Today's Science News

May 27, 2024

A Weather Satellite Watched a Space Rock Burn Up Above Spain and Portugal - It’s been a momentous May for skywatchers around the world.

May 26, 2024

Galaxies in the Early Universe Preferred their Food Cold - One of the main objectives of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is to study the early Universe by using its powerful infrared optics to spot the first galaxies while they were still forming.

Extreme Birding: The Strange Magic of Pelagics - 12 hours on small boat with 16 strangers, all to see a handful of seabirds?

Migration Data Helps Protect Leatherbacks Across Oceans - Data from a TNC-lead tagging study reveals the epic migrations of leatherback turtles.

Meet the Leatherback: A Giant, Deep-Diving Migrant of the Open Seas - What dives deeper than a submarine, swims across oceans, is covered in polka-dots, and has a mouth straight out of a horror movie?

Clinical trial to assess world first methamphetamine withdrawal treatment - Australian researchers have been awarded $2.2 million to trial a stimulant medication for the treatment of withdrawal in people with methamphetamine use disorder.

Matcha mouthwash inhibits bacteria that causes periodontitis - Periodontitis, caused by bacterial infection, can lead to tooth loss.

Improving the effectiveness of earthquake early warning systems - Mobile phones deliver vital earthquake warnings in Japan, but people often fail to take immediate protective actions.

You might have missed: Fossil “echidnapus”; bigger is better for proboscis monkeys; Alaska’s rivers turn orange, and more - You might have missed: opalised fossil of “echidnapus” discovered; bigger is better for the proboscis monkey; Alaska’s rivers and streams are turning orange; and culinary traditions of prehistoric Central Europe.

'A force more powerful than gravity within the Earth': How magnetism locked itself inside our planet - "As the magma cooled to form what is today the world's solid outer crust, magnetism was locked into minerals containing iron, such as magnetite."

'It has an 'Aliens'-like vibe:' 'Atlas' director Brad Peyton on channeling James Cameron (exclusive) - An exclusive interview with director Brad Peyton on Netflix's new sci-fi film "Atlas."

Starmus 2024: Scientists and musicians unite in Bratislava to celebrate planet Earth - Here's what it was like to experience the Starmus Festival in Bratislava, where top scientists and musicians united to celebrate Earth with an overarching theme "The future of our home planet".

A New Way to Measure the Rotation of Black Holes - Sometimes, astronomers get lucky and catch an event they can watch to see how the properties of some of the most massive objects in the universe evolve.

'When you improve nutrition, you reduce violence': Psychologist Kimberley Wilson on working in Europe's largest women's prison - Kimberley Wilson has worked in prisons and with patients from all walks of life.

The future is bright for astronomy, and very expensive (op-ed) - The universe is being revealed in exquisite detail with the current generation of large optical telescopes.

NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' cameo in '3 Body Problem' explained (exclusive) - Interview with NASA/JPL's systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi on his "3 Body Problem" cameo.

NASA detects Earth-size planet just 40 light-years away that's 'not a bad place' to hunt for life - The exoplanet Gliese 12 b is tantalizingly close and moderately warm, situated just 40 light-years away around a red dwarf star.

The hornet has landed: Scientists combat new honeybee killer in US - Researchers are working to limit the threat while developing better eradication methods.

One in 5 adults in Canada without access to primary care - 1 in 5 Canadian adults lack primary care.

Black hole singularities defy physics. New research could finally do away with them. - Black hole singularities defy the laws of physics.

Space photo of the week: NASA sees a 'Platypus' move on Jupiter's moon Europa - The Juno spacecraft, which orbits Jupiter, has been imaging the giant planet's moon Europa and spotted apparent movement in its icy crust.

Why did Homo sapiens emerge in Africa? - Our human ancestors arose in Africa due to many factors, including climate.

Wheat gene discovery might lead to higher yields and climate change resilience - Scientists have shed new light on the role of well-known wheat gene that influences the yield of wheat, providing knowledge that will help improve farm

Monitoring the recovery process accurately with a medical needle and thread! - Researchers at DGIST led by Professor Jaehong Lee developed a wireless electronic suture for health monitoring.

Yoga and meditation-induced altered states of consciousness are common in the general population - Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork have positive effects, but can also lead to challenging altered states.

How plants mate for life and repel other suitors - Scientists from Nagoya University used a microscopic technique to reveal the mechanism behind plant reproduction.

Electric school buses may yield significant health and climate benefits, cost savings - Replacing diesel school buses with electric buses yields health and climate benefits, especially in large cities.

The growing promise of cancer vaccines - Dr Bidyut Sarkar  A cure for cancer — which is second only to cardiovascular diseases in its contribution to the global burden of disease — has long been a dream.

Could Martian atmospheric samples teach us more about the Red Planet than surface samples? - NASA is actively working to return surface samples from Mars in the next few years, which they hope will help us better understand whether ancient life once existed on the Red Planet’s surface billions of years ago.

May 25, 2024

Can coal mines be tapped for rare earth elements? - Study finds rare earth elements co-located with coal deposits, offering potential domestic source for critical minerals.

Cosmo Sheldrake and Tim Coulson on the demise of human exceptionalism and the birth of creativity. - The Arts and Sciences have diverged but The Exchange attempts to reignite dialogue between them.

Helping farmers easily access future climate projections - Stephen Snow; Aysha Fleming, and Yuwan Malakar CSIRO How often do you check your local weather forecast?

Get ready for ‘spider web’ sensors on your skin? - They’re 50 times smaller than a hair on your body, look like tiny strands of spider silk and could fundamentally change how humans interact with the world around them.

Autoimmune disease not associated with monoclonal gammopathy - Study finds no link between autoimmune diseases and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).

10 surprising things that are made from petroleum - From chocolate to toothpaste, many surprising household products and everyday items are made from petroleum.

New lunar rover struts its stuff across Australia - Australian-made prototypes of Moon rovers are touring the country to show off the robots’ autonomous features.

Expert reaction: Bird flu outbreak - Bird flu hit the headlines this week, with two incidents of avian influenza in Victoria and a third incident in WA reported at the end of the week.

Black Holes are Firing Beams of Particles, Changing Targets Over Time - Black holes seem to provide endless fascination to astronomers.

Will a 'rare' lineup of planets be visible to the naked eye in the night sky on June 3? - Skywatchers who plan to rise early and step outside on June 3 expecting to see a stunning display of visible planets will be quite disappointed, at the very least.

Florence Nightingale Overcame The Limits Set On Victorian Women - Florence Nightingale experienced her personal call to nursing at age 16 and ultimately became known as the “Lady with the Lamp.”

AI Can Help Us Know What Viruses Are Up To In The Oceans And In Our Guts - Many viral genetic sequences code for proteins that researchers haven’t seen before.

NASA Launches Small Climate Satellite to Study Earth’s Poles - The first of a pair of climate satellites designed to study heat emissions at Earth’s poles for NASA is in orbit after lifting off atop Rocket Lab’s Electron

'Alien' heard us all scream 45 years ago today. Here's what it was like on opening day - Here's what it was like seeing Ridley Scott's "Alien" on opening day in 1979, in honor of the iconic sci-fi horror film's 45th anniversary.

At Least Two Countries Have Lost All Their Glaciers - Two countries—Slovenia and Venezuela—have lost all of their glaciers.

This Week In Space podcast: Episode 112 —Mars on Pause? - On Episode 112 of This Week In Space, Rod and Tariq talk with Rob Manning, Chief Engineer Emeritus of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, about Mars exploration and, in particular, Mars Sample Return.

James Webb telescope sees 'birth' of 3 of the universe's earliest galaxies in world-1st observations - The James Webb Space Telescope may have spotted the birth of some of the earliest galaxies in the universe for the first time ever, new research hints.

Towel Day 2024: What's the deal with towels in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?' - An explanation of Towel Day and its meaning in the world of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Aardwolf: The weirdo hyena cousin that eats 300,000 termites each night - Aardwolves — the "weird cousin" of the hyena world that has peg teeth and only eats insects — are an evolutionary mystery, stemming from a ghost lineage that scientists haven't been able to figure out.

How the Guinness Brewery Invented the Most Important Statistical Method in Science - The most common test of statistical significance originated from the Guinness brewery.

“Deny, denounce, delay”: The battle over the risk of ultra-processed foods - Big Food is trying to dampen fears about the effects of industrially formulated substances.

NASA spots 16 'Death Star' black holes blasting powerful beams at multiple targets - Researchers using NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope have found that a group of "Death Star black holes are swiveling around and pointing at new targets, like the fictional space station in Star Wars."

Scientists say they can make zero-emission cement - Researchers on Wednesday said they were a step closer to solving one of the trickiest problems in tackling climate change—how to keep making cement despite its enormous carbon footprint.

A billionaire hopes to upgrade the Hubble Telescope on a private SpaceX mission, but could it really happen? - Jared Isaacman, the billionaire funder and commander of the Polaris Program missions, spoke on social media recently about why he wants a Hubble Space Telescope mission.

32 stunning photos of auroras seen from space - Auroras (also called the northern and southern lights) are visible from the ground after powerful solar storms, but these natural light shows look even more majestic from above.

With a click of a button, could you change your mind about ‘good’ science? - As the scientific community grapples with misinformation and the undermining of trust, one group of AI and psychology researchers has proposed a simple button

NASA finds more issues with Boeing’s Starliner, but crew launch set for June 1 - Fixing the helium leak would delay Starliner crew test flight for months.

NASA TACP Team Visits with UCF Students, Faculty - Representatives of NASA's Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) met with students at the University of Central Florida in Orlando during April 2024.

Extinct ‘mountain jewel’ plant returned to wild - in secret location - A plant picked for its beautiful flowers then wiped out in the UK mainland makes a dramatic return.

May 24, 2024

HiCAM 2024 Spring Review - NASA and its partners in the Advanced Composites Consortium gathered at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, May 7-9.

Another Giant Antarctic Iceberg Breaks Free - On May 20th, 2024, an iceberg measuring 380 square kilometers (~147 mi2) broke off the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Has Psychiatry Lost Touch With Individuals? - An argument for emphasis on subjective experience.

Weekend Science: You Don't Need An Expensive Espresso Grind To Make Great Espresso - I have three manual espresso machines and a Nespresso and even after years of making them, it can be difficult to get it just right.

Unlocking the relationship between autoimmunity and long-term infection - Researchers from The Australian National University have discovered the gene, called Zeb2, that proliferates in autoimmunity diseases.

Fish are Adapting to Weightlessness on the Chinese Space Station - Four zebrafish are alive and well after nearly a month in space aboard China’s Tiangong space station.

NASA Engages in Artemis Accords Workshop to Advance Exploration - NASA participated in the second international face-to-face workshop this week among Artemis Accords signatories, which featured space officials from two dozen

Giant Chips Boost Supercomputing Capabilities - CPUs the size of dinner plates are enabling computer simulations that are two orders of magnitude better than conventional supercomputers are capable of.

Marvel at the Variety of Planets Found by TESS Already - The hunt for new exoplanets continues.

SpaceX sets date for next Starship flight, explains what went wrong the last time - Clearing blocked filters and clogged valves is the order of the day.

The 2024 Hurricane Season Could Be a Dangerous One - The National Hurricane Center’s hurricane season outlook for the Atlantic Ocean forecasts 17 to 25 named storms in 2024 because of an expected combination of warm ocean temperatures and a La Niña climate pattern

NASA is Practicing for the Moon With Partial Space Suits - In just a few short years, NASA hopes to put humans back on the lunar surface.

Charge your laptop in a minute or your EV in 10? Supercapacitors can help - Imagine if your dead laptop or phone could charge in a minute or if an electric car could be fully powered in 10 minutes.

AI headphones let wearer listen to a single person in a crowd, by looking at them just once - Engineers have developed an artificial intelligence system that lets someone wearing headphones look at a person speaking for three to five seconds to 'enroll' them.

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin - Nuclear physicists have long been working to reveal how the proton gets its spin.

After mice drink raw H5N1 milk, bird flu virus riddles their organs - No, really, drinking raw milk during the H5N1 outbreak is a bad idea.

Jennifer Scott Williams: Leading the Next Giant Leap in Space Exploration and Championing STEM Advocacy - Jennifer Scott Williams embodies leadership, innovation, and excitement for life.

AI Chatbots Are Intruding Into Online Communities - AI chatbots are butting into human spaces.

Big Oil May Pay Billions for Climate Pollution under New Legislation - Vermont's “Climate Superfund Act” would use attribution science to force oil, gas and coal companies to cover damages associated with their emissions

Clare Luckey: Shaping the Future of Mars Missions and Inspiring the Artemis Generation - As a member of the Mars Architecture Team, Clare Luckey is one of the people at the forefront of designing the first crewed mission to the Red Planet.

Microplastics in the ocean might be going undetected - New research suggests that microplastics in our oceans might be hundreds of thousands of times more abundant than current detection methods are reporting.

Helen Ling, Changemaker - Helen Ling, seen here in a photo from Feb. 16, 1973, was influential in the inclusion of women in STEM positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Researchers develop organic photoredox catalysts with enhanced stability and recyclability - In recent years, global environmental concerns have prompted a shift toward eco-friendly manufacturing in the field of organic synthetic chemistry.

Toxic Perchlorate on Mars Could Make Life More Interesting - The search for life in the Universe has fascinated humans for centuries.

Facility Systems Safety Engineer and Fall Protection Program Administrator Thu Nguyen - "I went back to school in 2016.

Deputy Program Manager Vir Thanvi - "I had the privilege of being the very first project manager for Near Space Network (NSN), and in my current role as deputy program manager for Exploration

Singapore Airlines Turbulence: Why Climate Change Is Making Flights Rougher - Warming temperatures are likely to mean that more of your plane ride will have rocky conditions, creating potentially dangerous situations

NASA Marshall Team Supports Safe Travels for Space Station Science - Team members at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, support and handle International Space Station science.

Self-Diagnosing Isn't Always Bad, But You Should Still Seek a Medical Professional - Diagnosing illness is a job best left to physicians.

New discovery shows how scales became feathers in dinosaurs - At some point hundreds of millions of years ago, dinosaur scales evolved into feathers.

Carbon dioxide, the main culprit of global warming, reborn as an antioxidant substance - A research team led by Dr. Lee Soo Youn at the Gwangju Clean Energy Research Center of the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) has successfully converted carbon dioxide, the main culprit of global warming, into carotenoids, which possess antioxidant and anticancer effects.

Government wins court case over River Wye pollution - The High Court ruled that the Environment Agency and the UK government were implementing the law properly.

Rocket Report: SpaceX focused on Starship reentry; Firefly may be for sale - "Teams are in the process of completing a follow-on propulsion system assessment."

Daily Telescope: The initial results from Europe’s Euclid telescope are dazzling - "Euclid’s instruments can detect objects just a few times the mass of Jupiter."

The Curious Life of a ‘Grotesque’ Singing Fish - Plainfin midshipmen migrate from the deep sea to the intertidal zone to spawn, and that’s when things really get loud

Caterpillars can detect their predators by the static electricity they emit - Caterpillars respond defensively to electric fields similar to those emitted by their natural predators, scientists have found.

Imperceptible sensors made from 'electronic spider silk' can be printed directly on human skin - Researchers have developed a method to make adaptive and eco-friendly sensors that can be directly and imperceptibly printed onto a wide range of biological surfaces, whether that's a finger or a flower petal.

Breakthrough discovery uses engineered surfaces to shed heat - Splash a few drops of water on a hot pan and if the pan is hot enough, the water will sizzle and the droplets of water seem to roll and float, hovering above the surface.

New study offers a cleaner path for controlling water, transforming greenhouse gases - Scientists looking to convert carbon dioxide into clean fuels and useful chemicals often make hydrogen gas and carbonates as unwanted byproducts.

Innovative material for sustainable building - Researchers introduce a polymer-based material with unique properties.

Cutting-Edge Cosmic Microwave Background Observatory Hits South Pole Stumbling Block - Cosmic Microwave Background Stage 4, a top-priority project for U.S. astrophysics, was designed to make breakthrough observations of the universe’s very earliest moments.

We Must Face Down the Expanding Anti-Reality Industry - Exposing the antiscience playbook reveals the antiregulatory motives of its deep-pocketed bankrollers

Unveiling a novel AAK1 inhibitor: How chemical proteomics unlock therapeutic potential - Enhancing drug development for life-threatening diseases like cancer hinges on a deep understanding of protein kinases, making it a focal point for researchers.

Indian Ocean temperature index signals dengue outbreaks - Indian Ocean temperatures may predict dengue outbreaks in Asia and South America up to nine months in advance.

How Often Do Supernovas Strike Earth? - A supernova showering Earth with radioactive debris is a surprisingly common cosmic occurrence

Deciphering how crystals form in non-classical ways - Soft and organic crystals are a diverse group of materials with connections to biological, environmental, and industrial processes with a wide range of applications, from pharmaceuticals to flexible electronics.

The desert planet in ‘Dune’ is pretty realistic, scientists say - Humans could live on the fictional planet Arrakis from Dune.

Droplets that swim toward dissolution could inspire fluid microbots - Researchers discovered that microscopic liquid droplets swim toward solvent conditions that favor their dissolution.

Cape Cod Weighs Big-Ticket Pollution Solutions - Toxic algal blooms are forcing Cape Cod communities to consider expensive sewer and septic system projects.

Seaweed carbon sink power revealed - Forests – under the ocean – are critical stores of carbon, a study has found.

In Graphic Detail: Avian Flu around the World - On May 22, 2024, a Michigan farmworker was stricken with conjunctivitis, or eye redness, a common symptom caused by bacterial or viral infections.

Eureka moment as astronomers find new “potentially habitable” Earth-size planet - A new planet described as “earth-sized and temperate” has been discovered by Queensland and UK astronomers.

May 23, 2024

US officials: A Russian rocket launch last week likely deployed a space weapon - "Naming space as a warfighting domain was kind of forbidden, but that's changed."

What Science Forgets - Human experience must be factored into science.

Hunter-Gatherers Butchered an Extinct Elephant at This Ancient Campsite - Hunter-gatherers likely used Tagua Tagua Lake as a seasonal stop, watering hole 12,000 years ago.

Key role of plant-bacteria communication for the assembly of a healthy plant microbiome supporting sustainable plant nutrition - In an interdisciplinary study, researchers discovered that symbiotic bacteria communicate with legume plants through specific molecules and that this communication influences which bacteria grow near the plant roots.

Sequencing of the developing human brain uncovers hundreds of thousands of new gene transcripts - Researchers uncovered 214,516 unique isoforms in the developing neocortex -- over 70% of which have not been previously studied.

New process might help clean up lead smelter town environment - Toxic metal contamination caused by the lead smelter at Port Pirie in South Australia’s mid north might be reduced with a new metals recovery method to be tested in the region.

Chocolate made with fewer calories, less waste - “Whole fruit chocolate” uses cocoa pulp and inner shell in lieu of sugar.

Bird Flu’s Missed Clues on Dairy Farms in Texas - Detecting bird flu signs in dairy cows sooner could have helped staunch the virus's spread

Family stricken with rare brain worms after eating undercooked bear - In the parasite vs. bear vs. human battle, the grizzly parasite comes out on top.

Ancient DNA reconstructs genome of extinct NZ native bird - Scientists have reconstructed the near-complete genome of the little bush moa (Anomalopteryx didiformis), one of approximately 9 species of extinct flightless birds from Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Crows Rival Human Toddlers in Counting Skills - Counting crows proclaim “caw, caw, caw, caw” when staring at the number four

An Italian Geologist May Have Solved the Mystery of the Mona Lisa's Background - The artistic community has long debated where the renowned portrait’s backdrop is set.

Brown Fat’s “Off-Switch” Isn't A New Ozempic Diet Exploit - Brown adipose tissue is different from the white fat around human belly and thighs.

Unlocking complex sulfur molecules: A novel approach for synthesis of functionalized benzenethiol equivalents - Organosulfur compounds, organic compounds containing sulfur, are vital in biological processes and research fields like pharmaceuticals, biomedical imaging, agriculture, and electronics.

Cities Are Switching to Electric Vehicles Faster Than Individuals - Electric trucks and sedans have proven popular with municipal fleets, but cities have also bought niche vehicles such as an electric Zamboni

New method for light-driven oxidation of aryl ethers to esters - Oxidation of saturated C−H bonds is a key chemical reaction in synthetic chemistry and the chemical industry.

Novel liquid crystals produced by stacking antiaromatic units could lead to advances in organic semiconductors - In organic chemistry, π-stacking systems are supramolecular structures that arise due to the dispersion force, a type of intermolecular noncovalent interaction.

Fires Burning Across Canada Are Already Impacting U.S. Air Quality - Wildfire smoke traveling hundreds of miles caused hazy skies all the way to Virginia in 2023.

New approach to Epstein-Barr virus and resulting diseases - The Epstein-Barr virus can cause a spectrum of diseases, including a range of cancers.

Birth of universe's earliest galaxies observed for first time - Researchers have now seen the formation of three of the earliest galaxies in the universe, more than 13 billion years ago.

Scientists map networks regulating gene function in the human brain - A consortium of researchers has produced the largest and most advanced multidimensional maps of gene regulation networks in the brains of people with and without mental disorders.

Birdsong and human voice built from same genetic blueprint - Humans have been long fascinated by bird song and the cacophony of other avian sounds -- from coos and honks to quacks and peeps.

Study explains why the brain can robustly recognize images, even without color - New research offers a possible explanation for how the brain learns to identify both color and black-and-white images.

Researchers unveil shared and unique brain molecular dysregulations in PTSD and depression - Researchers analyzed multi-omic data from 231 people with PTSD or depression to uncover distinct molecular differences that might affect systems such as the nervous and immune systems, to contribute to these mental health conditions.

A promising approach to develop a birth control pill for men - Researchers show in animal models that a novel, non-hormonal sperm-specific approach offers a promising option for reversible human male contraception.

Intriguing nearby world sized between Earth, Venus - Astronomers have discovered a planet between the sizes of Earth and Venus only 40 light-years away.

Ancient Neanderthal and Paleolithic Teeth Show Signs of Childhood Stress - Examining the enamel of teeth from both Neanderthal and Upper Paleolithic kids shows that stress affected each group at a different stage of development.

Europe's Mars Rover Will Use New Nuclear Power Source - The radioactive unit will help to deliver Europe’s first Mars rover to the planet’s surface

Atlantic to get 'extraordinary' hurricane season - There could be up to seven major hurricanes of category three or higher this season, many more than usual.

The S-Matrix Is the Oracle Physicists Turn To in Times of Crisis - Particle physicists in search of the next theory of reality are consulting a mathematical structure that they know will never fail: a table of possibilities known as the S-matrix.

Celebrate World Turtle Day With 15 Photographs of the Delightful Reptiles - These shots from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo contest show why turtles are so terrific

The next food marketing blitz is aimed at people on new weight-loss drugs - Taking a weight-loss drug?

Developing Homogenous 3D Neural Cultures for High Throughput Screening - Brain region-specific spheroids help scientists find new compounds to treat opioid use disorder and more.

Pasteurization Protects Against Foodborne Illness, Including Avian Flu - "The detection of avian flu virus fragments in milk is a new challenge for the dairy industry."

Black Hole’s Mysterious ‘Plunging Region’ Matches Einstein’s Predictions - For the first time, scientists observed matter’s freefall into a black hole’s “plunging region”

What Happens in the Brain to Cause Depression? - Drugs that target the neurotransmitter serotonin have long been prescribed to treat depression.

What Is Wind Shear, and How Does It Shape Hurricanes? - An atmospheric scientist explains what wind shear is and how it influences hurricanes

Sustainable Air Travel Could Happen, Although the Options are Challenging - Could we ever fly sustainably?

New warp drive concept does twist space, doesn’t move us very fast - While it won't make a useful spaceship engine, it may tell us more about relativity.

Supermassive black hole spin measured for the first time - For the first time, astronomers have been able to determine how fast a black hole is spinning.