Sci-Tech

Lab monkeys found, killed after fleeing US road crash

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States (AFP) – Three monkeys have been found and killed after a truck carrying 100 primates to a laboratory crashed, allowing them to escape and triggering a police hunt. The vehicle turned in front of an oncoming dump truck near Danville, Pennsylvania, on Friday en route to a lab in Florida. Police said on Twitter Friday that “a small number of monkeys may have fled the crash scene into the surrounding area.” […]

Four people including baby freeze to death near US-Canada border

MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canadian authorities found the bodies of four people including a baby who apparently froze to death in a blizzard a few meters from the US border along a route used by migrants, officials said Thursday. The temperature Wednesday when the bodies were found amid vast snowdrifts, taking into account the wind, was minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit). “At this very early stage of the investigation, it appears that […]

Polish researchers invent anti-smog sound cannon

KALWARIA ZEBRZYDOWSKA, Poland (AFP) – In a battle against Poland’s constant smog, scientists are testing out a new “cannon” that uses soundwaves to push toxic particles higher into the atmosphere to allow residents to breathe. Installed on top of a metal container, the experimental device consists of a large upside-down cone that makes a loud sound every six seconds. The aim is to chase the smog from Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, which like many Polish towns and cities […]

Russia’s only female cosmonaut to travel to space in September

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) – Russia’s sole active female cosmonaut, Anna Kikina, is due to travel to the International Space Station in September on a Soyuz rocket, the national space agency said Thursday. Kikina, a 37-year-old engineer, will be only the fifth professional woman cosmonaut from Russia or the Soviet Union to fly to space. Last year, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said “our beauty” Kikina would fly aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon as part of a […]

Peril and promise: gas from ‘killer lake’ powers Rwanda

by Marion DOUET Agence France-Presse LAKE KIVU, Rwanda (AFP) – The engineers aboard the floating power station on Lake Kivu could only watch nervously as the volcano in the distance erupted violently, sending tremors rumbling through the water beneath them. It was not the lava shooting from Mount Nyiragongo last May that spooked them, but the enormous concentrations of potentially explosive gases within Kivu, one of Africa’s great Rift lakes lying between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic […]

US artist, KAWS and London gallery launch first exhibition on Fortnite

by Charlotte DURAND Agence France-Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – On a frosty morning in London’s Hyde Park, onlookers aim their mobile phones at the top of the Serpentine Gallery. The large sculpture of a blue man sitting on the roof is invisible to the naked eye but it is there — in augmented reality. The sculpture is part of an installation by the American artist Kaws at the gallery, reproduced for the hundreds of […]

Shock waves, landslides may have caused ‘rare’ volcano tsunami: experts

PARIS, France (AFP) — A rare volcano-triggered tsunami sparked by the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga could have been caused by shock waves or shifting underwater land, experts said Monday. “A volcanic-source tsunami event is rare but not unprecedented,” a post on the website for New Zealand’s geological hazard monitoring system GNS said Monday. GNS Tsunami Duty Officer Jonathan Hanson said it probably occurred in part thanks to a previous eruption of the […]

Toyota yearly production target hit by chip shortage

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) – The world’s top-selling carmaker Toyota said Tuesday it no longer expects to meet its annual production target with operations hampered by the global chip crunch. A worldwide shortage of microchips — essential components of modern cars — has forced many automakers including Toyota to slow or temporarily halt production. In September, the Japanese giant lowered the number of vehicles it hopes to make in the year to March 2022 to nine […]

Scotland moves ahead with vast wind power projects

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Scotland, fresh from hosting the COP26 climate summit, on Monday awarded offshore wind project concessions for almost £700 million ($960 million, 840 million euros). Crown Estate Scotland announced in a statement that it has granted 17 concessions via an auction process to energy companies including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and SSE, as well as Spain’s Iberdrola and France’s TotalEnergies. The final awards received a total of 74 bids, totalled £699.2 […]

Europe eyes lithium ‘white gold’ rush as cars go green

by Isabel MALSANG Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) – Europe is seeking to expand its lithium mining and refining capacity and wean itself off imports as the “white gold” becomes a vital resource in the fight against climate change. Alongside nickel and cobalt, lithium allows electricity to be stored and transported, making them essential in electric battery production as car manufacturers move away from polluting fossil fuels. But Europe mostly depends on external sources for […]

‘Amazing milestone’ as NASA fully deploys Webb telescope in space

by Lucie AUBOURG The most powerful space telescope ever built completed a tricky two-week-long deployment phase Saturday, unfolding its final golden mirror panel, as it readies to study every phase of cosmic history. Engineering teams in the James Webb Space Telescope’s control room cheered as confirmation came back that its final wing was deployed and latched into place. “I’m emotional about it — what an amazing milestone,” Thomas Zurbuchen, a senior NASA engineer, said during […]

Japan space tourist eyes Mariana Trench trip after ISS

  by Tomohiro OSAKI TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Friday his trip into space had given him a new appreciation for Earth, and he now hopes to plunge into the ocean’s forbidding Mariana Trench. Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano spent 12 days on the International Space Station last month, where they documented life in space for one million YouTube subscribers. Speaking Friday for the first time since his return to […]