Science

Updated: 19:29 EDT

NASA image of scars left by California's wildfires

More than 8,000 homes have burned in dozens of wildfires in Northern California, and as firefighters continue to fully contain the fires, NASA has released a new satellite image of the charred landscape. The image, taken by an instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, shows the growing fire scar on a part of Northern California's landscape. Covering an area of 38 by 39 miles (60.5 by 63 kilometers), it shows vegetation in red, while burned areas appear dark grey (pictured).

The study, led by scientists at the University of Exeter, looked at Southern Resident killer whales, a critically endangered population in the Pacific Ocean that numbers just 76.

Stressed dogs spent up to 20 fewer minutes in ‘deep sleep’ than dogs who had just played a game, according to research led by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

A ransomware virus dubbed 'Bad Rabbit' has caused computers across Europe to lock up, with users told to hand over £210 in anonymous currency Bitcoin or face losing their data.

Researcher based in China and the UK used the CRISPR genetic modification technique to insert a gene into pigs that allows them to regulate their temperature by better burning fat.

Researchers in Scotland discovered the fossil of a small, lizard-like creature called 'Tiny' that is the missing ancestral link between human beings and the fish we evolved from millions of years ago.

An international team of researchers examined the bodies of dolphins who had died after washing ashore on the Spanish coast. And, for the first time, they found 'clear evidence' of Alzheimer's.

The Glo device was tested by its manufacturer British American Tobacco. It found an e-cigarette and other new generation products had similar lowered levels of toxicants.

In a 90-minute session, ministers from 12 countries as well as the WHO and the CDC tackled 'realistic' scenarios of a deadly disease crossing borders, tracking news and social media.

Shelley the AI horror writer that pens hair-raising tales

You’ve likely heard the horror stories about artificially intelligent beings – but now, you can read the tales penned by one. A team of MIT researchers has unveiled an AI horror writer, Shelley , named for the famed Frankenstein author. After training on scary stories collected from Reddit, Shelley can now generate her own nightmare-inducing creations, and even collaborate with humans in effort to write the world’s first AI-human horror anthology.

Sony is set to release a new robot dog which could allow users to control home appliances, in a similar way to Amazon's Echo. It doesn't have a name nor a price tag as yet, but it's set to go on sale in 2018.

Adobe released a sneak peak of an experimental machine learning tool at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference held in Las Vegas that lets uses select and delete objects from moving footage.

Researchers from the University of Plymouth found that while most people struggle to make moral decisions, psychopaths are cut-throat about making choices for the greater good.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008 file photo, a baby cries in its bed in a hospital in Bremen, northern Germany. According to as study released on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the way a mother responds to her crying baby seems to be programmed into her brain circuits. Researchers found that mothers across many cultures tend to react the same way to an infant's cry, and brain scans showed that this distressing sound activates circuitry associated with such responses. (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)

Researchers analyzed videotapes of 684 mothers in 11 countries as they interacted with their infants, who were around 5 months old. They found that mothers tend to react the same way.

The Environmental Audit Committee at Westminster has branded the use of unrecyclable plastic wrappers on drinks bottles ‘an absurdity’, with 700,000 plastic bottles going to waste each day.

Volcanic eruptions have been known to cool the global climate, but they can also speed up the melting of ice sheets, according to research from Columbia University (stock image).

The presence of plants reduces stress, anxiety and helps with the removal of airborne pollutants. Research carried out by NASA has revealed the most beneficial options.

Mesmerising time-lapse video shows the construction of the world's longest steel arch bridge that stretches nearly SEVEN miles

An amazing video has shown how the Chinese workers built the world's longest rail-road steel arch bridge. The Hutong Yangtze River Bridge, crossing the greatest river in China, measures a whopping 11,072 metres in length (6.8 miles), which is nearly 10 times longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The ambitious traffic link, which costs 15 billion yuan (£1.7 billion) to build, is part of an effort to establish a new economic zone around Shanghai, the Chinese commercial hub with some 25 million people.

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Shedding new light on Europe's oldest battlefield

Archaeologists from the Lower Saxony State Office for Cultural Heritage have analysed skeletal remains (pictured main and inset) found in the Tollense Valley in north-eastern Germany to learn more about the people who fought in the battle. To understand more about the fighters, the researchers conducted a chemical analysis of the skeletons, looking for elements like strontium, which can leave a geographically specific signature in bones. While the results showed that the fighters were a large, diverse group of non-locals, the archaeologists were unable to pinpoint specifically where they were from. The reason for the war on Europe's oldest battlefield remains unknown.

Researchers at University College London used a formula to identify signals in the human brain that explain why self-esteem goes up and down when we learn other people's judgements of us (stock).

The method, developed by researchers from Cardiff University, uses microphones, known as hydrophones, to listen for underwater sound waves that are emitted when an object hits the sea surface.

FILE - In this June 30, 1982, file photo, the new space shuttle Challenger sits behind the four astronauts that will fly it during turnover ceremonies at Rockwell International's final assembly site in Palmdale, Calif. From left: Dr. Story Musgrave, pilot Karol J. Bobko, mission specialist Donald H. Peterson and commander Paul J. Weitz. Weitz, a retired NASA astronaut who commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger and flew on Skylab in the early 1970s, has died at 85. Weitz died at his retirement home in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, said Laura Cutchens of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac, File)

Paul Weitz, a retired NASA astronaut who commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger and also piloted in the early 1970s, has died. Weitz died at his retirement home.

Software engineers at Google's Research team in Mountain View have been training an AI using what it terms atomic visual actions, three-second clips of people performing everyday actions.

A new study from experts at Cern in Geneva shows that protons and anti-protons have identical magnetic properties, leading some scientists to question why the universe is still around.

The research was conducted by Andrew Weiss of the University of Edinburgh who studied the personalities of 128 wild eastern chimpanzees from Tanzania.

'Earliest known marine navigation tool' is uncovered on the shipwrecked Esmeralda that sank off the Oman coast during a violent storm 500 years ago

The astrolabe was found on a ship called 'Esmeralda', which sank off the coast of Oman in 1503, killing all on board, including its captain, uncle of famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. The astrolabe (left) is 17.5cm in diameter and less than 2mm thick. It is believed to have been made between 1495 and 1500 and is the earliest known example by several decades. The disc has 18 evenly spaced gradations around the edge and each one is separated by five degrees (right). Esmeralda was part of da Gama's second voyage to India and is the oldest ship ever found from Europe's Golden Age of Discovery (inset).

Experts at Tel Aviv-based Check Point have discovered the Reaper botnet. So far, experts estimate that over one million organisations have been targeted worldwide.

Struck by a torpedo while carrying 1,800 British prisoners, the Lisbon Maru took 25 hours to sink - more than enough time or the Japanese to rescue their captives below deck - but salvation never came.

Researchers from the University of Queensland looked at the development of deliberate practice and found that this skill appears in children from the age of six.

Used-car buying site Auto Trader scrappage tool helps drivers decide which deal is best for them. The most popular trade-in might come as a surprise.

The UK Government is giving the shipwrecks from Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition in search of the Northwest Passage to Canada. The UK will keep some artefacts on board.

A researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that some birds without offspring are eager to help other raise their young if they have a chance to inherit their territory

Pennsylvania State University analyzed both the history and future of sea levels and storm surges, starting with preindustrial times all the way through the year 2300.

Crossrail skeletons shed light on London 450 years ago

Researchers at the the Museum of London Archaeology will release their findings in a study to be published later this month, after more than 3,000 skeletons (left) were brought to light The the former New Churchyard burial ground (artist's impression top right) was used by the St Mary Bethlehem hospital, better known as Bedlam. Expert analysis (top middle) found many belonged to people who had moved to the capital from the countryside, where disease and dirt lead to their untimely demises in early adulthood. Analysis of teeth (bottom right) also revealed plants used as medicines to treat illnesses at the time.

Photos show bloody bodies strewn across the ground and left to rot after battles against the Union fighters. One moving image shows a dead Confederate soldier lying next the grave of a federal soldier.

In some countries, including Slovakia, Facebook is testing a new model which takes business and publisher content out of a user's News Feed and places it into the new Explore Feed.

Cambridge University Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication announced the paper’s availability today to mark open Access Week. And, the website has since crashed.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at children's ability to understand and interpret emotions (stock image)

Indian researcher Harsha Chigurupati has developed a compound purported to help protect against liver and DNA damage caused by consuming alcohol - called NTX - 'no-tox.'

Features were spotted in the latest beta version of the app by WABetaInfo, along with a photo shared by the company that appears to show a group chat containing video and voice call buttons.

'I'd burn the house down if I saw this': The creepy creature terrorising Australia - but can you guess what it is?

Footage of a mysterious moth-like insect flexing its pulsating tentacles has whipped the internet into a frenzy. The creature, which is found across much of Asia and in parts of Australia, appears to have the body of a moth with four tendrils sprouting out of its abdomen. Many social media users were left terrified after seeing the other-worldly insect, with one person declaring: 'I'd burn the house down if I saw this'.

Users globally can now simply choose any of the credit or debit cards they've added to their Google Account through Google Play, YouTube, Chrome or Android Pay.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested that his efforts to curb vehicle pollution needed to be matched by extra powers to tackle other sources of emissions, including wood-burning stoves.

While poor sleep has long been seen as a symptom of trauma and anxiety, the findings from Rutgers University show short and erratic shut-eye could also be a trigger for fear.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have shown that a brain region called the 'default mode network' plays a key role in allowing us to switch to 'autopilot' once we are familiar with a task.

Called the Brizi ecosystem, the air filter it has been endorsed in tests as effective by Surrey University professor Prashant Kumar and created by Yosi Romano.

Researchers at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa trained African Elephants to sniff out TNT - the main component of landmines,

Dubbed Dehnel’s phenomenon, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany found that shrew head size changes with the seasons.

The electric car maker reaffirmed on Sunday it is talking with the Shanghai municipal government to set up a plant in the region, and expects to agree on a plan by the end of the year.

Old, injured Neanderthal survived with help from friends

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the French National Center for Scientific Research suggest that a deaf Neanderthal lived into his 40's with help from others. The remains of the infirm Neanderthal, known as Shanidar 1, were found a cave in Iraqi Kurdistan. Analysis of the remains revealed that he'd sustained multiple blows to the side of the face which may have led to some vision loss, meaning he may have fallen prey to carnivores had he not been assisted by others. Pictured left are bony growths in Shanidar 1's left ear canal, which would have led to profound hearing loss. Pictured right is Shanidar 1's skull, showing signs of blows to the head received at an early age.

DARPA hopes its Ground X-Vehicle program is can produce 'nimble, fast and smart' combat trucks that are able to shield themselves from enemies and deflect targeted missiles.

Every extra minute of commuting time reduces job satisfaction, increases strain and worsens mental health, according to research led by the University of the West of England (stock image).

The device, which is described as 'non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation' (tDCS) was designed by researchers from HRL Laboratories and McGill University in Montreal.

Alison Robins, 97, taught herself Morse code and German during the WWII and stayed up all night eavesdropping messages from U-boats around Britain's coast.

Scientists from Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in New York carried out the research, which has echoes the 2004 film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (pictured).

Red sprites are rarely seen, yet one lucky videographer managed to catch the display six times during a storm earlier this month over Edmond, Oklahoma.

Sergi Santos and his wife work together at their laboratory in Barcelona to create the sex dolls, which cost around £2,700 (€3,000) a piece, and claim Samantha has improved their marriage.

Research led by Karolinska Institute in Sweden found the blood molecule E2D provoked diametrically opposite behaviours in predators and prey (stock image).

Watch the amazing moment the moon photobombs the sun in stunning new NASA animation

NASA’s sun-monitoring spacecraft has captured the remarkable moment the moon carried out a lunar transit, effectively photobombing the sun. The moon blocked out more than a quarter of the sun at the height of its 45-minute journey on October 19, according to NASA. With no atmosphere to distort the view, the moon appears a crisp shadow over the face of the sun, before it disappears back out of sight.

Global testers of Google's latest handset have reported 'ghost' images of its Android operating system's navigation bar becoming permanently visible on screen after just a week or so of use.

Images show the conspirators handcuffed before their trial and a picture of their hanging alongside a colourised image of what is thought to be the last photo of Lincoln before his death.

London has introduced a charge on the oldest and most polluting vehicles to try to improve air quality in the British capital, the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, said today.

Sir David Attenborough's new BBC programme will include scenes of the fangtooth (pictured), which was filmed in a special chamber on a ship after samples were taken from the deep ocean.

Dr Candi Cann from Baylor University, Texas, says a religion that worships a 'godhead based on artificial intelligence' is similar to some current spiritual beliefs (stock image).

The female Asian Sheepshead Wrasse is native to the western Pacific, most commonly Japan, and likely swaps gender because it can pass on more genes as a male.

Researchers have found that high-frequency soundwaves can be tuned to make delicious objects float. And scientists at the University of Sussex say the process even makes it taste sweeter.

Trials begin of driverless pods that could be used alongside night buses in Cambridge (but they'll only travel at 15mph)

The driverless vehicles, which are called Podzeros (pictured), were designed by a company called RDM Group and are being tested on the guided busway in Cambridge. It's hoped they would ease congestion by offering an automated service to make around 100 journeys a day - away from pedestrians and cyclists. However, anyone in a hurry may need to brace themselves – the futuristic vehicles have a top speed of just 15mph.

Dedicated sites have compiled lists of the codes – which simply need to been changed at the end of the website URL to access the various genres and sub-genres.

If you are your own boss you can offset the entire cost of the new iPhone against your tax bill. And what's more, you could save on the cost of holidays, meals out and even school fees too.

Audiobooks read by British narrators were three times more popular among listeners in the United States than those read by their countrymen.

Horacio Llorens, 35, joined thousands of the creatures which took to the skies during Denmark's 'Black Sun' - an impressive avian phenomenon which takes place every Autumn.

Nasa has a spacecraft cemetery where it buries satellites

'Point Nemo', also known as the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, is more than 1,600 miles from any spot of land, and is used by space agencies to crash used satellites safely. The graveyard sits in South Pacific between Australia, New Zealand and South America (pictured). In a new opinion piece, Hampshire-based author and astronomer Dr David Whitehouse wrote that the spot's remoteness helps agencies avoid dangerous crashes. The graveyard has amassed the remains of at least 260 craft - mostly Russian - since it was first used in 1971, and could help to solve Earth's orbiting space junk crisis (graphic, inset).

Researchers from Cornell University have discovered the patterns in a text message that indicate a person isn’t telling the truth. The study analyzed hundreds of conversations.

Researchers based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences found that the fear of spiders and snakes could have been embedded in the brain for an evolutionarily long time.

On Twitter, Maryland governor Larry Hogan revealed his support for the construction of a line that would connect Baltimore to D.C, and said he thinks the Hyperloop is ‘coming to Maryland.’

Researchers from Portland State University found that Oregon shore crabs exposed to Prozac, an anti-depression drug, exhibit behaviors that make it easier for predators to catch them.

Apple has faced production issues with the handset, leading one leading analyst to claims the firm may only have two million handsets available for sale when it goes on sale on November 3rd.

Tokyo-based Emonster kk sued Apple in federal court in San Francisco, saying it holds the U.S. trademark on the term animoji and that Apple's use of the word is a 'textbook case' of deliberate infringement.

Two biologists at Harvard University created a Star Wars-themed parody animation that somewhat surprisingly led to the discovery of how energy in a sperm cell spurs it toward an egg.

University of Minnesota researchers claim that mushrooms for breakfast, perhaps on toast or in an omelette, stave off hunger pangs and leads to a greater feeling of fullness.

Caribbean oceans are choked by plastic bottles and rubbish

In one photograph taken near Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, a diver grimaces as he prepares to enter the water almost completely covered by waste (left). Another (top right), taken from below the waterline, shows plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish on the surface blocking out sunlight. It is thought the rubbish (also bottom right) was washed into the sea from nearby Guatemala, carried on rivers swollen by the recent rainy season flowing through towns and villages.

The prestigious institution has released its annual batch of sample questions potential students may have to face, as part of its ongoing attempts to demystify the application process.

Researchers from the Parco Faunistico di Piano dell'Abatino animal sanctuary in Italy observed a new mother carrying her dead infant for weeks, before eating its mummified remains.

NASA has published a stunning image captured by Osiris-Rex during its travels, showing our planet in breathtaking detail. Australia, California and southwestern US can all be seen in the photo.

NASA's ‘damage proxy map’ was created using satellite data captured before and after the storm made landfall, and covers an area of 105 by 60 miles around the capital city, San Juan.

Project Wing will deliver food from Guzman y Gomez, and medicines from Chemist Warehouse pharmacies to customers on the border of the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

The main job for commander Randy Bresnik and astronaut Joe Acaba was to replace a blurry camera on the ISS's new robotic hand that was installed in a spacewalk two weeks ago.

The ghostly phenomenon cast Britain in an eerie Martian gloom. Dust particles from wildfires burning in Spain and Portugal could cause the red sun to appear once again tomorrow.

The video, taken in June of 1961, shows Hal Graham - a Buck Rogers fan and pilot of the rocket belt - strapping himself in before attempting to fly over Buffalo’s Niagara Falls Boulevard.

It seems everyone’s at it these days – taking selfies and then showing them off on mobiles or social media. And now your fridge is about to join the fun by using built-in cameras to snap shelves.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth tested 24 dogs of different breeds by presenting them with four different situations, recording their facial responses for analysis.

The plastic suits, crafted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, start out flat, but when heated fold over the robot to transform it into a specialised machine.

Close contact between the hominin Parathropus boisei and our ancestors was common around sources of water, such as Kenya's Lake Turkana, providing the perfect opportunity for infection.

Asteroid 2017 TD6 will fly 119,000 miles from Earth at 19:53 BST (14:53 EST) today – but , experts predict there is no threat of it hitting our planet.

The 27th annual Ig Nobel awards were announced last night at Harvard University in Boston, with winners including the scientists who discovered that old men really do have big ears.

An ancient skeleton discovered in a Mexican cave could be one of the earliest examples of human settlement in the Americas. Isotopic analysis has dated it back to 13,000 years ago.

A giant trevally fish defied natural order by emerging from the waves and snapping up a bird in a single bite off the Seychelles. It was captured for new BBC series Blue Planet II.

Dr Jurgen Otto spotted the five new species of spider on his travels through Western Australia, including the Jotus auripes spider, which has almost holographic bristles at the front.

Facebook and Instagram are down in parts of the US, UK, Brazil, Japan, India and parts of Europe, sparking a hilarious social media meltdown with people comparing it to the 'end of the world'.

The eye-catching ancient jewellery was discovered on the skeletons of female invaders from the nomadic Xiongnu warrior people who lived by the Yenisei River in remote Tuva republic.

An American robot called Eagle Prime will battle the Japanese Kurata robot in the Megabots Giant Robot Dual league tomorrow, Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at 7pm PST (10pm EST).

During a conference at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science meeting in Provo, Utah, the Cassini team shared a number of new findings after the mission ended.

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The jet is an early unmanned prototype of the company's 18 passenger S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet, and the firm says the tests were a 'huge success'.

In a co-ordinated dawn action on Friday, October 13, 1307, the king's men raided every religious house belonging to the unsuspecting Templars from Normandy to Toulouse.

Humans could be 'melded' to machines, giving us huge advancements in the power of human brains, experts told peers at the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee in London.

An image of an Australian Green Tree Frog eating what appears to be an Eastern Brown Snake has gone viral, after a Reddit user posted it with the caption 'One Last Scream Into the Abysssss'.

The search giant has been working with NASA to include data from the Cassini mission, along with data from other missions.

An Italian architect has released a dramatic concept which sees humans setting up a colony on the red planet in 2117. The artistic design is being presented at an exhibition in China.

The motorised mouth guard created by Venice-based company Unico is expected to be delivered in February 2018 and it will ship anywhere in the world.

These and many more weird and wacky remedies have been outlined in a new book, Quackery: A Brief History Of The Worst Ways To Cure Everything, written by a Nebraska doctor.

Life-like robot Sophia, created by Hanson robotics, made a surprise appearance at a UN technology event in New York as a panellist.

A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of human sacrifice of women and children in the Aztec Empire.

A stunning new map from Imgur user Fejetlenfej shows the complex network of rivers and streams in the contiguous United States, highlighting the massive expanse of basins across the country.