250 articles from THURSDAY 5.9.2019

Black hole movies coming soon, says leading astronomerBy the time an international group of scientists stunned the world with the first ever image of a black hole, they were already planning a sequel: a movie showing how massive clouds of gas are forever sucked into the void. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration has already recorded the necessary observations and is processing the mountains of data to produce the first video, which will likely be a little jerky, in 2020. "What I predict is that by the end of the next decade we will be making high quality real-time movies of black holes that reveal not just how they look, but how they act on the cosmic stage," Shep Doeleman, the project's director, told AFP in an interview.


Open Lunar Foundation comes out in the open with its plan to build a moon villageAfter spending five years in semi-stealth mode, a San Francisco venture called the Open Lunar Foundation is talking about its plan to create a settlement on the moon at a cost in the range of $5 billion. "At $5B, it's not only achievable within current NASA budgets, it offers the tantalizing possibility that a single passionate individual could fund the entire program as their legacy!" Silicon Valley venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson said today in a tweet. Details about the campaign came to light in a Bloomberg News report, which said Jurvetson provided the nonprofit foundation's initial funding. Open Lunar currently… Read More


(SEATTLE) — Federal scientists said Thursday they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the U.S. West Coast, a development that could badly disrupt marine life including salmon, whales and sea lions.

The expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. It resembles a similar heat wave about five years ago that was blamed for poorer survival rates for young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they hunted closer to shore, and an algae bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming.

“Given the magnitude of what we saw last time, we want to know if this evolves on a similar path,” said Chris Harvey, a research scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

NOAA Fisheries said the water has reached temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. It remains to be seen whether this heat wave dissipates more quickly than the last one, the agency said.

Scientists dubbed the last West Coast heat wave “the blob.”

The new heave has emerged over the last few months, growing in a similar pattern in the same area. It’s the second-most widespread heatwave in the northern Pacific Ocean in the last 40 years, after “the blob.”

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, who developed a way to use satellite data to track marine heatwaves in the Pacific.

The agency said it will provide fisheries managers with information on how the unusually warm conditions could affect the marine ecosystem and fish stocks.

The last heatwave spanned 2014 and 2015 and resulted in several declared fisheries disasters. Among the other effects, thousands of young sea lions were stranded on beaches after their mothers were forced to forage further from their rookeries in the Channel Islands off Southern California.

European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover arrives in France for final tests before next year’s mission

The European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover has arrived in France for final tests before being prepared for its mission next year.

Named Rosalind Franklin after the English chemist, the rover is designed to determine whether there has ever been life on Mars. It will also better understand the history of water on the red planet.

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In a paper in Science this week, Penn researchers report the first detailed molecular characterization of how every cell changes during animal embryonic development. The work, led by the laboratories of Perelman School of Medicine's John I. Murray, the School of Arts and Sciences' Junhyong Kim, and Robert Waterston of the University of Washington (UW), used the latest technology in the emergent field of single cell biology to profile more than 80,000 cells in the embryo of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

In the quest to prove that matter can be produced without antimatter, the GERDA experiment is looking for signs of neutrinoless double beta decay. The experiment has the greatest sensitivity worldwide for detecting the decay in question. To further improve the chances of success, a follow-up project, LEGEND, uses an even more refined decay experiment.

Wildfires are widespread across the globe. They occur in places wherever plants are abundant -- such as the raging fires currently burning in the Brazilian Amazon. Such biomass burning (BB) can be an environmental calamity. The smoke from BB events produces large amounts of aerosol particles and gases. These emissions can cause major problems for visibility and health, as well as for local and global climate.

A phalangeal fragment from Denisova Cave revealed it belonged to the member of a previously unknown human population, the Denisovans. Scientists have now measured and photographed another fragment found in Denisova Cave. Genomic analysis reveals it is the missing piece of the same phalanx whose proximal fragment enabled initial sequencing of the Denisovan genome. The scientists compared the new fragment to the phalanges of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans. Their analysis indicates it is very close to the latter, and less like the former.

Adults taking hot yoga had lower blood pressure measurements after three months of classes, in a small study examining hot yoga's impact on blood pressure. Hot yoga is typically a vigorous workout practiced under hot and humid conditions. Study researchers say this is one of the first studies of hot yoga's benefits in lowering blood pressure and more research is needed to determine if the practice has true blood pressure lowering power.