Over the past 30 years, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has experienced a 50 percent loss in coral. Though part of the decline is being attributed to the warmer ocean temperatures caused by climate change, about half of the damage is due to the proliferation of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS). The deadly predators can devour as much as 53 square feet (five square meters) of live coral annually.
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After providing the world with spectacular close-up images of Pluto and its icy moons in the summer of 2015, NASA’s New Horizons is zipping off into uncharted territory a billion miles away. On January 1, 2019, the spacecraft will fly past the most remote world ever explored by mankind. Dubbed (486958) 2014 MU69, the small frozen object that lies in the Kuiper Belt may help scientists reveal the origins of our solar system. To mark this historic event, the US Space Agency is asking the public to help find a nickname that is easier to remember than the elaborated moniker assigned by researchers.
While a wild cat chasing down prey sounds perfectly reasonable, one who sprints to fetch sticks might seem a little bizarre. However, that is precisely what Serabie, a rescued adult lioness at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa’s Limpopo province, loves to do.
Before astronauts embark on a mission to Mars, it is imperative for scientists to know everything they can about the impact of long-term space travel on the human body. Previous studies have shown that extended exposure to microgravity causes muscles and bones to weaken, deteriorates vision, and, in some cases, even alters the astronaut’s DNA. Now, there is evidence that spending a long time in space could also permanently change the brain’s structure.
Flat Holm, a small limestone island in Britain’s Bristol Channel, has no permanent residents and minimal infrastructure. The area’s low energy needs have therefore been fulfilled using old-fashioned solar panels and a diesel generator. The picturesque landmass is now, however, becoming increasingly popular with tourists wishing to explore the rustic landscape and view the island’s seabird colonies.
Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in the Southern Hemisphere is usually an uninterrupted sheet of ice during the frigid winter months of June, July and August. That is why the appearance of a massive area of open water, or polynya, in the middle of the sea is baffling scientists worldwide. First observed as a small hole in the winter of 2016, the polynya now extends an astounding 80,000 square kilometers, or about as big as the US state of Maine.
On October 26, Saudi Arabia made history by becoming the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a non-human. The stunning announcement came shortly after Sophia, a humanoid robot, had completed a live interview at the Future Investment Initiative held in the capital city of Riyadh from October 24 to 26. The three-day summit was organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to connect the world’s most powerful investors, thought leaders, and public officials to future innovations.
Asking a patient to hum piano melodies and play an instrument while undergoing brain surgery may sound like a strange request from a doctor. However, that is precisely what a team of brain specialists, led by University of Rochester Medical Center’s Web Pilcher, requested Dan Fabbio to do as they were removing his tumor.