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Science


Study: Farmland Species Depend On Weeds

HULL, England, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Weeds, widely considered nuisance plants, are in fact vital to the existence of many farmland species of birds, insects and animals, British researchers say. Since many weeds produce flowers and seeds, they are an integral part of the ecosystem and provide food for more than 330 species animals, researchers […]

NASA: Fewer Asteroids Are Near Earth

PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) — New observations by an orbiting observatory suggest there are significantly fewer asteroids of a medium size near Earth than previously thought, NASA said. Analyzing data from the agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, astronomers estimate there are roughly 19,500 — not 35,000 — mid-size near-Earth asteroids, a NASA release said […]

Frogs Cool Off, Then Warm Up To Survive

DARWIN, Australia, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Australian green tree frogs survive the continent’s dry season by using the same phenomenon that makes eyeglasses fog up in the winter, researchers say. Researchers from Charles Darwin University found tree frogs would often lay outside on cool nights during the dry season in tropical Australia and then return […]

‘Alarm Clock’ Gene Discovered

LA JOLLA, Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) — The human body has a so-called alarm clock gene that wakes up even if one hasn’t set the bedside alarm, U.S. researchers say. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., said the gene is responsible for starting the body’s biological clock from its […]

‘Bubble-Blowing’ Galaxy Photographed

PARIS, Sept. 29 (UPI) — A distant galaxy that appears to be blowing bubbles has been captured in images from the Hubble Space Telescope, European astronomers said. The galaxy — dubbed Holmberg II — features intricate glowing shells of gas created by the energetic lifecycles of many generations of stars, a release from the European […]

Another Satellite To Fall In November

BERLIN, Sept. 28 (UPI) — Another dead, drifting satellite will fall to Earth in November, following the U.S. satellite that showered pieces over the Pacific Ocean Saturday, experts say. Officials at the German Aerospace Center say a decommissioned X-ray space observatory should enter the atmosphere sometime in early November, but exactly when and where debris […]

Gold Can Make Glass More Transparent

LONDON, Sept. 28 (UPI) — British researchers say they’ve discovered a way to make glass even more transparent by coating it in a thin layer of gold. Scientists are King’s College London say the thin gold layer allows more light to be transmitted through the glass at more angles while reducing the amount that is […]

Image Of Dying ‘Hypergiant’ Star Captured

MUNICH, Germany, Sept. 28 (UPI) — European astronomers have released a new image of a hypergiant star, a monster star with a diameter a thousand times bigger than the sun. At about 13,000 light years from Earth, it is the closest yellow hypergiant yet observed and new data show it shines about 500,000 times more […]

Competing Quake Predictions Analyzed

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 28 (UPI) — A competition held by the Southern California Earthquake Center could mean better earthquake forecasts and improve tools for assessing them, officials said. In a study, researchers at the University of California, Davis, compared seven different earthquake forecasts — including their own — that were submitted in the competition launched […]

GOP Urges Caution In Clean Energy Race

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) — With billions of dollars of taxpayer money on the line, the U.S. Department of Energy shouldn’t rush out with more clean energy loans, a critic said. Republican critics of U.S. President Barack Obama’s green energy initiatives have drawn a bead on Energy Department loan guarantees to companies working on alternative […]

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