World Topics

Bum parachute mars U.S. 'saucer' test

A helium balloon carrying an experimental saucer-shaped NASA spacecraft floated off a launch tower at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on Saturday to test landing systems for future missions to Mars. A novel inflatable shield to burn off speed worked but the test fell apart ...

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. regulators fast-track novel leukemia therapy

U.S. regulators on Monday put an experimental immunotherapy agent on the fast track to market approval, after 89 percent of leukemia patients in early trials saw their cancers disappear. The personalized immunotherapy known as CTL019 was developed by the University of Pennsylvania and was ...

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Fossilized bird bones uncovered in South Carolina represent the largest flying bird in history, with a wingspan of 6.4 meters (21 feet), according to a study out Monday. The Pelagornis sandersi’s wings were twice as long as the biggest modern-day seabird, the royal albatross, ...

The doctor will see you now ... via webcam

Jul 5, 2014

The doctor will see you now ... via webcam

Mark Matulaitis holds out his arms so the Parkinson’s specialist can check his tremors. But this is no doctor’s office: Matulaitis sits in his rural home as a neurologist a few hundred kilometers away examines him via the camera in his laptop. Welcome to ...

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

Jul 5, 2014

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

by Rob Lever

When robots play soccer, it looks like a game played by 5-year-olds: they swarm around the ball, kick haphazardly and fall down a lot. However, robot teams have made strides in recent years, and some researchers believe the humanoids could challenge the world’s best ...

Chimpanzee sign language translated

Jul 5, 2014

Chimpanzee sign language translated

Chimpanzees use their hands to say “follow me,” “stop that” or “take this,” according to new research seeking to translate the sophisticated messages flowing back and forth. Previous research had revealed that our nearest genetic relatives use gestures to communicate, prompting questions over whether ...

Study shows how fracking causes some earthquakes

Jul 4, 2014

Study shows how fracking causes some earthquakes

A new study explains how four wells forcing massive amounts of drilling wastewater into the ground are probably shaking up Oklahoma. Those wells seem to have triggered more than 100 small and medium earthquakes in the past five years, according to a study published ...

Heavy metal headbanger develops bleeding brain

Jul 4, 2014

Heavy metal headbanger develops bleeding brain

It may not destroy your soul, but it turns out heavy metal music can be hazardous to your brain — at least in some rare cases. German doctors say they have treated a Motorhead fan whose headbanging habit ultimately led to a brain injury, ...

Jul 4, 2014

Scientists admit error in spotting two planets

U.S. scientists said Thursday that two distant Earth-like planets, which some believed might be able to harbor life, do not actually exist and that astronomers who described them were confused by a star’s sunspots. The purported planets, Gliese d and g, about 22 light-years ...