843,143 articles

Small Hurricane Paula hugs Cuban coast, to weaken (Reuters)

Reuters - Hurricane Paula dumped rain on Cuba's western tobacco-growing province on Thursday as the small hurricane hugged the island's northern coast, but it was expected to weaken as it moved eastward toward the Cuban capital Havana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center...

OPEC maintains oil output quota (AFP)

AFP - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to keep its official oil production target at 24.84 million barrels a day, OPEC president Wilson Pastor-Morris of Ecuador said on...

New to Nature No 20: Selitrichodes globulus

The curse of the Eucalyptus globulusA new species of gall-inducing wasp, Selitrichodes globulus, has been discovered in Los Angeles County, California, attacking Eucalyptus globulus, among the most widely grown eucalypt in the world. Introduced into California in the mid-1800s, the tree has spread widely, earning it a place on the state's list of exotic plant pests. The extent to which the newly...

Faster websites, more reliable data

Today, visiting almost any major website -- checking your Facebook news feed, looking for books on Amazon, bidding for merchandise on eBay -- involves querying a database. But the databases that these sites maintain are enormous, and searching them anew every time a new user logs on would be painfully time consuming. To serve up data in a timely fashion, most big sites use a technique called...

Key to blood-brain barrier opens way for treating Alzheimer's and stroke

While the blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from harmful chemicals occurring naturally in the blood, it also obstructs the transport of drugs to the brain. In an article in Nature scientists at Karolinska Institutet now present a potential solution to the problem. The key to the BBB is a cell-type in the blood vessel walls called pericytes, and the researchers hope that their findings...

Societies evolve slowly, just like biological species

(PhysOrg.com) -- It has been a contentious issue for some time among historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists whether societies and cultures arise slowly or in sudden bursts and if they collapse in the same way. Now researchers using the tools of evolutionary biology instead of anthropology have created an evolutionary tree of political forms in the Pacific Islands and concluded that...

Study shows pigeons like to gamble

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study of pigeons shows that, like human gamblers, they love to gamble on the off chance they will win big rather than taking a smaller, but more certain payout.

The many infrared 'personalities' of the Sculptor galaxy

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Sculptor galaxy is shown in different infrared hues, in this new mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The main picture is a composite of infrared light captured with all four of the space telescope's infrared detectors.

When is a comet not a comet? Rosetta finds out

(PhysOrg.com) -- It was a case of celestial hit and run. Two asteroids, both in the wrong place at the wrong time. The result: one big trail of debris and a case of mistaken identity. Now, however, ESA’s comet-chaser Rosetta has unravelled the truth.

Hurricane Paula weakens as it nears Cuba (AP)

AP - Hurricane Paula inched toward the west coast of Cuba early Thursday, dumping heavy rain on the island's famed tobacco fields even as it weakened. Officials said they were optimistic the system would not bring a repeat of the devastation wrought by three monster storms in...

Whale Poo: The Ocean's Miracle Grow (LiveScience.com)

LiveScience.com - While many mammals produce excrement in clumps, whale poop is more of a slurry. "Very liquidy, a flocculent plume," says whale expert Joe Roman at the University of Vermont. Flocculence is a state of fluffiness, akin to a tuft of wool.