Science & Health

All sciences, health & medical news

Aric Toler isn't exactly sure what to call himself.

"Digital researcher, digital investigator, digital something probably works," Toler says.

Toler, 30, is part of an Internet research organization known as Bellingcat. Formed in 2014, the group first got attention for its meticulous documentation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Toler used posts to Russia's equivalent of Facebook, VK, to track Russian soldiers as they slipped in and out of eastern Ukraine — where they covertly aided local rebels.

Friday News Roundup - International

4 hours ago

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains missing this week. Khashoggi was critical of the Saudi government, and after he went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to get some routine papers, he never emerged.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Vivek Maru's TED Talk

Often, people who don't understand the law or can't pay for lawyers end up being mistreated. Lawyer and social entrepreneur Vivek Maru calls for a global community of paralegals to place the law on the side of the people.

About Vivek Maru

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Brett Hennig's TED Talk

Brett Hennig says democracy — and the process of voting — is broken. To fix it, he has a radical suggestion: replacing politicians with a demographically representative selection of random citizens.

About Brett Hennig

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Steven Wise's TED Talk

Animals like chimpanzees are autonomous beings with rich emotional lives, says animal rights lawyer Steven Wise. He's working to get courts to recognize them as "legal persons" and grant them rights.

About Steven Wise

Robin Steinberg: How Can We End The Injustice Of Bail?

11 hours ago

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Robin Steinberg's TED Talk

The bail system disproportionately impacts low-income people of color and pressures defendants into pleading guilty. But Robin Steinberg is implementing a plan to fix this--without waiting for reform.

About Robin Steinberg

A Boston-based online auction house began accepting bids Thursday on a rare lunar meteorite at $50,000. But the firm estimates it could go for $500,000 or more when bidding closes on Oct. 18, according to the item's posting.

There are a few reasons why this meteorite might command such a large price.

First, at about 12 pounds, the lunar rock is very large.

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Police in California made headlines this spring when they charged a former police officer with being the Golden State Killer, a man who allegedly committed a series of notorious rapes and murders in the 1970s and '80s.

Authorities revealed they used DNA from a publicly available genealogy website to crack the case.

In order to see the red of a sunset or the green of spring leaves, developing human eyes need to get the right hormone at the right time.

That's the finding of a team of scientists who studied how color vision develops using hundreds of human retinas grown in the lab.

A Soyuz rocket booster failed during the launch of a capsule carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin on Thursday, forcing officials to abort their mission. The capsule made a "ballistic landing" and rescue teams recovered the pair, who are reportedly in "good condition," NASA says.

Hague and Ovchinin launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. ET, heading to join the crew of the International Space Station. But more than a minute after launch, their Soyuz MS-10's booster failed.

Dave Huhn is a sheriff's deputy for Montezuma County, Colo., a stretch of sagebrush mesas and sandstone cliffs bordering Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, home to Mesa Verde National Park, where ancestral Puebloans' cliff dwellings still stand.

Huhn specializes in the complex world of water law. His job has become more important in this region after a series of hot, dry summers have made farmers more desperate for water, and more willing to steal it or go to battle over it.

If you are one of the 5.7 million Americans who ends up in the intensive care unit each year, you are at high risk of developing long-term mental effects like dementia and confusion. These mental problems can be as pronounced as those experienced by people with Alzheimer's disease or a traumatic brain injury and many patients never fully recover.

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The results are in. And this year's winner in Katmai National Park and Reserve's annual "fattest bear" contest is 409 Beadnose.

"Her radiant rolls were deemed by the voting public to be this year's most fabulous flab. Our chubby champ has a few more weeks to chow down on lingering salmon carcasses before she heads up the mountains to dig herself a den and savor her victory," the national park posted on Facebook.

Across New York City, more than 70 restaurants are tossing their oyster shells not into the trash or composting pile, but into the city's eroded harbor. It's all part of Billion Oyster Project's restaurant shell-collection program.

The mottled spots giraffes are known for aren't random, according to a new study that suggests that the patterns are inherited maternally — and that they may impact the chances of a calf surviving its first few months of life.

The roundness and smoothness of a giraffe's spots are inherited through its mother, wildlife biology researchers reported in the academic journal PeerJ last week.

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Doctors have gradually come to realize that people who survive a serious brush with death in the intensive care unit are likely to develop potentially serious problems with their memory and thinking processes.

This dementia, a side effect of intensive medical care, can be permanent. And it affects as many as half of all people who are rushed to the ICU after a medical emergency. Considering that 5.7 million Americans end up in intensive care every year, this is a major problem that until recently, has been poorly appreciated by medical caregivers.

When people living with HIV walk out of prison, they leave with up to a month's worth of HIV medication in their pockets. What they don't necessarily leave with is access to health care or the services that will keep them healthy in the long term.

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Take heart. The universe is full of good news, starting right here on Earth. In fact, it is the earth. Like, literally dirt. That is what astrophysicist Adam Frank says, and I'm going to let him explain.

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When she was in graduate school for public health, Niasha Fray found a job she loved: counseling women with breast cancer about sticking to their treatment.

She offered what's called "motivational interviewing," a type of therapy intended to help women overcome obstacles keeping them from taking their medications — which can have unpleasant side effects

"They had just given up so much of their lives, so much of their bodies, so much of their family," Fray says. "They wanted to get back to life as usual."

The fields and back roads of eastern Arkansas were a crime scene this past summer. State inspectors stopped alongside fields to pick up dying weeds. They tested the liquids in farmers' pesticide sprayers. In many cases, they found evidence that farmers were using a banned pesticide. Dozens of farmers could face thousands of dollars in fines.

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A new climate report commissioned by the United Nations paints a pretty dire picture for the year 2040 - high food shortages, wildfires, droughts, rising sea levels, poverty and massive destruction to coral reefs.

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The ancient Maya might be known for their mathematical aptitude, their accurate calendars, and their impressive temples. But did you know they were also salt entrepreneurs?

During the peak of Maya civilization – from 300 to 900 A.D. — coastal Maya produced salt by boiling brine in pots over fires. The end result was shaped into salt cakes, then paddled by canoe to inland cities and traded at extensive markets.

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach dangerous levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says pledges from the world's governments to reduce greenhouse gases, made in Paris in 2015, aren't enough to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial temperatures.

Paige Thesing has struggled with insomnia since high school. "It takes me a really long time to fall asleep — about four hours," she says. For years, her mornings were groggy and involved a "lot of coffee."

After a year of trying sleep medication prescribed by her doctor, she turned to the internet for alternate solutions. About four months ago, she settled on a mobile phone meditation app called INSCAPE.

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