Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings?

Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings? Photo A fossil of a cockroach dating to the Cretaceous period, about 145 to 65 million years ago. Insects took to the skies much earlier, but there is scant fossil evidence from the period showing how they evolved wings. Credit The Lighthouse/Science Source Beetle wings are often hidden. Nestled behind armored shields on the beetle’s back, they unfurl in whirring sheets, whisking their clumsy owners from danger. Beetles don’t have more than two sets of wings — unless they’re in Yoshinori Tomoyasu’s lab.
In research recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Tomoyasu and co-author David Linz genetically engineered beetle larvae with wings on their abdomens, part of an ongoing attempt to unpack one of evolution’s greatest mysteries: how insects gained the ability to fly.
Insects took to the empty skies sometime between 300 and 360 million years ago, long before birds, bats or ptero..

Out There: Meet TESS, Seeker of Alien Worlds

Meet TESS, Seeker of Alien Worlds KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The search for cosmic real estate is about to begin anew.
No earlier than 6:32 p.m. on April 16, in NASA’s fractured parlance, a little spacecraft known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, bristling with cameras and ambition, will ascend on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a blaze of smoke and fire and take up a lengthy residence between the moon and the Earth.
There it will spend the next two years, at least, scanning the sky for alien worlds.
TESS is the latest effort to try to answer questions that have intrigued humans for millenniums and dominated astronomy for the last three decades: Are we alone? Are there other Earths? Evidence of even a single microbe anywhere else in the galaxy would rock science.
Continue reading the main story Photo A plaque with the signatures of people who worked on the TESS project. Also installed on the satellite was a memory chip that included drawings of exoplanets by school..

Global Health: South Sudan Halts Spread of Crippling Guinea Worms

South Sudan Halts Spread of Crippling Guinea Worms Photo A woman with scars on her leg left by two Guinea worms in Terekeka, South Sudan. Only 30 infestations were recorded worldwide last year, an enormous achievement since 1986, when there were an estimated 3.5 million cases in 21 Asian and African countries. Credit Mariah Quesada/Associated Press South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, appears to have stopped Guinea worm disease within its borders, the country’s health minister announced Wednesday.
“Having known the suffering it inflicted, one is very happy today,” the minister, Dr. Riek Gai Kok, said. “Future generations will just read of Guinea worm in the books as history.”
Dr. Kok made the announcement in Atlanta at the Carter Center, a philanthropy founded by former President Jimmy Carter that leads the effort to eliminate the parasitic worm.
Only 30 worm infestations were detected last year, 15 in Chad and 15 in Ethiopia. When Mr. Carter began the eradication drive in 1986, t..

'Extreme' fossil fuel investments soar to $115bn under Donald Trump presidency, report reveals

Finance for controversial and highly polluting tar sands projects more than doubled to $47bn in 2017
Funding from big banks for “extreme” fossil fuels jumped by 11 per cent to $115bn (£81bn) in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, new research shows.
Finance for controversial and highly polluting tar sands projects more than doubled to $47bn in 2017, a report by a group of environmental NGOs found.
Extreme fossil fuels include those that contribute the most to climate change such as Arctic oil drilling, ultra-deepwater oil extraction, liquefied natural gas export, and coal mining and power.
Read more Bank financing of extreme fossil fuel soars, report reveals While several European banks, including ING and BNP Paribas, pledged last year to cut financing for unconventional fossil fuels, North American banks ramped up their funding, particularly in Canada, the research found.
This reversed much of the progress made on reducing investment in the most carbon-intensive foss..

Startup founder who was rejected 148 times before raising almost £21 million made two small changes to get investors excited

A different type of entrepreneur might have given up.
And after 148 rejections from investors, no one would have faulted her for throwing in the towel.
But if there's one thing Kathryn Minshew values, it's perseverance – when one approach doesn't work, she's ready to try another.
Read more 9 best books for entrepreneurs Man brings in over $1 million a year running a marijuana B&B Vegan food startups are taking over London ​Minshew is the cofounder and CEO of job-search and career-advice site The Muse. At this point, she and her colleagues have raised nearly $30 million.
But as Minshew told CFP Bobbi Rebell on an episode of the podcast “Financial Grownup,” the site had a rocky start, fielding one “no” after another during their seed round of investing.
In their Series A round, Minshew told Rebell, she was more deliberate about the way she pitched investors. She found that two strategies in particular helped her.
1. She pinned all of her first meetings with in..

Coca-Cola to close sites in Milton Keynes and Northampton affecting almost 300 jobs

Company said cuts will allow it to improve productivity and create greater efficiency in the UK
Coca-Cola has announced that it is closing sites in Milton Keynes and Northampton, affecting almost 300 jobs.
The global drinks company’s European arm on Wednesday said that it had concluded a 55-day period of consultation with employees and their representatives and that it had decided to move ahead with the proposals to close the manufacturing site in Milton Keynes and the distribution centre in Northampton.
Closures will take place next year and will affect 288 roles.
“We want to stress that this is not a reflection on the performance or professionalism of our colleagues at these sites,” a spokesperson for Coca-Cola European Partners said.
The spokesperson added that the group is committed to supporting all those affected throughout the process of closure and beyond, by offering training and development opportunities.
“In addition, there will be redeployment opportunities within ou..

BMW and Daimler, Once Rivals, Join Forces to Fend Off Silicon Valley

BMW and Daimler, Once Rivals, Join Forces to Fend Off Silicon Valley Photo Combined, BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing service and Daimler’s Car2Go will have four million users, the companies said. Credit Inga Kjer/DPA, via Associated Press FRANKFURT — The German carmakers Daimler and BMW said on Thursday that they will merge their car-sharing businesses as they try to compete better with Silicon Valley companies out to upend the traditional automotive industry.
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, and BMW said they would put their respective mobility services — an array of apps and services that provide transport options for people who may not own cars — into a joint venture in which they will own equal shares.
The alliance is a major departure for BMW and Daimler, longtime rivals for the affections of affluent car buyers. Along with Volkswagen’s Audi division, the pair dominate the global market for luxury vehicles. Still, they are in danger of being overwhelmed by the superior financi..