Page banner image
mail  facebook  Tumbler  X (formerly Twitter) 

Science News

ⓘ Friday Night News - Science

Page banner image
mail  facebook  Tumbler  X (formerly Twitter) 

Beautiful nebula, violent history: Clash of stars solves stellar mystery

When astronomers looked at a stellar pair at the heart of a stunning cloud of gas and dust, they were in for a surprise. Star pairs are typically very similar, like twins, but in HD 148937, one star appears younger and, unlike the other, is magnetic. New data suggest there were originally three stars in the system, until two of them clashed and merged. This violent event created the surrounding cloud and forever altered the system's fate.
Thu, 11 Apr 2024 16:59:05 EDT

Breakthrough promises secure quantum computing at home

The full power of next-generation quantum computing could soon be harnessed by millions of individuals and companies, thanks to a breakthrough guaranteeing security and privacy. This advance promises to unlock the transformative potential of cloud-based quantum computing.
Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:02:38 EDT

Ocean currents threaten to collapse Antarctic ice shelves

Meandering ocean currents play an important role in the melting of Antarctic ice shelves, threatening a significant rise in sea levels.
Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:02:10 EDT

Parkinson's Disease: New theory on the disease's origins and spread

New hypothesis paper builds on a growing scientific consensus that Parkinson's disease route to the brain starts in either the nose or the gut and proposes that environmental toxicants are the likely source.
Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:01:49 EDT

Pacific cities much older than previously thought

New evidence of one of the first cities in the Pacific shows they were established much earlier than previously thought, according to new research. The study used aerial laser scanning to map archaeological sites on the island of Tongatapu in Tonga, showing Earth structures were being constructed in Tongatapu around AD 300.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 23:42:53 EDT

The hidden role of the Milky Way in ancient Egyptian mythology

Astrophysicists shed light on the relationship between the Milky Way and the Egyptian sky-goddess Nut. The paper draws on ancient Egyptian texts and simulations to argue that the Milky Way might have shone a spotlight, as it were, on Nut's role as the sky. It proposes that in winter, the Milky Way highlighted Nut's outstretched arms, while in summer, it traced her backbone across the heavens.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 18:11:09 EDT

How the body switches out of 'fight' mode

Cortisone and other related glucocorticoids are extremely effective at curbing excessive immune reactions. But previously, astonishingly little was known about how they exactly do that. Researchers have now explored the molecular mechanism of action in greater detail. As the researchers report, glucocorticoids reprogram the metabolism of immune cells, activating the body's natural 'brakes' on inflammation. These findings lay the groundwork for development of anti-inflammatory agents with fewer and less severe side effects.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 12:56:36 EDT

New drug prevents flu-related inflammation and lung damage

Findings show a newly created drug can prevent runaway inflammation while still allowing the immune system to handle the virus, even when given late into infection.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 12:56:20 EDT

Researchers discover how we perceive bitter taste

A new study reveals the detailed protein structure of the TAS2R14, a bitter taste receptor that allows us to perceive bitter taste. In addition to solving the structure of this taste receptor, the researchers were also able to determine where bitter-tasting substances bind to TAS2R14 and how they activate them. The findings may lead to the development of drugs that targeting taste receptors.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:28:24 EDT

Does the time of day you move your body make a difference to your health?

Undertaking the majority of daily physical activity in the evening is linked to the greatest health benefits for people living with obesity, according to researchers who followed the trajectory of 30,000 people over almost 8 years.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:27:56 EDT

3D mouth of an ancient jawless fish suggests they were filter-feeders, not scavengers or hunters

Early jawless fish were likely to have used bony projections surrounding their mouths to modify the mouth's shape while they collected food. Experts have used CT scanning techniques to build up the first 3D pictures of these creatures, which are some of the earliest vertebrates (animals with backbones) in which the mouth is fossilized. Their aim was to answer questions about feeding in early vertebrates without jaws in the early Devonian epoch -- sometimes called the Age of Fishes -- around 400 million years ago.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:27:36 EDT

Breakthrough for next-generation digital displays

Researchers have developed a digital display screen where the LEDs themselves react to touch, light, fingerprints and the user's pulse, among other things. Their results could be the start of a whole new generation of displays for phones, computers and tablets.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:27:09 EDT

Connecting lab-grown brain cells provides insight into how our own brains work

Researchers have developed a technique to connect lab-grown neural 'organoids' (three-dimensional developmental brain-like structures grown from human stem cells) using axonal bundles, similar to the connections between regions in the human brain. This technique allows brain networks to be better represented experimentally in the lab, and will improve understanding and studies of network-related brain disorders.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:22:24 EDT

Revolutionary molecular device unleashes potential for targeted drug delivery and self-healing materials

In a new breakthrough that could revolutionise medical and material engineering, scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind molecular device that controls the release of multiple small molecules using force.
Wed, 10 Apr 2024 11:17:54 EDT

Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere

Microplastic particles can be found in the most remote ocean regions on earth. In Antarctica, pollution levels are even higher than previously assumed.
Tue, 09 Apr 2024 12:40:40 EDT

What's quieter than a fish? A school of them

Swimming in schools makes fish surprisingly stealthy underwater, with a group able to sound like a single fish. Engineers working with a high-tech simulation of schooling mackerel offer new insight into why fish swim in schools and promise for the design and operation of much quieter submarines and autonomous undersea vehicles.
Tue, 09 Apr 2024 12:40:34 EDT

Do some mysterious bones belong to gigantic ichthyosaurs?

Several similar large, fossilized bone fragments have been discovered in various regions across Western and Central Europe since the 19th century. The animal group to which they belonged is still the subject of much debate to this day. A study could now settle this dispute once and for all: The microstructure of the fossils indicates that they come from the lower jaw of a gigantic ichthyosaur. These animals could reach 25 to 30 meters in length, a similar size to the modern blue whale.
Tue, 09 Apr 2024 12:39:45 EDT

After being insulted, writing down your feelings on paper then getting rid of it reduces anger

Researchers have discovered a simple, but effective, strategy to help people reduce their feelings of anger. Disposing of a piece of paper containing your written thoughts on the cause of your anger can effectively neutralize it. This process is like a Japanese tradition called hakidashisara, in which people write their negative thoughts on a plate then destroy it. Their findings suggest a simple and effective method of suppressing anger supported by science.
Tue, 09 Apr 2024 12:39:05 EDT

Pregnancy accelerates biological aging in a healthy, young adult population

Pregnancy may carry a cost, reports a new study. The research shows that women who reported having been pregnant looked biologically older than women who had never been pregnant, and women who had been pregnant more often looked biologically older than those who reported fewer pregnancies.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 15:04:49 EDT

Engineers design soft and flexible 'skeletons' for muscle-powered robots

Engineers designed modular, spring-like devices to maximize the work of live muscle fibers so they can be harnessed to power biohybrid robots.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:08:24 EDT

Toothed whale echolocation organs evolved from jaw muscles

Genetic analysis finds evidence suggesting that acoustic fat bodies in the heads of toothed whales were once the muscles and bone marrow of the jaw.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:07:55 EDT

A friendly pat on the back can improve performance in basketball

A free throw in basketball will have every eye glued to one person. It's an intensely stressful situation. A research team studied whether a friendly tap on the shoulder increases the odds of making a shot.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:07:46 EDT

How the moon turned itself inside out

Linking analyses of the moon's gravity field with models of its earliest evolution, scientists tell a story of the moon turning itself inside out after it solidified from a primordial magma ocean. The process left behind a vestige of dense, titanium-rich material beneath its Earth-facing side that makes its presence known by gravity anomalies.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:06:16 EDT

Climate change threatens Antarctic meteorites

Antarctica harbors a large concentration of meteorites imbuing the icy continent with an unparalleled wealth of information on our solar system. However, these precious meteorites are rapidly disappearing from the ice sheet surface due to global warming, according to a new study.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:06:13 EDT

New study highlights the benefit of touch on mental and physical health

Through a large-scale analysis, researchers have uncovered the ways in which consensual touch can benefit a person's physical and mental wellbeing.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:06:10 EDT

Mediterranean marine worm has developed enormous eyes

Scientists are amazed at the discovery of a bristle worm with such sharp-seeing eyes that they can measure up to those of mammals and octopuses. The researchers suspect that these marine worms may have a secretive language, which uses UV light only seen by their own species. The advanced vision of such a primitive creature helps to finally settle an epic debate about the evolution of eyes.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:06:07 EDT

Telescope detects unprecedented behavior from nearby magnetar

Captured by cutting-edge radio telescope technology, a chance reactivation of a magnetar -- the Universe's most powerful magnets -- has revealed an unexpectedly complex environment.
Mon, 08 Apr 2024 13:01:16 EDT

A simple, inexpensive way to make carbon atoms bind together

The active ingredient in many drugs is what's known as a small molecule: bigger than water, much smaller than an antibody and mainly made of carbon. It's tough, however, to make these molecules if they require a quaternary carbon -- a carbon atom bonded to four other carbon atoms. But now, scientists have uncovered a potential cost-effective way to produce these tricky motifs.
Fri, 05 Apr 2024 23:18:36 EDT

RNA that doesn't age

Certain RNA molecules in the nerve cells in the brain last a life time without being renewed. Neuroscientists have now demonstrated that this. RNAs are generally short-lived molecules that are constantly reconstructed to adjust to environmental conditions. The research group hopes to decipher the complex aging process of the brain and gain a better understanding of related degenerative diseases.
Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:04:46 EDT

CHEOPS detects a 'rainbow' on an exoplanet

The CHEOPS space telescope is providing new information on the mysterious exoplanet WASP-76b. This ultra-hot giant is characterized by an asymmetry between the amount of light observed on its eastern terminator -- the fictitious line that separates its night side from its day side -- and that observed on its western terminator. This peculiarity is thought to be due to a 'glory', a luminous phenomenon similar to a rainbow, which occurs if the light from the star -- the 'sun' around which the exoplanet orbits -- is reflected by clouds made up of a perfectly uniform substance. If this hypothesis is confirmed, this would be the first detection of this phenomenon outside our solar system.
Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:04:20 EDT

Stellar collisions produce strange, zombie-like survivors

Densely packed, fast-moving stars at the Milky Way's center can collide with each other. New research uses simulations to explore the outcomes of these collisions. Some collisions are more like 'violent high fives' while others are full-on mergers.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 19:07:55 EDT

Finds at Schöningen show wood was crucial raw material 300,000 years ago

During archaeological excavations in the Schoningen open-cast coal mine in 1994, the discovery of the oldest, remarkably well-preserved hunting weapons known to humanity caused an international sensation. Spears and a double-pointed throwing stick were found lying between animal bones about ten meters below the surface in deposits at a former lakeshore. In the years that followed, extensive excavations have gradually yielded numerous wooden objects from a layer dating from the end of a warm interglacial period 300,000 years ago. The findings suggested a hunting ground on the lakeshore.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 19:07:33 EDT

Discovery of how limiting damage from an asthma attack could stop disease

Scientists have discovered a new cause for asthma that sparks hope for treatment that could prevent the life-threatening disease.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 19:07:19 EDT

First results from DESI make the most precise measurement of our expanding universe

Researchers have used the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to make the largest 3D map of our universe and world-leading measurements of dark energy, the mysterious cause of its accelerating expansion.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 11:35:45 EDT

With the planet facing a 'polycrisis', biodiversity researchers uncover major knowledge gaps

Connecting the study of infectious disease spread, biodiversity loss and climate change could offer win-win-win solutions for planetary health, but a new analysis has uncovered almost no research integrating the three global crises.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 11:35:04 EDT

Heat flows the secret to order in prebiotic molecular kitchen

Biophysicists have demonstrated how heat flows through rock fissures could have created the conditions for the emergence of life.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 11:34:44 EDT

Mitochondrial roles in antiviral immunity modify manifestations of neurological diseases

Scientists report that a progressive neurodegenerative disease can be triggered by a viral infection. The mechanism relates to mitochondrial roles in antiviral defense mechanisms.
Thu, 04 Apr 2024 11:34:42 EDT

Out of the park: New research tallies total carbon impact of tourism at Yellowstone

New research makes a case study of Yellowstone National Park -- calculating surplus carbon that visitors from across the world add to the atmosphere each year as a direct result of a park visit.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:11:01 EDT

NASA's Webb probes an extreme starburst galaxy

A team of astronomers has used NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to survey the starburst galaxy Messier 82 (M82). Located 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, this galaxy is relatively compact in size but hosts a frenzy of star formation activity. For comparison, M82 is sprouting new stars 10 times faster than the Milky Way galaxy.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:10:46 EDT

Evolution in action? New study finds possibility of nitrogen-fixing organelles

A new study finds that UCYN-A, a species of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, may be evolving organelle-like characteristics.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:09:50 EDT

Early dinosaurs grew up fast, but they weren't the only ones

The earliest dinosaurs had rapid growth rates, but so did many of the other animals living alongside them, according to a new study.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:09:38 EDT

Researchers map how the brain regulates emotions

A new study is among the first of its kind to separate activity relating to emotion generation from emotion regulation in the human brain. The findings provide new insights that could help inform therapeutic treatments regarding mental health and drug addiction.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:09:16 EDT

'Smart swarms' of tiny robots inspired by natural herd mentality

Researchers gave nanorobots a trait called adaptive time delay, which allows them to better work together.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 17:09:14 EDT

Discovery could end global amphibian pandemic

A fungus devastating frogs and toads on nearly every continent may have an Achilles heel. Scientists have discovered a virus that infects the fungus, and that could be engineered to save the amphibians.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 13:06:11 EDT

Plastic-free vegan leather that dyes itself grown from bacteria

Researchers have genetically engineered bacteria to grow animal- and plastic-free leather that dyes itself.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 13:06:06 EDT

Intelligent liquid

Researchers have developed a programmable meta-fluid with tunable springiness, optical properties, viscosity and even the ability to transition between a Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid. The first-of-its-kind meta-fluid uses a suspension of small, elastomer spheres -- between 50 to 500 microns -- that buckle under pressure, radically changing the characteristics of the fluid. The meta-fluid could be used in everything from hydraulic actuators to program robots, to intelligent shock absorbers that can dissipate energy depending on the intensity of the impact, to optical devices that can transition from clear to opaque.
Wed, 03 Apr 2024 13:05:13 EDT

First results from BREAD experiment demonstrate a new approach to searching for dark matter

One of the great mysteries of modern science is dark matter. We know dark matter exists thanks to its effects on other objects in the cosmos, but we have never been able to directly see it. And it s no minor thing currently, scientists think it makes up about 85% of all the mass in the universe.
Tue, 02 Apr 2024 19:26:14 EDT

Australia on track for unprecedented, decades-long megadroughts

Australia could soon see megadroughts that last for more than 20 years, according to new modelling. The researchers' bleak findings are before factoring in human impact on the climate since the Industrial Revolution. According to the scientists, the findings paint a worrying picture of future droughts in Australia that are far worse than anything in recent experience.
Tue, 02 Apr 2024 14:03:46 EDT

100 kilometers of quantum-encrypted transfer

Researchers have taken a big step towards securing information against hacking. They have succeeded in using quantum encryption to securely transfer information 100 kilometers via fiber optic cable -- roughly equivalent to the distance between Oxford and London.
Tue, 02 Apr 2024 14:01:11 EDT

We've had bird evolution all wrong

Genomic anamolies dating back to the time of the dinosaurs misled scientists about the evolutionary history of birds.
Mon, 01 Apr 2024 19:04:11 EDT

I spy with my speedy eye: Scientists discover speed of visual perception ranges widely in humans

Using a blink-and-you'll-miss-it experiment, researchers have discovered that individuals differ widely in the rate at which they perceive visual signals. Some people perceive a rapidly changing visual cue at frequencies that others cannot, which means some access more visual information per timeframe than others. This discovery suggests some people have an innate advantage in certain settings where response time is crucial, such as in ball sports, or in competitive gaming.
Mon, 01 Apr 2024 14:25:39 EDT

Universal brain-computer interface lets people play games with just their thoughts

Engineers have created a brain-computer interface that doesn't require calibration for each user, paving the way for widespread clinical applicability.
Mon, 01 Apr 2024 14:24:54 EDT

Chatbot outperformed physicians in clinical reasoning in head-to-head study

ChatGPT-4, an artificial intelligence program designed to understand and generate human-like text, outperformed internal medicine residents and attending physicians at two academic medical centers at processing medical data and demonstrating clinical reasoning.
Mon, 01 Apr 2024 14:24:48 EDT

Researchers produce grafts that replicate the human ear

Using state-of-the-art tissue engineering techniques and a 3D printer, researchers have assembled a replica of an adult human ear that looks and feels natural. The study offers the promise of grafts with well-defined anatomy and the correct biomechanical properties for those who are born with a congenital malformation or who lose an ear later in life.
Mon, 01 Apr 2024 00:31:53 EDT

Mechanism found to determine which memories last

Neuroscientists have established in recent decades the idea that some of each day's experiences are converted by the brain into permanent memories during sleep the same night. Now, a new study proposes a mechanism that determines which memories are tagged as important enough to linger in the brain until sleep makes them permanent.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 16:26:13 EDT

New imaging method illuminates oxygen's journey in the brain

A new bioluminescence imaging technique has created highly detailed, and visually striking, images of the movement of oxygen in the brains of mice. The method, which can be easily replicated by other labs, will enable researchers to more precisely study forms of hypoxia in the brain, such as the denial of oxygen to the brain that occurs during a stroke or heart attack. The new research tool is already providing insight into why a sedentary lifestyle may increase risk for diseases like Alzheimer's.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 16:25:57 EDT

Cell division quality control 'stopwatch' uncovered

Biologists have uncovered a quality control timing mechanism tied to cell division. The 'stopwatch' function keeps track of mitosis and acts as a protective measure when the process takes too long, preventing the formation of cancerous cells.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 16:25:43 EDT

DNA study IDs descendants of George Washington from unmarked remains, findings to aid service member IDs going back to World War II

New DNA sequencing technologies have identified the historical remains of George Washington's grandnephews, Samuel Walter Washington and George Steptoe Washington Jr., and their mother, Lucy Payne Washington, from unmarked, fragmentary bones left at the Harewood family cemetery in Charles Town, West Virginia, in the mid-1800s.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 11:10:48 EDT

Alcohol raises heart disease risk, particularly among women

Young to middle-aged women who reported drinking eight or more alcoholic beverages per week--more than one per day, on average--were significantly more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with those who drank less, finds a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session. The risk was highest among both men and women who reported heavy episodic drinking, or 'binge' drinking, and the link between alcohol and heart disease appears to be especially strong among women, according to the findings.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 11:10:34 EDT

Unlocking supernova stardust secrets

New research has discovered a rare dust particle trapped in an ancient extra-terrestrial meteorite that was formed by a star other than our sun.
Thu, 28 Mar 2024 11:10:29 EDT

 Satire   Health   Science   Society   Technology