Major global warming study again questioned, again defended
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Another round of bickering is boiling over about temperature readings used in a 2015 study to show how the planet is warming.
Scientists find crop-destroying caterpillar spreading rapidly in Africa
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists tracking a crop-destroying caterpillar known as armyworm say it is now spreading rapidly across mainland Africa and could reach tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, threatening agricultural trade. In research released on Monday, scientists at the Britain-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said the pest, which had not previously been established outside the Americas, is now expected to spread "to the limits of suitable African habitat" within a few years.Â The caterpillar destroys young maize plants, attacking their growing points and burrowing into the cobs. "It likely travelled to Africa as adults or egg masses on direct commercial flights and has since been spread within Africa by its own strong flight ability and carried as a contaminant on crop produce," said CABI's chief scientist Matthew Cock.
Texas mulls changing science standards questioning evolution
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) â€” The Texas Board of Education will decide whether to scrap a requirement that public schools teach high school students to scrutinize "all sides" of scientific theory after hearing Tuesday from academics who say that was meant to water down lessons on evolution and leave students wondering whether God created the universe.
Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control, scientists say
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Multidrug-resistant malaria superbugs have taken hold in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, threatening to undermine progress against the disease, scientists said. The superbugs - malaria parasites that can beat off the best current treatments, artemisinin and piperaquine - have spread throughout Cambodia, with even fitter multidrug resistant parasites spreading in southern Laos and northeastern Thailand. "We are losing a dangerous race to eliminate artemisinin resistant...malaria before widespread resistance to the partner antimalarials makes that impossible," said Nicholas White, a professor at Oxford University in Britain and Mahidol University in Thailand who co-led the research.
Unearthed essay on alien life reveals Churchill the scientist
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill shows Britain's wartime leader was uncannily prescient about the possibility of alien life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The 11-page article was drafted on the eve of World War Two in 1939 and updated in the 1950s, decades before astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets in the 1990s. The hunt for life on other worlds has taken off in the last 20 years as observations have suggested the Milky Way alone may contain more than a billion Earth-size planets that could be habitable. Churchill was already thinking along similar lines nearly 80 years ago, writing that "with hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each containing thousands of millions of suns, the odds are enormous that there must be immense numbers which possess planets whose circumstances would not render life impossible".