Pot of Gold: Innovation Helps Cannabis Industry Flourish
DENVER — The legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado is turning an underground industry into a big business — and ushering in innovations in everything from genetics to growing methods. "Every single day, someone is reinventing the wheel, so to speak," said Scott Reach, a cannabis breeder and owner of the Colorado-based seed company Rare Dankness. This 4/20 weekend, businessmen like Reach will be setting up shop in downtown Denver for the Official 420 Rally, a celebration of all things weed that's expected to be the largest in the city's history. Medicinal use of marijuana has been legal under Colorado state law since 2000, when voters approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing cannabis possession and use with a doctor's order.
5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.
'Cosmos' App Puts the Universe in Your Smartphone
Fox has a new app for space fans who need more than their weekly dose of "Cosmos." "Cosmos" fans can also peruse the app's production diaries, a history of the series and guides on the show's wide-ranging subjects, from atoms to evolution and Halley's comet to the human eye. "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," which is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and premiered in March, is a reboot of the beloved "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" series that aired on PBS in 1980 and was hosted by the late astronomer Carl Sagan. It will feature actor Richard Gere (of "Pretty Woman" and "Chicago") as the voice of Clair Patterson, the geochemist who developed the uranium-lead dating method that led to the discovery that Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Chasing Space Station for Easter Morning Rendezvous
A commercial cargo vessel is chasing down the International Space Station, setting up a rendezvous with the orbiting lab early on Easter Sunday (April 20). SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft launched into space Friday afternoon (April 18) from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, riding a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to orbit in a smooth liftoff. Dragon is due to be grappled by the space station's huge robotic arm at 7:14 a.m. EDT (1114 GMT) Sunday, then berthed to the orbiting complex a little over two hours later. You can watch Dragon's capture and berthing live here on Space.com beginning at 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945 GMT) Sunday, courtesy of NASA TV.
Defining the 'Waters of the United States' (Op-Ed)
Greg Munson is the former General Counsel and Deputy Secretary at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is changing a key provision in the Clean Water Act (CWA) rules, with widespread impacts expected around the country. On March 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers released a draft rule defining "waters of the United States" under the CWA. The act applies to all "waters of the United States" so the new rule effectively defines its reach, and the newly released rule appears unlikely to end the controversy triggered by an earlier, leaked version.
SpaceX rocket lifts off for space station cargo run
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday to deliver a cargo capsule to the International Space Station for NASA. The 208-foot-tall (63-meter-tall) rocket, built and operated by privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, bolted off its seaside launch pad at 3:25 p.m. EDT, darting through overcast skies as it headed toward orbit. The Dragon cargo ship, which is loaded with about 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of equipment, science experiments and supplies, is due to reach the station on Sunday. "The rocket flight was perfect as far as we could tell," SpaceX chief executive and founder Elon Musk told reporters at a news conference after launch.
NASA robotic spacecraft ends mission with crash into the moon
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A robotic U.S. spacecraft ended a pioneering mission to map dust and gases around the moon with a planned, kamikaze crash into the lunar surface early on Friday, NASA officials said. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, had been flying at increasingly lower altitudes to study how dust is lifted off the lunar surface and what gases comprise the moon's so-called exosphere - the region of space surrounding the airless moon. NASA officials had planned to crash the spacecraft into the moon, after it transmitted its final batch of data. Before hitting the lunar surface, LADEE was traveling at 3,600 mph, three times faster than a high-powered rifle bullet, so the spacecraft not only broke apart upon impact, but pieces of it likely vaporized.
NASA Moon Probe Will Bite the Lunar Dust Soon: What It Taught Us
A NASA probe orbiting the moon will literally bite the lunar dust within the next week or so when it crashes into the moon's far side. LDEX has churned out large amounts of data about the moon's dust exosphere, Kempf said, and deepened insight into the physics of the phenomenon.
In a cloning first, scientists create stem cells from adults
By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient's DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on Thursday, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men. The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved "therapeutic cloning" of adults. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease. But nuclear transfer is also the first step in reproductive cloning, or producing a genetic duplicate of someone - a technique that has sparked controversy since the 1997 announcement that it was used to create Dolly, the clone of a ewe.
Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life
The discovery, announced on Thursday, is the closest scientists have come so far to finding a true Earth twin. The star’s outermost planet, designated Kepler-186f, receives about one-third the radiation from its parent star as Earth gets from the sun, meaning that high noon on this world would be roughly akin to Earth an hour before sunset, said astronomer Thomas Barclay, with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “This planet is an Earth cousin, not an Earth twin,” said Barclay, who is among a team of scientists reporting on the discovery in the journal Science this week. NASA launched its Kepler space telescope in 2009 to search about 150,000 target stars for signs of any planets passing by, or transiting, relative to the telescope’s point of view.