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Scientists turn Martian sunrise into a piece of music

Scientists turn Martian sunrise into a piece of music

Science
Nov. 12 (UPI) -- You can now listen to the sun rise on Mars. Scientists in England have translated the Martian sunrise into a two-minute score. Researchers used sonification techniques to translate image data into sounds, turning each pixel into a sonic data point. Using images of the 500th sunrise observed by the Mars rover Opportunity, scientists linked each pixel with brightness, color and elevation measurements. Special algorithms helped researchers turn the pixel data points into pitch and melody, forming a piece of music. The two-minute score will be shared with visitors to NASA's Mars Soundscapes exhibit on Tuesday at the Supercomputing SC18 Conference being held this week in Dallas, Texas. The song will be presented both sonically and vibrationally, so that it can be experienced b...
Badger cull: Vets accuse ministers of 'barefaced lies'

Badger cull: Vets accuse ministers of 'barefaced lies'

Science
A campaign group of vets has accused Defra and its ministers of telling "barefaced lies" about the effectiveness of one of its badger culls in England.The group has written to the Chief Vet, Dr Christine Middlemas, asking her to ensure that the department retracts "insupportable claims that its badger cull policy is working".A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said all statements had been "absolutely correct".Dr Iain McGill, a veterinary surgeon and director of Prion Interest Group, told BBC News that claims by Defra that the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire were working were not supported by scientific evidence."According to Defra's figures, they claim that they calculated that the incidence [of TB in cattle]...
Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Fossilized dinosaur proteins and burnt toast feature similar chemical compounds

Science
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Under the right conditions, a dinosaur's soft tissue can be transformed and preserved, enabling fossilization. The process features chemical transformations similar to those that characterize browned or burnt toast. Scientists have long debated whether soft tissue can be preserved within dinosaur bones. While hard tissue -- bones, eggs, teeth, scales -- can survive for more than 100 million years, most studies suggest the proteins that form blood vessels, cells and nerves are fully degraded after 4 million years. And yet, paleontologists have regularly found organic structures similar to cells and blood vessels inside 100-million-old dinosaur bones. To better understand this paradox, researchers at Yale, the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Brussels an...
EU moves to protect large carnivores

EU moves to protect large carnivores

Science
The EU is to allow farmers to receive full compensation for any damages caused by attacks from protected animals like lynxes, wolves and bears.Other expenses including installing electric fences or acquiring guard dogs to prevent damage will also be fully reimbursed. The EU says the move will help protect large predators in areas where they have come into conflict with humans.Campaigners hope it will limit the need for culls. After many decades of decline, the numbers of large carnivores like wolves and bears are stable or increasing in many parts of Europe, often due to concentrated conservation efforts. 'Wolf-like' creature puzzles US experts Rare brown bear dies in capture operation There are now around 17,000 brown bears in E...
Exposure to pesticides makes bees less social, reduces colony size

Exposure to pesticides makes bees less social, reduces colony size

Science
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Exposure to pesticides can reduce the size of bee colonies and cause the insect to become less social. Researchers published those findings in the journal Science. A team of researchers, led by Harvard University's James Crall, used a robotic bench that allowed them to study the behavior patterns of as many as a dozen bee colonies at once. They observed that after pesticide exposure, bees spent less time nursing larvae and less time socializing with other bees. They also saw that exposure prevented the bees from building protective wax caps around their colony or warming the nest. "These pesticides first came into use around the mid-1990s, and are now the most commonly-used class of insecticide around the globe," Crall said in a press release. "Typically, they work throug...