• Scientists catch light bouncing off an exoplanet

    By Amina Khan
    Los Angeles Times |
    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    An international team of astronomers says they've managed to take the first direct visible-light spectrum from an exoplanet, giving them a new tool to probe the nature of the “hot Jupiter” known as 51 Pegasi b. The findings, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, offer a promising way forward to study exoplanets that doesn't rely on waiting for a distant planet to transit, or pass in front of its host star. “This result is encouraging and constitutes a very valuable proof of concept,” the study authors wrote.

  • Hubble isn't finished with discoveries

    By Scott Dance
    The Baltimore Sun |
    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    BALTIMORE — The Hubble Space Telescope survived decades of delays, glitches and blunders to fulfill predictions that it would rewrite science textbooks. But as it moves into the final years of its life, scientists say some of its best work still could be ahead of it. Hubble's past and future discoveries will guide the new James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018, as the next-generation observatory focuses more closely on the Big Bang and helps paint a fuller picture of the properties of distant planets and galaxies.

  • OU researcher Dr. Courtney Houchen saw career inspiration in TV doctors

    By Jim Stafford
    For The Oklahoman |
    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Courtney Houchen eventually became chief of gastroenterology at the University of Oklahoma and founder of COARE Biotechnology, an Oklahoma City-based company built around a new way to approach pancreatic cancer. “I was inspired to be a doctor based on those TV shows,” Houchen said during a recent visit to his office at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Oklahoma education news briefs

    | Updated: 10 hr ago

    Oklahoma education news in brief for Sunday, April 26, 2015.

  • Mosquito magnet? You may blame your DNA

    By Karen Kaplan
    Los Angeles Times |
    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Are you a mosquito magnet? If so, your genes may be to blame. New research shows that if mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of a particular person, they are likely to be attracted to her twin's scent as well. On the flip side, if they are repelled by someone's odor, they're likely to find her twin repellent, too. Scientists tested 37 sets of twins who were willing to place their hands in a Y-shaped glass tube. Groups of 20 mosquitoes were released into the tube and given 30 seconds to assess the scents inside. Then a gate was opened, allowing them to fly toward the hands they preferred and away from the hands they disliked. (Although the mosquitoes could smell the volunteers' hands, they couldn't

  • Woolly mammoth's genome could shed light on extinctions

    By Eryn Brown
    Los Angeles Times |
    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    In what may be a first for a long-extinct non-human animal — and certainly for an extinct creature of such stature — scientists have assembled the complete genome of the woolly mammoth, gaining insight into why the last surviving population of the great beasts, marooned on an Arctic island off the coast of Russia, may have disappeared. The international team, led by researchers at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, reported their findings Thursday in the journal Current Biology. Study co-author Eleftheria Palkopoulou said recent successes in the tricky business of sequencing ancient DNA, including samples from early hominids like Neanderthals and Denisovans, inspired her team

  • Your Views

    | Updated: 9 hr ago

    Kids need our help “Child abuse is epidemic problem in state, CARE Center CEO says” (News, April 17) noted that one in three girls and one in five boys are abused in Oklahoma County. Child abuse impacts more families than any childhood disease. The abuses include sexual and physical abuse, malnourishment, neglect and children sold into human and sex trafficking. Shockingly, 90 percent of the abusers are somebody known to the child, such as a family member, teacher, clergy, neighbor or friend. This despicable crime leaves the children physically and psychologically scarred and reluctant to report the incident because their abusers threaten to harm them or their loved ones.

  • Oklahoma senator, rep: It's time to expand transparency involving federal funds

    BY STATE REP. TOM NEWELL | Updated: 9 hr ago

    It's no secret that the federal government's debt is now more than $18 trillion. A bipartisan chorus of policymakers and policy analysts agrees that the current spending patterns of the federal government are unsustainable. One of the significant drivers in federal debt has been the acceptance and expense of federal funds by state agencies. According to the state's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services, total federal funds used by state agencies in Oklahoma has risen dramatically. Just 10 years ago, in fiscal year 2004, federal funds totaled $4.3 billion. Now federal funds total $6.7 billion, meaning our dependence on federal

  • Ruth Marcus: Donations leave Hillary in a cloud

    By Ruth Marcus | Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — In thinking about donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments and interests, an adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin and a Yiddish word come to mind. From Franklin — actually, from Franklin's alter ego, Poor Richard — comes the saying, “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.” In foreign policy, as in fundraising, lying down with dogs goes with the territory. Combine the two, and fleas become an occupational hazard. Foreign interests, like their U.S. counterparts, may give to the Clinton Global Initiative out of the goodness of their hearts and their commitment to the

  • Eagle & Beagle for April, 26, 2015

    By Don Mecoy | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Don Mecoy: Eagle & Beagle is a weekly look at Oklahoma companies' high-performing (eagle) and low-performing (beagle) stocks.

  • OU, OSU to bestow honorary degrees in May ceremonies

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have announced the recipients of honorary degrees to be awarded next month at their spring commencement ceremonies.

  • Survey results: Citizens can face hard policy choices, but recommendations are politically problematic

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: 9 hr ago

    THE group “Voice Of the People” has a novel idea: that citizens, when given ample information on major issues, are capable of reaching consensus. The findings of the group's first “citizen cabinet” survey in Oklahoma suggests an informed citizenry is also one that understands many promises made by politicians aren't going to be kept. The group surveyed more than 800 Oklahomans over several months, focusing on Social Security. Participants were provided a policymaking simulation that included a thorough issue briefing and the weighing of arguments pro and con.

  • Water conservation efforts important all the time, not just during drought

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: 9 hr ago

    IN Lawton last week, a small airplane began flying over that city and southwestern Oklahoma trying to help make it rain. This cloud-seeding exercise will continue through August as officials look to ease the pain of a drought that's now in its fifth year. Is this, ahem, a pie-in-the-sky proposition? Maybe. There's debate among scientists as to whether cloud seeding is worthwhile. But after such a long stretch of below-average rainfall, how can it hurt? Consider that since fall 2010, Lawton has received 61.7 inches of rain less than normal. The city's drinking water supply has fallen by about 40 percent. This makes something like cloud seeding more appealing, even if the potential benefits are

  • Outdoors notebook: There's still time to catch some paddlefish

    BY ED GODFREY | Updated: 8 hr ago

    There is still time to get on the paddlefish action in northeastern Oklahoma before the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation closes its Paddlefish Research Center on Grand Lake on Thursday.

  • Book signings

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    Book signings

  • Oklahoma best-sellers

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    Oklahoma best-sellers

  • George Will: A Graham candidacy's fun factor

    By George F. Will | Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — In 1994, Lindsey Graham, then a 39-year-old South Carolina legislator, ran for Congress in a district that he said had not elected a Republican since Union guns made it do so during Reconstruction. He promised that in Washington he would be “one less vote for an agenda that makes you want to throw up.” He was elected to the Senate in 2002 and soon almost certainly will join the Republican presidential scramble, enlivening it with his quick intelligence, policy fluency, mordant wit and provocative agenda. He has the normal senatorial tendency to see a president in the mirror, and an ebullient enjoyment of campaigning's rhetorical calisthenics.

  • Norman students create 'Oklahoma Rising' songbook

    By Jane Glenn Cannon, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Norman High School students in Cindy Scarberry’s class in the fall of 2013 drew pictures to illustrate a songbook that will be used to teach elementary students the words to Oklahoma’s centennial song, “Oklahoma Rising.”

  • Seasonal tornado forecasts could soon be a reality, researcher says

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    When tornadoes like the one that struck Moore last month are imminent, forecasters can often warn residents about them a few days in advance. But weather researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and elsewhere are working on a new method they hope will allow emergency responders to prepare weeks ahead of time when tornadoes are likely.

  • Oklahoma employers dangle carrots, swing sticks in workplace wellness programs

    By Paula Burkes, Business Writer | Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    While Midwest City-based Hudiburg Auto Group recently gave Fitbit bracelets to employees to encourage more active lifestyles, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently ruled employers can continue to use financial penalties — of up to 30 percent of the total contributions for employee-only coverage — to nudge staff to participate in fast-growing wellness programs.