New monkey unveiled to the world
September 12th, 2012
05:47 PM ET

New monkey unveiled to the world

Scientists are claiming they have discovered a new species of monkey living in the remote forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo - an animal well-known to local hunters but until now, unknown to the outside world.

In a paper published Wednesday in the open-access journal Plos One, the scientists describe the new species that they call Cercopithecus Lomamiensis, known locally as the Lesula, whose home is deep in central DR Congo's Lomami forest basin. The scientists say it is only the second discovery of a monkey species in 28 years.

In an age where so much of the earth's surface has been photographed, digitized, and placed on a searchable map on the web discoveries like this one by a group of American scientists this seem a throwback to another time.

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Filed under: Discoveries • On Earth
Mars rover performing 'almost flawlessly'
Curiosity took a picture of its own wheels, which have holes in them that spell "JPL" in Morse code.
September 12th, 2012
03:53 PM ET

Mars rover performing 'almost flawlessly'

Curiosity is on its 37th Martian day, and it's almost ready to head out on its first scientific expedition.

The 2,000-pound wonder-rover is about to complete its (or "her," if you're fond of spacecraft) final day of checkouts.

Scientists have been testing many of the instruments and components of the rover and updating software. Curiosity has performed "almost flawlessly" in all aspects, Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity's mission manager, said at a news briefing Wednesday hosted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Filed under: In Space • Mars
340,000 votes may have come from Facebook message
Social media was shown to be quite effective in getting people to the polls, says a recent study.
September 12th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

340,000 votes may have come from Facebook message

With nearly 1 billion users, Facebook has clearly become a feature of many people’s lives worldwide. A new study suggests that the social network has the potential to get hundreds of thousands of people to engage in a single behavior – namely, voting.

Researchers report in the journal Nature that one Facebook message may have gotten 340,000 additional people to the polls for the 2010 United States Congressional elections.

The team, led by James Fowler, professor at the University of California, San Diego, designed the experiment with the cooperation of Facebook. Cameron Marlow of the data science division of Facebook collaborated on the study, too.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • News • Science Education
Neil Armstrong, through the eyes of his colleagues
September 12th, 2012
09:48 AM ET

Neil Armstrong, through the eyes of his colleagues

His family, in the statement they released upon his death, called Neil Armstrong a "reluctant hero." The fame bestowed upon him as the first human to walk on another world, by all accounts, weighed upon him. Throughout his life, Armstrong shied away from stardom and limelight.

But the men who worked beside him during those heady glory years of the moon race saw and knew a man none of us did. "A lot of guys could have done that," Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7, said of being the first human to walk on the moon. But Cunningham added emphatically, "Nobody in our group, nobody else could have handled the fame and glory that came his way."

The Apollo astronauts I spoke with all said of Armstrong that it was never about him. It was always about the team.

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Filed under: Voices

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