Science & Technology





Flesh-eating bacteria infections are on the rise in the US − a microbiologist explains how to protect yourself

Flesh-eating bacteria sounds like the premise of a bad horror movie, but it’s a growing – and potentially fatal – threat to people.

In September 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory alerting doctors and public health officials of an increase in flesh-eating bacteria cases that can cause ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

From homebodies to prolific swimmers, researchers track Chicago River fish to find out where they are going and why

CHICAGO — Under the muddy surface of the Chicago River, a bluegill swam miles upon miles, back and forth from one end of the river system to another.

Next to a quiet, unused barge slip near Bubbly Creek, another bluegill remained safely tucked away during the same two-week span earlier this summer.

This kind of fish is not known for being a ...Read more

Keegan Barber/NASA/TNS/TNS

Asteroid sample returns to Earth after a 3.86-billion-mile journey

The country’s first pristine asteroid sample — protected by a heat shield invented in Silicon Valley — landed in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert Sunday morning, where it was greeted by a team of NASA scientists hoping to study its chemical composition.

The sample was taken from Bennu, an asteroid with a 500-meter diameter. The process has...Read more

NASA capsule carrying asteroid samples touches down in Utah

A NASA capsule containing chunks of an asteroid that may hold clues to the solar system landed in the Utah desert on Sunday.

The capsule touched down successfully at 8:52 a.m. local time, NASA said on a live steam.

“This marks the U.S.’s first sample return mission of its kind and will open a time capsule to the beginnings of our solar ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Thousands of California wells are at risk of drying up despite landmark water law

Even though California enacted sweeping legislation nearly a decade ago to curb excessive agricultural pumping of groundwater, new research predicts that thousands of drinking water wells could run dry in the Central Valley by the time the law’s restrictions take full effect in 2040.

The study, published this month in the journal Scientific ...Read more


SpaceX sends up 200th reflight with Cape Canaveral launch

ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX’s reusability juggernaut kept rolling with a Space Coast launch Saturday night that marked the 200th time the company has relied on a previously launched booster to get its payloads to space.

A Falcon 9 rocket flying on the Starlink 6-18 mission carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites lifted off from Cape Canaveral ...Read more

Valerio Rosati/Dreamstime/TNS

Move over, highways. Now you can sponsor an ocean sanctuary

In a novel conservation strategy, the small South Pacific island state of Niue is offering individuals and institutions the opportunity to sponsor its marine sanctuary, home to pristine coral reefs, sharks, whales and hundreds of fish species.

For a one-time fee of $148, you can sponsor a square kilometer of the Niue Moana Mahu Marine Protected...Read more


SpaceX sets up 200th reflight with Cape Canaveral launch Saturday night

ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX’s reusability juggernaut keeps rolling with a planned Space Coast launch Saturday night that would mark the 200th time the company has relied on a previously launched booster to get its payloads to space.

A Falcon 9 rocket flying on the Starlink 6-18 mission carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites is set to lift off ...Read more

Okefenokee Natl. Wildlife Refuge to be nominated as World Heritage Site

ATLANTA — Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the largest intact blackwater swamp in North America and a critical home to thousands of plant and animal species, will be proposed for listing as a World Heritage Site, the federal government announced Friday.

The National Park Service said it would direct agency staff to prepare a ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Ashes of orca Tokitae finally home after her death last month in Miami

Tokitae the orca has come home.

Not to swim in her Salish Sea, but for her ashes to be scattered there, in a private ceremony by members of the Lummi Nation, who regard her as a relative.

Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut, as she was named by the Lummi, will be returned to her home waters Saturday.

On Wednesday, Raynell Morris, a Lummi elder, boarded a ...Read more

New Zealand mud snail makes its way to Lake Tahoe. And it is not welcome

In the vastness of the second-deepest lake in the United States, a tiny snail is posing a threat of “concerning” proportions. The invasive New Zealand mud snail has been discovered in Lake Tahoe.

It’s unclear how this Kiwi species wound up in the cobalt blue waters of the Sierra Nevada. But, officials said Thursday, the mud snails “are ...Read more

Largest asteroid sample ever collected is coming down to Earth

Chunks of asteroid that could tell us about the earliest days of the 4.5 billion-year-old solar system and the possible origins of water on our planet are set to land in the Utah desert Sunday.

It’s a moment more than a decade in the making for a NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx. Its goal was to scoop up a large sample of rocks and dust from a ...Read more

Courtesy Microsoft/TNS/TNS

Microsoft is rolling out generative AI in Windows and Office app

Microsoft Corp. said its AI assistant for Windows will start rolling out Sept. 26 and the Office AI app will be widely available Nov. 1 as the software giant continues to bake generative artificial intelligence into its products.

Microsoft’s Copilot-branded AI assistants will provide a unified experience across operating systems, applications...Read more

The silver lining to storm surge: How some baby fish ride out hurricanes to success

Humans loathe the deadly impact of storm surge, and for good reason. But new research shows how juvenile tarpon and snook can actually benefit from it. In turn, scientists are learning how to design more eco-friendly developments that help the fish survive.

Ongoing studies by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the ...Read more

Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS

After billionaire leveled lakefront bluffs, Chicago suburb considers whether to regulate, protect them

CHICAGO — The Winnetka, Illinois, Village Council hosted a study session to consider enacting regulations for bluff and steep slope construction and destruction after residents raised concerns about billionaire Justin Ishbia removing bluffs from his lakefront property.

Trustees debated whether to allow lakefront homeowners — many of whom ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Editorial: California's lawsuit against Big Oil could help end decades of climate lies

California’s lawsuit against some of the world’s largest oil companies is an important move by the world’s fifth-largest economy to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for decades of climate denial and deception.

The suit filed last week against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Shell and the American Petroleum Institute ...Read more


Gadgets: Viofo A229 Duo dash cam produces outstanding quality recordings

If I had only practiced what I preached. It wasn’t the first time I didn't listen to my advice. But I'm listening now, especially after the first question from my insurance agent was whether or not I had a dash cam.

I've had the Viofo A229 Duo Dual Channel Wi-Fi dash cam sitting here waiting to be tested way too long. If only I were testing...Read more


Jim Rossman: Are you ready for a new iPhone?

Lots of people (including me) will be getting new iPhones in the next few weeks. What should you do to get ready? How should you handle transferring your apps and data to the new phone?

If you are getting a new iPhone 15, the first thing you’ll do is get up and running with your phone number. This used to be done by physically transferring ...Read more

Jose A. Iglesias/Miami Herald/TNS

Meet the team behind Only In Dade, the social media account that has Miami hooked

MIAMI — A truck is parked on the side of the road, two men are fighting. One is waving a construction shovel around. The other defends himself with a skateboard. A witness to this scene warns in Spanish: “You’re going to ruin your life, bro...” and comments to his companion: “If he hits him with that shovel, I’ll f---- him up.”

...Read more

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/TNS

Lolita's ashes are going home for a traditional water ceremony. Here's what will happen

MIAMI — Lolita, the orca who lived in a tank at the Miami Seaquarium from her capture in 1970 in waters off Washington state to her death 53 years later in August, will be honored in a homecoming Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Lummi Nation, representing the original inhabitants of Washington’s northernmost coast where Lolita was captured, ...Read more