Now Playing
My Magic 94.9
Last Song Played
Tampa Bay's Best Music
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
My Magic 94.9
Last Song Played
Tampa Bay's Best Music

science

200 items
Results 31 - 40 of 200 < previous next >

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch: What you need to know

Florida’s Space Coast is owning up to its nickname as research and launch activity ramps up. 

Feb. 6 was a historic day with the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

>> Read more trending news

The rocket successfully blasted off at 3:45 p.m., rescheduled from 2:20 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. due to winds. The boosters successfully landed simultaneously after the rocket launch.

It launched from 39A, the same pad used for the Apollo missions. SpaceX’s pad was damaged in September 2016 when a rocket exploded. 

The Falcon Heavy rocket was a test launch, costing around $90 million. The heavy lift vehicle can place about 68.3 metric tons in low Earth orbit. The most a rocket has carried to orbit was the Saturn V at about 118 metric tons, used in the Apollo program in the 1960s and the Skylab space station in the 1970s. The most recent version of a single Falcon 9 rocket can lift 13.2 tons. 

“If this is successful, this is once again SpaceX disrupting the marketplace and that's a good thing,” Dale Ketcham with Space Florida said before the launch. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has played down expectations for the launch publicly, saying this is a brand new vehicle with 27 engines having to work in sync. 

Large crowds were expected for the launch.

“We expect upwards of 100,000 people will come to the community just to see the launch, and that's on top of the people that are already here, including our seasonal guests, so it's going to be a huge crowd,” Eric Garvey of the Space Coast Office of Tourism said before the Tuesday launch.

Here are the main things to know about the Falcon Heavy liftoff: 

  • It is essentially three rockets bolted together to make the heavy vehicle.

  • It is a test flight.

  • The middle booster will carry Elon Musk’s own Red Tesla Roadster.

  • The Roadster is planned be near Mars’ orbit in a precision Earth Mars elliptical orbit around the sun. 

  • The mission will try to prove that it is possible to put payloads into an orbit intersecting Mars. This would help in the mission planned to put humans in Mars.

  • Musk presented this project in 2011 and he planned to roll out the heavy rocket in Southern California in late 2012. He hoped for a launch at some point in 2013 -- it was obviously delayed.

  • The rockets were put in position in pad 39A and tested in December 2017.

  • Falcon Heavy rockets cost a fraction of the price of the future Space Launch System rockets, which are planned to have more lift and throw a spacecraft further into space, to Jupiter and beyond. They will probably not be ready until the mid-2020s.

  • Each rocket has nine engines, making it 27 engines in total that need to ignite in tandem.

  • The two side rockets will jettison from the center rocket two and a half minutes after liftoff.

  • The center booster will continue for a bit longer before engines are shut off.

  • All three rockets are planned to land back on Earth; two back at the Cape and the heavier rocket at the Atlantic (barge) platform called “Of course, I still love you.”

  • There is a good chance that this launch may fail.

  • Falcon Heavy weighs more than 3.1 million pounds (loaded with kerosene and liquid oxygen) and it's about 229 feet tall.

  • If successful, there will be more heavy launches during the first half of 2018 from Cape Canaveral, too.

  • Central Florida residents, especially those near the coast -- but as far away as metro Orlando -- may hear a sonic boom.

Study: Chemicals found in McDonald's fries could cure baldness

Can eating McDonald’s French fries cure baldness? It seems far-fetched, but Japanese scientists said a chemical used to prepare the fast-food giant’s fries may restore hair for those experiencing hair loss, Newsweek reported.

>> Read more trending news

A stem cell research team from Yokohama National University used dimethylpolysiloxane, the silicone added to McDonald’s fries, to regrow hair on mice, Newsweek reported. The scientists said that preliminary tests showed that the chemical was likely to be successful on humans, too.

The study was released in the Biomaterials journal on Feb. 1. Scientists were able to produce “hair follicle germs” (HFG) in mass quantities. The use of dimethylpolysiloxane, which is used by McDonald’s to stop cooking oil from frothing, was crucial to the advancement, scientists said.

“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel,” Junji Fukuda of Yokohama National University said in the study. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of (the) culture vessel, and it worked very well.”

The scientists transplanted HFG chips onto the bodies of mice, and within days, Fukuda said, the animals were growing new black hair in the transplanted area, Newsweek reported. 

"This simple method is very robust and promising,” Fukuda said in the study. “We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells."

McDonald’s officials have not commented on the study, Newsweek reported.

These two common foods may trigger rheumatoid arthritis, study says

If you keep your refrigerator stocked with milk and beef, beware. These common food items may trigger rheumatoid arthritis for those genetically at risk, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from the University of Central Florida recently conducted an experiment, published in the Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, to determine the link between arthritis and a bacteria called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), which is commonly found in milk and beef.

In previous studies, scientists discovered a link between MAP and Crohn’s disease and learned that Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis share the same genetic makeup. 

>> On AJC.com: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says 

“Here you have two inflammatory diseases, one affects the intestine and the other affects the joints, and both share the same genetic defect and treated with the same drugs. Do they have a common trigger? That was the question we raised and set out to investigate,” Saleh Naser, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

To explore their hypothesis, researchers examined 100 volunteers with rheumatoid arthritis. About 78 percent of them had the same genetic mutation found in Crohn’s patients, and 40 percent of those cases were positive for MAP.

>> On AJC.com: Ex-smokers may be able to repair their lungs with these two household fruits, study says

“We believe that individuals born with this genetic mutation and who are later exposed to MAP through consuming contaminated milk or meat from infected cattle are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis,” Naser said.

The researchers revealed that people with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from Crohn’s, and they want to investigate “the incidence of the two diseases in the same patients” next.

Their latest findings are promising, but the scientists say “there is still a long way to go.”

“We need to find out why MAP is more predominant in these patients – whether it’s present because they have RA, or whether it caused RA in these patients,” said Shazia Beg, a co-author of the study. “If we find that out, then we can target treatment toward the MAP bacteria.”

Super blue blood moon eclipse: Watch NASA video of the rare lunar event

The super blue blood moon total lunar eclipse, a highly anticipated, rare celestial event more than 150 years in the making, could be seen overhead early Wednesday.

READ MORE: 9 things to knowSuper blue blood moon eclipse: What you need to know | Photos: Super blue blood moon eclipse 2018MORE  

The full moon passed through the Earth’s shadow to create a total lunar eclipse. The moon appeared reddish, hence the name “blood moon.” Totality, when the moon was entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, lasted about 1 1/4 hours.

NASA officials shared a live stream of the event Wednesday on NASA-TV.

Wednesday's full moon was also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It was the first of two blue moons in 2018. 

It marked the first blue moon total eclipse in America since March 31, 1866.

– WHIO.com and AJC.com contributed to this report.

Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds

Most people believe that the influenza virus is spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people, but new research published Thursday suggests that the flu virus is spread more easily than previously thought.

>> Read more trending news

Medical professionals believe that the virus is spread most often by “droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But researchers studying how the virus spreads recently found large amounts of the virus in the breath of people suffering from the flu, according to the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.

>> Related: Influenza surveillance map: Where is the flu in my state? 

The researchers -- from the University of Maryland, San Jose State University, Missouri Western State University and the University of California, Berkeley -- published their findings Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,” said Donald Milton, professor of environmental health in the University of Maryland School of Public Health and lead researcher for the study.

Milton and his team examined the virus content in the breath of 142 people who were diagnosed with flu as they were breathing normally, speaking, coughing and sneezing. Researchers found that a majority of those who participated in the study had enough of the infectious virus in just their regular, exhaled breath to possibly infect another person.

A review of the data collected from the coughs and sneezes of infected participants showed that neither action appeared to have a large impact on whether or not the virus was spread.

>> Related: 11 things parents need to know about the flu, the vaccine, how long kids need to stay out of school  

“People with flu generate infectious aerosols (tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time), even when they are not coughing and especially during the first days of illness,” Milton said.

The study’s authors said the results highlighted how necessary it is for people who have the flu to stay at home.

>> Related: What is the H3N2 flu and how bad is flu season this year? 

“The study findings suggest that keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing does not provide complete protection from getting the flu,” said Sheryl Ehrman, the dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University. “Staying home and out of public spaces could make a difference in the spread of the influenza virus.”

Super blue blood moon eclipse: What you need to know

super blue blood moon? Yes!

It is happening on the last day of this month. A blue moon typically gets its name when it occurs as the second of two full moons in one calendar month.

>> ‘Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

But something very special will happen to the moon on this date. The full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow during the early morning of Jan. 31 to give us a total lunar eclipse. During the time of the total eclipse, the moon will appear reddish in color, which is where it gets to be called a “blood moon.” Totality, when the moon will be entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last a bit more than 1 1/4 hours.

The Jan. 31 full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two blue moons in 2018. So it’s not just a lunar eclipse, or a blue moon, or a supermoon. It’s all three – a super blue moon eclipse.

Is it the first blue moon total eclipse in 150 years in America.

>> Read more trending news 

The eclipse will get underway at 6:48 a.m. EST/3:48 a.m. PST Jan. 31. You’ll have to be up high with a good view of the western horizon to see the eclipse when it is total, as the moon will be setting as the eclipse reaches totality.

Those in the western United States will be able to view the full eclipse. But don’t let the setting moon stop you from getting to see a good part of the eclipse. It still should be a neat sight early in the morning if skies are clear and it is not too cold.

– Eric Elwell is WHIO-TV's chief meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Indiana night sky

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday.

>> Click here to watch

Several reports have come into WHIO-TV's newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight Thursday. People from Englewood, Ohio; Marysville, Ohio; and Randolph County, Indiana, have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue-green.

>> WATCH: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

The American Meteor Society received several reports of a meteor in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky.

>> Read more trending news 

A meteor also was spotted in Ohio, Michigan and Canada late Tuesday.

'Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

monster space rock classified by NASA as "potentially hazardous" is headed toward Earth.

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 – which at 0.7 miles is wider than the tallest building in the U.S. (New York's One World Trade Center) stacked on top of itself – is predicted to miss our planet, according to Metro. However, it will pass relatively close in terms of outer space.

>> On AJC.com: NASA: Asteroid could destroy Earth in 22nd century

NASA classifies any space object surpassing 459 feet wide and passing within 4,660,000 miles of Earth as "hazardous," according to a 2013 report on the space agency's website. There are about 1,000 such known space objects monitored by NASA.

This asteroid is more than eight times wider than the minimum (3,696 feet) and will pass within just over half the minimum distance (2,615,128 miles) to our planet.

>> Read more trending news 

For a reference point, the moon orbits Earth at a distance of about 238,855 miles.

The giant asteroid is expected to "narrowly" miss our planet on Feb. 4, whizzing past us at a whopping 67,000 miles per hour. It will be the biggest and fastest space object to fly near Earth this year, according to The Daily Star.

WATCH: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

The fireball lit up the sky just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

>> Click here to watch

The dashboard cam video was shared by Mike Austin as he was driving north on I-75 near Bloomfield Hills, north of Detroit, Michigan. 

>> On WHIO.com: 2017 fireball caught on WHIO-TV weather camera

The fireball also was seen from northwest Ohio and southwest Ontario, Canada

>> Read more trending news 

It is not known whether the meteorite dissipated in the atmosphere or made it to the ground or into Lake Michigan.

Ibuprofen use linked to male infertility, study finds

Ibuprofen is one of the most common over-the-counter pain relievers used worldwide, and researchers have long warned users about the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with the drug. But scientists now believe that ibuprofen, commonly sold under brand names such as Motrin or Advil, could potentially result in male infertility.

>> Read more trending news

The new findings come from researchers in Denmark and France who examined the effect of the drug on a group of men between the ages of 18 and 35.

Thirty-one men were given the maximum limit of 600 milligrams, or three tablets, of the drug each day for six weeks, a dosage commonly used by athletes. Other study participants were administered a placebo.

In just two weeks, the researchers found the men who took ibuprofen had an increase of luteinizing hormones, which males use to regulate testosterone production. If men ever get this hormonal condition, it typically begins during middle age.

>> Related: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds

At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased — a sign of dysfunctional testicles.

“The increase indicated that the drug was causing problems in certain cells in the testicles, preventing them from producing testosterone, which is, of course, needed to produce sperm cells,” Medical XPress reported.

As a result, the body’s pituitary gland responded by producing more of a different hormone, essentially compensating for ibuprofen’s effect on testosterone production. This phenomenon is called compensated hypogonadism, which can reduce sperm cell production and infertility, the scientists wrote. The condition is also associated with depression and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

>> On AJC.com: Want to gain some muscle? Beware of ibuprofen, study says

Because the small group of young male participants who took the drug only consumed it for a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” Bernard Jegou, co-author of the study and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, told CNN. Compensated hypogonadism can lead to a temporary reduction in sperm cell production, but that’s not cause for alarm.

The larger concern, Jegou noted, is that using the drug for much longer periods of time could lead to a much more serious issue: overt primary hypogonadism, “in which the symptoms become worse -- sufferers report a reduction in libido, muscle mass and changes in mood.”

The medical community, including the study authors, believe larger clinical trials are needed to understand ibuprofen’s effects on men using low doses of the drug and whether or not long-term effects are indeed reversible. 

Read the full study, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

200 items
Results 31 - 40 of 200 < previous next >