NASA Rover Curiosity Shoots a Mars Rock With Laser – 8/20 KQED Science News Roundup
Here's today's roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.
NASA rover Curiosity shoots a Mars rock with laserPASADENA, Calif. (AP) – NASA's Curiosity rover has zapped its first Martian rock, aiming its laser for the sake of science. During the target practice on Sunday. Curiosity fired 30 pulses at a nearby rock over a 10-second window, burning a small hole.
California parks officials were looking to spend while shortchanging parks, documents show – The Sacramento BeeThe state Department of Parks and Recreation routinely searched for ways to spend extra money each June despite facing the threat of park closures and forgoing upkeep at its 278 properties, based on newly released transcripts from an internal investigation.
Despite fire, Chevron refinery's safety record better than most – Inside Bay AreaRichmond facility wracked up a comparatively low $11,545 in fines from workplace safety agency over past decade, but some observers insist company places profit ahead of safety.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission may study power plant health risksThe last time federal officials assessed cancer rates in the communities surrounding nuclear power plants, they concluded that radiation releases were insignificant and health risks, if any, were too small to measure. TheU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissionhas been relying on the results of that 1990 National Cancer Institute study ever since to inform the public about cancer risks posed by the 104 licensed reactors it governs nationwide.
Livermore Lab Ignition Facility's woesScientists who have worked for more than a decade on a multibillion-dollar project to mimic the energy of the hydrogen bomb in experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have encountered so many difficulties, they have already missed their deadline and are unlikely to achieve success soon, government experts warn.
West Nile virus fight takes hold in Bay Area – San Jose Mercury NewsWith West Nile virus outbreaks breaking records across the U.S., Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Alameda counties are beginning to see signs of risk.
Salinas supplier recalls lettuce over E. coli fears – San Jose Mercury NewsA Northern California produce supplier said Sunday it is voluntarily recalling romaine lettuce that was shipped to 19 states, Puerto Rico and Canada over fears about possible E. coli contamination.