Science

Researchers discover ancient critter at the other end of humans’ family tree

Researchers discover ancient critter at the other end of humans’ family tree

An international team of researchers have discovered the fossilized remains of a 540-million-year-old critter the size of a grain of sand, which researchers believe might be at the other end of humans’ family tree.

The tiny ancient creature called Saccorhytus coronaries’ remains were discovered in Shaanxi Province, central China. It lived nearly 540 million years ago, during the early Cambrian period, when the region was covered by a shallow ocean.

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NASA’s Cassini captures Saturn’s rings in unprecedented detail

NASA’s Cassini captures Saturn’s rings in unprecedented detail

Heading toward its grand finale phase, U.S. space agency NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided images showing Saturn’s rings in unprecedented detail.

Cassini is currently in its “Ring-Grazing” orbits phase, and it is observing rings of icy debris of the gaseous planet. The views are the closest-ever pictures of the outer parts of the planet’s main rings, providing researchers with an eagerly awaited opportunity to observe features like “straw” and “propellers.”

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Three teams send their Hyperloop pods through mile-long vacuum tube

Three teams send their Hyperloop pods through mile-long vacuum tube

Three student teams, one each from the America, Germany and the Netherlands, sent their Hyperloop pods through a mile-long vacuum tube yesterday to test the futuristic mode of transportation.

The Hyperloop project, a concept for a high-speed ground transport system, was first announced by SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk in 2013. Students were invited from around the globe to designs and build prototypes for new transportation system.

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Grass carp invading three of the Great Lakes: FWS

Grass carp invading three of the Great Lakes: FWS

Invasive fish species Grass carp will “outcompete” native fish in three of the Great Lakes if it is not controlled within a decade, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services (FWS) has warned.

The federal agency has warned that the invasion of Grass carp, which is one of the four Asian carp species, in the great freshwater lakes of Erie, Huron and Ontario, poses a really serious threat to the lakes’ aquatic environment.

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Moon swept by Venus in the night sky

Moon swept by Venus in the night sky

Just after sunset on Sunday, sky gazers were able to feat their eyes on the two brightest objects in the night sky as the Moon was swept by Venus.

The thin waxing crescent Moon, the only natural satellite of our planet, looked rather low in the sky just after the sunset and many caught it soon after before it disappeared.

As the Moon is gradually sliding away from the setting Sun, toward Venus, it will appear even closer to the planet after sunset on January 30, 2017. Eventually, the Moon will be sweeping right by Venus and then Mars to round out the month of January.

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Hyperloop One-cofounder returning to alt-transportation game

Hyperloop One-cofounder returning to alt-transportation game

Brogan BamBrogan, who cofounded Hyperloop One and left the firm last year amid a series of lawsuits and countersuits, is reportedly preparing to return to the alt-transportation game with his own company.

BamBrogan has updated his LinkedIn profile with a new title -- cofounder of Arrivo, The Arrival Co. that will no doubt pick up where the hyperloop engineer left off. However, Arrivo officials didn’t respond to a request for a comment on the new venture.

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‘Rogue’ Twitter accounts of federal agencies multiply

‘Rogue’ Twitter accounts of federal agencies multiply

Numerous rogue Twitter feeds voicing employee concerns at several U.S. government agencies have been launched in the past few days in defiance of the Trump administration’s alleged attempts to suppress climate change research and findings.

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Physicists transform hydrogen into lustrous, shiny metal

Physicists transform hydrogen into lustrous, shiny metal

Harvard University physicists made a breakthrough by successfully squeezing hydrogen into a metal form, which is believed to exist inside other planets, such as Jupiter.

Led by Physicist Isaac F. Silvera, a team of researchers at Harvard transformed the state of hydrogen by squeezing the gas between two pieces of diamond. The gas became a lustrous, shiny material.

Announcing the breakthrough, “Silvera said, “You can see it becomes a lustrous, shiny material, which is what you expect for a metal … If we did it again, we’d get the same result, I’m certain.”

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Five teams qualified as finalists for X Prize Foundation’s Moon mission

Five teams qualified as finalists for X Prize Foundation’s Moon mission

A total of five international teams have qualified as finalists in an ambitious ongoing race to the Moon, Google-funded X Prize Foundation has announced.

The five finalists are: Moon Express of Florida, Hakuto of Japan, SpaceIL of Israel, Team Indus of India, and an international team of enthusiasts hailing from more than fifteen countries, called Synergy Moon.

Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director for X Prize Foundation, said that they were very thrilled to have five contenders, who are working from all over the globe on the mission, qualified as finalists.

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USDA insists it isn’t suppressing scientists’ communications with public

USDA insists it isn’t suppressing scientists’ communications with public

In wake of severe criticism over its gag order on scientists communicating with the public, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) claimed that it isn't suppressing its scientists' communications with the public.

The federal agency was flooded with harsh comments and criticism after news broke that it e-mailed its researchers and ordered them not to speak to the press and make any press release. However, the agency later insisted that its researchers can still publish peer-reviewed journal articles and give media interviews.

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