717,120 articles

Pilots aboard Hurricane Hunter plane chasing a winter storm experience strange phenomenon

An experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit.The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC),...

Bacteria on the International Space Station no more dangerous than earthbound strains

Two particularly tenacious species of bacteria have colonized the potable water dispenser aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but a new study suggests that they are no more dangerous than closely related strains on Earth. Aubrie O'Rourke of the J. Craig Venter Institute and colleagues report these findings in a new paper published February 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

What if we could teach photons to behave like electrons?

To develop futuristic technologies like quantum computers, scientists will need to find ways to control photons, the basic particles of light, just as precisely as they can already control electrons, the basic particles in electronic computing. Unfortunately, photons are far more difficult to manipulate than electrons, which respond to forces as simple as the sort of magnetism that even children...

Veggie-loving fish could be the new white meat

A secret to survival amid rising global temperatures could be dwelling in the tidepools of the U.S. West Coast. Findings by University of California, Irvine biologists studying the genome of an unusual fish residing in those waters offer new possibilities for humans to obtain dietary protein as climate change imperils traditional sources. Their paper appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Improving innovation: Assessing the environmental impacts of emerging technology

Although many new technologies offer the promise to improve human welfare, they can also produce unintended environmental consequences. And while applying the principles of life cycle assessment (LCA) early in technology development can provide important insights about how to avoid damage to the environment, existing methods focus on products or processes that are already commercially established.

NRL researchers monitor changing Arctic using sound

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists developed Ice-tethered Acoustic Buoys to monitor the acoustic and oceanographic environment in the changing Arctic. The buoys provide critical oceanographic data to improve prediction capabilities of ocean and climate models.

Eliminating viruses in our food with cranberries and citrus fruit

Fresh produce is a major vehicle for noroviruses, a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, the viruses are quite resistant to cold pasteurization treatments such as irradiation, which are used to destroy bacteria, moulds, parasites, and insects. The irradiation process uses gamma rays or X-rays to destroy these viruses but at the dose...

Rain, flood and repeat likely to be the weather mantra in the South this spring

The pattern that has been unleashing excessive rainfall and reoccurring flooding is predicted to continue across the flood-weary southern United States through the spring -- and following a soaker during the middle of this week, another rainstorm is expected to roll into the region early next week.The storm this week will trigger rain across much of the Interstate 10 and 20 corridors into...

Palaeontologists identify new Jurassic amphibian

A group of Russian and German palaeontologists have described a previously unknown genus and species of prehistoric salamanders. The new amphibian is named Egoria malashichevi—in honor of Yegor Malashichev a talented scientist and associate professor of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at St Petersburg University, who passed away at the end of 2018.

New mathematical model reveals how major groups arise in evolution

Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's "abominable mystery" and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate. The research is published in the journal Science Advances.

Ancient fish dinners chart Sahara’s shift from savannah to desert

Bones of fish eaten by humans thousands of years ago offer clue to region’s ancient climateThe Sahara’s shift from savannah with abundant lakes to a largely arid expanse has been traced in the remains of fish eaten thousands of years ago. Researchers analysing material found in a rock shelter in the Acacus mountains in south-west Libya say they have found more than 17,500 animal remains dating...

Fish in the Sahara? Yes, in the early Holocene

Catfish and tilapia make up many of the animal remains uncovered in the Saharan environment of the Takarkori rock shelter in southwestern Libya, according to a study published February 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Wim Van Neer from the the Natural History Museum in Belgium, Belgium and Savino di Lernia, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and colleagues.

Improving assessments of an endangered lion population in India

An alternative method for monitoring endangered lions in India could improve estimates of their abundance and help inform conservation policy and management decisions. Keshab Gogoi and colleagues at the Wildlife Institute of India present their findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on February 19, 2020.

Dog domestication during ice age

Analysis of Paleolithic-era teeth from a 28,500-year-old fossil site in the Czech Republic provides supporting evidence for two groups of canids -- one dog-like and the other wolf-like - with differing diets, which is consistent with the early domestication of dogs.

New test identifies poisonous mushrooms

A simple, portable test that can detect the deadliest of the mushroom poisons in minutes has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.

Tropical Cyclone Esther likely to develop near Australia in the coming week

Following Uesi, which remained well east of Australia earlier in February, the next tropical cyclone to develop will most likely be closer to home.The potential exists for at least one tropical system to develop near Australia in the coming days, threatening northern parts of the country.Should the likely storm become a named tropical system by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology, it would gain...

Research shows the way to more efficient EPO production

To many people, EPO rhymes with doping and cycling. But in fact, EPO is an important medical drug. This hormone works naturally in the body by stimulating red blood cell production. Patients suffering from anemia caused by for instance chronic kidney disease, AIDS or hematologic disorders can benefit immensely from EPO therapy. Furthermore, many cancer patients who are anemic from receiving...

One drug, many diseases

It seems too good to be true: a single drug that could treat humanity's worst afflictions, including atherosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and arthritis. All of these diseases have one thing in common—they involve an inflammatory protein called NLRP3. Now, biotech start-ups and pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop drugs that inhibit the function of this protein, according...

Five millimeter diameter motor is powered directly with light

Researchers at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, with colleagues from Poland and China used liquid crystal elastomer technology to demonstrate a rotary micromotor powered with light. The 5-millimeter diameter ring, driven and controlled by a laser beam, can rotate and perform work, e.g. by rotating another element installed on the same axis.

A spookily good sensor

Scientists from the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) at The University of Tokyo demonstrated a method for coupling a magnetic sphere with a sensor via the strange power of quantum entanglement. They showed that the existence of even a single magnetic excitation in the sphere could be detected with a one-shot measurement. This work represents a major advancement toward...

A new way to assess male fertility

Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa. However, other characteristics of sperm, such as their ability to follow a chemical trail to the egg, can influence the likelihood of fertilization. Now, researchers have devised a quick and convenient microfluidic chip to assess this chemotactic response of spermatozoa, which could help provide a...

'Flapping wings' powered by the sun

In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus' wax wings melted when he dared to fly too close to the sun. Now, researchers have made artificial wings that are actually powered by the sun. The tiny wings, which can flap even faster than those of butterflies, could someday be used in robots or devices for solar energy harvesting, the researchers say.

'We must cultivate the natural curiosity and capabilities of children': Alan Finkel's 2020s vision

As Australia’s chief science nerd, I found lessons for today in this obscure piece of science history. It can help us map our nation’s futureAbout this seriesLet me share a story with you. It is a story of discovery and exploration.We begin in 1751, in a small village in the north-east of France, when Joseph Lepaute Dagelet was born. Growing up, Dagelet looked up to his brother, Dominique, who...

A new way to assess male fertility

Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa. However, other characteristics of sperm, such as their ability to follow a chemical trail to the egg, can influence the likelihood of fertilization. Now, researchers reporting in Analytical Chemistry have devised a quick and convenient microfluidic chip to assess this chemotactic response of...

'Flapping wings' powered by the Sun

In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus' wax wings melted when he dared to fly too close to the sun. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have made artificial wings that are actually powered by the sun. The tiny wings, which can flap even faster than those of butterflies, could someday be used in robots or devices for solar energy harvesting, the researchers say. Watch a...

Weed-derived compounds in Serbian groundwater could contribute to endemic kidney disease

People living in Balkan farming villages along the Danube River have long suffered from a unique type of kidney disease known as Balkan endemic nephropathy. Recently, scientists linked the disorder to compounds from a local weed that could be taken up into food crops from the soil. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology have discovered that contaminated...