By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A century ago, Albert Einstein hypothesized the existence of gravitational waves, small ripples in space and time that dash across the universe at the speed of light. On Thursday, at a news conference called by the U.S. National Science Foundation, researchers may announce at long last direct observations of the elusive waves. Such a discovery would represent a scientific landmark, opening the door to an entirely new way to observe the cosmos and unlock secrets about the early universe and mysterious objects like black holes and neutron stars.
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Thirty of the world's leading scientific research institutions, journals and funders have pledged to share for free all data and expertise on Zika to speed up the fight against an outbreak of the viral disease spreading across the Americas. Specialists welcomed the initiative, saying it showed how the global health community had learned crucial lessons from West Africa's Ebola epidemic, which killed more than 11,300 people and saw scientists scrambling to conduct research to help in the development of potential treatments and vaccines. Zika, a viral disease carried by mosquitoes, is causing international alarm as an outbreak in Brazil has now spread through much of the Americas.
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Researchers on Wednesday reported new evidence strengthening the association between Zika virus and a spike in birth defects, citing the presence of the virus in the brain of an aborted fetus of a European woman who became pregnant while living in Brazil. An autopsy of the fetus showed microcephaly or small head size, as well as severe brain injury and high levels of the Zika virus in fetal brain tissues, exceeding levels of the virus typically found in blood samples, researchers in Slovenia from the University Medical Center in Ljubljana reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings help "strengthen the biologic association" between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, wrote in an editorial that accompanied the paper.
A strange and sudden buckling of the earth in Michigan five years ago is now being explained as a limestone bulge, researchers reported today (Feb. 9). The upheaved rock and soil was discovered after a deep boom thundered through the forest near Birch Creek on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, north of Menominee.