Science & Technology
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:25 UTC
When a human forbids a dog from taking food, the animal is four times more likely to disobey them in a dark room than a lit room - suggesting they take into account what the human can or cannot see - according to research published in the journal Animal Cognition by Dr Juliane Kaminski from the University of Portsmouth.
Dr Kaminski said: "That's incredible because it implies dogs understand the human can't see them, meaning they might understand the human perspective."
She said that although many dog owners think that their pets are clever and understand humans, this had not yet previously been tested by science.
Dr Kaminski said: "Humans constantly attribute certain qualities and emotions to other living things. We know that our own dog is clever or sensitive, but that's us thinking, not them.
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 10:16 UTC
Using a computerized decision making processes similar to IBM's wiz computer "Watson" that won the game show "Jeopardy," researchers plugged in big medical data sources and tasked it to simulate treatment outcomes for 500 patients, most of whom suffered from clinical depression and at least one other chronic condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Using data from actual patient-doctor treatment sessions, computer science assistant professor Kris Hauser and Ph.D. student Casey C. Bennett compared real-life outcomes to simulated treatment regiments and found their computer was nearly 42 percent better at diagnosing illnesses and prescribing effective treatments than human doctors.
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:54 UTC
Scientists thought that, like other birds, albatross females became infertile late in life and carried on without producing chicks. But Wisdom, who hatched the chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean, defies comparison. Her feat could prompt scientists to abandon some early theories about the birds.
Wisdom has raised chicks five times since 2006, and as many as 35 in her lifetime. Just as astonishing, she has likely flown up to 4.8m km since she was first tagged at the Midway Atoll at the end of the Hawaiian Island chain in 1956, according to scientists who have tracked her at the US Geological Survey. That's "four to six trips from the Earth to the moon and back again with plenty of miles to spare," the USGS said in an enthusiastic announcement last week.
For more than 100 years, sailors have known the Great Whirl arrived with the onset of monsoon winds in early June and disappeared about one month after the winds died down in August. Monsoon winds are some of the strongest on the planet, blowing at a constant 30 mph (48 km/h).
Because the massive vortex has a powerful impact on local climate, including the monsoon winds, scientists are studying how and why the Great Whirl appears.
It turns out the Great Whirl is even more closely linked to the monsoon than previously thought, but through the ocean, not through the atmosphere. A new study reveals the clockwise current spins up nearly two months before the winds arrive.
"[Oceanic] Rossby waves are bringing in energy well before the wind forcing sets in," said Lisa Beal, an oceanographer at the University of Miami in Florida. "We've got this precursor even before the monsoon hits it. That was rather surprising," she told OurAmazingPlanet.
The results were published online the week of Jan. 28 in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:06 UTC
The US computing giant last week unveiled its initiative with health insurer WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
The supercomputer, which gained fame by defeating two human champions in the "Jeopardy!" quiz show, has been sifting through some 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in oncology research.
This can speed up the way data is analyzed to make the best diagnosis and find the optimal treatment, says Craig Thompson, Sloan-Kettering's president.
"It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings," Thompson said.
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM, got underway at 1:02 p.m. EST (GMT-5; 10:02 a.m. local time) when the Atlas 5's Russian-designed RD-180 first stage engine thundered to life and throttled up to full power with a rush of brilliant exhaust.
The towering 192-foot-tall rocket, generating some 860,000 pounds of thrust, majestically climbed away from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast northwest of Los Angeles.
Arcing to the south over the Pacific Ocean through a cloudless blue sky, the rocket smoothly accelerated as it consumed its first-stage load of liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants. Spectacular views from an on-board camera showed the California coast dropping away in the background and a few moments later, the curve of the Earth and the black of deep space.
University of British Columbia
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 14:47 UTC
The results, which are 85 per cent accurate when compared to the painstaking manual reconstructions performed by linguists, will be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"We're hopeful our tool will revolutionize historical linguistics much the same way that statistical analysis and computer power revolutionized the study of evolutionary biology," says UBC Assistant Prof. of Statistics Alexandre Bouchard-Côté, lead author of the study.
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:56 UTC
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have now used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars. While discovering no telltale signs of life, the researchers calculate that fewer than one in a million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planetary civilizations advanced enough to transmit beacons we could detect.
"We didn't find ET, but we were able to use this statistical sample to, for the first time, put rather explicit limits on the presence of intelligent civilizations transmitting in the radio band where we searched," said Andrew Siemion, who recently received his Ph.D. in astronomy from UC Berkeley.
The Extinction Protocol
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 07:52 UTC
U.S. government drone war against US citizens: Spy drone used in 'hunt' for ex-soldier accused of killing three
The Daily Express
Sun, 10 Feb 2013 06:32 UTC
They believe burly, heavily-armed Christopher Dorner is holed-up in the wilderness of California's snow-capped San Bernardino mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles.
The burnt-out shell of his pick-up truck was discovered in the nearby resort of Big Bear, where residents and tourists have been warned to stay indoors as the search continues.
Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.
A senior police source said: "The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack."
Asked directly if drones have already been deployed, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who is jointly leading the task force, said: "We are using all the tools at our disposal."
Comment: The claim that this incident represents the first time surveillance drones would be used against a U.S. citizen domestically is inaccurate. In 2011, police used a Predator surveillance drone against a family in North Dakota who were accused of stealing six cows.