Monterey Bay Is a Natural WonderPoisoned With Microplastic

California’s Monterey Bay is one of the more pure, more dynamic coastal ecosystems on Earth. Otters—once hunted nearly to extinction—float among towering kelp forests, which themselves have rebounded thanks to the booming otter population’s appetite for kelp-loving sea urchins. Great whites visit from time to time, as do all manner of whales and dolphins. All told, it’s one of the greatest success stories in the history of oceanic conservation. Yet it’s poisoned with a menace no amount of conservation can stop: microplastic. Today in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers present a torrent of horrifying findings about just how bad the plastic problem has become. For one, microplastic is swirling in Monterey Bay’s water column at every depth they sampled, …

Heres What a $52 Million Ticket to the ISS Will Get You

So you have $52 million burning a hole in your pocket and just can’t decide what to do with it. Buy a private island? Too cliché. A new McLaren? You have enough of those. Pay off college administrators? Your kids have already graduated. But have you considered a stay at the International Space Station, the world’s premiere space hotel? This is the proposal put forth last week by billionaire hotelier Robert Bigelow, whose company, Bigelow Space Operations, says it will send up to 16 private astronauts to the ISS in the coming years. Bigelow says $52 million will buy you a seat on a SpaceX rocket and a one- to two-month stay in orbit. This depends, of course, on SpaceX …

Dani Shapiro: Science will bring an end to these family secrets

As a young Jewish girl, Dani Shapiro always felt different. Years later she found out why She reveals what she learned about family, identity and the hard truths of DNA tests Take a look at your reflection. What do you see? Who do you think you are? When the writer Dani Shapiro was a little girl, she would sneak down the hall late at night once her parents were asleep, the better to stare at herself uninterrupted in the bathroom mirror. She felt, though she would not have been able to articulate this at the time, different a creature apart. Perhaps if she gazed at herself for long enough, a new face would emerge from behind her own: a truer …

People are sick of drinking. Investors are betting on the ‘sober curious’

New York (CNN Business)Getaway in Brooklyn was comfortably full for a Saturday night, when I came in to try my first “shrub” an acidic beverage made from vinegar, fruit, sugar, club soda and zero alcohol. “It’s such a part of the culture, especially here in San Francisco that I would go out for dinner and have two to three drinks everyday,” Silicon Valley entrepreneur Justin Kan, the CEO of law-tech startup Atrium, told CNN Business. He said he has seen a shift recently within his tech circle. “I was at a dinner with a lot of tech people last night and probably half the people weren’t drinking.” Kan announced last month, in a post on Twitter, that he was giving …

Getsafe, the German insurance app, scores $17M Series A

Getsafe, the German insurance startup targeting millennials, has raised $17 million (€15m) in a Series A funding. The round is led by Earlybird, with CommerzVentures and other existing investors also participating, while the capital will be used for European expansion. Notably, the company plans to launch in the U.K. by the end of the year. Founded in May 2015 by Christian Wiens (CEO) and Marius Blaesing (CTO), Getsafe initially launched as a digital insurance broker but has since pivoted to a direct to digital consumer insurance offering of its own (its brokerage business was sold to Verivox). The startup claims it is the market leader in the digital-first 20 to 35-year-old segment, with 60,000 customers, although competitors such as Wefox’s …

Indiana Jones of climate science: the professor who escaped a 70ft crevasse

After filming himself as he clambered out with a pickax, John All has resumed his Himalayan mission One spring morning in 2014, before breakfast or even coffee, outside magazine The trip had been fraught since the beginning. The five-member teams initial expedition to Everest had come to an abrupt end when a massive avalanche struck the Khumbu icefall and base camp, killing 16 Sherpas, including one from Alls team. After much deliberation, they re-routed to Himlung, about 160 miles west of Everest. But his teammates were struggling with altitude and fatigue and had descended lower, leaving All by himself at Camp II, on a small snowfield at nearly 20,000ft. Now here he was in the crevasse, peering at a pinhole …

Daily Crunch: Salesforce is buying Tableau

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Salesforce is buying data visualization company Tableau for $15.7B in all-stock deal This is a huge deal for Salesforce as the company continues to diversify beyond CRM software and into deeper layers of analytics. Salesforce reportedly worked hard to buy LinkedIn (which Microsoft ultimately picked up instead). And while there isn’t a whole lot in common between LinkedIn and Tableau, this deal should help the company extend its engagement with existing customers. 2. Maker Faire halts operations and lays off all staff Financial troubles have forced …

Netflixs Stunning and Ambitious Killer-Robots Movie

I Am Mothers parentage is apparent from its initial shots down a long, dark corridor that leads to a chamber where a series of automatic arms begin assembling a one-eyed humanoid robot. From the octagonal curvature of the walls and giant doors, to the fluorescent lighting, muted color palette and ominous atmosphere, director Grant Sputore channels is Alien an obvious touchstone for this sci-fi saga, but so too are The Terminator, Ex Machina, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Moon, among numerous other tales about solitary figures trapped in mysterious bunkers or facilities. I Am Mother owns up to this fact, proudly wearing its influences on its sleeve. And though that indebtedness inevitably neuters some of its surpriseincluding its central twistit also …

Sleeping with lights on and weight gain in women linked in new study

(CNN)Keeping a lot of light on while you snooze — such as from a television or bright nightlight — has been linked with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity. Obesity means having too much body fat and overweight means weighing too much, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Both overweight and obesity are based on your body mass index but “obese” generally means having a much higher BMI. “We are in the middle of an obesity epidemic in the United States and the things that we usually think about for obesity prevention are hard for people to do — eat a better diet, get more exercise — and we don’t seem to be making a dent,” …

Facebook debuts US blood donation tool, its latest public health move

(CNN)Facebook is no longer just a place to connect with former high school buddies; the social media giant now wants to make it easier for you to connect with blood banks, too. Saving lives: The story of blood donations Now, “taking the results that Facebook has achieved in Brazil and India and Pakistan, we can actually, conceptually, could double the number of blood donors in the United States,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president of the American Red Cross, told Gupta on Tuesday. Each year, an estimated 6.8 million people in the United States donate blood, according to the American Red Cross. “This could really totally change the blood banking system in America,” Numark said. The blood donation feature hits close …

Esperanza Spalding Knows Music Can Heal. Now She Wants to Prove It With Science.

On the phone from her apartment in Brooklyn, Esperanza Spalding reflects on living in a pigsty. Its not that her place is untidy. She means the beautiful studio that served as home for a month last summer, converted from the former pigsty of the Ranieri castle, a once-fortified circa 16th-century structure in Italys Umbria region. There Spalding was inspired to create the series of incantationseach one meant to activate a spell for each body partthat form her latest release,

Millions Of Students Lack Home Internet In ‘Homework Gap,’ Analysis Finds

On the tiny screen, she switches between web pages for research projects, losing track of tabs whenever friends send messages. She uses her thumbs to tap out school papers, but when glitches keep her from submitting assignments electronically, she writes them out by hand. She is among nearly 3 million students around the country who face struggles keeping up with their studies because they must make do without home internet. In classrooms, access to laptops and the internet is nearly universal. But at home, the cost of internet service and gaps in its availability create obstacles in urban areas and rural communities alike. Until a couple of years ago, Raegan’s school gave every student a laptop equipped with an internet …

Nasa to allow commercial access to the International Space Station

Move will allow private astronauts to spend up to 30 days in low-Earth orbit and businesses to shoot film and adverts in space Nasa will allow unprecedented commercial access to the International Space Station (ISS) for marketing, business and space tourism, the agency announced on Friday. The change paves the way for the wealthy to rocket from Earth and spend time aboard the astronaut home and laboratory in space, through trips planned by private enterprise, and for businesses to develop products or shoot film including adverts in space. The move is part of Nasas effort to put the first woman and another man on the moon by 2024. Until now, the space station has only been used for research and …

The 15 best 4K YouTube channels

If youre looking for 4K content on YouTube, the easiest way to explore is to search for whatever youre looking for with 4K added to the end of your query. However, most of us dont want to explorewe want to start watching now. Accordingly, weve gathered together the finest 4K channels on YouTube to give you a headstart to ultra HD streaming. Slow motion is one of the best showcases of 4K picture quality that exists, which makes a priceless resource. This science and technology show uses educational humor to give a closer look at how things work. Filming fireworks, sprinklers, exploding water balloons, and more at 100,000 frames per second, make laugh-filled psychedelic art. YouTube 2) The HDR Channel …

Dogs mirror stress levels of owners, researchers find

Scientists find higher cortisol levels in owners matched by raised levels in canine companions If the dead-end job, the pokey flat and the endless failings of the neighbours are getting on your wick, then spare a thought for the dog. In research that confirms what many owners will have worked out for themselves, scientists have found that the household pets are not oblivious to their owners anxieties, but mirror the amount of stress they feel. The finding comes from a study of cortisol, a stress hormone, which circulates in the blood and leaves its mark in strands of hair. Over time, as the hormone is bound into the growing hair, each shaft becomes a biological record of the stress an …

The Average American Consumes More Than 74,000 Microplastics A Year

The average American consumes 1,314,000 calories, 152 pounds of sugar – and more than 74,000 microplastic particles every year. This is according to Canadian researchers, who – writing in Environmental Science & Technology – have reviewed 26 studies analyzing the number of microplastics found in fish, shellfish, added sugars, salts, alcohol, tap or bottled water, and air. (Some foods were not included simply due to a lack of data.) The aim: to find out how much of the stuff we are, on average, consuming, using the recommended American dietary guidelines as a basis. So, first things first. What is microplastic? Microplastics are micro-sized pieces of plastic derived from the degradation of larger plastic products, among other sources. Their ubiquity is so widespread, …