Articles from Columbus Dispatch - science

Clever octopus is a brilliant, but puzzling, loner of the sea

To demonstrate how smart an octopus can be, Piero Amodio points to a YouTube video. It shows an octopus pulling two halves of a coconut shell together to hide inside. Later the animal stacks the shells together like nesting bowls — and carts them away.”It suggests the octopus is carrying these tools around because it has some understanding they may be useful in the future,” said Amodio, a graduate student studying animal intelligence at the University of Cambridge in Great […]

The mountain lion that couldn't outrun a wildfire

On the morning of Nov. 9, a wildfire broke out in the Santa Monica Mountains.It was the last day that a mountain lion known as P-74 was seen alive. The Woolsey Fire raged over the next two weeks, scorching over 1,500 buildings and killing three people. Park rangers searched for GPS signals from about a dozen mountain lions tracked there. All were eventually located alive except for P-74, a roughly 1-year-old male and the newest member of the group.Rangers now confirm […]

Biology: Holiday feasts can vary in environmental effect

Most people observe holidays that align with the solar calendar. Some of the most significant of those coincide with the shortest days of the year, around the winter solstice Dec. 21.Those solstice-related holidays often include a festive meal. An internet search of “traditional holiday dinners” returns recipes and sumptuous photos of perfect standing rib roasts, glazed hams and turkeys.Tradition meets the future if you plan your holiday meal with climate change in mind. […]

Report forecasts algae blooms to worsen, meetings to address water quality

With warmer temperatures and increased rainfall due to climate change, there will likely be more “prolonged occurrences of low-oxygen ‘dead zones’” and “harmful, lengthy, and dense algae growth in the Great Lakes,” according to a federal report on climate change.The report, which was issued by 13 federal agencies, paints a bleak picture of the lakes’ future, citing: “higher […]

No drones yet from Amazon as deadline passes

Jeff Bezos boldly predicted five years ago that drones would be carrying Amazon packages to people’s doorsteps by now.Amazon customers are still waiting. And it’s unclear when, if ever, this particular order by the company’s founder and CEO will arrive.Bezos made billions of dollars by transforming the retail sector. But overcoming the regulatory hurdles and safety issues posed by drones appears to be a challenge even for him. The result is a blown deadline on his claim to CBS’ […]

3 astronauts safely aboard International Space Station

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — Three astronauts who were launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Monday entered the International Space Station nearly eight hours later, a relief to relatives and scientists months after a rocket failure aborted another mission.The hatch of the capsule carrying NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos was opened while the station was flying over […]

Astrophysicist, TV host Neil deGrasse Tyson denies groping woman, making sexual advances to production assistant

NEW YORK — Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says he will cooperate fully with an “impartial investigation” into allegations of sexual misconduct that have been leveled against recently published accounts from two women who say that Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward them. […]

After successful Mars landing, scientists settle in for two-year mission

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. — After traveling 300 million miles through the solar system, NASA’s InSight spacecraft descended through the Martian sky this past week and touched down safely on the smooth surface of Elysium Planitia.The news elicited cheers, high-fives and fist-bumps from the scientists and engineers assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge near Los Angeles. It means that the two-year mission to study the inside of Mars — […]