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NASA’s Perseverance Rover Embarks On Ambitious Mars Mission

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If there were any intelligent beings on Mars, they’d likely be confused by a little plaque recently added to the side of the SUV-sized Perseverance Mars rover, which lifted off at 7:50 AM local time on Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida and is set to reach Mars in February. Nobody had planned any late additions to the rover—but no one had planned on a lot of things this year, least of all the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to burn across the world. As it did with pretty much everyone else in the United States, the pandemic forced the
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California Wildfire Surpasses Size Of Last Year’s Biggest Blaze

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Two Northern California wildfires have merged to form one that exceeds the size of last year’s biggest blaze in the state, fire officials said Thursday morning. The Caldwell fire ― which was previously being managed as two separate incidents ― has now burned than 79,000 acres near the town of Canby and the Modoc National Forest in the northeast corner of the state. Combined with two smaller wildfires nearby, the cluster known as the July Complex fire has surpassed 81,000 acres.  While the incident is 45% contained, weather conditions could pose more challenges. A group of fire response teams issued
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Extinction: Quarter of UK mammals ‘under threat’

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Image caption The red squirrel is listed as Endangered A quarter of native mammals now at risk of extinction in the UK. This is according to the first Red List of UK mammals - a comprehensive review of the status of species, including wildcats, red squirrels and hedgehogs. The report's authors are calling for urgent action to prevent their loss.Prof Fiona Mathews from the Mammal Society told BBC News: "What this is clearly saying is that we have to act now - we can't continue on this same trajectory."What is the Red List? It is the official list categorising species
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Flying snakes are able to glide across the air like acrobats. Here’s how they do it.

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Humans have been studying so-called flying snakes for a very long time, but it's a recent research paper published in Nature Physics that shows exactly how they are able to pull off these miraculous aerial feats. Their secret? Undulation. Virginia Tech professor Jake Socha and his research team used high-speed cameras and motion capture techniques (think LOTR's Gollum) to show how the snakes' swimming-like motion in mid-air helps them stay stable and land safely.  !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e);s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,'script','https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js'); fbq('init', '1453039084979896'); fbq('init', '156932198698582'); if (window._geo == 'GB') { fbq('init', '322220058389212'); } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() { mashKit.gdpr.trackerFactory(function() { fbq('track', "PageView"); }).render(); });
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One of Baltimore’s top COVID-19 doctors has died from coronavirus

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Dr. Joseph Costa, the chief of the critical care division at Mercy Medical Center who was treating coronavirus patients, died from COVID-19 over the weekend, the hospital confirmed in a Facebook post. Costa, who was 56-years-old, died in his husband's arms. He was described by those who knew him as a kind, loving guy. His husband David Hart told the Baltimore Sun that he's frustrated when he sees people not wearing masks. Almost 114,000 healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 576 have died, according to the CDC.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A top Baltimore ICU doctor who
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U.S. Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants on the Moon, Mars

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(BOISE, Idaho) — The U.S. wants to build nuclear power plants that will work on the moon and Mars, and on Friday put out a request for ideas from the private sector on how to do that. The U.S. Department of Energy put out the formal request to build what it calls a fission surface power system that could allow humans to live for long periods in harsh space environments. The Idaho National Laboratory, a nuclear research facility in eastern Idaho, the Energy Department and NASA will evaluate the ideas for developing the reactor. Read more: America Really Does Have
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Wildfires Scorch The Arctic As Siberian Heatwave Rages

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency warned Friday that average temperatures in Siberia were 10 degrees Celsius (18 Fahrenheit) above average last month, a spate of exceptional heat that has fanned devastating fires in the Arctic Circle and contributed to a rapid depletion in ice sea off Russia’s Arctic coast. “The Arctic is heating more than twice as fast as the global average, impacting local populations and ecosystems and with global repercussions,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement Friday. He noted that Earth’s poles influence weather conditions far away, where hundreds of millions of people
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Genetic impact of African slave trade revealed in DNA study

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Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 12 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic to work as slaves A major DNA study has shed new light on the fate of millions of Africans who were traded as slaves to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.More than 50,000 people took part in the study, which was able to identify more details of the "genetic impact" the trade has had on present-day populations in the Americas.It lays bare the consequences of rape, maltreatment, disease and racism.More than 12.5m Africans were traded between 1515 and the mid-19th Century.Some two
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The Atlantic Ocean is now hurricane fuel, inviting big storms

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The Atlantic keeps breaking records.   Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, the earliest time on record for the seventh named storm of the season to form (a tropical storm, which earns a name, has wind speeds of at least 39 mph). The Atlantic's seventh named storm doesn't usually occur until around September 16. The earliest third, fifth, and sixth storms also formed in 2020, though none reached hurricane intensity. The major storm culprit this year has been warmer than usual sea surface temperatures of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer oceans fuel tropical storms as more
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Elon Musk: Smart people who doubt AI are ‘way dumber than they think’

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday that those who don't think a computer could become smarter than them are "way dumber than they think they are.""The people I see being the most wrong about AI are the ones who are very smart, because they can't imagine that a computer could be way smarter than them," Musk said.Musk has said he believes AI poses a greater threat to humanity than nuclear weapons.Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com. You can also reach out
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