Science & Technology
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:07 UTC
The snap was captured by the JunoCam on March 27, as the spacecraft completed its latest orbit, at a distance of about 12,400 miles (20,000km) from the massive planet.
Study finds mega-fracking using massive volumes of water triggered earthquake swarms in British Columbia
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00 UTC
The largest earthquake ever triggered by hydraulic fracturing in British Columbia followed industry's use of large volumes of water and occurred during a fracking-triggered swarm of 676 earthquakes between 2014 and 2015, a new study has found.
The earthquake, triggered by the fracking activities of Malaysian-owned Progress Energy, registered 4.6 magnitude. It was about four kilometres underground and about 100 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John in the northern Montney formation. The earthquake could be felt nearly 180 kilometres away from the epicentre.
The study, published by the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America this month, ruled out wastewater injection or pumping methane for underground storage as the cause of the earthquake.
"We found that occurrence of local events is better correlated with hydraulic fracturing operations," it concluded. (Record-breaking seismic activity in other areas, like Oklahoma, has been triggered by mammoth wastewater injections and to a lesser degree, hydraulic fracturing. One damaging 5.8 magnitude quake in 2016 even changed water levels in an Oklahoma creek.)
Comment: It's not just the earthquakes; wastewater from fracking is polluting water supplies and literally making people sick:
- New study: Water and soil contamination from fracking wastewater spills is widespread and persistent
- Study reveals fracking wastewater is a highly toxic form of radioactive waste
- Radioactive drilling waste is 'virtually unregulated': Nobody knows how much is produced or where it is being stored
- New study confirms: Fracking wastewater is cancer-causing
- The Poison Beneath: How Toxic Waste from Injection Wells Could be Endangering the U.S. Water Supply for Years to Come
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:00 UTC
In taking on the monopoly, yet cash-burning premium electric car juggernaut that is Tesla, the key for leading Chinese electric vehicle start-ups such as Future Mobility, WM Motor and Singulato Motors, is that they will produce their cars locally, making them better able to match the Model 3's price, Reuters notes. Tesla is expected to price its Model 3 from $35,000 in the United States. Buyers in China would expect to add 25% to that in import tariffs.
The Chinese strategy is simple: beat the Model 3 in China by making their cars more premium but cheaper than Tesla's mass-market all-electric battery car.
Sat, 15 Apr 2017 23:42 UTC
Getting a car to drive this way was an impressive feat. But it's also a bit unsettling, since it isn't completely clear how the car makes its decisions. Information from the vehicle's sensors goes straight into a huge network of artificial neurons that process the data and then deliver the commands required to operate the steering wheel, the brakes, and other systems. The result seems to match the responses you'd expect from a human driver. But what if one day it did something unexpected—crashed into a tree, or sat at a green light? As things stand now, it might be difficult to find out why. The system is so complicated that even the engineers who designed it may struggle to isolate the reason for any single action. And you can't ask it: there is no obvious way to design such a system so that it could always explain why it did what it did.
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:21 UTC
The agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the intriguing mesa, which measures 0.4 kilometers, in the "extensively fractured" Noctis Labyrinthus region on the western end of huge Valles Marineris valley.
"Heavily eroded, with clusters of boulders and sand dunes on its surface, this layered mesa is probably comprised of sedimentary deposits that are being exhumed as it erodes. The layers themselves are visible as faint bands along the lower left edge of the mesa," NASA said.
The creation began inside a lab at Washington State University (WSU), when physicists cooled rubidium atoms to just slightly above absolute zero. This created what is known as a Bose-Einstein condensate.
When particles are in this state, they move extremely slowly and behave like waves. They synchronize and move in unison as 'superfluid,' which flows without losing energy, according to a WSU press release.
Function, a video series from Fractal NYC, outfitted two piano players with special glasses that track the movement of their eyes. Professor Daniel Beliavsky is a professional pianist and Charlotte Bennett is his student. Since Beliavsky is more experienced, he's more comfortable with the keyboard and looked at the sheet music more than his hands, whereas Bennett spent more time looking down at the keys. Impressively, Beliavsky is able to look ahead to where his hands will be in a few seconds.
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 15:39 UTC
The drug developed by Russian chemists was used to treat white spot syndromevirus (WSSV) in shrimps, the university press service reported. Throughout the world, outbreaks of this disease have wiped out entire populations at many shrimp farms within days, and the epidemic has been raging in Mexico for several years. There have been several attempts to cure the disease, but until now nothing has worked.
One farm in Mexico was offered to try the new Russian cure. At first, several young infected shrimps were injected with the drug. Just 96 hours later, shrimp survival was over 90%.
Comment: Silver is an ancient treatment for many diseases:
- World's Oldest Antibiotic Also Shows Promise as an Anti-Cancer Therapy
- Silver in Tiny Doses Kills Bacteria, Helps Wounds Heal
- Silver makes antibiotics thousands of times more effective
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 03:04 UTC
The system was only partially effective with a 90 per cent success rate when trying to recognise numbers from zero to nine and a 61 per cent rate for single syllables in Japanese, the researchers said.
But, nonetheless, a statement about the research issued by the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan said it showed that an effective device to read people's thoughts and relay them to others was possible in the "near future".
They even suggested an "easily operated" device with a smartphone app could be ready in just five years.
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:44 UTC
A team of international researchers examined the first living giant shipworm in the Philippines, throwing some light on the mysterious Kuphus polythalamia species - the longest bivalve mollusc in the world, reaching up to 5 feet (1.52 meters) in length.
The bizarre-looking animal, encased in a tusk-like shell, may be the stuff of nightmares for many, but its discovery offers scientists a unique opportunity to unravel the secrets of the rare specimen.
The shells are fairly common, but we have never had access to the animal living inside," lead investigator and director of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center at Northeastern University, Daniel Distel said.