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Huge Antarctic iceberg foils centenary plans

An iceberg nearly 100 kilometres (60 miles) long was Wednesday preventing tourist ships from reaching Antarctica to mark the centenary of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s epic polar voyage. Mawson, among Antarctica’s earliest pioneers, led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition between 1911 and 1914 — an ambitious scientific research trip that laid…

Deafness shaped Beethoven’s music

ARIS — Progressive deafness profoundly influenced Beethoven’s compositions, prompting him to choose lower-frequency notes as his condition worsened, scientists said on Tuesday. Beethoven first mentioned his hearing loss in 1801 at the age of 30, complaining that he was having problems hearing the high notes of instruments and voices. By…

Rich people less empathetic than the poor: study

The depiction of the rich and cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” is backed up with scientific evidence, according to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley. The researchers found that people in lower socio-economic classes are more physiologically attuned to the suffering of others than…

Earth-sized worlds spotted in new advance for exoplanets

Astronomers on Tuesday said that for the first time they had spotted two Earth-sized worlds orbiting a Sun-like star, in another big advance in the search for so-called exoplanets. One of the planets is just three percent bigger than Earth and the other is 13 percent smaller, which would make it…

FDA approves human trials for HIV vaccine

In the battle to prevent HIV, the United States has officially turned to its northern neighbor for a possible solution. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday that an HIV vaccine developed by Canadian scientists has been approved for human trials, according to the CBC. Researchers from the University of…

Scientists warn of danger if journals publish killer flu details

Two top scientific journals said Tuesday they were mulling whether to publish details of a man-made mutant killer flu virus that has sparked concerns of mass deaths if it were released. A US government’s science advisory committee urged the US journal Science and the British journal Nature to withhold key details so…

Researchers claim to pinpoint Stonehenge rocks’ origin

The much discussed conversation of where the renowned Stonehenge rocks in Britain came from appears to be over thanks to the work of two archaeologists. According to the BBC Monday, National Museum Wales’ Dr. Richard Bevins and Leicester University’s Dr. Rob Ixer conformed the exact origin of the rocks after…

China orders non-carbon emissions reductions by 2015

China on Tuesday ordered local governments to reduce emissions of “major pollutants” by as much as 10 percent by 2015, amid growing public anxiety over the country’s bad air. Authorities will also start to monitor the smallest and most dangerous airborne pollution, known as PM2.5, in densely populated areas such…

France to order 30,000 women to remove breast implants

French medical authorities will this week tell 30,000 women who received defective breast implants to have them removed after several suspicious cases of cancer, the Liberation newspaper reported on Tuesday. Quoting senior medical officials, the daily said that before the end of the week authorities will ask all women who…

How renewable energy may be Edison’s revenge

LONDON (Reuters) – At the start of the 20th century, inventors Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla clashed in the “war of the currents.” To highlight the dangers of his rival’s system, Edison even electrocuted an elephant. The animal died in vain; it was Tesla’s system and not Edison’s that…

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