mirrors

Three years after I wrote Genetic Roulette, pro-GM scientists have finally taken me up on my challenge to supply evidence that counters any of the 65 risks highlighted in the book. So, it will be a great pleasure for me to respond to the 65 arguments recently posted on a new attack - Jeffrey website. Their effort offers a priceless opportunity to not only revisit each health risk, but also to show more precisely where and how the biotech industry comes up short in its defense.

In my initial challenge to the GMO industry, I sought rigorous, independent scientific data that would enrich the global discussion and better characterize GMO risks. But the posts written by biotech apologists Bruce Chassy and David Tribe demonstrate without doubt how flimsy and unsupported the industry's claim is that GMOs are safe. Their evidence is neither independent nor rigorous. Instead, Chassy and Tribe merely dust off the same old false assumptions and blatant fabrications that have long been exposed as hollow and even shameless. GMWatch describes it as "disinformation and ad hominem attack dressed up as 'the open-minded search for truth.'"