news: science

The bumblebee was officially added to the endangered species list.

 Please:

  • Go plant an organic flower native to wherever you are
  • Leave your “weeds” alone they probably aren’t hurting anything
  • Stop using/buying Roundup and all other insecticides, herbicides, pesticides. 
  • If you have a bee problem (which almost never happens) call a local beekeeper! They will remove them safely free of charge
  • Bumblebees usually nest underground and just wanna be left alone! They won’t hurt you. To prevent destroying their habit during hibernation, avoid mowing yards until April or May. If you do mow, raise the blades to the highest setting

Please save my fat clumsy fuzzy friends I love them and they’re very good pollinators.

Contamination-seeking drones - IBM Patent 9447448.

Stay back and let the drones do the dirty work. Patent 9447448 makes cognitive drones able to inspect and decontaminate places so humans don’t have to. The drones’ on-board AI system can collect and analyze samples, so it can identify and clean up any bacteria or outbreak. Meanwhile you get to hang back, safely out of harm’s way.


This is just one of the record-breaking 8,000+ patents IBM received this year. Explore the latest IBM patents. →

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Trump picks anti-vaxxer to lead commission on vaccine safety

  • Trump on Tuesday asked a prominent anti-vaxxer to lead a commission on vaccine safety.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of Bobby Kennedy, said he agreed to lead the commission, which will seek to ensure there is “scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects,” Kennedy said.
  • Kennedy believes vaccines have led to a rise in autism, a claim that’s been debunked by doctors and scientists.
  • Kennedy told reporters Tuesday that Trump “has some doubts about the current vaccine policies.” Read more

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Astronaut Jeanette Epps to become first African-American space station crew member

  • Astronaut Jeanette Epps is gearing up to make history.
  • NASA announced Wednesday that Epps would be assigned to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018
  • That makes her the space station’s soon-to-be first African-American crew member. The journey will be Epps’ first flight into space.
  • Epps will be the first African-American astronaut to live and work on the ISS — not a shuttle — for an extended period of time.
  • According to her NASA profile, Epps earned a Bachelor’s degree in physics from LeMoyne College in 1992. 
  • She completed a Master’s of science in 1994 and doctorate in aerospace engineering 2000, both from the University of Maryland. 
  • In 2002, Epps joined the CIA and worked as a technical intelligence officer for seven years. Read more

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Obama transferred $500 million to a climate fund three days before Trump takes office

  • With just three days left in his term Obama is taking steps to safeguard the historic Paris climate agreement — to the tune of $500 million.
  • On Tuesday, Obama transferred the sum to the Green Climate Fund, a trust created in 2010 to allow wealthy countries to financially assist developing nations in reducing emissions.
  • The United States has pledged a total of $3 billion to the fund. Combined with an earlier $500 million payment made in March 2016, the U.S. still owes $2B — a debt of which President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to pay none. Read more

In 2015, Lida Xing was visiting a market in northern Myanmar when a salesman brought out a piece of amber about the size of a pink rubber eraser. Inside, he could see a couple of ancient ants and a fuzzy brown tuft that the salesman said was a plant.

As soon as Xing saw it, he knew it wasn’t a plant. It was the delicate, feathered tail of a tiny dinosaur.

“I have studied paleontology for more than 10 years and have been interested in dinosaurs for more than 30 years. But I never expected we could find a dinosaur in amber. This may be the coolest find in my life,” says Xing, a paleontologist at China University of Geosciences in Beijing. “The feathers on the tail are so dense and regular, this is really wonderful.”

He persuaded the Dexu Institute of Palaeontology to buy the artifact.

After analyzing the delicate tail, Xing and his colleagues in China, the U.K. and Canada now have an idea of what type of dinosaur it is, and of the evolutionary clues it holds. Their research was published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

They say that 99 million years ago, a baby dinosaur about the size of a sparrow got stuck in tree sap and never made it out. Had the young dinosaur had a more auspicious day, it would have grown up to be a little smaller than an ostrich.

Baby Dinosaur’s 99-Million-Year-Old Tail, Encased In Amber, Surfaces In Myanmar

Photo: Ryan McKellar/Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Caption: A baby dinosaur’s tail is encased in amber along with ants, a beetle and plant fragments.

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Vera Rubin, the woman who discovered the first evidence of dark matter, has died at 88

  • Vera Rubin, the astrophysicist responsible for confirming the first existence of dark matter, died on Sunday night at the age of 88.
  • Carnegie Institution president Matthew Scott called Rubin “a national treasure as an accomplished astronomer and a wonderful role model for young scientist.”
  • Rubin and her colleagues observed galaxies in the 1970s, they learned the motion of stars is a result of a “material that does not emit light and extends beyond the optical galaxy” — also known as dark matter.
  • Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky proposed the idea of dark matter in 1933, but Rubin’s groundbreaking work subsequently led to the confirmation of the material.
  • This finding is what led to the discovery that 90% of the universe is made up of dark matter, a finding some colleagues felt was overlooked and deserving of a Nobel Prize. Read more

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Scientists predict that a pair of stars in the constellation Cygnus will collide in 2022, give or take a year, creating an explosion in the night sky so bright that it will be visible to the naked eye.

If it happens, it would be the first time such an event was predicted by scientists.

Calvin College professor Larry Molnar and his team said in a statement that two stars are orbiting each other now and “share a common atmosphere, like two peanuts sharing a single shell.”

Scientists Predict Star Collision Visible To The Naked Eye In 2022

Photo: NASA/IPAC/MSX
Caption: Scientists predict a star collision in the constellation Cygnus.

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Scientists find mind blowing feathered dinosaur tail suspended in amber

  • Scientists have discovered a 99-million-year-old fragment of a dinosaur tail suspended in amber.
  • It’s “a once in a lifetime find,” as paleontologist Ryan McKellar told CNN, because it provides rare insight into the way dinos actually looked.
  • These are “the first non-avialan theropod fragments preserved in amber.”
  • he segment is believed to have come from a juvenile dinosaur, possibly a coelurosaurian.
  • The tail is covered in brown and white feathers, with bones and tissues and even some blood mummified in its amber tomb. Read more

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fake news online: *exists*

people: “wow can’t believe Hillary Clinton is a devil worshipper and every celebrity is dead”

The New York Times, BBC, etc: *report accurately on Donald Trump*

same people: “fake news!!!! lying liberal media!”

Donald Trump & co.: blatantly lie, call the lies “alternative facts”

same people: “Donald Trump is telling the truth and all journalists are lying.”

scientists: *present evidence-based data, cite their sources*

same people: “fake!!! lies!!! climate change is a conspiracy theory!”

Fat shaming — not lack of willpower — is why so many Americans struggle with their weight

  • Seemingly well intentioned instances of fat shaming — like discouraging someone from eating dessert or saying they need to be more active — are socially acceptable because they’re framed as concern.
  • But in a sick twist, fat shaming is proven to be counterproductive. 
  • The language we use to talk about weight and the assumptions we make based on a person’s size can contribute to more weight gain and less self care, like seeking medical attention. 
  • Fat shaming can spike stress hormones that can increase weight gain.  Read more