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Science


Invasive Insect Pest Found In Hawaii

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Nov. 1 (UPI) — A common pest on the U.S. mainland known for its tropical smell has invaded a tropical territory, Hawaii, and looks ready to stay, researchers say. Scientists at Purdue University report odorous house ants, so-called because they tend to invade houses and smell like coconut if stepped on, have […]

Effect Of Large Asteroid Impact Described

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Nov. 1 (UPI) — Although a large asteroid will safely miss Earth when it passes next week, a U.S. researcher says he’s estimated what would happen if it hit the planet. Jay Melosh, a Purdue University asteroid impact expert, says an object of similar size — as big as an aircraft carrier […]

Particle Collider To ‘Create’ Early Matter

GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 1 (UPI) — The Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, taking a break from the Higgs boson hunt, will spend time probing conditions of the early universe, physicists said. The LHC’s main activity for 2011, colliding pairs of protons in a search for Higgs boson — thought to endow other particles with mass […]

Japan Falters With Nuclear Start-Up

TOKYO, Nov. 2 (UPI) — Fission was detected at a reactor at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant a day after the company said it would restart operations following a March meltdown. A magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The disaster led to a near-global examination of […]

Study: Optical Clues Help Flying Birds

BRISBANE, Australia, Oct. 28 (UPI) — Australian scientists say they’ve discovered how birds avoid collisions with objects and each other as they perform their aeronautic maneuvers. The graceful flight of birds, even in crowded environments, is a result of their perception of something called optic flow, Partha Bhagavatula of the University of Queensland said. “Our […]

Study: Brain Cells Change Over Lifetime

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 31 (UPI) — The genetic makeup of human brain cells is not static but changes thousands of times during the course of our lifetimes, researchers in Scotland said. Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, working in collaboration with scientists from the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Japan and the United States, have identified […]

NASA Working To Create Tractor Beams

GREENBELT, Md., Oct. 31 (UPI) — Tractor beams, a staple of science fiction, may someday become a technology for collecting extraterrestrial particle samples, U.S. space agency scientists say. The NASA Office of the Chief Technologist has awarded a $100,000 to a research team at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to study […]

China Launches Space Docking Mission

BEIJING, Oct. 31 (UPI) — China says a spacecraft launched from the Gobi Desert will attempt the country’s first space docking with a capsule already orbiting the Earth. A rocket carrying the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft blasted off and the spacecraft will rendezvous with the Tiangong 1 space capsule that was launched in late September […]

Classroom Background Noise Limits Learning

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Oct. 31 (UPI) — Student test scores can suffer negative effects from subtle classroom noise, such as the humming of the air conditioning and heating systems, researcher say. In a study of classrooms presented at the 162nd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, fifth-grade students were found to have lower reading […]

Study: Insects Can Be Scared To Death

TORONTO, Oct. 27 (UPI) — The mere presence of a predator can stress a dragonfly enough to kill it, even if the predator can’t actually get at it to eat it, Canadian researchers say. The scientists suggest their findings could apply to all organisms facing any amount of stress. “How prey respond to the fear […]

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