Hitler’s Scientists May Have Tested the First Atomic Weapon

Most people are familiar with the famous mushroom-shaped cloud picture which shows the famous atomic bomb dropping on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. But what if Germany also had produced its own smaller-scale mushroom cloud a year earlier in the fall of 1944?

The Germans may have lost the neck-and-neck race to build a successful nuclear bomb during WWII, but it’s clear that they were able to test a pretty impressive warhead in 1944.

“A cloud shaped like a mushroom with turbulent, billowing sections (at about 7000 meters) stood, without any seeming connections over the spot where the explosion took place. Strong electrical disturbances and the impossibility to continue radio communication as by lightning turned up.”

This was a statement made by German test pilot Hans Zinsser, in Allan Hall’s DailyMail.com article, who was doing test flights over Ludwigslust at the time. He was not the only witness to the spectacular sight that day.

 

The Dawn of Nuclear Weapons

In December 1938, German chemist Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission, the building block of nuclear chain reactions and disastrously dangerous atomic weapons. Shortly after this discovery, Germany’s nuclear weapons project was born.

For over four years, groups of German scientists explored the possibilities of nuclear weapons production under Adolf Hitler’s watchful eye. The Third Reich achieved success in building “uranium machines” otherwise known as nuclear reactors. However, after repeated alterations to the design, they lacked enough of a heavily-ionized water source known as “heavy water.”

Once their supply of heavy water from Norway was cut off, Hitler’s team only had enough resources for a few more large-scale experiments. This resulted in the sensational production of the first nuclear warhead testing cloud ever seen.

The First Ever Nuclear Test

Mark Walker’s article “Nazis and the Bomb,” published by PBS’s Nova states: “During the last months of the war, a small group of scientists working in secret under Diebner and with the strong support of the physicist Walther Gerlach, who was by that time head of the uranium project, built and tested a nuclear device.”

The multi-colored cloud that was several miles wide was definitely not the imagination of those few eyewitnesses who came forward to describe it. Two German pilots, as well as an Italian observer sent by famed dictator Benito Mussolini, described the sight in similar detail to each other.

Germany was not able to produce the atomic weapons it had hoped for in order to gain the upper hand in WWII. In 1942, Hitler ordered the Reich Research Council to be reorganized as a separate division from the military. With Reich Minister for Armament and Ammunition, Albert Speer, heading the council, the project morphed into a study for alternative energy production, Mail Online reported.

This change did not prevent the germans from being able to demonstrate at least one impressive large-scale test of nuclear power. No one can be sure of the exact nature of the warhead that Germany tested, but what remains undisputed is that it was accomplished and reported by several different sources.

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Scientists Get Green Light to Resurrect the Dead with Stem Cells

http://www.renegadetribune.com/scientists-get-green-light-resurrect-dead-stem-cells/
By Minds via Waking Times Media

Bioquark, a biotech company based in the United States, has been given the go-ahead to begin research on 20 brain-dead patients, in an attempt to stimulate and regrow neurons and, literally, bring the patients back from the dead.

The technique is new and untested so the study will likely be controversial.

By implanting stem cells in the patient’s brain, in addition to treating the spinal cord with infusions of chemicals and nerve stimulation techniques (both of which have been shown to bring people out of comas), they hope to reboot the brain and jump-start neural activity.

The result could be people coming back to life.

There isn’t much evidence that this will work, though there is one well-known neurological researcher and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Calixto Machado who is involved with the study as a panel expert.

Bioquark’s CEO, Ira Pastor, said:

“to undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness. We hope to see results within the first two to three months.”

He added, “it is a long-term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study.

Wild Elephants Sleep Just 2 Hours a Day, Puzzling Scientists in UCLA Study

Anyone who feels proud for pulling an all-nighter has nothing on the African Elephant.

A study released Wednesday of two matriarchal elephants in Botswana’s Chobe National Park revealed the lumbering creatures only slept for two hours a day — apparently the least of any mammals.

Remarkably, these insomniac elephants traveled nearly 19 miles in 10 hours without rest and stayed up for a record 46 hours straight, according to the study conducted by the UCLA Center for Sleep Research and the nonprofit research group Elephants Without Borders.

Image:

Scientists have noted that the elephants’ non-sleeping abilities are a new record for a mammal’s sleeping pattern and compared it to captive elephants’ sleeping patterns of five to six hours a day.

“The elephants were studied for continuous 35 day periods [from a distance],” Jerry Siegel, director of the Center for Sleep Research, told NBC News. “Elephants move with their herd and move very frequently, so animals sleeping a lot would be left behind.”

The study noted that both the matriarchal elephants didn’t sleep in the same location daily and would search for locations with lush vegetation, such as the woodlands and open savanna areas, without crossing paths with another elephant herd.

Related: The Surprising Reason This Scientist Wants to Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth

Researchers used GPS trackers and “actiwatch implants” — the equivalent of animal Fitbits — to monitor both elephants’ activity levels and found that both matriarchs could sleep standing for two days straight, napped in several short bouts of about 20 minutes over the course of a night, and kept traveling to avoid poachers, predators and other disturbances.

“I have previously shown in 2005 that herbivores sleep less than omnivores and carnivores. Elephants are eating machines. If they were not eating all the time, they wouldn’t be the massive animals they are,” Siegel said.

However, these floppy-eared giants are leaving many scientists puzzled because they seem to defy the rule of biology: the bigger an animal, the more sleep it needs. According to the study, the elephants’ sleeping times are fewer than the gray whales’ nine hours per day and the giraffes’ 4.6 hours per day.

Researcher Oleg Lyamin, a UCLA professor, told NBC News that the rule is problematic because it was acquired from data based on “studying mice and rats in laboratories” and “observing sleep patterns of animals taken out of their normal habitats and kept solitary, where they are often deprived of complex interactions with the environment.”

Image: A head of African elephants walks in Addo Elephant National Park, some 60 kms outside of Port Elizabeth on Nov. 15, 2009.
A herd of African elephants walks in Addo Elephant National Park, some 60 kms outside of Port Elizabeth on Nov. 15, 2009. Alexander Joe / AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to the known connection between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep influencing memory consolidation, the study and Lyamin both indicated that elephants and wild animals were the big exception to this rule.

Elephants, dolphins, seals and many other wild animals can sacrifice proper shut-eye for days without their performance and cognitive functions, such as memory, being affected or disoriented. However, humans and confined animals show the opposite results and become impaired when regular sleep is not practiced.

But other researchers believe the size of an elephant’s family group could also influence its sleep duration.

“Perhaps elephants in larger family groups sleep longer due to increased protection of having other elephants aware of their surroundings,” said Preston Foerder, assistant professor of animal psychology at the University of Chattanooga. “It’s also possible that they take turns sleeping. Elephants are in a fission-fusion social group, meaning that groups tend to split up and come back together.”

Researchers in the study noted that a lot of ground remains uncovered, especially since male elephants and calves were not observed and an elephant’s skull makes it difficult for implanting tracking devices

As Bee Population Continues Decline Scientists Introduce Robobee

http://www.renegadetribune.com/bee-population-continues-decline-scientists-introduce-robobee/

 

 

By Brandon Turbeville of Activist Post

As the bee population in the United States continues to decline, some scientists are working on a backup option which many people are calling the Robobee.

A recent announcement coming out of the journal Chem, in an article by Eijiro Miyako, a chemist that the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, involves the combination of a drone and a gel to create a robot version of the endangered pollinators.

Miyako and his team used a four-propeller drone to which they attached horse hairs in order to mimic the fuzzy body of a bee. They coated the horse hairs with the gel so that pollen would stick to the horse hairs which would then be carried from one plant to another.

Miyako said he doesn’t believe that the drones would replace bees but that it could help bees with their pollinating duties. He said that the drones will need to become smarter, more energy efficient and have better maneuverability as well as better GPS and artificial intelligence before they can be realistically used.

While working on a project designed to pick up the slack of a declining bee population is obviously not a bad thing, it would be much more prudent for the U.S. Government to immediately investigate and act on what exactly is causing the population to decline to begin with.

Of course, this would involve cracking down on Big Ag and toxic pesticides that are overwhelmingly responsible for such a steep decline. Unfortunately, the U.S. Government seems to be moving in the opposite direction with the Trump Administration having halted the addition of the rusty patched bumble bee to the endangered species list.

While it is of course a good idea to prepare for the worst, a world that depends on vulnerable technology to do the work of what once was simply done as an act of nature is a frightening one indeed. Most people would not want to see a world of tiny drones buzzing about fields and gardens instead of bees, but it seems that is the direction in which the world is heading.


This article originally appeared on Activist PostImage: © Dr. Eijiro Miyako

Liberal Scientists Developing Methods to Make White People Less Resistant to Non-White Invasion

Now scientists think they can use technology to make White people be less resistant to a foreign invasion.

Only sick individuals would develop such things. How many Jews were involved in this? That’d be a good question to ask.

From Express:

A bizarre experiment claims to be able to make Christians no longer believe in God and make Britons open their arms to migrants in experiments some may find a threat to their values.

 

Scientists looked at how the brain resolves abstract ideological problems.

Using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), researchers safely shut down certain groups of neurones in the brains of volunteers.

TMS, which is used to treat depression, involves placing a large electromagnetic coil against the scalp which creates electric currents that stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in mood control.

Researchers found the technique radically altered religious perceptions and prejudice.

Belief in God was reduced almost by a third, while participants became 28.5 per cent less bothered by immigration numbers.

(Daily Slave)

Scientists: We can clone a woolly mammoth. But should we?

FEBRUARY 16, 2017 This is not your parents’ “Jurassic Park.”

Harnessing the power of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool, a team of Harvard researchers is slowly coaxing woolly mammoth-like traits out of normal elephant cells. But recent claims that they’re close to creating a hybrid embryo have raised questions regarding the ethics of the procedure.

The issues range from questions of practicality – Should we risk impregnating an endangered elephant with an experimental embryo? – to an ethical Pandora’s box: Would the ability to bring species back from the dead derail conservation efforts?

But geneticist George Church says he believes letting the research continue would produce the benefits that go beyond the chance to see an extinct creature, suggesting the reintroduction of the woolly mammoth might mitigate climate change.

Except it wouldn’t be a mammoth, exactly.

“Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo,” Dr. Church told the Guardian. “Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits. We’re not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years.”

The phrase “mammoth cloning” may conjure up images of scientists extracting amber-bound DNA and incubating it in frogs as in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” but it means something quite different to Church.

Instead of re-creating an extinct organism, his team is trying to create a hybrid “mammophant.” Starting with the woolly mammoth’s closest living relative, the Asian elephant, Church uses the CRISPR precision gene editing tool to snip and splice in mammoth genes, granting mammoth-like characteristics such as a shaggy coat, extra fat, and cold-resistant blood.

“The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments. We already know about ones to do with small ears, subcutaneous fat, hair, and blood,” Church explained to New Scientist.

So far, with samples from a remarkably well-preserved 2013 find as a DNA guide, the team has accomplished 45 of these edits. If their goal were to perfectly re-create the mammoth genome, they’d still have thousands to go.

And they aren’t the only team taking this alternative cloning approach. Researchers in Chile are also trying to engineer a dinosaur out of a chicken by rolling back certain genes.

Church’s team says they’re only a couple years away from the next step, making the edits in an elephant embryo and studying its viability. The researchers believe they could turn skin cells of the highly endangered Asian elephant into embryos using cloning techniques.

And that’s the easy part.

Once they have a mammophant egg ready to go, they’d need a way to carry it to term. Ethics prevent using real Asian elephants as surrogate mothers because of their endangered status and high degree of intelligence, but Church has other plans.

“We hope to do the entire procedure ex-vivo,” or outside a living body, he told The Guardian. “It would be unreasonable to put female reproduction at risk in an endangered species.”

Some say the technology to grow a hybrid animal inside an artificial womb won’t be possible this decade, but The Guardian reports that Church’s lab is hard at work on the problem, already able to incubate a mouse embryo for ten days, about half of its gestation period.

Even if Church succeeds in overcoming all the technical hurdles, some wonder if the mammoth should be resurrected at all.

As Matthew Cobb, professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, told The Guardian: “The proposed ‘de-extinction’ of mammoths raises a massive ethical issue – the mammoth was not simply a set of genes, it was a social animal, as is the modern Asian elephant. What will happen when the elephant-mammoth hybrid is born? How will it be greeted by elephants?”

Church argues that the mammophant would join the fight against global warming, thus bringing concrete benefits to humans all over the planet.

“They keep the tundra from thawing by punching through snow and allowing cold air to come in,” said Church. “In the summer they knock down trees and help the grass grow.”

While such behavior could help keep greenhouses gasses locked in the permafrost, we’d need to get pretty good at mammophant cloning to bring back enough of the beasts to populate Canada and Siberia. Plus, as is often the case with geoengineering schemes, the effects would be uncertain. Scientists aren’t even sure whether the original loss of mammoths caused some climate change, or if the climate change killed the mammoths. In addition, there’s no guarantee that the helpful stomping behaviors are genetic, instead of taught by long-vanished mammoth parents.

And climate may not be the only unintended consequence. Other researchers worry developing such Lazarus-technology would endanger current conservation efforts. “De-extinction just provides the ultimate ‘out’,” said wildlife biologist Stanley Temple in a BBC interview. “If you can always bring the species back later, it undermines the urgency about preventing extinctions.”

Rather, we should focus on keeping the Asian elephant alive, paleobiologist and mammoth expert Tori Herridge wrote in a 2014 opinion piece for The Guardian.

“Sometimes the ice age world is so real to me that my throat aches and my eyes sting a little when I think about what we’ve lost, the animals we will never see,” she wrote. “But here’s the irony – if we feel like that about the mammoth, just think how our kids might feel about the elephant if we let it become extinct. We really ought to be focusing on that, and doing everything we can to stop it from happening.”

Scientists plan to march on Washington — but where will it get them?

A few months from now, thousands of scientists will leave their labs and take to the streets to rally on behalf of publicly funded, openly communicated, evidence-based research.

At least, that’s the vision of the organizers of the March for Science, which is slated to take place on April 22 — Earth Day.

Conceived in the wake of the successful Women’s March on Washington, and galvanized by recent news that President Trump’s administration was instructing government researchers not to communicate with the public, the plan includes a march in the District and dozens of satellite demonstrations. So far, marches are in the planning stages in more than 100 cities in at least 11 countries.

The event in Washington will culminate in a rally on the Mall featuring speakers and “teach-in” tents where scientists can share their research with the public. Organizers say that more than 40,000 people have signed up online to volunteer with the project.

It took less than two weeks for the march to balloon from a musing on Reddit into full-blown movement. A private Facebook group for participants has more than 800,000 members. Theoretical physicist Laurence Krauss said he plans to attend. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took to Facebook to voice his approval. A handful of scientific societies, including the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Sociological Association, have endorsed it.

But the effort has also sparked debates about what a “March for Science” should mean — and whether scientists should be marching in the first place.

Rush Holt, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said he can’t think of any precedent for this kind of mass activism. In the past, scientists have spoken out about political interference in research, and they’ve been involved in protesting nuclear weapons and environmental contamination, “but those weren’t so much about science as they were referring to scientific issues,” he explained.

“As I understand it, the marchers want this to be a gigantic endorsement of the idea of science, the idea of verifiable evidence,” Holt said. “That’s new.”

Organizers say that the policies of the new administration — prohibitions on communication by government scientists, the executive order barring travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, talk of removing climate change pages from the website of the Environmental Protection Agency — demand action.

“We feel that the time has passed for scientists to, in good conscience, stay out of this fight,” said Caroline Weinberg, a public health researcher and science writer who is co-organizing the march. “There is no need to be partisan — politicians on both sides of the aisle are guilty of positions that fly in the face of scientific evidence — but it is not possible to ignore policy when it affects not just your jobs but the future of your field.”

Already, several of the new president’s policies have jolted the scientific community. The American Geophysical Union is now urging members to sign petitions condemning the travel ban and urging legislators not to remove scientific data from government websites. More than 171 scientific, engineering and academic organizations signed a letter urging the president to rescind his executive order, noting that it will bar many students and researchers from traveling to the United States to do their work. The leading scientific societies have reached out to the Trump administration offering their expertise on science issues, including government action on climate change, but they have been largely rebuffed.

Given the current climate, “I’m pleased to see people spontaneously speaking out in defense of the scientific process, in defense of using good evidence in policymaking,” Holt said. He added that he has reached out to march organizers to see how his organization can help, but AAAS hasn’t formally gotten involved.

Holt did note that the choice to hold the march on Earth Day — when environmentalist groups are likely to be organizing their own demonstrations — could be a fraught one. The issue of environmental protection is so politically charged, it could overpower the march’s overall message about protecting evidence-based policymaking and scientific integrity.

Christine McEntee, the executive director of AGU, said that her group is still figuring what, if any, role they might have in the march. “At a minimum, we’ll make sure our members are aware of the March for Science if they’d like to attend,” she said. “We support scientists exercising their rights as citizens to speak out.”

Still, some researchers are skeptical that a march is the right way to advocate for their work — and worry that marching could actively harm it. In an opinion piece for the New York Times, coastal ecologist Robert Young wrote that the march would be perceived as a protest of President Trump and “trivialize and politicize the science we care so much about.”

“Trying to recreate the pointedly political Women’s March will serve only to reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data, research and findings for their own ends,” he cautioned.

Instead of marching, Young urged his colleagues to make contact with civic groups, churches and elected officials in an effort to explain how science works and why scientific findings should be trusted. “We need storytellers, not marchers,” he said.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of Washington, countered that science has always been influenced by politics. She noted that she is only the 63rd black woman in American history to get a PhD in physics — a degree that has been awarded to tens of thousands of researchers. That’s no accident, she said.

“The universe may be doing things without any regard for human politics,” she said. “It probably is. … But there’s always an agenda that is shaping who can do research, how we think about the research that we’re doing, and the research we think is important to do.”

Prescod-Weinstein cited the example of Albert Einstein, who, in addition to illuminating the fundamental laws of physics, advocated for civil rights, socialism, and nuclear arms control. His politics made him a target of the FBI, which tracked his phone calls and went through his trash until his death in 1955.

“Those are the same scientists we are taught to look up to as science students,” she said of Einstein and other physicists who advocated for arms control. “They very much understood that physics had a role to play in the unfolding of highly polarized political events.”

Indeed, Prescod-Weinstein and others say they believe that scientists haven’t been political enough. Along with astrophysicist Sarah Tuttle and cancer biologist Joseph Osmundson, she published a statement on the website the Establishment comparing the current situation to the climate in Germany in the early 1930s. “Professional standards and ambitions are not a substitute for morals, political or otherwise,” they wrote. “We cannot do business as usual anymore, regardless of how much we love our research or how important it feels.”

Much of the scientific community falls somewhere within these extremes. They are balancing anger about what they see as threats to their research, energy from the recent surge in activism, and worry about the perils of jumping into the political fray.

Mike Brown, the Caltech astronomer who famously “killed Pluto” with his discovery of dwarf planets in the outer solar system, said he still has misgivings. He’s not opposed to activism in general — Brown took his daughter to the Women’s March in Los Angeles in January and called it “one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.” But he’s not sure marching is the best way for scientists to advocate for their work.

“Having a bunch of scientists marching takes the interesting thing about scientists away from them,” he said. “These are educators and teachers and scientists [whose] super power is teaching you cool things about the universe around you.” Maybe instead of marching, researchers should take Young’s advice and conduct a teach-in instead, he mused.

“I don’t know,” he said. “The attacks on science are pretty unprecedented, and maybe all these softer ideas are just crazy.”

Weinberg is familiar with these arguments, and she agreed that science shouldn’t be influenced by politics. But, she said, scientists have an obligation to make sure that their work informs policy.

“That’s what research is for: to help us understand the world and to guide our decisions going forward,” she said. “It’s absurd to ignore the vast pool of knowledge centuries of scientific research have placed at our fingertips.”

Scientists Find Root That Kills 98% Of Cancer Cells In Only 48 Hours

http://simplecapacity.com/2016/10/scientists-find-dandelion-root-kills-cancer-cells/

 

This root has been used medicinally since ancient times for its various health benefits. However, the most powerful benefit to come out of this common weed is something that medical researchers are super excited to have “discovered” – which is its potential to cure cancer!

This potent root builds up blood and immune system- cures prostate, lung, and other cancers better than chemotherapy. According to Dr. Carolyn Hamm from the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre in Ontario, Canada, dandelion root extract was the only thing that helped with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. This form of cancer typically affects older adults.

John Di Carlo, who at the time was a 72-year old cancer patient at the hospital, was sent home to live out his final days after all efforts failed to treat his leukemia.

He told CBC News that he was advised to drink dandelion root tea as a last ditch effort. Perhaps it should have been the first option offered in his treatment plan, as his cancer went into remission only four months later! His doctors attributed this to the dandelion tea that he drank.

ing-tut-face-01

Recent studies have shown that dandelion root extract can work very quickly on cancer cells, as was evidenced in Di Carlo’s case. Within 48 hours of coming into contact with the extract, cancerous cells begin to disintegrate. The body happily replaces these with healthy new cells.

Further studies have concluded that the extract also has anti-cancer benefits for other types of cancer, including breast, colon, prostate, liver, and lung cancer! Dandelion root tea may not taste as pleasant as other teas, but it’s certainly more pleasant than living with the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Traditional cancer therapies harm the immune system by killing all cells, even the healthy ones. Dandelion root has the opposite effect – it actually helps boost your immune system and only targets the unhealthy cells. It’s definitely a win-win situation!

Dr. Hamm warns, however, that dandelion root extract can negatively impact the effects of chemotherapy. It’s always best to consult with your doctor, and let them know any and all supplements or foods that you are consuming on a regular basis.

dandelion-flower

Even if you don’t have cancer, eating the greens or drinking dandelion tea can still give you great health! For example, the roots and stems of dandelion can help fight diabetes. It does this by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, which in turn stabilizes the spikes in blood sugar levels.

If you suffer from digestive issues or need to get rid of toxins, dandelion tea may be just what the herbal medicine doctor ordered!

The liver aids the digestive system by producing bile, and it also filters the blood of chemicals and other impurities.

According to Dr. Axe, the vitamins and minerals found in dandelions can help cleanse the liver and keep it in tip top shape. So by supporting your liver, you are actually creating better health!

dandelion-tea

Dandelions are also high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which is crucial to helping your body fight off infections, such as the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.

If you suffer from frequent bouts of UTI, drinking dandelion tea on a daily basis may prevent it from happening ever again.

Dandelion greens are bitter, but completely edible – as long as you get it from an area that hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. The greens are rich in fiber, which is great for intestinal health! High fiber diets have also been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

The greens are also high in vitamin A – just one cup contains 100% of your recommended daily allowance. Vitamin A is critical for maintaining healthy vision, and it can also prevent premature aging of the skin.

Also read: Your Body Is Acidic. Here Is What You Need To Do (The Real Truth Behind Cancer You Will Never Hear From Your Doctor)

Since you probably aren’t likely to eat an entire cup of bitter greens on its own, you can incorporate it into a morning smoothie. Just blend it up with your favorite fruit, which will offset the bitter taste.

Trump bans government scientists from sharing their work with the taxpayers who funded it

Donald Trump wants to be known as the president who tweets, but his administration is prohibiting government researchers from sharing their findings with the Americans who pay for their work.

The president signed executive orders Tuesday that cut off all new contracts and grantsfor the Environmental Protection Agency — and he also banned the agency’s employees from providing updates on social media or to journalists, the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent an email Monday morning, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, prohibiting its employees from communicating with the public about their taxpayer-funded work.

Those “public-facing documents” include news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content, said Sharon Drumm, chief of staff of the Agricultural Research Service.

The U.S. Department of the Interior reportedly ordered employees to stop posting messages on government Twitter accounts after the National Park Service a post comparing the size of Trump’s inauguration with President Barack Obama’s in 2009.

Drumm’s message did not specifically refer to Trump, but the department’s scientists believe the order was a message from the administration.

The memo was vaguely worded enough that department officials aren’t sure whether scientists are allowed to publish studies in academic journals or present findings at conferences.

Washington Post reporter also tweeted Tuesday afternoon that taxpayer-funded economists might also be forbidden from sharing their findings with the public without approval from the Trump administration.

 

A University of Maine researcher issued a warning on social media that additional political attacks on scientists were coming.

“Please, stand up for science and the environment,” warned Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist and biogeographer. “This is the emergency we were all worried about.”

Scientists Discover Prehistoric Giant Otter Species In China

Artist’s rendering of two individuals of Siamogale melilutra, one of them feeding on a freshwater clam.

Mauricio Antón/Journla of Systematic Palaeontology

Six million years ago, giant otters weighing more than 100 pounds lived among birds and water lilies in the wooded wetlands of China’s Yunnan province.

That’s according to new research from a team of scientists who discovered a well-preserved cranium of the newly-discovered species in an open lignite mine in 2010. They recently published their findings in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

The researchers concluded that this wolf-sized prehistoric creature is “two to three times larger than any modern otter species,” Denise Su, the head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, tells The Two-Way.

The fossilized cranium was nearly complete, but flattened to about an inch and a half thick. “The bones are pretty fragile, so we couldn’t really reconstruct it physically,” Su said. “So what we did is we took CT scans of the cranium, and then we digitally reconstructed it.”

The cranium was particularly interesting because it revealed that the animal’s teeth had “some badger features,” Su explains. The species name Siamogale melilutra, is a nod to that – in Latin, meles means badger and lutra means otter.

A comparison of the cranium size of the newly discovered ancient otter with other otter species.

Xiaoming Wang

And the completeness of the cranium provided the researchers with important information about how otters evolved, Su said. It shed light on a dental mystery in particular.

The giant otters possessed large bunodont, or round-cusped, teeth. Scientists have wondered whether different species of otters inherited these teeth from a common ancestor, or evolved them separately because they were eating similar things – a process known as convergent evolution.

But by comparing this specimen to modern and other fossil otters, Su says they found “these bunodont teeth actually arose at least four different times within the greater otter lineage.” That finding suggests they emerged because of convergent evolution, rather than inheritance from a common ancestor.

The scientists initially found other bones from the species in 2009, including an upper arm bone. Su remembers looking at that bone and thinking, “This looks like an otter but it’s huge. … Is this really an otter?”

There are big questions about why the animal was so large and how it moved on land and in water.

“A lot of times in modern carnivores, the large size is partly due to subduing prey, so their prey is bigger and the carnivores also get bigger,” Su explains. But the scientists think that this animal likely ate small creatures such as mollusks – so, “why the big size?”