Science & Technology





Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Orion spacecraft makes closest moon approach on Artemis I mission

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Artemis I mission brought Orion on its closest approach to the moon while blasting out on its way to an orbit that will take it farther from the Earth than any previous human-rated spacecraft.

Orion entered the moon’s gravitational influence on Sunday and used that power along with a thruster on an outbound powered burn ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

NASA's going back to the moon and must confront a familiar enemy: Dust

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The moon is incredibly hot, and also incredibly cold.

There's radiation. A thin atmosphere. No air to breathe.

If NASA ever establishes a lunar base — a long-term project advanced Wednesday with the launch of Artemis I — it will have to confront these challenges to human habitation.

It'll also have to figure out ...Read more

People don't mate randomly – but the flawed assumption that they do is an essential part of many studies linking genes to diseases and traits

The idea that correlation does not imply causation is a fundamental caveat in epidemiological research. A classic example involves a hypothetical link between ice cream sales and drownings – instead of increased ice cream consumption causing more people to drown, it’s plausible that a third variable, summer weather, is driving up an ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California's Mojave desert tortoises move toward extinction. Why saving them is so hard

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. — Behind the fences surrounding this 40-square-mile outback of cactus and wiry creosote, the largest remaining population of Mojave desert tortoises was soaking up the morning sun and grazing on a mix of wild greens and flowers.

But that didn’t mean the armored beasts were easy to find in a tiny spit of sand that ...Read more

COP27 approves deal for historic climate damage fund

The COP27 climate talks in Egypt, which came close to collapse in the closing stretches, ended with a deal to create a fund to pay poorer countries for the harm caused by climate change.

The agreement on loss and damage is a landmark moment in global climate politics — an acknowledgment that richer nations are responsible to the developing ...Read more


Helping the hellbenders: St. Louis experts work to breed struggling species

ST. LOUIS — For spending their 160 million years of existence mostly hiding in rivers and streams under rocks, Eastern and Ozark hellbenders had done pretty well for themselves.

But in a matter of just a few decades, they're quickly disappearing. They're tricky to find simply because they like to hide under rocks, but more often than not, ...Read more

Sarah Kulpa/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/TNS

How a rare plant species could hinder a needed lithium mine

WASHINGTON — Skyrocketing demand for domestically sourced lithium to meet federal goals for zero-emission technologies has developers planning for the next great mining boon in the Silver State, but a rare wildflower may stymie one proposed project.

The site of a proposed lithium mine in western Nevada’s Silver Peak Range also happens to be...Read more

LUDOVIC MARIN/Getty Images North America/TNS

Nations adopt landmark climate deal, some dissatisfied

Delegates at the U.N. climate talks, which looked on the verge of collapse Saturday morning, quickly agreed on a historic deal to pay poorer countries for harm caused by global warming, before getting to more thornier issues.

A completed draft agreement was brought to an open plenary session at 4:10 a.m. for debate before being signed off by ...Read more

LUDOVIC MARIN/Getty Images North America/TNS

COP27 poised for deal after breakthrough on climate payments

The COP27 climate talks in Egypt, which had appeared close to collapse on Saturday morning, were poised for a last-minute deal after progress on a landmark agreement to pay poorer countries for harm caused by global warming.

The proposal would establish a new fund next year for the cost of climate disasters. In return Europe, pushed for ...Read more

LUDOVIC MARIN/Getty Images North America/TNS

COP27 edges toward deal after progress on climate payments

The COP27 climate talks in Egypt, which had appeared close to collapse on Saturday morning, edged toward a last-minute deal after progress on a landmark agreement to pay poorer countries for harm caused by global warming.

The proposal would establish a new fund next year for the cost of climate disasters. As talks continued into the evening, ...Read more

Rosanna Xia/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Monterey Bay desalination project is approved despite environmental injustice concerns

SALINAS, Calif. — In a decision that sheds harsh light on the state’s commitment to environmental justice amid growing drought anxiety, the California Coastal Commission has granted conditional approval to a controversial Monterey Bay desalination project that even the commission’s own staff said would unfairly burden a historically ...Read more

What is lake-effect snow? A climate scientist explains

It’s hard for most people to imagine 4 feet of snow in one storm, like the Buffalo area was forecast to see this weekend, but these extreme snowfall events happen periodically along the eastern edges of the Great Lakes.

The phenomenon is called “lake-effect snow,” and the lakes themselves play a crucial role.

It starts ...Read more

seattle times/TNS

With 5,900 tech jobs already gone, a Seattle correction looks real

The string of layoff announcements by Amazon and other Seattle-area tech employers has many asking whether the tech industry is bound for a major correction and even more job cuts in coming months.

In fact, that correction may already be underway.

Last month, employers in Washington’s information sector shed 5,900 jobs, according to the ...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

Alexis Leondis: FTX users can't count on help from the IRS

When market investors suffer losses — or get taken for a ride — they’re often eligible for a tax write-off to soften the blow. Users of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX won’t be so lucky.

Here’s the difference: Let’s say you’re a crypto investor on an exchange that’s still standing. If you’ve suffered investment losses amid ...Read more

Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS

From the air, scientists map 'fast paths' for recharging California's groundwater

Thousands of years ago during the last Ice Age, rivers flowed from giant glaciers in the Sierra Nevada down to the Central Valley, carving into rock and gouging channels at a time when the sea level was about 400 feet lower. When the glaciers retreated, meltwater coursed down and buried the river channels in sediment.

These channels left by ...Read more

Ending Amazon deforestation: 4 essential reads about the future of the world's largest rainforest

Brazil’s president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was greeted with applause and cheers when he addressed the U.N. climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 16, 2022. As he had in his campaign, Lula pledged to stop rampant deforestation in the Amazon, which his predecessor, Jair Bolsanaro, had encouraged.

Forests play...Read more

World Cup: This year's special Al Rihla ball has the aerodynamics of a champion, according to a sports physicist

As with every World Cup, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar the players will be using a new ball. The last thing competitors want is for the most important piece of equipment in the most important tournament in the world’s most popular sport to behave in unexpected ways, so a lot of work goes into making sure that every new World Cup ball ...Read more

Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times/TNS

Amazon CEO Jassy says job cuts will roll into 2023

Some Amazon employees may have to wait until next year to learn if their job is safe.

Amid a round of layoffs that is expected to cut 10,000 jobs, CEO Andy Jassy said Thursday some team leaders are still making decisions — and those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations in early 2023.

"Our annual planning process...Read more

Tech layoffs: San Jose streaming giant Roku plans to cut hundreds of jobs

SAN JOSE, California — Roku, a San Jose streaming giant, has disclosed plans to jettison hundreds of employees, in a new disclosure that widens the increasingly painful job cuts that have jolted the Bay Area’s tech sector.

The company estimated that the staffing reductions would be complete by the end of March 2023, Roku stated in a ...Read more

Xavier Mascareñas/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

In 'momentous' act, regulators approve demolition of four Klamath River dams

In a milestone decision, federal regulators on Thursday signed off on plans to demolish four aging dams along the Klamath River, paving the way for hundreds of miles of native fish habitat along the California-Oregon border to flow freely for the first time in more than a century.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision will see ...Read more