Monarch butterfly is not endangered, conservation authority decides
20,593 articles from ScienceNOW
How do cats purr? New finding challenges long-held assumptions
In an unusual reversal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has decided North America’s monarch butterfly is not “endangered.” Instead, the insect is only “vulnerable” to extinction, the group said last week—adding that it could lower the alarm still further, changing the listing to “near threatened” if an upcoming census suggests the population is...
Puzzling objects found far beyond Neptune hint at second Kuiper belt
One of the most delightful sounds to a cat lover is their feline friend’s rumbling noise when they get a little scritch behind the ears. Yet how cats produce their contented purrs has long been a mystery.
A new study may finally have the answer. Domestic cats possess “pads” embedded within their vocal cords, which add an extra layer of fatty tissue that allows them to...
Ultrafast light experiments win physics Nobel
There just doesn’t seem to be enough of the Solar System. Beyond Neptune’s orbit lie thousands of small icy objects in the Kuiper belt, with Pluto its most famous resident. But after 50 astronomical units (AU)—50 times the distance between Earth and the Sun—the belt ends suddenly and the number of objects drops to zero. Meanwhile, in other solar systems, similar belts stretch...
U.S. avoids shutdown, but prospects for boosting science funding remain dim
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been won by three researchers who developed ways to produce flashes of light so fast that they can capture the movements of electrons in and around atoms and molecules.
Pierre Agostini of Ohio State University, Ferenc Krausz of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, and Anne L’Huillier of Lund University share the award for...
bracing for a government shutdown
that would have furloughed federal researchers and disrupted grantmaking are relieved that Congress averted a closure over the weekend with a temporary spending agreement. But Congress is still a long way from approving 2024 spending bills for research agencies. And scientists are likely to be disappointed with many of the...
MONDAY 2. OCTOBER 2023
Laser-fusion experiment squeezes out even more energy
World Health Organization endorses much anticipated second malaria vaccine
Lightning has struck a second time for physicists using lasers to achieve nuclear fusion—the process in which two atomic nuclei combine into one while releasing enormous amounts of energy. On 30 July, the 192 lasers of the stadium-size National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory instantaneously crushed a tiny capsule filled with deuterium and tritium,...
mRNA discovery that paved way for COVID-19 vaccines wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The World Health Organization (WHO) today recommended widespread use of a second vaccine against malaria, a disease that kills more than half a million children each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. The new vaccine, called R21/Matrix-M, follows in the footsteps of the first malaria vaccine, called Mosquirix or RTS,S, for which WHO
made a similar recommendation 2...
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to scientists
whose work provided a key breakthrough needed to develop a novel type of vaccine, which led to some of the first shots that protected against COVID-19.
Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman received the prize “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development...
SATURDAY 30. SEPTEMBER 2023
Promising malaria vaccine clears clinical hurdle, could get WHO endorsement next week
The world may soon have another powerful weapon against malaria, a disease that kills half a million people each year, most of them young children. Data from a trial involving 4800 children in four African countries suggest a vaccine developed at the University of Oxford, known as R21/MatrixM, provides significant protection against the disease. The results were posted
FRIDAY 29. SEPTEMBER 2023
U.S. researchers brace for likely government shutdown
With a U.S. government shutdown looming on 1 October, federal research agencies are preparing to wind down most operations. As in
, staff will be sent home, websites frozen, meetings postponed, training disrupted, and research
. Depending on how long the pause lasts, instruments could be closed and missions
THURSDAY 28. SEPTEMBER 2023
Watch the hammerhead get its hammer
Chemical cages could store hydrogen, expand use of clean-burning fuel
With their broad, flattened snout tipped at each end with giant google eyes, hammerhead sharks are both charismatic and easy to spot. Now, for the first time, scientists have captured step-by-step how this “hammer” forms in developing embryos.
Unlike most fish, hammerheads give birth to live young. Yet researchers have not been able learn much about the development of any of...
Ferociously hot weather could make some cities unlivable. Low-tech solutions can help
Hydrogen seems like the perfect fuel. By weight it packs more punch than any other fuel. It can be made from water, meaning supply is almost limitless, in principle. And when burned or run through a fuel cell, it generates energy without any carbon pollution. But hydrogen takes up enormous volume, making it impractical to store. Compressing it helps, but is expensive and...
How much heat is dangerous during pregnancy?
India tests heat alerts, tree planting, and modified roofs
News at a glance: China’s S&T clusters, abundant fairy circles, and Arecibo’s next chapter
Researchers are probing how high temperatures lead to premature birth and other harmful outcomes
Fairy circles abound in dry regions of many countries
Mysterious patches of vegetation called fairy circles are well documented in the drylands of Australia and Namibia. Now, a study that combines machine learning and satellite images that span the continents reports examples in
13 other countries, mainly in Africa...