Top 10 new species of 2012
A human-faced monkey, a glow-in-the-dark cockroach an tiny frog and more. They’re a strange, varied bunch, these newly-honored creatures, but what they all have in common is a shared place on International Institute for Species Exploration’s top 10 new species list.
The list, released annually by Arizona State University and culled from a list of 140 nominees discovered last year, is part of a larger effort to identify more of the estimated 8.7 million species on Earth - with just 1.2-2 million officially identified.
Said Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist at ASU:
“Knowing that millions of species may not survive the 21st century, it is time to pick up the pace.”
Photos: Maurice Emetshu, Peter Vrsansky & Dusan Chorvat, Christopher C. Austin, Sevastian Lotzkat / ASU
How to solve world hunger with pizza
The idea of a universal food synthesizer sounds like something straight out of the Jetsons or Star Trek, but thanks to a $125,000 grant from NASA, a 3-D food printer may become a reality.
Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation, is already working on bringing the idea to fruition.
NASA’s interested because storing the various ingredients as a power greatly extends their shelf life for lengthy travel through space, but Contractor wants to keep all of the recipes open source, so the general public could eventually benefit as well.
So how will the pizza be made?
Pizza will be one of the first items printed because of its natural layers of ingredients. First, a layer of dough will be printed and baked at the same time using a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. A layer of tomato base will follow — made of powder, water and oil — then a protein layer will top the pizza.
Read more over at the Daily Dish.
Photo: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Glendale News Press
Brace yourself for another asteroid flyby
To quote science reporter Deborah Netburn:
It’s 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sticky black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby.
At approximately 1:59 p.m. PDT May 31, Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make a close (by galactic standards) pass by our home planet. Coming within just 3.6 million miles of Earth, the asteroid will be so close that many of its features will be visible on radar.
For more details on the asteroid, including its possible origin, at Science Now.
Photo: NASA / JPL / Caltech
Solar flares galore!
Last night, the fourth major solar flare of the week burst onto the scene in a flash of ultraviolet radiation. And there may be even more just around the corner:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters say there’s a good chance that more solar flares are on their way. The agency says there is a 50% chance of X-class solar flares and an 80% chance of less powerful M-class solar flares, in the next 24 hours.
You can read more on the flares over at Science Now, but for the time being, we’ll step back and let you look at the crazy photos above a bit longer.
Photos: NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory / Associated Press
Invasion of the 17-year cicada brood
What’s red-eyed, over-sized, loud, horrifying and 17 years in the making? The soon-to-be-emerging cicada brood, described by one expert as a “huge tsunami.”
The bugs, which have been hibernating for nearly two decades before emerging, molting, mating and passing away in droves, are a swarming terror to some, and for others, they’re an under-appreciated delicacy.
But rest assured, West Coast readers, the imminent cicada invasion is entirely an East Coast problem.
And for anyone skeptical as to how creepy cicadas can be, click here at your own peril.
Photo: Chris Simon / University of Connecticut, Associated Press
Alan Shepard gears up for his flight as the first American in space. May 5, 1961.
This photo from the holdings of the Eisenhower Library shows astronaut Shepard preparing for his record setting flight as the first American man in space.
from the Jacqueline Cochran Papers, Federation Aeronautique International Series. National Archives ID #7065300
Happy 52nd anniversary of Shepard’s flight into space!
test reblogged from ourpresidents
One small step for commercial space travel
Richard Branson’s neverending mission to send tourists into space hit another benchmark today, with the SpaceShipTwo (that’s its real name) breaking the sound barrier and hitting an altitude of 56,000 feet.
For more details on the Virgin Galactic’s mission and today’s flight, head over to Money & Co.
Yep, this is fantastic.
test reblogged from npr
Tired of smog in Los Angeles?
Why not try out L.A. health officials’ electrostatic precipitators? Better known as a “smog catcher,” the device seen above was put into use in 1945, when a thick, heavy layer of smog constantly choked the city.
The “smog catcher” is a tubular device for picking up and measuring the amount in the ozone. Generally used by the health department’s division of industrial hygiene for measuring foreign matter in the air in operations of various industrial plants, the machine will be used for spot checking with the ultimate view of ascertaining what substances are in the atmosphere and proceeding with abatement operations accordingly, in order to reduce the annoying atmospheric condition….
So while the smog catcher didn’t exactly solve L.A.’s smog problem (which continues to this day), we can’t help but give it some credit for trying.
Photo: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times
Presidential Science Fair
President Obama welcomed some of the country’s youngest scientific minds to the White House earlier today, offering them a chance to show off their projects.
The students’ innovations ranged from a more efficient way to detect pancreatic cancer (courtesy of 16-year-old Jack Andraka) or Kiona Elliott, 18, and Payton Kaar, 16 who created a collapsible water filtration system.
Photos: Aude Guerrucci / Getty Images
The photo above, showing Boston the night after the tragic marathon bombing, was tweeted yesterday by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station in a sigh of solidarity:
Our crew just heard about the horrible events at the Boston Marathon. We all pass our condolences and thoughts to everyone affected.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield)
This Year’s Largest Solar Flare
On April 11, 2013, at 3:16 a.m. EDT, the sun emitted an M6.5 flare, allowing NASA to capture this vibrant image. It’s not a particularly powerful solar flare, but it is the strongest of 2013 so far, and we’ll have plenty more opportunities to observe solar activity this year.
One of the craziest photos of the year.
test reblogged from odditiesoflife
Opening the new science frontier: Your brain
Researchers have discovered a way to make the human brain transparent, which in turn makes it possible to explore three-dimensional images right down to the molecular circuitry.
So what’s the big deal about making the brain transparent?
The recipe for transforming cadaver brains into see-through research tools stands to accelerate investigations of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and a host of other brain maladies, and already has led to a significant insight into the peculiar characteristics of neurons associated with Down syndrome and autism.
Photo: Raoul Ranoa / Los Angeles Times, Brady MacDonald / Nature