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Science News: What Species Rules Earth? The Answer May Surprise You

What Species Rules Earth? The Answer May Surprise YouBut though apes riding horses, reading and writing in English, and hunting like Stone Age humans is probably far-fetched, the idea of another species or life form dominating the planet isn't, scientists say. With humans around, it's very difficult for another superintelligent species to evolve, said Jan Zalasiewicz, a paleobiologist at the University of Leicester. Apes are unlikely to supplant us, given that gorillas and chimpanzees are already struggling in the wild, with slightly more than 100,000 gorillas worldwide and less than 250,000 chimpanzees worldwide, according to the World Wildlife Fund. But assuming humans had managed to kill themselves off with famine, plague, war or climate change, it could take many millions of years for a new species to evolve the intelligence and abilities to dominate the Earth.


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Science News: Plastic 'Trash Islands' Forming In Ocean Garbage Patch

Plastic 'Trash Islands' Forming In Ocean Garbage PatchAfter returning from the Transpacific Yacht Race — an annual sailboat race from Los Angeles to Honolulu — in 1997, Capt. Charles Moore was guiding his boat through the doldrums when he noticed some plastic debris floating in the water. Mussels, clams, sea anemones and seaweed were found sheltering on this artificial island, Moore said.


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Science News: Military Satellites Likely Saw Missile Strike on Malaysian Airlines Flight

U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the nation today (July 18) to share what his administration knows so far about the attack on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, an "outrage of unspeakable proportions," he said, that killed nearly 300 innocent people. Since the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Defense has had a multibillion-dollar space-based system to provide early warning for intercontinental ballistic missiles. "It is a very, very precise system that has constant coverage, especially over Russia and Ukraine," said Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. Starting in the 1970s, the Pentagon has launched a series of high-altitude satellites with Earth-facing infrared telescopes as part of its Defense Support Program, or DSP.

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Science News: Experts map deep magma reservoir below Washington's Mt. Rainier

By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Experts have mapped a huge magma reservoir below Mount Rainier in Washington state that begins melting deep in the Earth's mantle before pushing upwards to where it will eventually be tapped for eruption. Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature, are aimed at helping experts understand the volcano's inner workings, and eventually determine when it might again erupt. A state landmark, Mount Rainier last erupted in the 19th century. The tallest volcano and fifth-highest peak in the contiguous United States, it towers some 14,410-feet (4,392 meters) about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Seattle, from most of which it is visible.

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Science News: Vintage NASA Probe, Once Abandoned in Space, Still Has Fuel

Vintage NASA Probe, Once Abandoned in Space, Still Has FuelAfter refusing to fire its engines last week for a course correction, a vintage NASA spacecraft did produce a bit of thrust Wednesday (July 16), proving it still has at least some fuel left after 36 years in space. A private group, called the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, is sending commands to the aged NASA probe with the goal of moving it to a stable location nearby our planet to do citizen science. "Something changed the trajectory of ISEE-3, albeit slightly," wrote ISEE-3 Reboot Project co-leader Keith Cowing in a blog post on the project's website. "Also, the temperatures in the fuel tanks only rose a little bit, which is what you'd expect of they were still full of fuel.


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  • ‘Defaunation’ may point to 6th mass extinction
    An international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet’s sixth mass biological extinction event. Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become ...
  • NASA Space Launch System ready for tests but not for cost, audit says
    That's one small step for man, one giant budget killer. NASA's new space launch system (SLS) is now ready to perform tests for rockets that will launch humans into space to new parts of the solar system. However, they may not be ready to bear the brunt of ...
  • Jupiter-like exoplanets surprisingly, and disappointingly, dry
    "Hot Jupiters" is the name given to Jupiter-like exoplanets. There are three such distant gas giants that astrophysicists recently analyzed for evidence of water vapor in their atmospheres, but they came up dry. According to the present theory of planet ...
  • President Obama Plans Action On Drone Privacy Regulation
    As the FAA watches its drone regulation deadlines loom, President Obama intends to issue an executive order that will deal with drone privacy, something that the federal agency hasn’t delved too deeply into. According to Politico, the president plans ...
  • High court backs police on cellphone data
    MADISON (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with police in two separate cases Thursday in which cellphone data were used to track suspects without obtaining a search warrant, drawing a sharply worded dissent from the chief justice. Chief Justice ...
  • Microsoft moves Yammer into Office 365 as co-founder departs
    David Sacks, co-founder of the social-networking vendor, announces departure on Twitter. Yammer David Sacks Ever since Microsoft bought enterprise social-networking vendor Yammer two years ago for $1.2 billion, the Redmondians have allowed Yammer to ...
  • Skylanders Brings Premium Toy Line “Eon’s Elite” to Fans This Fall
    SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Today at San Diego Comic-Con, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) announced plans to bring “Eon’s Elite,” a new set of premium toys, to Skylanders® fans ...
  • Amazon Fire Phone teardown reveals hints of Apple, Samsung
    Gadget repair expert iFixit takes a deeper look into the guts of Amazon's first smartphone and finds several new details. IFixit looks inside the Amazon Fire Phone. iFixit Amazon appears to have taken a few hints from Apple and a few chips from Samsung in ...
  • Adobe Named a Strong Performer in Digital Experience Delivery Platforms by Independent Research Firm
    SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) today announced that Adobe Marketing Cloud has been recognized as a Strong Performer in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, Q3 2014” report by Forrester Research, Inc ...
  • China Telecom says will sell Microsoft's Xbox One from September
    BEIJING (Reuters) - China Telecom Corp Ltd will start selling Microsoft Corp's Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country's third-largest telecommunications company said in a statement on Friday. The launch ...
  • NASA offers 3D printable versions of Mars Gale Crater, spacecraft, among other designs
    NASA has created 21 printable models of various space object and surfaces, among which include sides of the Moon’s surface and the asteroid Eros. After recently designing a 3D model of Eta Carinae Nebula, NASA took further strides to make other objects ...
  • AT&T Digital Life, Home Security And Automation Service, Expands In Michigan City And La Porte
    MICHIGAN CITY, Ind., July 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* today announced beginning Friday, July 25 it will expand Digital Life to cover Michigan City and La Porte. Other nearby areas with new availability include Rolling Prairie, Westville and Union Mills.
  • Google Glass Road Show coming to Boston
    Jessica Ridilla wears her Google Glass in the biology lab at Brandeis University, filming experiments with the attached camera on the high-tech spectacles. She also dons the device at concerts, the airport, and on the street — anywhere she thinks a tiny ...
  • Solar superstorm barely missed Earth in 2012
    According to a NASA Science News feature, Earth experienced a close call on Jul. 23, 2012, when a titanic coronal mass ejection (CME) intersected Earth’s orbit. Although the superstorm did miss Earth, it did strike NASA’s Solar TErrestrial RElations ...
  • Smartphone Study Shows How Life Hits Us in the Gut (Bacteria)
    Life's ups and downs affect the trillions of bacteria in our gut in detectable ways, based on a year’s worth of data from two researchers. They used a smartphone app to log their daily activity, and provided regular saliva and stool samples. The results ...
  • Planetary Society hopes tiny satellite sets sail above Earth
    Satellites about the size of a loaf of bread may one day explore space, propelled across the vast expanse by an unfurled sail. That's the vision of the Planetary Society, a Pasadena group that has been leading the development of an experimental spacecraft ...
  • Searching for Cynk: The $6 Billion Penny-Stock Debacle, From Belize to Las Vegas
    The Matalon, a six-story glass building in Belize City, Belize, towers over a lot littered with old refrigerators and washing machines. Jagged rebar sticks out of unfinished cinderblock structures nearby, and the view, across Haulover Creek, is of a ...
  • Flywheel taxi app adds advance booking for airport trips
    Taxi companies scored a new weapon in their battle against the ride companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, which have siphoned their business. Starting Wednesday, taxi passengers can schedule rides in advance to airports in San Francisco, San Jose and ...
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is $1.6 billion richer
    SAN FRANCISCO -- You know what's cool? Being richer than Larry Page. Facebook's record close on Thursday added $1.6 billion to CEO Mark Zuckerberg's bottom line. His net worth ballooned to $33.3 billion, leapfrogging Google founders Sergey Brin and Page ...
  • Google risks ire on jogging memories meant to be forgotten
    Google Inc. risks a fresh round of criticism after its attempts to apply a court ruling giving citizens the right to be forgotten backfired, Ireland's data watchdog said ahead of an industry summit with European Union privacy chiefs. The world's biggest ...
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