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Science News

AI outperforms humans in standardized tests of creative potential

In a recent study, 151 human participants were pitted against ChatGPT-4 in three tests designed to measure divergent thinking, which is considered to be an indicator of creative thought.
Fri, 01 Mar 2024 13:47:58 EST

Ultraviolet radiation from massive stars shapes planetary systems

Up to a certain point, very luminous stars can have a positive effect on the formation of planets, but from that point on the radiation they emit can cause the material in protoplanetary discs to disperse.
Fri, 01 Mar 2024 13:46:10 EST

Ice shell thickness reveals water temperature on ocean worlds

Astrobiologists have devised a novel way to determine ocean temperatures of distant worlds based on the thickness of their ice shells, effectively conducting oceanography from space.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 18:29:29 EST

Astronomers measure heaviest black hole pair ever found

Using archival data from the Gemini North telescope, a team of astronomers has measured the heaviest pair of supermassive black holes ever found. The merging of two supermassive black holes is a phenomenon that has long been predicted, though never observed. This massive pair gives clues as to why such an event seems so unlikely in the Universe.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 18:28:30 EST

Building bionic jellyfish for ocean exploration

Researchers show how biohybrid robots based on jellyfish could be used to gather climate science data from deep in the Earth's oceans.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 12:46:47 EST

Could fiber optic cable help scientists probe the deep layers of the moon?

An increasing number of seismologists are using fiber optic cables to detect seismic waves on Earth -- but how would this technology fare on the Moon, and what would it tell us about the deep layers of our nearest neighbor in space?
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 12:46:41 EST

Astronomers reveal a new link between water and planet formation

Researchers have found water vapor in the disc around a young star exactly where planets may be forming. Water is a key ingredient for life on Earth, and is also thought to play a significant role in planet formation. Yet, until now, we had never been able to map how water is distributed in a stable, cool disc -- the type of disc that offers the most favorable conditions for planets to form around stars.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 12:46:20 EST

Astronomers discover heavy elements after bright gamma-ray burst from neutron star merger

An international team of astronomers obtained observational evidence for the creation of rare heavy elements in the aftermath of a cataclysmic explosion triggered by the merger of two neutron stars.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 12:45:34 EST

How molecular 'handedness' emerged in early biology

Chemists fill a major gap in origin-of-life theories.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:54:59 EST

Cannabis use linked to increase in heart attack and stroke risk

More frequent use of cannabis was associated with higher odds of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, finds new study.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:53:52 EST

Double trouble at chromosome ends

New findings suggest the end-replication problem, an old standby of biology textbooks, is twice as intricate as once thought.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:52:50 EST

How 40Hz sensory gamma rhythm stimulation clears amyloid in Alzheimer's mice

Stimulating a key brain rhythm with light and sound increases peptide release from interneurons, driving clearance of Alzheimer's protein via the brain's glymphatic system, new study suggests.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:43:28 EST

Change in gene code may explain how human ancestors lost tails

A genetic change in our ancient ancestors may partly explain why humans don't have tails like monkeys.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:42:26 EST

New study links placental oxygen levels to fetal brain development

A new study shows oxygenation levels in the placenta, formed during the last three months of fetal development, are an important predictor of cortical growth (development of the outermost layer of the brain or cerebral cortex) and is likely a predictor of childhood cognition and behavior.
Tue, 27 Feb 2024 17:21:32 EST

Scientists use blue-green algae as a surrogate mother for 'meat-like' proteins

Researchers have not only succeeded in using blue-green algae as a surrogate mother for a new protein -- they have even coaxed the microalgae to produce 'meat fiber-like' protein strands. The achievement may be the key to sustainable foods that have both the 'right' texture and require minimal processing.
Tue, 27 Feb 2024 13:07:09 EST

Significant glacial retreat in West Antarctica began in 1940s

Among the vast expanse of Antarctica lies the Thwaites Glacier, the world's widest glacier measuring about 80 miles on the western edge of the continent. Despite its size, the massive landform is losing about 50 billion tons of ice more than it is receiving in snowfall, which places it in a precarious position in respect to its stability. Accelerating ice loss has been observed since the 1970s, but it is unclear when this significant melting initiated -- until now. A new study suggests that the significant glacial retreat of two glaciers on the west coast of Antarctica began in the 1940's, likely spurred by climate change.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 20:46:14 EST

New world record for CIGS solar cells

A new record for electrical energy generation from CIGS solar cells has been reached. Scientists have achieved a 23.64 percent efficiency.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:16 EST

A novel method for easy and quick fabrication of biomimetic robots with life-like movement

Ultraviolet-laser processing is a promising technique for developing intricate microstructures, enabling complex alignment of muscle cells, required for building life-like biohybrid actuators. Compared to traditional complex methods, this innovative technique enables easy and quick fabrication of microstructures with intricate patterns for achieving different muscle cell arrangements, paving the way for biohybrid actuators capable of complex, flexible movements.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:45:57 EST

Predatory fish use rapid color changes to coordinate attacks

Striped marlin are some of the fastest animals on the planet and one of the ocean's top predators. When hunting in groups, individual marlin will take turns attacking schools of prey fish one at a time. Now a new study helps to explain how they might coordinate this turn-taking style of attack on their prey to avoid injuring each other. The key, according to the new work, is rapid color changes.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:45:49 EST

Blindness from some inherited eye diseases may be caused by gut bacteria

Sight loss in certain inherited eye diseases may be caused by gut bacteria, and is potentially treatable by antimicrobials, finds a new study in mice.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:45:43 EST

Metal scar found on cannibal star

When a star like our Sun reaches the end of its life, it can ingest the surrounding planets and asteroids that were born with it. Now, researchers have found a unique signature of this process for the first time -- a scar imprinted on the surface of a white dwarf star.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:40:47 EST

Drug limits dangerous reactions to allergy-triggering foods, Stanford Medicine-led study of kids finds

A drug that binds to allergy-causing antibodies can protect children from dangerous reactions to accidentally eating allergy-triggering foods, a new study found.
Sun, 25 Feb 2024 21:25:01 EST

Barriers against Antarctic ice melt disappearing at the double

Undersea anchors of ice that help prevent Antarctica's land ice from slipping into the ocean are shrinking at more than twice the rate compared with 50 years ago, research shows. More than a third of these frozen moorings, known as pinning points, have decreased in size since the turn of the century, experts say. Further deterioration of pinning points, which hold in place the floating ice sheets that fortify Antarctica's land ice, would accelerate the continent's contribution to rising sea levels, scientists warn.
Fri, 23 Feb 2024 10:39:04 EST

Compound vital for all life likely played a role in life's origin

A chemical compound essential to all living things has been synthesized in a lab in conditions that could have occurred on early Earth, suggesting it played a role at the outset of life.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:40:56 EST

Side effects of wide scale forestation could reduce carbon removal benefits by up to a third

The side effects of large-scale forestation initiatives could reduce the CO2 removal benefits by up to a third, a pioneering study has found.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:40:45 EST

Chemists synthesize unique anticancer molecules using novel approach

Nearly 30 years ago, scientists discovered a unique class of anticancer molecules in a family of bryozoans, a phylum of marine invertebrates found in tropical waters. The chemical structures of these molecules, which consist of a dense, highly complex knot of oxidized rings and nitrogen atoms, has attracted the interest of organic chemists worldwide, who aimed to recreate these structures from scratch in the laboratory. However, despite considerable effort, it has remained an elusive task. Until now, that is. A team of chemists has succeeded in synthesizing eight of the compounds for the first time using an approach that combines inventive chemical strategy with the latest technology in small molecule structure determination.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:40:42 EST

Webb finds evidence for neutron star at heart of young supernova remnant

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has found the best evidence yet for emission from a neutron star at the site of a recently observed supernova. The supernova, known as SN 1987A, was a core-collapse supernova, meaning the compacted remains at its core formed either a neutron star or a black hole. Evidence for such a compact object has long been sought, and while indirect evidence for the presence of a neutron star has previously been found, this is the first time that the effects of high-energy emission from the probable young neutron star have been detected.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:40:25 EST

Combination of group competition and repeated interactions promotes cooperation

How did cooperative behavior prevail in human evolution? Researchers have challenged two prevailing explanations -- repeated interactions on the one hand or group competition on the other. Instead, both mechanisms synergistically contribute to fostering cooperation effectively.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 13:22:01 EST

A new beginning: The search for more temperate Tatooines

Luke Skywalker's childhood might have been slightly less harsh if he'd grown up on a more temperate Tatooine -- like the ones identified in a new study. According to the study's authors, there are more climate-friendly planets in binary star systems -- in other words, those with two suns -- than previously known. And, they say, it may be a sign that, at least in some ways, the universe leans in the direction of orderly alignment rather than chaotic misalignment.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:24:25 EST

Photon upconversion: Steering light with supercritical coupling

Researchers have unveiled a novel concept termed 'supercritical coupling' that enables several folds increase in photon upconversion efficiency. This discovery not only challenges existing paradigms, but also opens a new direction in the control of light emission.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:24:07 EST

Underlying cause of 'brain fog' linked with long COVID discovered

Scientists have announced a major discovery that has profound importance for our understanding of brain fog and cognitive decline seen in some patients with Long COVID. The findings showed that there was disruption to the integrity of the blood vessels in the brains of patients suffering from Long COVID and brain fog. This blood vessel 'leakiness' was able to objectively distinguish those patients with brain fog and cognitive decline compared to patients suffering from Long-COVID but not with brain fog.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:23:47 EST

Treating newly-diagnosed Crohn's patients with advanced therapy leads to dramatic improvements in outcomes

A large-scale clinical trial of treatment strategies for Crohn's disease has shown that offering early advanced therapy to all patients straight after diagnosis can drastically improve outcomes, including by reducing the number of people requiring urgent abdominal surgery for treatment of their disease by ten-fold.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:23:39 EST

Brightest and fastest-growing: Astronomers identify record-breaking quasar

Astronomers have characterized a bright quasar, finding it to be not only the brightest of its kind, but also the most luminous object ever observed. Quasars are the bright cores of distant galaxies and they are powered by supermassive black holes. The black hole in this record-breaking quasar is growing in mass by the equivalent of one Sun per day, making it the fastest-growing black hole to date.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:23:24 EST

Real-time wearable human emotion recognition technology developed

A research team has unveiled a groundbreaking technology that can recognize human emotions in real time.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:23:18 EST

Three years later, search for life on Mars continues

Scientists suspect Mars once had long-lived rivers, lakes and streams. Today, water on Mars is found in ice at the poles and trapped below the Martian surface. Researchers now reveal that Mars also may have had hydrothermal systems based on the hydrated magnesium sulfate the rover identified in the volcanic rocks.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 12:23:12 EST

Biggest Holocene volcano eruption found by seabed survey

A detailed survey of the volcanic underwater deposits around the Kikai caldera in Japan clarified the deposition mechanisms as well as the event's magnitude. As a result, the research team found that the event 7,300 years ago was the largest volcanic eruption in the Holocene by far.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 00:45:57 EST

New realistic computer model will help robots collect Moon dust

A new computer model mimics Moon dust so well that it could lead to smoother and safer Lunar robot teleoperations.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 00:45:54 EST

Method identified to double computer processing speeds

Scientists introduce what they call 'simultaneous and heterogeneous multithreading' or SHMT. This system doubles computer processing speeds with existing hardware by simultaneously using graphics processing units (GPUs), hardware accelerators for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), or digital signal processing units to process information.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:39:07 EST

Researchers develop molecules for a new class of antibiotics that can overcome drug resistant bacteria

About a decade ago, researchers began to observe a recurring challenge in their research: Some of the compounds they were developing to harness energy from bacteria were instead killing the microbes. Not good if the objective of the project was to harness the metabolism of living bacteria to produce electricity.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:38:59 EST

High resolution techniques reveal clues in 3.5 billion-year-old biomass

To learn about the first organisms on our planet, researchers have to analyze the rocks of the early Earth. These can only be found in a few places on the surface of the Earth. The Pilbara Craton in Western Australia is one of these rare sites: there are rocks there that are around 3.5 billion years old containing traces of the microorganisms that lived at that time. A research team has now found new clues about the formation and composition of this ancient biomass, providing insights into the earliest ecosystems on Earth.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:38:46 EST

Little groundwater recharge in ancient Mars aquifer, according to new models

Mars was once a wet world. The geological record of the Red Planet shows evidence for water flowing on the surface -- from river deltas to valleys carved by massive flash floods. But a new study shows that no matter how much rainfall fell on the surface of ancient Mars, very little of it seeped into an aquifer in the planet's southern highlands.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:38:29 EST

Snaking toward a universal antivenom

Scientists discovered antibodies that protect against a host of lethal snake venoms.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:42 EST

Sleep improves ability to recall complex events

Sleep helps consolidate our memory of complex associations, thus supporting the ability to complete memories of whole events.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:17 EST

Revealing what makes bacteria life-threatening

Researchers have discovered that a mutation in the cellulose making machinery of E. coli bacteria allows them to cause severe disease in people -- 'good' bacteria make cellulose and 'bad' bacteria can't. The mutations stopped the E. coli making the cell-surface carbohydrate cellulose and this led to increased inflammation in the intestinal tract of the host, resulting in a breakdown of the intestinal barrier, so the bacteria could spread through the body. Understanding how bacteria spread from intestinal reservoirs to the rest of the body is important in preventing infections and tackling antibiotic resistance.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:15 EST

Butterfly and moth genomes mostly unchanged despite 250 million years of evolution

Comparison of over 200 high-quality butterfly and moth genomes reveals key insights into their biology, evolution and diversification over the last 250 million years, as well as clues for conservation.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:07 EST

Cleaning or desalinating water quickly: Looking deep into smallest pores

Membranes of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VaCNT) can be used to clean or desalinate water at high flow rate and low pressure. Recently, researchers carried out steroid hormone adsorption experiments to study the interplay of forces in the small pores. They found that VaCNT of specific pore geometry and pore surface structure are suited for use as highly selective membranes.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:01 EST

An awkward family reunion: Sea monsters are our cousins

The sea lamprey, a 500-million-year-old animal with a sharp-toothed suction cup for a mouth, is the thing of nightmares. A new study discovered that the hindbrain -- the part of the brain controlling vital functions like blood pressure and heart rate -- of both sea lampreys and humans is built using an extraordinarily similar molecular and genetic toolkit.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:25 EST

New water batteries stay cool under pressure

A global team of researchers has invented recyclable 'water batteries' that won't catch fire or explode. The team use water to replace organic electrolytes -- which enable the flow of electric current between the positive and negative terminals -- meaning their batteries can't start a fire or blow up -- unlike their lithium-ion counterparts.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:15 EST

Toxic elements found in stranded whales, dolphins over 15 years

Researchers evaluated the prevalence, concentration and tissue distribution of essential and non-essential trace elements, including heavy metal toxicants in tissue (blubber, kidney, liver, skeletal muscle, skin) and fecal samples collected from 90 whales and dolphins stranded in Georgia and Florida from 2007 to 2021.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:07 EST

Revolutionary breakthrough in solar energy: Most efficient QD solar cells

A research team has unveiled a novel ligand exchange technique that enables the synthesis of organic cation-based perovskite quantum dots (PQDs), ensuring exceptional stability while suppressing internal defects in the photoactive layer of solar cells.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:00 EST

Automated method helps researchers quantify uncertainty in their predictions

A new technique can help researchers who use Bayesian inference achieve more accurate results more quickly, without a lot of additional work.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:03:49 EST

Baleen whales evolved a unique larynx to communicate but cannot escape human noise

The iconic baleen whales, such as the blue, gray and humpback whale, depend on sound for communication in the vast marine environment where they live. Now researchers have for the first time found that baleen whales evolved novel structures in their larynx to make their vast array of underwater songs.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:03:46 EST

Engineers use AI to wrangle fusion power for the grid

A team composed of engineers, physicists, and data scientists have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to predict -- and then avoid -- the formation of a specific plasma problem in real time. The research opens the door for more dynamic control of a fusion reaction than current approaches and provides a foundation for using artificial intelligence to solve a broad range of plasma instabilities, which have long been obstacles to achieving a sustained fusion reaction.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:03:37 EST

Scientists invent ultra-thin, minimally-invasive pacemaker controlled by light

A team of researchers has developed a wireless device, powered by light, that can be implanted to regulate cardiovascular or neural activity in the body. The feather-light membranes, thinner than a human hair, can be inserted with minimally invasive surgery and contain no moving parts.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:03:35 EST

Black hole at center of the Milky Way resembles a football

The supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way is spinning so quickly it is warping the spacetime surrounding it into a shape that can look like a football, according to a new study. That football shape suggests the black hole is spinning at a substantial speed, which researchers estimated to be about 60% of its potential limit.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:03:04 EST

Did neanderthals use glue? Researchers find evidence that sticks

Neanderthals created stone tools held together by a multi-component adhesive, a team of scientists has discovered. Its findings, which are the earliest evidence of a complex adhesive in Europe, suggest these predecessors to modern humans had a higher level of cognition and cultural development than previously thought.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:02:54 EST

These tiny power converters run on vibrational energy

Scientists have developed a ground-breaking piezoelectric-based DC-DC converter that unifies all power switches onto a single chip to increase power density. This new power topology, which extends beyond existing topologies, blends the advantages of piezoelectric converters with capacitive-based DC-DC converters.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 20:33:21 EST

Angle-dependent holograms made possible by metasurfaces

Scientists unveil metasurface technology, allowing for angle-dependent holograms.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 20:33:18 EST

Common hair loss and prostate drug may also cut heart disease risk in men and mice

The drug finasteride, also known as Propecia or Proscar, treats male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate in millions of men worldwide. But a new study suggests the drug may also provide a surprising and life-saving benefit: lowering cholesterol and cutting the overall risk of cardiovascular disease.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 20:33:09 EST

Science fiction meets reality: New technique to overcome obstructed views

Using a single photograph, researchers created an algorithm that computes highly accurate, full-color three-dimensional reconstructions of areas behind obstacles -- a concept that can not only help prevent car crashes, but help law enforcement experts in hostage situations, search-and-rescue and strategic military efforts.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 20:33:06 EST

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