Science

  • Are hyoliths Palaeozoic lophophorates?
    on November 18, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    Hyoliths are extinct invertebrates with calcareous shells that were common constituents of Cambrian fauna and formed a minor component of benthic faunas throughout the Palaeozoic until their demise in the end-Permian mass extinction. The biological affinity of hyoliths has long been controversial and the group has been compared with a number of animal phyla, most frequently the Mollusca or the Sipuncula, although other researchers have considered hyoliths as a separate "extinct phylum." […]

  • Moss: A bio-monitor of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Yangtze River Delta
    on November 18, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Atmospheric reactive nitrogen (N) deposition has more than doubled over the past century.  It is very important to estimate the rates and sources of N deposition because it's considered as a main factor of ecosystem structure changes, such as soil acidification, water eutrophication and biodiversity losses, especially in countries with high N deposition, such as China. However, it is very difficult to obtain monitoring data of atmospheric N deposition because of the complexity of N species […]

  • Tuning quantum materials with hydrogen gas
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    Researchers at TU Delft have discovered a method to stretch and compress quantum materials using hydrogen gas. They demonstrated this effect using a tiny string of a material called tungsten trioxide, which acts as a sponge for hydrogen. The research is a promising new step in the development of micromechanical resonators, which have a wide range of possible applications. They can be used in inkjet printers, as sensors for environmental conditions, and as active components in future […]

  • Can the long-lost abalone make a comeback in California?
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Hunched over a tank inside the Bodega Marine Laboratory, alongside bubbling vats of seaweed and greenhouses filled with algae, Kristin Aquilino coaxed a baby white abalone onto her hand.

  • How many bad texting habits do you have?
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    There's no episode of Techathlon this week, so here's a home version to hold you over.

  • Zeroing in on baby exoplanets could reveal how they form
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:17 PM

    Twenty-four years ago, Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system—a milestone recognised by this year's Nobel prize in physics. Today we know of thousands more 'exoplanets," and researchers are now trying to understand when and how they form.

  • This scientist has been counting butterflies for 47 years and has no plans to stop
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:10 PM

    Art Shapiro stands on the edge of a Chevron gas station in the north-central Sierra, sipping a large Pepsi and scanning the landscape for butterflies.

  • Researchers in Japan uncover fossil of bird from Early Cretaceous
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:10 PM

    A combined team of researchers from Japan and China has announced the finding and study of the fossilized remains of a bird from the Early Cretaceous. In their paper published in the journal Communications Biology, the group describes where the fossil was found, its features and what it represents to avian evolutionary history.

  • Do people find terrorism more important after major attacks?
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:04 PM

    What is the impact of terrorism? Researchers Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn and Jessica Sciarone looked at ten jihadi attacks and concluded that there are major differences between European countries.

  • New research into badger dispersal could minimize bovine tuberculosis spread
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:03 PM

    Zoology researchers from Trinity, working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine (DAFM) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), have unlocked the secrets of dispersing badgers.

  • Quantum computers learn to mark their own work
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:03 PM

    A new test to check if a quantum computer is giving correct answers to questions beyond the scope of traditional computing could help the first quantum computer that can outperform a classical computer to be realized.

  • Mars scientists investigate ancient life in Australia
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:03 PM

    As any geologist worth his or her salt will tell you, there are rocks, and then there are rocks. Next July, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are launching rovers to Mars that will search for signs of past microbial life, and to find them, the scientists with NASA's Mars 2020 mission and ESA's ExoMars will need to examine different kinds of rocks that lend compelling insights into the environment in which they were made—all from 100 million miles away.

  • Study sheds more light on the nature of the transient X-ray pulsar MAXI J1409-619
    on November 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    Turkish astronomers have analyzed the observational data of the transient X-ray pulsar MAXI J1409-619 to probe the properties of this source. The study provided a comprehensive timing and X-ray spectral analysis of the pulsar, shedding more light on the nature of this object. Results of the research were published November 7 on arXiv.org.

  • Researchers: Ingredient for new mosquitocidal agent produced by cultivated edible mushroom
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:56 PM

    Mushrooms have many enemies that they repel with toxins. This is also true for the mushroom Agrocybe aegerita, which is cultivated in Southern Europe, Asia and the U.S., amongst others, and is prized as an excellent edible. But there is more to this mushroom: In 2017, it was discovered that the mushroom produces the toxin ageritin. Scientists of the German Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and their colleagues from Swiss ETH Zurich in collaboration with other German and Swiss […]

  • Fossil dig leads to unexpected discovery of 91-million-year-old shark new to science
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    A 91-million-year-old fossil shark newly named Cretodus houghtonorum discovered in Kansas joins a list of large dinosaur-era animals. Preserved in sediments deposited in an ancient ocean called the Western Interior Seaway that covered the middle of North America during the Late Cretaceous period (144 million to 66 million years ago), Cretodus houghtonorum was an impressive shark estimated to be nearly 17 feet or slightly more than 5 meters long based on a new study appearing in the Journal of […]

  • Hibernating astronauts would need smaller spacecraft
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    If a sci-fi spaceship does not come with hyperdrive then it is usually fitted with hibernation capsules instead. In movies from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Event Horizon, Alien to Passengers, fictional astronauts get put into "suspended animation" to cross the vastness of space. Now ESA has investigated how real life crew hibernation would impact space mission design.

  • Foam offers way to manipulate light
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    There is more to foam than meets the eye. Literally. A study by Princeton scientists has shown that a type of foam long studied by scientists is able to block particular wavelengths of light, a coveted property for next-generation information technology that uses light instead of electricity.

  • How mammoth poop contributes to antibiotics research
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:20 PM

    Ph.D. student Doris van Bergeijk brought 40,000-year-old bacteria from mammoth poop back to life. She hopes to find new information that can help research at the Institute of Biology Leiden into antibiotics and antibiotics resistance.

  • Great White Sharks in Australia Get a Concert from Kiss. But Will the Sharks Care?
    by Mindy Weisberger on November 18, 2019 at 1:19 PM

    In a career first, the rock band Kiss is performing for an audience of great white sharks.

  • 2 Infants Were Buried Wearing Helmets Made from Skulls. And Archaeologists Are Puzzled.
    by Owen Jarus on November 18, 2019 at 1:12 PM

    Two infants were buried some 2,100 years ago wearing "helmets" made from the skulls of other children, archaeologists have discovered.

  • Humans light 85 percent of bushfires, and we do virtually nothing to stop it
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    It's hard to comprehend why someone would deliberately light a bushfire. Yet this behavior regularly occurs in Australia and other countries. We would go a long way to preventing bushfires if we better understood this troubling phenomenon.

  • Researchers create better light-trapping devices
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:07 PM

    Anyone who's ever played the drums, tuned a guitar, or even made a wine glass "sing" by circling a finger along its edge knows about resonance. Acoustic resonators, like the cavity of a drum or a half-full wine glass, naturally vibrate at certain frequencies of sound waves to produce specific tones. The phenomenon of resonance can also be applied to light waves, with optical resonators being key components of devices such as lasers and sensors.

  • Hurricanes really are becoming more destructive
    by Ula Chrobak on November 18, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    As devastating as these events were, meteorologists don’t all agree on whether storms are indeed growing stronger, or if there’s just more people living on the coast, where they are vulnerable to the powerful winds and rain. But a new study finds that even when accounting for increases of people and wealth in areas hit by the cyclones, the devastation is increasing.

  • Research suggests ponies could play critical role in Dartmoor's future health
    on November 18, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Dartmoor ponies are among the most iconic species of any British moorland. But a dramatic decline in population since the 1950s has led to widespread concern about their long-term survival prospects and an urgent requirement to recognize their value as conservation grazers.

  • ADMX experiment places world's best constraint on dark matter axions
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    ADMX, with its world-leading sensitivity, has ruled out axions of a certain mass range as dark matter.

  • French earthquake fault mapped
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    This week, southeast France was hit by a magnitude 5 earthquake with tremors felt between Lyon and Montélimar. The Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission has been used to map the way the ground shifted as a result of the quake.

  • Breakthrough boosts performance of sodium-sulfur batteries
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    Researchers from the University of Wollongong have manufactured a nanomaterial that acts as a superior cathode for room-temperature sodium-sulfur batteries, making them a more attractive option for large-scale energy storage.

  • New insight into a cancer-shielding protein could guide a new generation of cancer treatments
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    In a paper published in Cell Reports, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University discovered unique characteristics of a protein called VISTA that protects cancer cells against immune system strikes. A better understanding of how this protein works could guide the design of treatments that target these proteins, infiltrating cancer's first line of defense.

  • Nanomaterials in wastewater have toxic effects on crustaceans and fish
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    You may not always think about it when you do your laundry or flush the toilet, but whatever you eat, wear or apply on your skin ends up in wastewater and eventually reaches the environment. The use of nanoparticles in consumer products like textiles, foods and personal care products is increasing. What is so special about nanoparticles is their tiny size: One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. The small size gives nanoparticles unique and novel properties compared to their bigger […]

  • Scientists discover body's protection shield
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Scientists have discovered a way to manipulate the body's own immune response to boost tissue repair. The findings, published in Current Biology today, reveal a new network of protective factors to shield cells against damage. This discovery, made by University of Bristol researchers, could significantly benefit patients undergoing surgery by speeding recovery times and lowering the risk of complication.

  • Image: Orion A in infrared
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Stars form within giant clouds of gas and dust that pervade galaxies like our own Milky Way. This image depicts one such cloud, known as Orion A, as seen by ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories.

  • A single-digit-micrometer thickness wood speaker
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    In a recent report on Nature Communications, Wentao Gan and a team of researchers at the departments of materials science and engineering in the U.S. have detailed the use of an ultrathin film of natural wood to create an audio speaker. The construct exhibited excellent mechanical properties including high tensile strength and increased Young's modulus. The properties of ultrathin thickness and exceptional mechanical strength allowed excellent acoustic properties with higher resonance frequency […]

  • New catalysts remove nitrogen oxide pollutants at lower temperatures
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a low-temperature catalyst for removing NOx gas from industrial exhaust using ammonia. Composed of bulk "defective" vanadium oxide instead of vanadium oxides supported on titanium oxide as in commercial catalysts, the catalyst works at lower temperatures (

  • Plants use a single communication route when developing new chloroplasts
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Researchers in Japan and the U.K. have discovered new details of how young leaves build their first chloroplasts, the energy factories of plant cells. The researchers identified a new role for a protein that was first identified 25 years ago, but which had defied characterization until now.

  • 3 Cows Swept Out to Sea by Hurricane Dorian Were Found Peacefully Grazing on an Island Miles Away
    by Yasemin Saplakoglu on November 18, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    They likely had to swim about four miles to the island.

  • The little duck that could: Study finds endangered Hawaiian duck endures
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    New research has found that the genetic diversity of the koloa is high, and conservation efforts on the island of Kauai have been successful.

  • Balancing elementary steps for boosting alkaline hydrogen evolution
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Recently, Professors Jin-Song Hu and Li-Jun Wan from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators designed the nanocrystals with tunable Ni/NiO heterosurfaces to target Volmer and Heyrovsky/Tafel steps in the alkaline hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and discovered that such bicomponent active sites on the surface should be balanced for promoting HER performance.

  • 2/3 of parents cite barriers in recognizing youth depression
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Telling the difference between a teen's normal ups and downs and something bigger is among top challenges parents face in identifying youth depression, a new national poll suggests.

  • Researchers bring gaming to autonomous vehicles
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Researchers have designed multiplayer games occupants of autonomous vehicles can play with other players in nearby self-driving cars. A new study, led by researchers from the University of Waterloo details three games created for level three and higher semi-autonomous vehicles. The researchers also made suggestions for many exciting types of in-car games for future exploration.

  • Cancer trends in Canada from 1971 to 2015
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    The overall rate of new cancer cases is decreasing in men but increasing in women younger than 80 years, and obesity-related cancers are increasing in young people, according to a study on cancer trends in Canada from 1971 to 2015 published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association).

  • Possible new treatment strategy against progeria
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Progeria is a very rare disease that affects about one in 18 million children and results in premature aging and death in adolescence from complications of cardiovascular disease. In a study on mice and human cells, researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and IFOM, the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, have identified how antisense oligonucleotide therapies could be used as a new possible treatment option for the disease. The results are published in Nature Communications.

  • Moss: a bio-monitor of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Yangtze River Delta
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    The epilithic moss Haplocladium microphyllum can bio-monitor the rates and sources of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, making up for the lack of monitoring data of N deposition.

  • HKU Engineering team invents novel Direct Thermal Charging Cell for Converting low-grade waste heat to usable electricity
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Dr Tony Shien-Ping Feng of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and his team invented a Direct Thermal Charging Cell (DTCC) which can effectively convert heat to electricity, creating a huge potential to reduce greenhouse effects by capturing exhaust heat and cutting down primary energy wastage.

  • New findings on the largest natural sulfur source in the atmosphere
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    An international research team was able to experimentally show in the laboratory a completely new reaction path for the largest natural sulfur source in the atmosphere. The team from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), the University of Innsbruck and the University of Oulu are now reporting in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters on the new degradation mechanism for dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which is released mainly by the oceans.

  • Patients with advanced breast cancer are being denied access to life-prolonging drug
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Survival for patients with the most common forms of advanced breast cancer could be substantially improved if both younger and older patients had access to a group of anti-cancer drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors, according to experts at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fifth International Consensus Conference (ABC5) in Lisbon today (Saturday).

  • Sierra Nevada has oldest underground water recharge system in Europe
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Scientists from the University of Granada, the IGME, and the Universities of Cologne and Lisbon have demonstrated that the careo irrigation channels of Sierra Nevada constitute the oldest underground aquifer recharge system on the continent.

  • Metabolic syndrome: New use for an old drug
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    The syndrome, which affects more than 35% of the over-50 population in Western countries, could be treated with Ibrutinib, a drug that has already been approved for other diseases. The discovery, described in a study by Cosbi and Cimec of the University of Trento published today in Nature Communications, confirms the effectiveness of repurposing, the new frontier of pharmacological research. By combining genomics and big data, researchers found a way to make drug development faster and cheaper, […]

  • ECDC: Study shows gaps in healthcare workers' knowledge and attitudes about antibiotics
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Knowledge and awareness of antibiotic resistance and related issues is generally high among European healthcare workers, according to the first European survey to examine attitudes and behaviours in relation to antibiotic resistance in this group. However, the study also illustrates important knowledge gaps.

  • Side effects mild, brief with single antidepressant dose of intravenous ketamine
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Researchers found that a single, low-dose ketamine infusion was relatively free of side effects for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Widespread off-label use of intravenous subanesthetic-dose ketamine has raised concerns about side effects, especially given its history as a drug of abuse. The most common short-term side effect of the rapid-acting treatment was 'feeling strange or loopy.'

  • More children survive neuroblastoma
    on November 18, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Both the survival rate and the incidence of neuroblastoma have increased in the last decennia in the Netherlands, as was shown by a study from the Princess Máxima Center. The improved chance of survival and the increase in the number of patients has been greatest in the high risk group; children older than 18 months with a stage 4 neuroblastoma.