Bee ailment got worse last year
A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the past year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 or 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation's fruits and vegetables. A conclusive explanation has escaped scientists studying the ailment, colony collapse disorder, since it surfaced around 2005. But beekeepers and some researchers say there's growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor. The pesticide industry disputes that. But its representatives also say they are open to further studies to clarify what is happening.
Solar plane set to cross U.S.
A solar-powered plane that has wowed aviation fans in Europe is set to travel across the United States with stops in Phoenix, Dallas, Washington and New York, organizers of the trip said Thursday. The plane, Solar Impulse, is expected to be ready to leave from the San Francisco Bay Area on May 1, the plane's Swiss creators said at a news conference at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Its creators say the plane is designed to showcase the potential of solar power and will never replace fuel-powered commercial flights.
Just a quick trip to space station
A Russian spacecraft carrying a three-man crew lifted off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan and docked six hours later today at the International Space Station. It was the first time a space crew has taken such a direct route. Soyuz spacecraft previously used a two-day approach. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin will spend five months at the space station. Vinogradov had joked the trip would be so quick they could take along ice cream without it melting.