Category: Science News

Electric Shocks Act Like Vaccines To Plants

Plants can’t get COVID-19, but they can get infected by a range of other viruses. Some of those viruses can cause huge problems for crops. A ringspot virus, for instance, threatens papaya fruit trees in Taiwan. Options exist to fight plant viruses, such as proteins to treat leaves. But two...

Volcanic Avalanches May Be More Destructive Than Previously Thought

Avalanches of ash, gas and rock can cascade downhill during volcanic eruptions. Known as pyroclastic flows, they may be even more dangerous than scientists had suspected. Those pulses are the result of turbulence, lab and field measurements now show. Within these slides, pulses of high pressure form. Those pressures can be far...

Scientists Discover The First True Millipede

The millipedes we’ve known have been a lie. The Latin name for these arthropods implies an impressive set of 1,000 feet. Yet no millipede had ever been found with more than 750. Until now. This first millipede to live up to its name tunnels through deep soil using 1,306 little legs. In...

Light From Space Has Record-Breaking Energy

The cosmos keeps outdoing itself. Extremely energetic light from space is an unexplained wonder. Scientists don’t know where that light comes from, exactly. And now astronomers have spotted this light, called gamma rays, at higher energies than ever before. You can’t see gamma rays with your eyes. They are much...

Physicists have clocked the shortest time span ever

Physicists have measured the shortest span of time ever. It’s 0.000000000000000000247 second, also known as 247 zeptoseconds. And this period is how it takes a single particle of light to pass through a molecule of hydrogen. Not familiar with zeptoseconds? Take all the seconds that have passed since the beginning...

Can we taste fat? The brain thinks so

Most foods we eat are an explosion of flavor. But the tongue itself only detects a few major tastes — sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami (that’s savory). Notice anything missing? Where is the taste for fat? It’s much of what makes butter and cream so delicious. A new study now confirms...

Climate Change May Be Speeding Up Ocean Circulation

Winds are picking up worldwide, and that is making the surface waters of the oceans swirl a bit faster, researchers report. A new analysis of the ocean’s kinetic energy, measured by thousands of floats around the world, suggests that surface ocean circulation has been accelerating since the early 1990s. Some...

Drones Help Scientists Weigh Whales At Sea

Weighing a whale is a beast of a challenge. Scientists who study these majestic mammals can’t just hoist them out of the water and plop them onto some scale. But researchers now have a method to estimate a whale’s weight without disturbing it. The approach uses drone imagery of the animals at...

Generating Electricity from the Cold Night Sky

Generating Electricity from the Cold Night Sky

A new device works like a solar panel, except it doesn’t harvest energy from the sun. It captures energy from the cold night sky. A prototype of the device produced enough electricity at night to power a small light bulb. A bigger version might one day light rooms or charge phones. It...

Latest Claim of Turning Hydrogen into A Metal May Be the Most Solid Yet

Latest Claim of Turning Hydrogen into A Metal May Be the Most Solid Yet

Physicists are crushing it — hydrogen, that is. Squeezing the chemical element to extremely high pressure transforms it into a metal, a trio of researchers claims. The purported metallic hydrogen appeared at a pressure more than 4 million times that of Earth’s atmosphere, the scientists report June 13 at arXiv.org. If confirmed,...