Flowering plants survived the dinosaur-killing asteroid—and may outlive us
33 articles from SATURDAY 16.9.2023
Signs of life? Why astronomers are excited about CO2 and methane in the atmosphere of an alien world
If you looked up 66 million years ago you might have seen, for a split second, a bright light as a mountain-sized asteroid burned through the atmosphere and smashed into Earth. It was springtime and the literal end of an era, the Mesozoic.
Syphilis transmission networks and antimicrobial resistance in England uncovered using genomics
Are we alone? This question is nearly as old as humanity itself. Today, this question in astronomy focuses on finding life beyond our planet. Are we, as a species, and as a planet, alone? Or is there life somewhere else?
- 23/9/16 19:14
Brain inspires more robust AI
Scientists use genomics to uncover syphilis transmission patterns in England, in a pioneering new approach for STI surveillance.
- 23/9/16 19:14
Meat, milk alternatives could slash food system emissions a third: study
Most artificially intelligent systems are based on neural networks, algorithms inspired by biological neurons found in the brain. These networks can consist of multiple layers, with inputs coming in one side and outputs going out of the other. The outputs can be used to make automatic decisions, for example, in driverless cars. Attacks to mislead a neural network can involve exploiting...
Possible hints of life found on distant planet. How excited should we be?
Replacing half of the pork, chicken, beef and milk products we consume with plant-based alternatives could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and related land use by nearly a third, and virtually halt forest loss, according to research published on Tuesday.
‘Lessons have been forgotten’: is the UK ready for a new Covid variant?
Data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has shown that an exoplanet around a star in the constellation Leo has some of the chemical markers that, on Earth, are associated with living organisms. But these are vague indications. So how likely is it that this exoplanet harbors alien life?
Plasma arc is Astronomy photograph of the year
With worrying mutations, limited vaccine rollout, vastly reduced testing and a creaking health service, experts are predicting a tough few months ahead“New variant”, “care home outbreak”, “cases rising”: you’d be forgiven if the headlines around Pirola, or BA.2.86, the latest Covid strain to arrive in the UK, had triggered a severe case of pandemic deja vu. More than two years since...
- 23/9/16 16:00
Generating biskyrmions in a rare earth magnet
A teal-colored plasma arc next to the iconic Andromeda Galaxy stole the show in this year’s Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition announced this week. The dazzling image and overall winner of the competition, Andromeda, Unexpected, was taken by Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty. “It’s an enormous honor for our teamContinue...
Saturday Citations: Wear a helmet around supermassive black holes. Also, cute koala bears and quantum therapy for cancer
Magnetic skyrmions have received much attention as promising, topologically protected quasiparticles with applications in spintronics. Skyrmions are small, swirling topological magnetic excitations with particle-like properties. Nevertheless, the lower stability of magnetic skyrmions only allow them to exist in a narrow temperature range, with low density of the particles, thus implying the need...
Researchers use the power of comparative mapping to reveal specific global and regional threats to reptiles
This week, we looked at the swirling chaos around supermassive black holes, anthropogenic climate effects over the Atlantic ocean and the threats to koala bears.
Dead spider claws and 'anal-print' toilets: 2023's Ig Nobels
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 21% of reptile species worldwide were threatened with extinction as of 2022. However, until recently there have been few details of the kinds of threats affecting distinct species in specific geographical areas, and as a result, important reptile conservation opportunities may have been missed.
Research squadron VXS-1 mobilizes quickly to track Hurricane Idalia
Reanimating dead spiders to use them as robot claws, licking rocks, backwards talking and a toilet that scans "anal-prints": this year's Ig Nobel prizes again put a spotlight on the quirky side of science.
Rating platforms drive sales at tourist-area NYC eateries
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Scientific Development Squadron (VXS) 1 mobilized a crew for a NP-3C Orion operation with less than 24 hours' notice to airdrop 18 SOFAR Spotter buoys in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Idalia on Monday, August 28. The VXS-1 crew personally deployed the buoys from the aircraft on behalf of researchers working with the National Oceanographic Partnership...
Major UK methane greenhouse gas leak spotted from space
Ratings on platforms such as Yelp and TripAdvisor can greatly impact high-priced New York City restaurants that service tourists, but have less of an effect on restaurants frequented by "locals" outside of tourist areas, according to new Cornell research.
The detection of methane by satellite raises hopes future leaks can be stopped more quickly.