Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

President Trump's goal of achieving "energy dominance" for the United States includes producing more oil and gas on federal land, but new government statistics show a mixed record on this front during his first year in office.

Trump has cast himself as an ally of fossil fuel industries. At a 2017 event he told energy industry leaders, "You've gone through eight years of hell," referring to the time former President Obama was in office.

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Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey this June. He'll take his place among giants — between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Applications to attend a Service of Thanksgiving are open to the public, and anyone — including people born in 2038, can apply. A thousand spaces are available.

February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, horrified people across the country, spurring student walkouts and marches in support of stricter gun control laws, including universal, comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But gun debates in the United States have proven to be contentious and intractable.

The $1 Fentanyl Drug Test

May 12, 2018

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Ever since astronomers started to detect planets beyond our solar system, they've been trying to find another world just like Earth. And few years ago, they announced that they'd found a planet that was the closest match yet — Kepler-452b.

Trouble is, some astronomers now say it's not possible to know for sure that this planet actually exists.

Canadian-born psychologist Jay Van Bavel likes Canadian beer.

"I can't say what it is," he says, laughing, "I just love the taste."

When Van Bavel sips a beer from his hometown, there is a feedback between his taste buds and his brain. He's reminded of his Canadian-ness, he feels more Canadian, and Canadian beer tastes better to him than other beers.

Scientists have launched two large studies to test a medical treatment that, if proven effective, could have an enormous impact on the leading cause of death in American hospitals.

The treatment is aimed at sepsis, a condition in which the body's inflammatory response rages out of control in reaction to an infection, often leading to organ damage or failure. There's no proven cure for sepsis, which strikes well over 1 million Americans a year and kills more than 700 a day.

There are no other birds quite like them in the world. The South Georgia pipit and pintail are so distinctive in the grand pantheon of ornithology, in fact, they draw their names from the one place they've made their home: South Georgia Island, sitting lonely in the forbidding South Atlantic not far from Antarctica.

Hurricane Harvey, which devastated South Texas last August, was powered by what scientists say were the highest ocean temperatures they've ever seen in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thirty U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws, and all but one of them include cancer in the list of conditions allowed. Such laws give cancer patients across the country access to a substance that remains illegal under federal law.

When it comes to motherhood, at least if you're a fish, big is better. Bigger fish produce more far more offspring pound for pound than smaller fish. And that can mean more on your plate.

The new research comes from a team in Australia and Panama and reinforces fishing practices that protect larger fish as well as marine protected areas, which are like fish "sanctuaries" in the ocean.

Geologists are warning that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano — which has been belching toxic gas and oozing lava into a residential area for the past week — could erupt explosively in the coming weeks.

The possibility of such a sudden eruption will increase as lava flows from Kilauea's summit crater down its face and magma falls below the water table, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That could create steam pressure that would then explode.

The volcano could then eject "ballistic rocks" of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said.

It took four attempts for Stephen Bay to see the neon blue waves crashing against the rocks at Torrey Pines State Beach in Calif., but when he did, just one thought went through his mind: "Holy cow, the waves are glowing!" he told NPR.

"They were just lit up in this incredible light that no photo can really do it justice," Bay, a professional photographer, said.

A state board in California has approved a proposal to require solar panels on all new homes beginning in 2020, a measure that would increase the cost of new construction but provide savings on utilities — and help the state meet ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

California, which is routinely a leader in environmental regulatory efforts, would be the first state in the country with such a requirement. Several cities, including San Francisco and South Miami, Fla., have residential solar panel requirements.

On the first day of Google's annual conference for developers, the company showed off a robot with a voice so convincingly human that it was able to call a salon and book a haircut – never revealing that it wasn't a real person making the call.

You might be breathing chemical residue from tobacco smoke in indoor spaces where no one has smoked for years. This was the surprise finding of a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

Researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that chemicals left on clothing, furniture and other surfaces by tobacco smoke – known as thirdhand smoke — can become airborne and travel through a building's ventilation system.

Long before sous vide became a culinary sensation celebrated by top chefs around the world a retired Army colonel started cooking meat and vegetables in sealed plastic pouches immersed in a water bath to liven up the flavor of hospital food. But you'd be hard pressed to find his name associated with it.

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A new application of artificial intelligence could help researchers solve medical mysteries ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's.

It's a 3D model of a living human cell that lets scientists study the interior structures of a cell even when they can only see the exterior and the nucleus — the largest structure in a cell. The model was unveiled to the public Wednesday by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle.

Updated at 10:25 p.m. ET

The eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues. The lava has now destroyed at least 35 structures and covered the equivalent of more than 75 football fields.

Scientists have been tracking this event since it started last week — but there are still big unanswered questions, the biggest of which is when it will end.

Amanda Williammee pauses at the window of the toddler classroom at Horizons day care in Carrboro, N.C., to quietly check on her 2-year-old daughter Taycee.

"I like to peek in on her and see what she's doing before she sees me," Williammee says. "I love watching her — it's too funny."

There's a dance party in progress. Soon, Taycee spots her mom, screams and comes running to the door.

"Did you dance?" Williammee asks, leaning down to her daughter.

Beef cattle ranchers are getting wise to the science of genetics.

They have always known that making the best steak starts long before consumers pick out the right cut, such as where an animal grazes or what it eats. The key is in the genetic makeup — or DNA — of the herd. And over the past year, those genetics have taken a historic leap thanks to new, predictive DNA technology.

This is playing out in rising auction prices for the best bulls as identified by genetic profiles or simply for their elite pedigree.

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

NASA Launches New Mars Mission

May 6, 2018

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Winter in Fairbanks, Alaska can be brutal. Daylight dips below 4 hours, and temperatures regularly fall past -30F.

So spring, when it finally shows up, is a big deal. People can reel off a long list of the things that signal the season is underway.

One of them is a 93-year-old man in a custard-yellow truck.

Glenn Hackney has lived in Alaska since 1948. And every spring, he's irked by the same sight: trash that has piled up over the winter, and is slowly being uncovered by the melting snow.

NASA's InSight lander is on its way to Mars, after a successful launch on Saturday morning.

The lander was launched by an Atlas V rocket taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California shortly after 4 a.m. local time. It successfully separated from the upper stage more than an hour later.

The lander is in contact with mission control as it heads off on its six-month trip to the Red Planet.

Surfers are heading inland this weekend to California's farm country, to compete in the first-ever World Surf League team competition. The event is being held at a "surf ranch" in Lemoore, Calif. about 30 miles south of Fresno.

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