Science

  • Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Smart windows that automatically change colors depending on the intensity of sunlight are gaining attention as they can reduce energy bills by blocking the sun's visible rays during summer. But what about windows that change colors depending on the humidity outside during the monsoon season or on hot days of summer?

  • Solar Orbiter to pass through the tails of Comet ATLAS
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    ESA's Solar Orbiter will cross through the tails of Comet ATLAS during the next few days. Although the recently launched spacecraft was not due to be taking science data at this time, mission experts have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.

  • Video: Europe's Spaceport, back to business
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Workers are returning to Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana to resume preparations for Vega and Ariane 5 launches. Construction of the new Ariane 6 launch pad has also restarted.

  • Watch Live: SpaceX and NASA to launch 2 astronauts to space station on Saturday
    by Jeanna Bryner on May 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    SpaceX and NASA are about to make history, sending astronauts from U.S. soil to the International Space Station. And you can watch it all here.

  • New study reveals long-term impact of disaster-related school closures
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Interrupting schooling has deep and long-lasting effects on children, shows a study from Oxford, which is based on research, into the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, that has relevance for other disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • How to watch historic SpaceX astronaut launch on Saturday
    by Stephanie Pappas on May 29, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    If all goes well, American astronauts will launch from U.S. soil to the International Space Station for the first time since 2011 on Saturday (May 30). 

  • How Trump’s executive order targeting social media may affect you
    by Stan Horaczek on May 29, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Donald Trump got mad at Twitter and issued a somewhat confusing executive order.

  • A non-destructive method of analysing molecules in cells
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    When investigating how tumors grow, or how pharmaceuticals affect different types of cells, researchers have to understand how molecules within a cell react—and interact. This is possible with modern laser microscopy. Until now, however, molecules in cell specimens had to be labelled with fluorescent substances in order to make them visible, and this can distort the very behavior of the molecules. Research groups from Bielefeld University and the University of Hong Kong have developed a […]

  • Researchers find mathematical structure in biological complexity
    on May 29, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    What is and is not possible for natural evolution may be explained using models and calculations from theoretical physics, say researchers in Japan.

  • How we can increase the effectiveness of global environment protection
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) identified six top priorities where environmental interventions can make the most difference. By doing so, they hope to help researchers and policymakers make the most out of the limited, available resources to protect people and the planet.

  • When dams cause more problems than they solve, removing them can pay off for people and nature
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Across the United States, dams generate hydroelectric power, store water for drinking and irrigation, control flooding and create recreational opportunities such as slack-water boating and waterskiing.

  • Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates
    by Yasemin Saplakoglu on May 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Among the top coronavirus news out today are: U.S. coronavirus death toll exceeds 101,000 and 1 in 7 people in New York might have had COVID-19 by the end of March, antibody testing reveals

  • Researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    At the atomic level, a glass of water and a spoonful of crystalline salt couldn't look more different. Water atoms move around freely and randomly, while salt crystals are locked in place in a lattice. But some new materials, recently investigated by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, show an intriguing propensity to sometimes behave like water and sometimes like salt, giving them interesting transport properties and holding potential promise for […]

  • Image: Hubble grabs a stellar latte
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Far away in the Ursa Major constellation is a swirling galaxy that would not look out of place on a coffee made by a starry-eyed barista. NGC 3895 is a barred spiral galaxy that was first spotted by William Herschel in 1790 and was later observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

  • Climate scientists create model for global forest growth through 2060
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    When it comes to the fight against global warming, our forests offer a valuable service. Trees act as carbon sinks, capturing CO2—the main greenhouse gas heating up the Earth's climate—from the air and storing it until they die.

  • MAXI J1820+070: Black hole outburst caught on video
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Astronomers have caught a black hole hurling hot material into space at close to the speed of light. This flare-up was captured in a new movie from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

  • A study analyzes the growth and development of the diploic veins in modern humans
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    A study coordinated by Emiliano Bruner, a paleoneurologist at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), on the growth of the diploic veins throughout human development (between one year of age and adulthood) shows that, while these vessels develop constantly, it is only in the adult phase that a substantial increase is detected.

  • Astronomers predict bombardment from asteroids and comets in other planetary system
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    The planetary system around star HR8799 is remarkably similar to our solar system. It has four gas giants in between two asteroid belts. A research team led by RuG and SRON used this similarity to model the delivery of materials by asteroids, comets and other minor bodies within the system. Their simulation shows that the four gas planets receive material delivered by minor bodies, just as in our solar system.

  • Experiments with mini-ecosystems show that exotic plants accelerate carbon loss from soils
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in New Zealand has found evidence that shows exotic plant introductions can accelerate carbon loss from soils. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes how setting up multiple mini-ecosystems to learn more about the impact of invasive species on native ecosystems, and what they learned. Carlos Urcelay and Amy Austin with Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad de Buenos Aires, respectively, […]

  • Integrating satellite and socioeconomic data to improve climate change policy
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Bangladesh is on track to lose all of its forestland in the next 35-40 years, leading to a rise in CO2 emissions and subsequent climate change, researchers said. However, that is just one of the significant land-use changes that the country is experiencing. A new study uses satellite and census data to quantify and unravel how physical and economic factors drive land-use changes. Understanding this relationship can inform climate policy at the national scale in Bangladesh and beyond.

  • Bacteria breakthrough could lead to new biomaterials
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) have found a way to manipulate the growth of bacterial biofilms—one of the most abundant forms of life on earth.

  • SpaceX's historic astronaut launch attempt draws huge crowds despite NASA warnings
    by Chelsea Gohd on May 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Despite warnings from NASA officials and the risks implied by the current pandemic, approximately 150,000 people gathered on Florida's space coast to watch the Crew Dragon launch.

  • Study examines black male youth reactions to social media videos of community violence
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    New research from the Race and Opportunity Lab in the Center for Social Development sheds light on youths' reactions to social media videos showing violence in their communities.

  • Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    A few minutes into the life of the universe, colliding emissions of light energy created the first particles of matter and antimatter. We are familiar with the reverse process—matter generating energy—in everything from a campfire to an atomic bomb, but it has been difficult to recreate that critical transformation of light into matter.

  • Cellular players get their moment in the limelight
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    In order to understand our biology, researchers need to investigate not only what cells are doing, but also more specifically what is happening inside of cells at the level of organelles, the specialized structures that perform unique tasks to keep the cell functioning. However, most methods for analysis take place at the level of the whole cell. Because a specific organelle might make up only a fraction of an already microscopic cell's contents, "background noise" from other cellular […]

  • To reopen cities during pandemic, focus on neighborhoods
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    With unemployment rising to its highest rate since the Great Depression and labor participation plummeting, many local government leaders in the United States have taken steps to reopen their cities—worrying not only about financial costs, but also about the public health implications of widespread job loss, income insecurity and food insecurity.

  • Evidence found of Kuroshio current strengthening due to intensifying tropical cyclones
    on May 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    A team of researchers from the Ocean University of China and Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, the Second Institute of Oceanography, the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa has found evidence of the Kuroshio current strengthening due to intensifying tropical cyclones. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes analyzing climate data revealing evidence that bigger cyclones add […]

  • A majority in the US supports making mail-in voting easier, new study shows
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    A majority of United States residents supports measures to make it easier to vote by mail, according to new results from a national survey led by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers, and Northwestern universities.

  • The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    The most common organism in the oceans, and possibly on the entire planet, is a family of single-celled marine bacteria called SAR11. These drifting organisms look like tiny jelly beans and have evolved to outcompete other bacteria for scarce resources in the oceans.

  • Emerald predators: Ohlone tiger beetles reclaim territory with the help of local scientists
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    For the first time in over a decade, endangered Ohlone tiger beetles roam a preserve near Soquel and await their chance to pounce on unsuspecting prey. Their metallic emerald bodies appear iridescent in the sunlight as they scurry across the bare earth.

  • In wake of global shutdowns, researchers expect water quality to improve
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Researchers have mapped declines in air pollution after lockdowns were imposed around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but those are not the only environmental impacts they expect to see. They think the cleaner air could also mean cleaner water—at least in the short term.

  • How to keep supply chains reliable when the world's upended
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    In March, as COVID-19 cases spiked across the United States, hospitals faced a harrowing shortage of crucial medical supplies, from face masks and ventilators to the nasal swabs and chemicals needed for testing kits. In the ensuing weeks, there's been a growing concern over wider drug shortages, since—according to FDA figures—72% of active-ingredient manufacturing for medicines sold in the U.S. is based in other countries.

  • Data-relay satellite ready for service
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    The second node in the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed is ready to go into service.

  • Remote learning is a model for the future of education
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    How will technology-delivered instruction affect learning? It's still too early to reach a conclusion, but the implications for exams are clear, says Elsbeth Stern.

  • Experiments in isolation: Training astronauts for long-term solo missions
    on May 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Isolation can feel like a state of limbo, but being separated from others can also be a huge driver of change and give us a great chance to experiment.

  • Last-known video of 'Tasmanian tiger' rediscovered
    by Laura Geggel on May 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Rediscovered footage of a thylacine taken in 1935 is the last-known recording of the marsupial, which went extinct in 1936.

  • Live Science podcast 'Life's Little Mysteries' special report: Coronavirus (May 28)
    by Live Science Staff on May 29, 2020 at 11:43 am

    In this special episode of Life's Little Mysteries, we'll give you the latest news and answer frequently asked questions about the new coronavirus and COVID-19.

  • New streamlined assay can improve prenatal detection of alpha-thalassemia
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    In a report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, published by Elsevier, researchers describe a rapid, accurate novel assay for nondeletional alpha-thalassemia genotyping based on one-step nested asymmetric PCR melting curve analysis, which may enhance prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening, and large-scale population screening.

  • Immunotherapy for bowel cancer could change clinical practice
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    A large international trial involving UCL and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has found that pembrolizumab, a form of immunotherapy, more than doubled the 'progression free survival' time of patients with a specific subtype of advanced bowel cancer, when compared with chemotherapy.

  • Blood test as a potential new weapon in the fight to eliminate malaria
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    An international collaborative team from PROS Ehime University and CellFee Science, Japan; the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Australia; Pasteur Institute, France; and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Switzerland developed a new diagnostic blood test which detects recent exposure to 'vivax' malaria. The new test can also identify people who may harbor dormant liver-stage malaria parasites, which can cause illness. This new diagnostic approach has the potential to enhance malaria […]

  • Nilotinib appears safe and affects biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease clinical trial
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    A Georgetown University Medical Center clinical trial investigating the cancer drug nilotinib in people with Alzheimer's disease finds that it is safe and well-tolerated, and researchers say the drug should be tested in a larger study to further determine its safety and efficacy as a potential disease-modifying strategy.

  • First cases of COVID-19 in New York City primarily from European and US sources
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    In New York City, the first confirmed COVID-19 cases arose mostly through untracked transmission of the virus from Europe and other parts of the United States, a new molecular epidemiology study of 84 patients reports.

  • People more likely to accept nudges if they know how they work and how effective they are
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    The more people know about when and why behavioural interventions are being used and their effectiveness, the more likely they are to accept their use to change their behaviour.

  • Towards a climate neutral Europe: The land sector is key
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Land use choices can have a significant impact on climate change mitigation and help meet the increased ambition foreseen by the 'European Green Deal'. It is time to step up efforts to quantify the land sector's carbon emissions and removals. A study, which includes the CMCC Foundation's participation, analyses the EU regulations in force on the subject, which to date still place limits on the contribution that the land use sector can make to achieving the Union's climate objectives.

  • Dietary and physical activity intervention reduces LDL cholesterol level in children
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    An individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention reduced the plasma LDL cholesterol concentration of primary school children, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

  • Contamined soils determined root characteristics
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    University of Cordoba Professor Rafael Villar participated in a study on the variation of root traits among Mediterranean trees planted in metal-contaminated soil

  • Glucocorticoids are harmful in treating viral respiratory infections
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Glucocorticoids, which are widely used as treatment in intensive care, can nearly quadruple the death rate of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome. Researchers at the University of Turku, Finland, discovered the reason for the higher mortality. The findings are also important in the fight against COVID-19 disease.

  • Growing evidence that minority ethnic groups in England may be at higher risk of COVID-19
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Evidence available to date suggests that minority ethnic groups in England, particularly black and south Asian people, may be at increased risk of testing positive for Covid-19, compared to people from white British backgrounds, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

  • Limits on evolution revealed by statistical physics
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    What is and is not possible for natural evolution may be explained using models and calculations from theoretical physics, say researchers in Japan. To explain this the limits of evolution, researchers simplified the natural world to fit idealized physics models and searched for any mathematical structure within biological complexity.

  • Astronomers predict bombardment from asteroids and comets in another planetary system
    on May 29, 2020 at 4:00 am

    The planetary system around star HR8799 is remarkably similar to our Solar System. A research team led by astronomers from the University of Groningen and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research has used this similarity to model the delivery of materials by asteroids, comets and other minor bodies within the system. Their simulation shows that the four gas planets receive material delivered by minor bodies, just like in our Solar System.