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Scientists study whale's blow hole microbes with the help of a drone

Scientists study whale's blow hole microbes with the help of a drone

Science
Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Scientists have for the first time surveyed the unique community of microorganisms -- the microbiome -- living inside the blowhole of a humpback whale. They did so with the help of a six-rotor hexacopter.Researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used a custom-built drone to collect blow samples, the moist breath exhaled by whales, from 17 humpbacks off the coast of Cape Cod and from nine humpbacks swimming near Canada's Vancouver Island. The scientists sequenced the genetic material found in the blow samples to identify the microbes living in each whale's respiratory tract."We were using the drone to take aerial images of the whales, so that we could assess body conditions," NOAA researcher John Durban said in a news release. "Because of the stable flight p...
Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Technology
Facebook and Google once aimed to connect the world. Now they would be happy just to reconnect part of it. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to send a "connectivity team" to help restore communications in ravaged Puerto Rico. Google parent company Alphabet offered to send its Wi-Fi balloons. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running. Some of these plans, of course, are more aspirational than others. BATTERY POWER Tesla CEO Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to mull over ideas, but on Friday his musings about sending his company's solar-powered batteries to help restore Puerto Rico's power attracted the attention of the island's governor. "Let's talk," said Gov. ...
Equifax breach: 6 things Congress can do to help

Equifax breach: 6 things Congress can do to help

Finance
Elizabeth Warren to Equifax: You're making millions off this screwupAfter members of Congress grilled former Equifax CEO Richard Smith at four hearings this week, one thing is clear: There is outrage on both sides of the aisle over the massive data breach. But what will they do about it? The three major credit rating agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, aren't going away. They are an integral part of the U.S. credit system, and it would be difficult for consumers to get a mortgage, a loan, or even a credit card without them. Some Democrats are calling for a total overhaul of the industry because credit rating agencies don't currently have an economic incentive to help protect consumers' data. "Equifax won't be losing any business as a result of its failures... And that's because...
We've had no help – epilepsy drug victims

We've had no help – epilepsy drug victims

Health
Families with children who have been harmed by the epilepsy drug sodium valproate are demanding a public inquiry and compensation, saying they have been left with no help. They voiced their anger outside a London hearing that is assessing if warnings for patients are adequate. It is thought thousands of children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s. Mum Emma Friedmann says she wasn't fully informed of the risks.Her son, Andrew, 18, has severe autism and other problems including hearing and sight problems. Emma was taking the drug when she got pregnant and carried on using it."I wasn't properly told about all the risks," says the 46-year-old from Leicester. "Andrew now needs full-time care, 24/7. Families like me need justice. We want a public inqu...
Jared Goff, Todd Gurley help lift Los Angeles Rams to wild win over San Francisco 49ers

Jared Goff, Todd Gurley help lift Los Angeles Rams to wild win over San Francisco 49ers

Sports
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Jared Goff passed for 292 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns, and Todd Gurley II scored three TDs as the Los Angeles Rams held on for a wild 41-39 victory against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night at Levi's Stadium. The Rams (2-1) ended a three-game losing streak to the 49ers (0-3), who remained winless under new coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco trailed 41-26 late in the fourth quarter, but two touchdowns cut the deficit. Running back Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run pulled the 49ers within 41-39 with 2:13 to go, but the two-point try failed when nose tackle Michael Brockers intercepted Hoyer's deflected pass intended for wide receiver Trent Taylor. Gurley rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, and he caught five passes for 36 yards and ...