Science

  • Where is the greatest risk to our mineral resource supplies?
    on February 21, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Policymakers and the U.S. manufacturing sector now have a powerful tool to help them identify which mineral commodities they rely on that are most at risk to supply disruptions, thanks to a new methodology by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

  • Navy gains a competitive edge with research into biological ocean swarms
    on February 21, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Tiny and frightening-looking creatures lurking throughout our world's oceans can wreak havoc on Navy tactical decision-makers' ability to sense the environment or plan and chart a navigation course.

  • Brain cells protect muscles from wasting away
    on February 21, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    While many of us worry about proteins aggregating in our brains as we age and potentially causing Alzheimer's disease or other types of neurodegeneration, we may not realize that some of the same proteins are aggregating in our muscles, setting us up for muscle atrophy in old age.

  • Duck-billed dinosaurs had the same bone tumors as people
    by Kate Baggaley on February 21, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Scientists have identified the oldest-known case of a unique kind of cancer in the tailbones of a duck-billed dinosaur. The abnormalities preserved in the ancient reptile’s bones match those seen in people today who are afflicted with this rare disease, the researchers announced February 10 in Scientific Reports.

  • Australia’s horrific fires may permanently change the country’s landscape
    by Grant Williamson et al./The Conversation on February 21, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Well before the latest fires, Australia had an abysmal record on vertebrate extinctions. This summer’s fires have brought some animal species, closer to extinction.

  • Hemophilia: Causes, symptoms & treatment
    by Cari Nierenberg on February 21, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    One of the main risks of this rare blood disorder is internal bleeding into muscles, joints and soft tissue.

  • How to visit all 50 states
    by Mary Kearl on February 21, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    When I was a teenager, I stumbled across a Xerox copy of a blank U.S. map. There, my parents had written down the years I first visited each state, and I realized I was well on my way to spending time in all 50 of them.

  • 12 trippy objects hidden in the zodiac
    by Brandon Specktor on February 21, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    The 12 constellations of the Zodiac contain some of the weirdest, most wonderful objects in the universe. Here are our favorites.

  • Tomb of Rome's mythical founder Romulus unearthed
    by Tom Metcalfe on February 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    A tomb that was buried thousands of years ago and revered by ancient Romans as the resting place of their city's mythical founder Romulus has now been rediscovered beneath the Forum in Rome.

  • Fossilized wing gives clues about Labrador's biodiversity during the Cretaceous
    on February 21, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    A fossilised insect wing discovered in an abandoned mine in Labrador has led palaeontologists from McGill University and the University of Gda?sk to identify a new hairy cicada species that lived around 100 million years ago.

  • Why do whales migrate? They return to the tropics to shed their skin, scientists say
    on February 21, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Whales undertake some of the longest migrations on earth, often swimming many thousands of miles, over many months, to breed in the tropics. The question is why—is it to find food, or to give birth?

  • The toxic legacy of old oil wells: California's multibillion-dollar problem
    on February 21, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Across much of California, fossil fuel companies are leaving thousands of oil and gas wells unplugged and idle, potentially threatening the health of people living nearby and handing taxpayers a multibillion-dollar bill for the environmental cleanup.

  • Mars InSight lander to push on top of the 'mole'
    on February 21, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    After nearly a year of trying to dig into the Martian surface, the heat probe belonging to NASA's InSight lander is about to get a push. The mission team plans to command the scoop on InSight's robotic arm to press down on the "mole," the mini pile driver designed to hammer itself as much as 16 feet (5 meters) down. They hope that pushing down on the mole's top, also called the back cap, will keep it from backing out of its hole on Mars, as it did twice in recent months after nearly burying […]

  • How earthquakes deform gravity
    on February 21, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Lightning—one, two, three—and thunder. For centuries, people have estimated the distance of a thunderstorm from the time between lightning and thunder. The greater the time gap between the two signals, the further away the observer is from the location of the lightning. This is because lightning propagates at the speed of light with almost no time delay, while thunder propagates at the much slower speed of sound of around 340 metres per second.

  • Prehistoric migration could hint at how birds will handle climate change
    by Molly Glick on February 21, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    The new findings estimates the seasonal flights to be at least 50,000 years old—a time when the Earth was perpetually frostbitten.

  • The strategy of cells to deal with the accumulation of misfolded proteins is identified
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    A new article by the Oxidative Stress and Cell Cycle research group at UPF identifies the main strategy of cells to deal with the accumulation of misfolded proteins. In the paper, published today in the journal Cell Reports, the Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast model has been used to investigate the protein quality control process. The study was led by Elena Hidalgo, and postdoctoral researchers Margarita Cabrera and Susanna Boronat are its first authors.

  • NASA measures rainfall rates in two American Samoa Tropical Cyclones
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    There are two tropical cyclones affecting American Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean on Feb. 21. Tropical Storm Vicky has triggered warnings, while Tropical Cyclone 18P continues to develop. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite provided a look at the rainfall rates occurring in both storms.

  • A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the MPSD and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

  • Researchers develop high-capacity EV battery materials that double driving range
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Dr. Hun-Gi Jung and his research team at the Center for Energy Storage Research of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Lee Byung Gwon) have announced the development of silicon anode materials that can increase battery capacity four-fold in comparison to graphite anode materials and enable rapid charging to more than 80% capacity in only five minutes. When applied to batteries for electric vehicles, the new materials are expected to more than double their driving […]

  • Roman Forum find could be shrine to Rome's founder, Romulus
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Italian archaeologists unveiled to the press Friday an exciting new find from the Roman Forum, which they say could be the lost shrine dedicated some 2,600 years ago to Romulus, Rome's legendary founder and first king.

  • Sneaking up on tiny crystals with electron diffraction
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Understanding the structure of proteins, the building blocks of life, is essential to obtain insight into their biological function. Due to their minute size and extreme fragility, these structures are enormously difficult to determine. Acquiring data of sufficient resolution requires immense doses of high energy X-ray radiation, which unfortunately irrevocably damages the proteins principally being investigated.

  • When plasmons reach atomic flatland
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Researchers from the MPSD and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the United States have discovered a significant new fundamental kind of quantum electronic oscillation, or plasmon, in atomically thin materials. Their work has now been published in Nature Communications. It has potential implications for novel imaging techniques and photochemical reactions at the nanoscale.

  • Tools used to study human disease reveal coral disease risk factors
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of international researchers led by University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa postdoctoral fellow Jamie Caldwell used a statistical technique typically employed in human epidemiology to determine the ecological risk factors affecting the prevalence of two coral diseases—growth anomalies, abnormalities like coral tumors, and white syndromes, infectious diseases similar to flesh eating bacteria.

  • Study reveals hidden risks of estuary development for young salmon
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    A Simon Fraser University-led research team has found significant evidence that human activity in estuaries is impacting juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon. The team's review of 167 peer-reviewed studies (from an initial search of 13,000) identified negative impacts from several stressors, including the effects of flood-protecting tidal gates, pollution and habitat modification.

  • Deciphering the mechanism that determines organ size and shape
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    A study by IRB Barcelona's Development and Growth Control Laboratory, headed by ICREA researcher Marco Milán, reveals how Dpp and Wg morphogens regulate organ proportions and patterning of the fly wing through independent mechanisms. Given that these morphogens are present in vertebrates, these results are highly significant for understanding the development and growth of human limbs. "The regulatory mechanism that we describe in this study may pave the way to new research lines on […]

  • New torula yeast product as digestible as fish meal in weanling pig diets
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Starting weanling pigs off with the right diet can make all the difference for the health and productivity of the animal. A new University of Illinois study shows amino acids from a new torula yeast product are more digestible by young pigs than amino acids from fish meal.

  • NASA sees tropical cyclone 18p form near American Samoa
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    The low-pressure area that has been lingering west-northwest of American Samoa for several days has organized into a tropical depression. NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Depression 18P.

  • Greener spring, warmer air
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Advanced leaf-out, or early sprouting and opening of leaves, is a direct response to climate change. In the northern hemisphere, leaf-out has advanced at a rate of 4-5 days per decade on average since 1980s, according to a synthesis of over 40 satellite-derived phenology studies across decades and regions. Scientists are curious to know if, in turn, this advancement would affect climate by modulating seasonal cycles of surface energy, water, and carbon budgets.

  • Antibiotics in animals: More research urgently needed
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    A special issue of Animal Health Research Reviews turns the spotlight on the science underlying this growing crisis—looking at the evidence base for using antibiotics to prevent illness in beef and dairy cattle, swine, and broiler poultry.

  • Frozen bird turns out to be 46,000-year-old horned lark
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Scientists have recovered DNA from a well-preserved horned lark found in Siberian permafrost. The results can contribute to explaining the evolution of sub species, as well as how the mammoth steppe transformed into tundra, forest and steppe biomes at the end of the last Ice Age.

  • Global database for Karst spring discharges
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    When carbonate rocks weather, karst landscapes are formed. The groundwater reserves in these layers of earth currently supply 10 to 20 percent of the world population with drinking water. So far, however, researchers have not been able to precisely determine the amount of water present in karst regions. The reason for this is that the computational models cannot adequately capture the special features of hydrological processes in karst regions without observational data. As a result, reliable […]

  • Social accounting, a different perspective when analysing public spending efficiency
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    The interest expressed by the general public in social aspects is constantly growing and there are more and more companies and organisations that want to know what social contribution they make. The tool used to analyse this aspect is social accounting, "an information system that incorporates the social value that is generated in society," explained Leire San Jose, leader of the ECRI research group.

  • Scientists crack the mystery of liquid light interactions in organic materials
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    A team of scientists from the Hybrid Photonics Laboratory at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and the University of Sheffield (UK) made a breakthrough in understanding nonlinear physics of the strong interaction of organic molecules with light. Principles of strong light matter interaction open new horizons of ultra-fast and low energy all-optical data processing. The findings were published in Communications Physics and featured in the February issue of Nature […]

  • Shaping the rings of molecules
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Macrocycles are molecules made of large rings of atoms. Despite being relatively big and flexible, the molecules don't always stay "floppy"—they can actually lock themselves into specific shapes and geometries.

  • Coronavirus-stricken cruise ship passengers returned to US against CDC advice
    by Stephanie Pappas on February 21, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Fourteen passengers with coronavirus from the cruise ship The Diamond Princess were evacuated to the U.S. against CDC advice.

  • A plan to save Earth's oceans
    on February 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    At least 26 per cent of our oceans need urgent conservation attention to preserve Earth's marine biodiversity, a University of Queensland-led international study has found.

  • Fossils help identify a lone 'bright spot' in a similar state to coral reefs before human impact
    on February 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) discovered a massive, 7,000-year-old fossilized coral reef near the institute's Bocas del Toro Research Station in Panama. Spanning about 50 hectares, it rewards paleontologists with an unusual glimpse of a "pristine" reef that formed before humans arrived.

  • Scientists predict state of matter that can conduct both electricity and energy perfectly
    on February 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Three scientists from the University of Chicago have run the numbers, and they believe there may be a way to make a material that could conduct both electricity and energy with 100% efficiency—never losing any to heat or friction.

  • How to sell your unwanted gadgets for cash
    by David Nield on February 21, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Maybe you've just upgraded your smartphone, or maybe you've been given a gift you're not all that keen on. Or, maybe, you simply aren't using your new e-reader quite as much as you thought you would.

  • More than 76,000 confirmed cases: Live updates on COVID-19
    by Live Science Staff on February 21, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Here's everything you need to know about the new coronavirus from China, including how lethal it is, how you can catch it and what is being done to prevent widespread infections.

  • How pilots land their planes in powerful crosswinds
    by Rob Verger on February 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Watching airplanes land in strong crosswinds is hypnotic and just maybe a little scary. Here's how pilots do it.

  • Bones of Neolithic immigrants killed in massacre found in Spanish cave
    by Tom Metcalfe on February 21, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    The bones of nine Neolithic people found in a cave in northern Spain suggest they were killed and then beaten after death, in a massacre that may have been caused by their migration into the region more than 7,000 years ago.

  • Wreckage of lost American WWII planes finally found, in a Pacific lagoon
    by Mindy Weisberger on February 21, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    During a pivotal World War II battle, three U.S. aircraft and their seven crewmen were lost at sea. The planes were recently located in a lagoon in the Pacific Ocean.

  • The answer to lactose intolerance might be in Mongolia
    by Andrew Curry on February 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Most Mongolians are lactose intolerant, and yet their diet relies on dairy. A mysterious world of bacteria could be at play.

  • Dozens of ancient Egyptian graves found with rare clay coffins
    by Laura Geggel on February 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Archaeologists have found 83 graves filled with the bones and artifacts of ancient Egyptians, not too far from the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Your brain waves could predict if an antidepressant will work for you
    by Lucy Hicks on February 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    A new study suggests a better way to match patients with depression to a medication.

  • Global database for Karst spring discharges
    on February 21, 2020 at 5:00 am

    For the first time researchers present comprehensive records that facilitate sustainable water management.

  • Ethnobotanical medicine is effective against the bacterium causing Lyme disease
    on February 21, 2020 at 5:00 am

    A preclinical in vitro study shows that selected plant-based herbal medicines, especially Ghanaian quinine and Japanese knotweed, work better than antibiotics against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. These findings represent an important step towards the development of treatments that might be better tolerated and more effective than the current standard of care.

  • Shaping the rings of molecules
    on February 21, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Canadian chemists discover a natural process to control the shape of 'macrocycles,' molecules of large rings of atoms, for use in pharmaceuticals and electronics.

  • Computer vision is used for boosting pest control efficacy via sterile insect technique
    on February 21, 2020 at 5:00 am

    By means of an imaging analysis system made available by FAPESP, a Brazilian research group succeeds at facilitating the selection of sterilized male specimens reared to combat a South American fruit fly known as pest of apple and peach orchards.