A new study of Central African forest elephants has found their numbers down by 62 percent between 2002 and 2011. The study comes as governments and conservationists meet in Thailand to amend the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Now, to some alarming findings about wildlife in Africa. A 10-year survey looked at the population of forest elephants and found that it fell 62 percent in that time. The study is the largest of its kind, spanning five countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, its neighbor the Republic of Congo and Gabon. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which helped organize the effort, is saying that extinction looms for the forest elephant because of poaching.
In this illustration, debris along the outer reaches of a planet-forming disk orbits in the glare of a distant sun.
Credit T. Pyle / NASA
From science fiction movies, we all know how it happens. Astronomers working with huge telescopes detect an object at the edge of the solar system. It's coming our way and it's moving fast. Working feverishly, they apply the latest image-enhancement techniques, revealing super-sharp pictures of interstellar garbage.
An iceberg in or just outside the Ilulissat fjord, which likely calved from Jakobshavn Isbrae, the fastest glacier in western Greenland, in May 2012. Polar ice sheets are now melting three times faster than in the 1990s.
Credit Ian Joughin / AP
Climate change will make commercial shipping possible from North America to Russia or Asia over the North Pole by the middle of the century, a new study says.
Two researchers at the University of California ran seven different climate models simulating two classes of vessels to see if they could make a relatively ice-free passage through the Arctic Ocean. In each case, the sea routes are sufficiently clear after 2049, they say.
This image represents a chunk, or "cube," of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn't easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.
People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.
Right now I'm at the novice level of a game called EyeWire, trying to color in a nerve cell in a cartoon drawing of a slice of tissue. EyeWire is designed to solve a real science problem — it aims to chart the billions of nerve connections in the brain.
A child born with HIV has been cured of the virus, researchers say. Audie Cornish talks to Richard Knox about what was different about this child among the millions who've been treated in the past and what it means for the prospect of an HIV cure in adults.
Cousin Kyle Balcom (L) and brother Dustin Bush console each other after the disappearance of Jeffrey Bush into a Seffner, Florida, sinkhole.
Credit Edward Linsmier / Getty Images
Sinkholes can occur when porous limestone or other soluble bedrock dissolves in water, creating underground caverns that collapse.
Last Thursday evening, a man was in the bedroom of his home in Seffner, Florida.
These are typical narratives — one about scientific facts, the other about everyday life. We accept each narrative as neither shocking nor mysterious. Water and rock interact in particular ways. People go about their daily lives. This is familiar.