Category: Science News

A proposed space telescope would use Earth’s atmosphere as a lens

A proposed space telescope would use Earth’s atmosphere as a lens

Telescopes keep getting bigger — and more expensive. But what if there were a better way? One astronomer has suggested a possible work-around: Turn the entire Earth into a telescope lens by using the planet’s atmosphere to bend and focus light. When light from stars hits Earth’s atmosphere, the light bends, or...

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,...

Many of the world’s rivers are flush with dangerous levels of antibiotics

Many of the world’s rivers are flush with dangerous levels of antibiotics

In a massive survey of rivers across 72 countries, researchers found antibiotics at 66 percent of 711 sites sampled. Many of the most drug-polluted waterways were in Asia and Africa, where there hadn’t been much data until now. Environmental pollution from antibiotics is one driver of microbial drug resistance, which...

How scientists traced a uranium cube to Nazi Germany’s nuclear reactor program

How scientists traced a uranium cube to Nazi Germany’s nuclear reactor program

The mysterious cube arrived in the summer of 2013. Physicist Timothy Koeth had agreed to go to a parking lot for an unspecified delivery. Inside a blue cloth sack, swathed in paper towels, he found a small chunk of uranium. It was about 5 centimeters across, with “a white piece...

The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics

The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics

This is what a black hole looks like. A world-spanning network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope zoomed in on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole. “We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen and taken a picture...

Mosquitoes can hear up to 10 meters away

Mosquitoes can hear up to 10 meters away

Mosquitoes can hear over distances much greater than anyone suspected, according to researchers at Cornell and Binghamton University. Their findings were published in the journal Current Biology. Until now, scientists believed that organisms required eardrums for long-range hearing, and that the feathery antennae with fine hairs that mosquitoes and some insects...

Your Gut Is Directly Connected to Your Brain

Your Gut Is Directly Connected to Your Brain

The human gut is lined with more than 100 million nerve cells—it’s practically a brain unto itself. And indeed, the gut actually talks to the brain, releasing hormones into the bloodstream that, over the course of about 10 minutes, tell us how hungry it is, or that we shouldn’t have...

Big Data Reveals Hints of How, When and Where Mental Disorders Start

Big Data Reveals Hints of How, When and Where Mental Disorders Start

Psychiatric disorders’ many complexities have stymied scientists looking for clear genetic culprits. But a new giant dataset holds clues to how, when and where these brain disorders begin. Called PsychENCODE, the project’s first large data release has revealed intricate insights into the behavior of genes and the stretches of genetic...

Artificial-intelligence-could-improve-predictions-for-where-quake-aftershocks-will-hit

Artificial intelligence could improve predictions for where quake aftershocks will hit

A new artificial intelligence is turning its big brain to mapping earthquake aftershocks. Scientists trained an artificial neural network to study the spatial relationships between more than 130,000 main earthquakes and their aftershocks. In tests, the AI was much better at predicting the locations of aftershocks than traditional methods that many seismologists...

Smart Windows Could Block Brightness And Harness Light

Who needs curtains? One day, you could block out afternoon glare and heat with changeable windows that absorb sunshine to charge your electronics. A high-tech prototype panel described online January 22 in Nature Materials, switches between transparent pane and dark-tinted solar cell. The layer in the panel that’s responsible for soaking up...

Much of the world’s honey now contains bee-harming pesticides

The first global honey survey testing for these controversial nicotine-derived pesticides shows just how widely honeybees are exposed to the chemicals, which have been shown to affect the health of bees and other insects. Three out of four honey samples tested contained measurable levels of at least one of five common...

How Spiders Mastered Spin Control

Their silk subtly changes shape as it twists, slowing rotation. A strange property of spider silk helps explain how the arachnids avoid twirling wildly at the end of their ropes. Researchers from China and England harvested silk from two species of golden orb weaver spiders, Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes, and tested it...

Jupiter Gets Surprisingly Complex New Portrait

Scientists are repainting Jupiter’s portrait — scientifically, anyway. NASA’s Juno spacecraft swooped within 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) of Jupiter’s cloud tops last August 27. Scientists’ first close-up of the gas giant has unveiled several unexpected details about the planet’s gravity and powerful magnetic fields. They also give a new view...