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NASA says new heavy-lift rocket debut not likely until 2018

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - NASA?s new heavy-lift rocket, designed to fly astronauts to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars, likely will not have its debut test flight until November 2018, nearly a year later than previous estimates, agency officials said on Wednesday. NASA is 70 percent confident of making a November 2018 launch date, given the technical, financial and management hurdles the Space Launch System faces on the road to development, NASA associate administrators Robert Lightfoot and Bill Gerstenmaier told reporters on a conference call. NASA estimates it could spend almost $12 billion developing the first of three variations of the rocket and associated ground systems through the debut flight, and potentially billions more to build and fly heavier-lift next-generation boosters, a July 2014 General Accountability Office report on the program said. While the rocket might be ready for a test flight in December 2017, as previously planned, the new assessment showed the odds of that were ?significantly less? than the 70 percent confidence level NASA requires of new programs, Gerstenmaier said.



Nearly two dozen fish species off U.S. West Coast deemed sustainable
Nearly two dozen species of fish have been deemed sustainable seafood options once again after rampant overfishing left areas off the U.S. West Coast devastated, a marine watchdog group said on Tuesday. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program upgraded the status of 21 species of bottom-dwelling fish, including varieties of sole, rockfish and sablefish, to "best choice" or "good alternative" from the group's "avoid" classification. The change comes after fishing grounds off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington state were declared an economic disaster by the federal government in 2000.
Polar bear DNA found from tracks in snow, in conservation step
By Alistair Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Polar bear DNA has been isolated for the first time from footprints left in the snow on an Arctic island, a breakthrough that could help scientists better protect rare and endangered wild animals, experts said on Tuesday. Scientists often spend days tracking rare animals such as snow leopards or orangutans for samples of DNA, for instance from hair or faeces, to understand their movements, monitor their populations and propose ways to protect them. "Animal tracks are what we find most often in the wild," said Arnaud Lyet of the WWF conservation group. Polar bears are a good species to study because DNA breaks down far more slowly in the cold than in the tropics.
Scientists use E.coli bacteria to create fossil fuel alternative

British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves. "Although we have only produced tiny amounts so far, the fuel we have produced is ready to be used in an engine straight away," said Patrik Jones of the department of life sciences at Imperial College London, who worked on the research. He said while work is at a very early stage, possibly 5-10 years from the point where commercial production would be possible, his team's findings were proof of concept for a way of producing renewable fuel now only accessible from fossil reserves. It is already produced as a by-product during natural gas processing and petrol refining, but both of these are fossil fuels that will one day run out.



Putin orders building hastened at new Russian spaceport

By Vladimir Soldatkin VOSTOCHNY Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered construction sped up on a multi-billion-dollar spaceport in Russia's Far East that he said would break reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and launch future missions to the Moon and Mars. Putin flew in a helicopter over the sprawling building site in Vostochny at a time when conflict with Ukraine, maker of Zenit and Dnepr rockets, is highlighting the fragility of Russia's dependence on former Soviet republics in defense and space. Building a new launchpad on its own soil is central to Putin's effort to reform a once-pioneering space industry hobbled by years of budget cuts and a brain drain in the 1990s. "Our own space infrastructure and modern network of cosmodromes ... will allow Russia to strengthen its standing as a leading space superpower and guarantee the independence of space activities," Putin said at Vostochny, near Russia's border with China.



Ebola Cases Likely to Increase in Coming Weeks, CDC Director Says

The number of people infected with Ebola in West Africa will likely increase significantly over the next few weeks, according to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who just returned from the region. "As bad as the situation is now, everything I've seen suggests that over the next few weeks, it's likely to get worse," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said today (Sept. 2) in a news conference. Although health officials know how to stop the spread of Ebola, the current response needs to be scaled up in order to end the outbreak, Frieden said. "The challenge is that the number of cases is so large, the outbreak is so overwhelming, what it requires now is an overwhelming response," Frieden said.



Russia's 'Sex Geckos' Perish in Space

The geckos Russia sent to space to have sex have sadly perished, the Russian space agency said yesterday (Sept. 1). The lovemaking lizards were launched into orbit for an experiment on mating and reproduction in a weightless environment, but all five of them (four females and one male) were found dead when the spacecraft carrying them returned to Earth, according to the space agency, Roscosmos. The space agency launched the spacecraft carrying the Foton M4 satellite with the five live geckos on July 18, for a two-month mission.



Invasive Camel Crickets Widespread in US Homes

Camel crickets may have been largely overlooked by scientists over the past several decades, but the results of a new citizen science project, released today (Sept. 2), reveal the insects may outnumber humans in the United States.



Dog Spacesuit Among Artist's Soviet Space Artifacts for Auction

A German pop artist who once painted the side of a Russian rocket is selling his collection of Soviet space memorabilia, including pieces of his own space art and a "dog space suit." Andreas Hoge, better known by his one-name pseudonym Andora, consigned more than 100 Russian space program artifacts and collectibles to the Berlin-based auction house Auctionata.



LEGO May Make Hubble Space Telescope Kit After Fans' 10,000 Votes

A fan's idea for a LEGO toy to celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 25th anniversary just came into greater focus. On Sunday (Aug. 31), Gabriel Russo's design for a model of the famous orbiting observatory topped 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas, a website where fans can share and vote for new LEGO kits. Projects that get 10,000 votes of support are considered by LEGO for production and sale. The 10,000th vote for Russo's Hubble model came in just before the cutoff for LEGO's fall review period, giving the Danish toy company perhaps enough time for a set to be ready for the satellite's anniversary next year.



Scientists use E.coli bacteria to create fossil fuel alternative
British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves. "Although we have only produced tiny amounts so far, the fuel we have produced is ready to be used in an engine straight away," said Patrik Jones of the department of life sciences at Imperial College London, who worked on the research. He said while work is at a very early stage, possibly 5-10 years from the point where commercial production would be possible, his team's findings were proof of concept for a way of producing renewable fuel now only accessible from fossil reserves. It is already produced as a by-product during natural gas processing and petrol refining, but both of these are fossil fuels that will one day run out.
Can a Severed Snake Head Still Kill? It's Possible
"Snakes in general are well known for retaining reflexes after death," said Steven Beaupré, a biology professor at the University of Arkansas. The bite reflex is stronger in venomous snakes than it is in some other carnivores because these snakes use their bite differently than other meat-eaters, Beaupré said.
Scientists solve mystery of moving Death Valley rocks
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A solution to the longstanding mystery of why rocks move erratically across an isolated patch of California's Death Valley finally emerged on Thursday, when researchers published a study showing the driving force was sheets of wind-driven ice. Trails from the movement of the rocks, which show them changing direction suddenly in their movement across the so-called Racetrack Playa, have long befuddled scientists and the general public. Paleobiologist Richard Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who led the study, saw the rare phenomenon first-hand last December while standing with his cousin, engineer James Norris, at the spot.
Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone Began at a Funeral

An extensive look at the genome of the Ebola virus reveals its behavior, when it arrived in West Africa and how it spread in the region to cause the largest-ever recorded Ebola outbreak. Researchers sequenced 99 Ebola virus genomes from 78 patients in Sierra Leone, one of the countries affected by the outbreak that started in the neighboring Guinea, and found that the virus' genome changes quickly, including parts of the genome that are crucial for diagnostic tests to work. "We've uncovered more than 300 genetic clues about what sets this outbreak apart from previous outbreaks," co-author Stephen Gire of Harvard said in a statement. The researchers studied the viruses isolated from the blood of these patients, as well as subsequent Ebola patients, to identify the genetic characteristics of the Ebola virus responsible for this outbreak.



'Jeopardy!'-Winning Computer Now Crunching Data for Science

Watch out, Sherlock, there's a new Dr. Watson in town. IBM's Watson, the computer that famously won the quiz show 'Jeopardy!', is now helping researchers make scientific discoveries. The new system, known as the Watson Discovery Advisor, could accelerate the scientific process by sifting through massive amounts of information and visualizing patterns in the data. But unlike when Watson was on 'Jeopardy!,' its new role as Discovery Advisor is "not about getting to an answer, but [rather] gaining insight into a large body of information," Merkel told Live Science.




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Evolution Petroleum Announces Executive Promotion, Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2014...
HOUSTON, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolution Petroleum Corporation (NYSE MKT: EPM) today announced a management promotion as part of its normal succession planning, set the date and time for its conference call to discuss financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 ending June 30, 2014 and announced its next investor presentation. As part of the Company's normal succession ...
Numerex Receives 2014 M2M Evolution "Battle of the Platforms Award"
ATLANTA -- Numerex , a leading provider of on-demand and interactive machine-to-machine (M2M) enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things, today announced that it has received a 2014 M2M Evolution ...
God of Evolution.com Creator Says Evolution-Creation Debates Hurt the Gospel ...
A self-professed evangelical Christian who runs a website dedicated to informing believers about evolution appeared on the Bad Christian podcast this week where he discussed why debating about the topic could hurt the Gospel.
New Twist Added to the Role of Culture in Human Evolution
A radical new take on human evolution adds a large dose of luck to the usual story emphasizing the importance of our forebears' ability to make tools -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
Planet Of The Apes Inspired Hammerfall's New Album
Oscar Dronjak reveals that Hammerfall's new album title (r)Evolution has something in common with the Swedish release of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Fantasy Football Evolution Opens Drafting for Third Season in Quest for the N...
Fantasy FootballNational Football CompetitionBreast Cancer Charity SupportFantasy Football Evolution's 2013 National Champion was Sean Fisher of Pennsylvania who beat out over two thousand other teams ...
Cultivating biodiversity: Sorghum example
It is difficult to distinguish the human impact on the effects of natural factors on the evolution of crop plants. A Franco-Kenyan research team has managed to do just that for sorghum, one of the main cereals in Africa. The scientists demonstrated how three societies living on the slopes of Mount Kenya have shaped the geographic distribution and structure of the genetic diversity of local ...
KORE Receives 2014 Las Vegas M2M Evolution Battle of the Platforms Award
KORE, the world?s largest managed wireless network services provider specializing in machine-to-machine communications, today announced that it has received a 2014 Las Vegas M2M Evolution Battle of the Platforms Award from TMC and Crossfire Media.
KORE Customer Receives 2014 M2M Evolution Business Impact Award
KORE, the world?s largest managed wireless network services provider specializing in machine-to-machine communications, today announced that its customer, Clear Blue Technologies, has received a 2014 M2M Evolution Business Impact Award from TMC and Crossfire Media.
Meet the TollFreeForwarding.com Team at CRM Evolution Conference and Exhibiti...
TollFreeForwarding.com announced today that they will be at the 'CRM Evolution Conference and Exhibition 2014' being held at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City August 18th through 20th. CRM ...

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