348 articles from THURSDAY 14.5.2020

Genetic origins of hybrid dysfunction

Evolutionary biologists studying populations of hybrid fish have found two genes that contribute to melanoma - only the second time people have identified specific genes associated with dysfunction in hybrid vertebrates.

Saving livestock by thinking like a predator

Humans have struggled to reduce the loss of livestock to carnivores for thousands of years, and yet, solutions remain elusive. According to a new study, solving this ancient puzzle requires going back to Ecology 101. Simply put, getting in the mind of predators -- considering how they hunt, how their prey behaves and the landscape -- will help wildlife managers discourage wild carnivores from...

Largest and hottest shield volcano on Earth

Researchers revealed the largest and hottest shield volcano on Earth. A team of volcanologists and ocean explorers used several lines of evidence to determine P?h?honu, a volcano within the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument now holds this distinction.

Spacewatch: US military spaceplane poised for liftoff

Boeing X-37B to study impact of radiation and other space effects on seeds and other materialsThe US’s uncrewed X-37B military spaceplane is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral air force station, in Florida, on 16 May.The Boeing craft will be carried into orbit by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. This will be its sixth launch, and the first to be the responsibility of the...

A lost world and extinct ecosystem

Archaeological sites on the far southern shores of South Africa hold the world's richest records for the behavioral and cultural origins of our species. At this location, scientists have discovered the earliest evidence for symbolic behavior, complex pyrotechnology, projectile weapons and the first use of foods from the sea.

Researchers reveal largest and hottest shield volcano on Earth

In a recently published study, researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology revealed the largest and hottest shield volcano on Earth. A team of volcanologists and ocean explorers used several lines of evidence to determine Pūhāhonu, a volcano within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument now holds this distinction.

Space station leaves 'microbial fingerprint' on astronauts

We all carry around our own microbiome, a world of microorganisms that live on our skin and in our bodies, playing important roles in maintaining health as we interact with the rest of the world. Everywhere we go, our microbiome interacts with the microbiomes of new environments and of the people we meet (see Microbiology 101: Where People Go, Microbes Follow).

Genetic origins of hybrid dysfunction

In a small pool nestled between two waterfalls in Hidalgo, Mexico, lives a population of hybrid fish—the result of many generations of interbreeding between highland and sheepshead swordtails. The lab of Molly Schumer, assistant professor of biology at Stanford University, has been collecting these fish for years to study the evolution of hybrids.

Saving livestock by thinking like a predator

For predators like wolves, cougars and snow leopards, a cow or sheep out to pasture may make for an easy and tasty meal. But when wild animals eat livestock, farmers face the traumatic loss of food or income, frequently sparking lethal conflicts between humans and their carnivorous neighbors.

Quarantining With a Ghost? It's Scary

It started with the front door.Adrian Gomez lives with his partner in Los Angeles, where their first few days of sheltering in place for the coronavirus pandemic proved uneventful. They worked remotely, baked, took a 2-mile walk each morning and refinished their porcelain kitchen sink. But then, one night, the doorknob began to rattle "vigorously," so loud he could hear it from across...

Tracking an organism's development, cell by cell

Scientists at the Stem Cell Research program at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School have devised a mouse model that lets researchers track every cell in the body, from the embryonic stage until adulthood. Using a "barcoding" technique and CRISPR gene editing technology, the model can identify different cell types as they emerge and what genes each is...

NASA's ICESat-2 measures arctic ocean's sea ice thickness, snow cover

Arctic sea ice helps keep Earth cool, as its bright surface reflects the Sun's energy back into space. Each year scientists use multiple satellites and data sets to track how much of the Arctic Ocean is covered in sea ice, but its thickness is harder to gauge. Initial results from NASA's new Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) suggest that the sea ice has thinned by as much as 20%...

Topological waves may help in understanding plasma systems

Nearly 50 years ago, Brown University physicist Michael Kosterlitz and his colleagues used the mathematics of topology—the study of how objects can be deformed by stretching or twisting but not tearing or breaking—to explain puzzling phase changes in certain types of matter. The work won Kosterlitz a share of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics and has led to the discovery of topological phenomena...

Seeing the universe through new lenses

A new study revealed hundreds of new strong gravitational lensing candidates based on a deep dive into data. The study benefited from the winning machine-learning algorithm in an international science competition.