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Wattle fences: Weaving branches takes time, yields rewards

CONTRADA PETRARO, Sicily (AP) — They come in the middle of the night and are gone by morning. But without fail, they leave their calling cards: Pronged footprints and gashes in the ground where they've dug with natural abandon. This nocturnal...

 

We are guinea pigs in a worldwide experiment on microplastics

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) (THE CONVERSATION) One of the main problems with plastics is that although we may only need them fleetingly – seconds in the case of...

 

Last-minute technical problem delays NASA's flight to sun

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A last-minute technical problem Saturday delayed NASA's unprecedented flight to the sun. The early morning launch countdown was halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds remaining, keeping the Delta IV rocket on its pad...

 

Doctors nudged by overdose letter prescribe fewer opioids

In a novel experiment, doctors got a letter from the medical examiner's office telling them of their patient's fatal overdose. The response: They started prescribing fewer opioids. Other doctors, whose patients also overdosed, didn't get letters. The...

 

Report: Jump in deliveries involving moms hooked on opioids

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say they found a dramatic rise in the number of women who are hooked on opioids and delivering babies in hospitals. Opioid use during pregnancy can cause death of the mother or baby, preterm birth and infant...

 

Dukakis: Global accord needed on use of AI by governments

BOSTON (AP) — Is self-driving government in the future? Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor and erstwhile presidential candidate, doesn't think so. But he's jumping into the debate over artificial intelligence in an effort to ensure...

 

How 'story maps' redraw the world using people's real-life experiences

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) Lauren Drakopulos, University of Washington and Shefali Juneja Lakhina, University of Wollongong (THE CONVERSATION) Maps are an...

 

Alaska seabird deaths continue trend tied to warming ocean

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal wildlife officials are documenting a die-off of Alaska seabirds stretching from north of the Bering Strait to the Gulf of Alaska that may be connected to a trend of warming ocean water. Carcasses examined so far...

 

Tech giants still stumbling in the social world they created

NEW YORK (AP) — Who knew connecting the world could get so complicated? Perhaps some of technology's brightest minds should have seen that coming. Social media bans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have thrust Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and...

 

NASA sending spacecraft straight into sun's glittering crown

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is sending a spacecraft straight into the sun's glittering crown, an atmospheric region so hot and harsh any normal visitor would wither. Set to launch early Saturday, the Parker Solar Probe is as heat-resistant as...

 

What elephants' unique brain structures suggest about their mental abilities

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) (THE CONVERSATION) Conservationists have designated August 12 as World Elephant Day to raise awareness about conserving these majestic...

 

Devastating toxic algae bloom plagues Florida's Gulf Coast

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. (AP) — Tons of dead fish. A smell so awful you gag with one inhale. Empty beaches, empty roads, empty restaurants. A toxic algae bloom has overrun Florida's southern Gulf Coast this summer, devastating sea life and driving...

 

No easy answers on best heart check-up for young athletes

WASHINGTON (AP) — What kind of heart check-up do young athletes need to make the team? A large study of teenage soccer players in England found in-depth screening didn't detect signs of trouble in some athletes who later died — yet allowed others...

 

Tesla CEO's buyout bid raises eyebrows, legal concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is seeking relief from the pressures of running a publicly held company with a $72 billion buyout of the electric car maker, but he may be acquiring new headaches with his peculiar handling of the proposed...

 

Robots are getting more social. Are humans ready?

BOSTON (AP) — Personal home robots that can socialize with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are humans ready to invite them into their lives? It's taken decades of research to build...

 

Grieving orca still swimming with her dead calf in Northwest

SEATTLE (AP) — An endangered orca is still clinging to her dead calf more than two weeks after her newborn died. Michael Milstein, a spokesman with NOAA Fisheries, says researchers on Wednesday spotted the 20-year-old whale known as J35 carrying...

 

Red-hot voyage to sun will bring us closer to our star

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A red-hot voyage to the sun is going to bring us closer to our star than ever before. NASA's Parker Solar Probe will be the first spacecraft to "touch" the sun, hurtling through the sizzling solar atmosphere and coming...

 

Navajo robotics team heads to international competition

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A team of Navajo high school students from a remote town in southern Utah is building a robot to represent North America in an international robotics competition. The teenagers have worked all summer on the project,...

 

AP FACT CHECK: Wildfire, water experts rebut Trump's claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is claiming that California's water policy is shortchanging firefighters of water to battle the state's raging wildfires. That's not so, according to wildfire and water experts. A look at his tweets and the...

 

Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online

CHICAGO (AP) — Children's advocates want the American Psychological Association to condemn the tech industry's practice of using persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens. The advocates, citing research that links...

 

Vets ready for rare efforts to save ailing endangered orca

SEATTLE (AP) — Experts are preparing rare emergency efforts to administer antibiotics or feed live salmon to try to save a young emaciated orca that's part of a critically endangered pod of killer whales. But veterinarians haven't spotted the...

 

Goo-gle gaga: Parenting in the age of Alexa and her ilk

Hey parents: What if there was a machine that could respond to your kids' every command, never tiring, even if they ask it to tell jokes for two hours or answer all their homework questions? It's a blessing and a curse for moms and dads that...

 

Biggest blaze in California history challenges firefighters

Firefighters struggled against rugged terrain, high winds and an August heat wave Tuesday to slow the spread of the biggest wildfire ever recorded in California, an inferno that exploded to be nearly the size of Los Angeles in just 11 days. The...

 

Walrus bones provide clues to fate of lost Viking colony

WASHINGTON (AP) — Clues to the mystery of why Viking colonies in Greenland flourished and fell have been found in the DNA of medieval walrus bones housed in more than a dozen European museums. For almost 500 years, the Norse descendants of Erik the...

 

1st of Christa McAuliffe's lost lessons released from space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first of Christa McAuliffe's lost lessons finally was released from space Tuesday, 32 years after she died aboard Challenger. NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education posted a video of astronaut-edu...

 

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