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Meter-wide dinosaur print, one of largest ever, found in Bolivia

Paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia measures a footprint measuring over a meter made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago, one of the largest of its kind ever found, in Kinsa SaruskaA footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found. The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find. The print was found some 64 kilometers (40 miles) outside the city of Sucre in central Bolivia by a tourist guide earlier this month.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 5:18 pm

New Speckled Venomous Snake Discovered in Cloud Forest

New Speckled Venomous Snake Discovered in Cloud ForestA previously unknown, green-speckled species of venomous snake has been found lurking in the high, misty forests of Costa Rica. The snake, which lives in a remote, forested region of Central America, was long mistaken for a closely related species, the black-speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis). When two species look and behave nearly identically but are genetically distinct, it's called cryptic speciation.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 4:16 pm

Goodbye, Weasels! New Zealand to Wipe Out Its Invasive Predators

The clock is ticking for the rats, possums and weasels that have invaded New Zealand over the past few hundred years. Before humans landed in New Zealand less than 800 years ago, precious few mammals lived on the islands — a vibrant archipelago that provided a home for flightless birds, such as the kiwi, takahe­ and kakapo parrot, as well as geckos and lizard-like tuataras. "While once the greatest threat to our native wildlife was poaching and deforestation, it is now introduced predators," Key said in a statement.

Posted on 26 July 2016 | 4:06 pm

Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

Crows perch on tree branches as alligators are seen stuck in the mud of the dry Pilcomayo river, which is facing its worst drought in almost two decades, in BoqueronBy Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Programme said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 1:14 pm

Healthy clones: Dolly the sheep's heirs reach ripe old age

The world's first clone of an adult animal, Dolly the sheep, bleats during a photocall at the Roslin Institute in EdinburghBy Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - The heirs of Dolly the sheep are enjoying a healthy old age, proving cloned animals can live normal lives and offering reassurance to scientists hoping to use cloned cells in medicine. Dolly, cloning's poster child, was born in Scotland in 1996. Now researchers have allayed those fears by reporting that 13 cloned sheep, including four genomic copies of Dolly, are still in good shape at between seven and nine years of age, or the equivalent of 60 to 70 in human years.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 11:14 am

Why 5 or More Hours of TV Daily Is Bad for You

Bad news for couch potatoes: Spending hours parked in front of the TV may increase the risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung, a new study from Japan finds. People in the study who watched TV for 5 hours or more each day were 2.5 times more likely to die during the study period from a blood clot in the lung, also called a pulmonary embolism, compared with people who watched TV for less than 2.5 hours a day. A pulmonary embolism can be deadly.

Posted on 26 July 2016 | 10:40 am

Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

Belgian scientist Derese drinks water from a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, at the University of GhentA team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 10:02 am

Solar plane circles globe in first for clean energy

Pilot Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard gesture during a news conference after their arrival of Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane, in Abu DhabiBy Stanley Carvalho ABU DHABI (Reuters) - A solar-powered aircraft successfully completed the first fuel-free flight around the world on Tuesday, returning to Abu Dhabi after an epic 16-month voyage that demonstrated the potential of renewable energy. The plane, Solar Impulse 2, touched down in the United Arab Emirates capital at 0005 GMT (0405 local time) on Tuesday. It first took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015, beginning a journey of about 40,000 km (24,500 miles) and nearly 500 hours of flying time.


Posted on 26 July 2016 | 3:23 am

Fast swimmers make fast pools, but science lends a hand

Swimmers dive into the water to start heat 5 of the women's 50m freestyle event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics CentreBy Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - To those who dip into swimming only when the Olympic Games come around, it may seem odd to hear a pool described as 'fast' when it looks much like any other large rectangle filled with water. In 2013, after British swimmers had flopped at the London Games and that year's world championships, head coach Bill Furniss suggested Sheffield's Ponds Forge Olympic standard pool was hampering their development because it was too fast. Rio's new 50-metre Olympic pool, where records may be set as dreams and duels play out, should stand out like a gleaming Ferrari among functional family runabouts.


Posted on 22 July 2016 | 9:27 pm

Swimming-Fast swimmers make fast pools, but science lends a hand

By Alan Baldwin LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - To those who dip into swimming only when the Olympic Games come around, it may seem odd to hear a pool described as 'fast' when it looks much like any other large rectangle filled with water. In 2013, after British swimmers had flopped at the London Games and that year's world championships, head coach Bill Furniss suggested Sheffield's Ponds Forge Olympic standard pool was hampering their development because it was too fast. Rio's new 50-metre Olympic pool, where records may be set as dreams and duels play out, should stand out like a gleaming Ferrari among functional family runabouts.

Posted on 22 July 2016 | 9:00 pm