A.E. Rotter

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Here's How NASA Is Expanding Its Search For Alien Life

Over the next five years, NASA and seven partner institutions will be taking on new projects to help paint a more complete picture about how life comes to be in the universe. The projects include preparing to bring back samples of the Martian terrain to Earth, investigating the role of comets and …

Unlocking Big Data: Lessons Learned From The God Particle

It’s a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a symphony. It’s the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, the greatest physics find of the 21st century, turned into music.<p>Chamber music, to be exact.<p>Admittedly—and especially for fans of Pythagoras—this conversion is a little mind-blowing. But once …

Researchers Just Discovered The Brightest Dead Star Ever Found

Dennis Roscoe, Ph.D.<p>Eric Coles<p>Joel Tonyan<p>Joel Tonyan<p>Kenny Alexander<p>David Lane<p>Dennis Roscoe, Ph.D.<p>Eric Coles<p>Kenny Alexander<p>Matt Jylha<p>Dennis Roscoe, …

This Is Earth’s Biggest Storm This Year As Seen From Space

Super Typhoon Vongfong is the strongest storm on Earth since the deadly Hurricane Haiyan swept through the Philippines last year, and it’s barreling …

Jon Stewart dubs Indian PM the “next Ronald Reagan for the world”

“Must be nice to still have that new leader smell!”<p>On Tuesday evening's edition of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart turned his attention to the bordering-on-excessive reception given to India's new prime minister Narendra Modi. Yes, 20,000 people showed up to adulate the new PM at Madison Square Garden, …

Stephen Colbert mocks Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal in epic Values Voter Summit takedown

“The Values Voter Summit, a four-day orgy of people fundamentally opposed to orgies”<p>Stephen Colbert ripped into the ninth annual Values Voter Summit, last night on "The Colbert Report." Very few were spared. "There were so many great speakers," Colbert said. "Also Sarah Palin."<p>But the speeches were …

Sean Parker gives $100K to CA ballot measure to cut prison time for drug crimes

Big tech money is starting to roll into California’s ballot measures. Fresh off of the news we broke about Netflix CEO Reed Hastings giving $250,000 to Props 1 & 2 comes word that venture capitalist Sean Parker — he of Napster and early Facebook investor fame — just dropped $100,000 on Proposition …

Runner-Up In NASA's Space Taxi Contest Will Fight Decision

Will NASA be required to fund the Dream Chaser?<p>With the recent retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been in desperate need of some space taxis -- vehicles designed to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. For the past three years, the space agency …

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of "a bitter pill to swallow" or "bittersweet" memories.<p>But if you're puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even <i>like</i> the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.<p>Scientists …

What causes paranoia, hallucinations and grandiose ideas?

Have you ever wrongly suspected that other people are out to harm you? Have you been convinced that you’re far more talented and special than you really are? Do you sometimes hear things that aren’t actually there?<p>These experiences – paranoia, grandiosity and hallucinations in the technical jargon …

Boeing said to win NASA space taxi contract

According to the Wall Street Journal, the aerospace giant is likely to beat out SpaceX for the contract, said to be worth more than $3 billion.<p>Boeing seems set to win a lucrative contract to build space taxis for NASA, potentially beating out rival SpaceX in the process.<p>According to the Wall Street …

Space Exploration

Too Few University Jobs For America's Young Scientists

Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research.<p>In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain …

Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny manmade climate change

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.<p>The proposed text books – which come up for public hearing at the Texas state board of education on Tuesday – were …

If You Give a Mouse a Human Speech Gene, It Learns Faster

Scientists watch what happens when they give mice the human version of FOXP2, a gene associated with speech and language.<p><b>Mice that receive a human version of a speech</b> and language gene display accelerated learning, according to a new study. Don't expect these findings to lead to a rush of smarter, …

A Philippine Volcano May Be About to Blow and 12,000 Have Been Evacuated

An ominous glow from the Philippines’ most active volcano has prompted the evacuation of more than 12,000 people from its surrounding areas.<p>There …

Comet landing site announced by Rosetta mission team

The spot where a spacecraft will attempt the first landing on a comet has been unveiled by officials at the European Space Agency.<p>The billion-euro Rosetta probe will drop its 100kg robotic lander, Philae, on to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 11 November.<p>At a press conference in …

Paleontologist Finds Dinosaur Paradise, Including First Dino Known to Swim

Nizar Ibrahim scoured the deserts of northern Africa to paint the most complete picture of a mid-Cretaceous ecosystem ever described.<p><i>Editor's note: Nizar Ibrahim is one of National Geographic's 2014 Emerging Explorers, which honors tomorrow's visionaries—those making discoveries, making a</i> …

NASA probe will reveal 3D architecture of forests from space

NASA is developing a laser-based instrument for deployment on the International Space Station that will probe the depths of Earth's forests from …

Rare and Remarkable Plant is Changing Our Sense of What it Means to Be 'Old' — NOVA Next | PBS

In 2004, Stefan Bloodworth and his 7-year-old son, Ethan, discovered an 800-year-old plant in their backyard.<p>The box huckleberry (<i>Gaylussacia</i> …

North Carolina

‘Impossible’ Triple Star System Is a Mystery Astronomers Can't Explain — NOVA Next | PBS

It should have been a straightforward analysis of a triple star system. The Kepler space telescope observed KIC 2856960 for four straight years, …

Exoplanets

Coffee's Caffeine Buzz Evolved Separately from Tea's

Caffeine's buzz is so nice it evolved twice. The coffee genome has now been published, and it reveals that the coffee plant makes caffeine using a …

Forgotten Ricin Found During Government Lab Sweep

A laboratory sweep at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has turned up forgotten stores of the toxin ricin and four pathogens, according to …

Cosmologists Review the Evidence for an Accelerating Universe

What took us so long? Only in 1998 did astronomers discover we had been missing nearly three quarters of the contents of the universe, the so-called …

Saturn's Moon Enceladus Is Now A Top Candidate For Life

New gravity measurements determined Enceladus has a liquid water sea about as large as Lake Superior.<p>Buried under miles of ice, astronomers have detected a liquid water sea on one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus. The sea is about the size of Lake Superior and it touches Enceladus' silicate core… which …

Ticks That Can Make People Severely Allergic To Meat Are Spreading In The U.S.

Interviews with doctors suggest the Lone Star tick, and the allergy to sugars in red meat that it can cause, is on the rise.<p>Mike Abley will always remember the last hamburger he ever ate. It was more than 20 years ago, and he recalls the meat being particularly juicy and delicious.<p>But a few hours …

Chisel-Toothed Beasts Push Back Origin of Mammals

Jurassic skeletons show that early mammals didn't just hide in the undergrowth.<p>Squirrel-size mammals scampered through the trees above dinosaurs' heads, newfound Chinese fossils show, revising our image of the first furry beasts. Three newly described species suggest that mammals evolved earlier, …

Arctic Shipwreck Found After 170 Years, Solving "Great Mystery"

Have archaeologists solved the mysterious loss of the Franklin expedition?<p>One of the most famous ships lost in the 19th century has been located in the Arctic, the Canadian government announced Tuesday, prompting Prime Minister Stephen Harper to declare that "one of Canada's greatest mysteries" has …

Stonehenge Was Actually Part of a Huge Ancient Complex, Researchers Discover

For a disenchanted visitor to Stonehenge in the south of England, the iconic array of 4,000-year-old pillars may have signified little more than a …

British PM begs Scots not to break up 'family of nations'

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday begged Scots not to rip apart the United Kingdom’s “family of nations”, flying to Scotland to man the barricades against a surge in support for independence eight days before a referendum.<p>Cameron appealed to Scots to use their …

United Kingdom

Japan: Hirohito warned attack on Pearl Harbor would be 'self-destructive'

Japan's wartime emperor, Hirohito, congratulated his forces on victories as the country made a brutal sweep across mainland Asia but warned that an attack on the US would be "self-destructive", according to a new biography.<p>The first official record of Hirohito's thinking during a tumultuous period …