Science News

Science News

Bitcoin heist: 600 powerful computers stolen in Iceland

Some 600 computers used to "mine" bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been stolen from data centers in Iceland in what police say is the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 9:50 pm

Groups, US reach settlement on predator-killing poisons

U.S. officials have agreed to complete a study on how two predator-killing poisons could be affecting federally protected species as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by environmental and animal-welfare groups.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 9:50 pm

Massachusetts Students to Speak with NASA Astronaut on Space Station

Students from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth,) will speak with NASA astronaut and alumnus Scott Tingle, who is living and working aboard the International Space Station, at 12:30 p.m. EST Tuesday, March 6. The 20 minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 9:23 pm

Rome subway construction uncovers 2nd-century military home

Archaeologists say work to expand Rome's subway has unearthed a sprawling 2nd-century domus, or residence, of a military commander, complete with well-preserved geometric design mosaic, marble floors and frescoed walls.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:40 pm

Enrichment program boosts STEM for black students but leaves Latinos behind

Researchers trying to figure out how to get more black and Latino students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics usually focus on those students' college years.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:30 pm

Backyard chickens need more regulation

Historically, keeping backyard chickens was a response to economic hardship—whether it was in the Depression or during wartime food rationing.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:20 pm

New study: Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in western states

A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites - and one-third of the declines were deemed significant.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:10 pm

Mapping nanoscale chemical reactions inside batteries in 3-D

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that lets them pinpoint the location of chemical reactions happening inside lithium-ion batteries in three dimensions at the nanoscale level. Their results are published in the journal Nature Communications.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 7:57 pm

An 'insider's look' at Tropical Cyclone 11S from NASA's Aqua Satellite

Infrared imagery provides valuable temperature data in storms, and when NASA's Aqua satellite flew over newly developed Tropical Cyclone 11S in the Southern Indian Ocean, its gathered that data allowing forecasters to see where the strongest storms were located within.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 7:56 pm

Scientists observe a new quantum particle with properties of ball lightning

Scientists at Amherst College and Aalto University have created, for the first time a three-dimensional skyrmion in a quantum gas. The skyrmion was predicted theoretically over 40 years ago, but only now has it been observed experimentally.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 7:00 pm

Dual frequency comb generated on a single chip using a single laser

In a new paper published today in Science Advances, researchers under the direction of Columbia Engineering Professors Michal Lipson and Alexander Gaeta (Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics) have miniaturized dual-frequency combs by putting two frequency comb generators on a single millimeter-sized chip.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 7:00 pm

How we discovered the strange physics of jets from supermassive black holes

Supermassive black holes, which lurk at the heart of most galaxies, are often described as "beasts" or "monsters". But despite this, they are pretty much invisible. To show that they are there at all, astronomers typically have to measure the speed of the clouds of gas orbiting those regions.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 4:50 pm

Vero: Hot Instagram alternative - but will it stick around?

Instagram users fed up the service becoming more and more like Facebook are flocking to a hot new app called Vero.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 4:10 pm

Vertical measurements of air pollutants in urban Beijing

Severe haze episodes with surprisingly high concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) still occur in fall and winter seasons in Beijing, although the air quality has been improved in recent years.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 4:00 pm

NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western US

NASA launched another of the world's most advanced weather satellites on Thursday, this time to safeguard the western U.S.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:53 pm

Re-think on energy charging could reduce bills for 70% of households

Researchers have found that 70 percent of U.K. households would be better off if costs of government energy policy were removed from gas and electricity bills and applied according to household income.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:50 pm

Bubbles of life from the past: Tiny bubbles of oxygen got trapped 1.6 billion years ago

Take a good look at these photos: They show you 1.6 billion years old fossilized oxygen bubbles, created by tiny microbes in what was once a shallow sea somewhere on young Earth.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:43 pm

Here's how viruses inactivate the immune system, causing cancer

It's no new news that viruses cause cancer. For example, human papillomavirus (HPV) causes almost all of the more than 500,000 annual worldwide cases of cervical cancer. This makes sense: By driving the proliferation of infected cells, viruses speed manufacture of more viruses, but excessive cellular proliferation is also a hallmark of cancer. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center review published in the journal Viruses explores another strategy that viruses use to ensure their own survival, also with the unfortunate byproduct of promoting cancer, namely the viral ability to manipulate the human immune system. This new understanding may help to increase the effectiveness of immune-based therapies against cancer.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

Mining hardware helps scientists gain insight into silicon nanoparticles

Researchers have developed a three-dimensional dynamic model of an interaction between light and nanoparticles. They used a supercomputer using graphics accelerators for calculations. The results show that silicon particles exposed to short, intense laser pulses lose their symmetry temporarily. Their optical properties become strongly heterogeneous. Such a change in properties depends on particle size. Therefore, it can be used for light control in ultrafast information processing nanoscale devices. The study is published in Advanced Optical Materials.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

The hidden threat of teacher stress

When a traumatic event such as the Florida school shooting takes place, often the focus afterward is on finding ways to make sure students and teachers are safe from violence and physical harm.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:30 pm

Antarctic sea ice shrinks for second-straight year

Sea ice cover in Antarctica has dropped to its second-lowest on record, Australian authorities said Friday, adding that it was not yet clear what was driving the reduction after several years of record-highs.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:20 pm

Previously unknown 'supercolony' of Adélie penguins discovered in Antarctica

For the past 40 years, the total number of Adélie Penguins, one of the most common on the Antarctic Peninsula, has been steadily declining—or so biologists have thought. A new study led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, is providing new insights on of this species of penguin. In a paper released on March 2nd in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists announced the discovery of a previously unknown "supercolony" of more than 1,500,000 Adélie Penguins in the Danger Islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off of the Antarctic Peninsula's northern tip.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:10 pm

Want more efficient simulators? Store time in a quantum superposition

Computer models of systems such as a city's traffic flow or neural firing in the brain tends to use up a lot of memory. But a new approach with quantum simulators could significantly cut that memory use by taking a quantum approach to time. The only cost is a diminished record of the past.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:10 pm

Capturing the balance of nature

In a study spanning 12 years, researchers from Kyoto University and Ryukoku University have developed a method to calculate the fluctuating stability of a natural ecological community in Maizuru Bay.Their findings, published in Nature, provide insight into and new methodologies for ecological and population research.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:10 pm

Using drones to feed billions

As the population continues its rapid growth, food is becoming increasingly scarce. By the year 2050, we will need to double our current food production to feed the estimated 9.6 million mouths that will inhabit Earth.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:00 pm

Egyptian mummies found to have oldest figurative tattoos

A team of researchers from across Europe has found tattoos on two mummies at the British Museum, making them the oldest known examples of figurative tattoos. In their paper published in Journal of Archaeological Science, the group describes their study of dark splotches on preserved mummy skin.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:00 pm

Industrial fisheries in Southeast Asia divert millions of tonnes of fish to fishmeal

Four countries in Southeast Asia have diverted almost 40 million tonnes of fish towards fishmeal production in the past six decades, as opposed to making it available for direct human consumption.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:00 pm

Evolving a more versatile CRISPR-Cas9

For all of Cas9's potential in research and therapeutics, it—as well as other enzymes in the CRISPR-associated family—has limitations. In order to recognize and bind to a DNA sequence, Cas9 needs a particular stretch of base letters to accompany the target. This requirement makes much of the genome inaccessible to the enzyme, significantly reducing its range of applications.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:00 pm

A stellar system with three super-Earths

Over 3500 extra-solar planets have been confirmed to date. Most of them were discovered using the transit method, and astronomers can combine the transit light curves with velocity wobble observations to determine the planet's mass and radius, and thereby constrain its interior structure. The atmosphere can also be studied in a transit by using the fact that the chemical composition of the atmosphere means its opacity varies with wavelength. By measuring the depth of the transit at different wavelengths, it is possible to infer the composition and temperature of the planet's atmosphere.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 3:00 pm

Bovine embryos as a model for early human development

The mechanisms that underlie early embryonic development in humans and cattle are very similar. Therefore, LMU researchers argue that bovine embryos might well be a better model for early human development than the mouse system.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 2:50 pm

How people talk now holds clues about human migration centuries ago

Often, you can tell where someone grew up by the way they speak.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 2:50 pm

What This Unprecedented 13-Million-Person Family Tree Reveals

For starters, the new tree calls into question a prevailing theory for why people stopped marrying close relatives.

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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:00 am

Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

Mathematically, we can describe the 4th dimension but we may never experience it in the physical realm.

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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:00 am

World's 'oldest tattoos' found on ancient Egyptian mummies

Inkings of a bull, sheep and an S-shaped symbol can be seen on the upper arms of the millennia old mummies.

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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:00 am

Methane on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Could Be Sign of Life

Laboratory experiments show the methane detected on Enceladus by NASA's Cassini spacecraft could be of biological origin.

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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:00 am

The ‘exorcism’ that turned into murder

Why was Vilma Trujillo killed?

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Posted: March 2, 2018, 8:00 am

NASA, ULA Launch Advanced NOAA Weather Satellite

NASA successfully launched the second in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at 5:02 p.m. EST Thursday.
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Posted: March 2, 2018, 2:08 am

Incivility at work: Is 'queen bee syndrome' getting worse?

Women report more incivility at work than men, and according to new research, it's other women who are responsible for it.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 9:48 pm

NASA Awards Professional Services Contract

NASA has awarded a contract to Alutiiq-Fusion Joint Venture of Chesapeake, Virginia, for administrative, media and professional services at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 9:22 pm

No laughing matter, yet humor inspires climate change activism

Melting icecaps, mass flooding, megadroughts and erratic weather are no laughing matter. However, a new study shows that humor can be an effective means to inspire young people to pursue climate change activism. At the same time, fear proves to be an equally effective motivator and has the added advantage of increasing people's awareness of climate change's risks.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 8:15 pm

Common bricks can be used to detect past presence of uranium, plutonium

Researchers have demonstrated a technique that can determine whether bricks -- the common building material -- have ever been near a radiological source, and identify the specific type of source, such as high enriched uranium or plutonium.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 8:12 pm

Omega fish oils don’t improve school children’s reading skills or memory, study finds

New research has found no evidence Omega-3 fish oil supplements help aid or improve the reading ability or memory function of underperforming schoolchildren.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:45 pm

New insights into how a virus-blocking bacterium operates in mosquitoes

New research reveals details of the mechanism by which the bacterium Wolbachia blocks viruses in mosquito cells, suggesting that it reduces viral replication inside cells and that rapid degradation of viral RNA is involved.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

In nature, an imperfect immune system drives the evolution of deadly pathogens

New research shows that, in the case of a common backyard bird, imperfect immunity to a dangerous pathogen that causes 'bird pink eye' actually makes the pathogen stronger and more dangerous for its next victim.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

Networks of brain activity predict vulnerability to depression

Tapping into the electrical chatter between different regions of the brain may provide a new way to prevent and treat depression. Scientists showed that mice that were more susceptible to developing depression-like symptoms displayed different networks of electrical brain activity than more resilient mice. These results could be the first step toward a test to predict a person's vulnerability to developing mental illness.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

In pursuit of pleasure, brain learns to hit the repeat button

In a scientific first, researchers have observed in mice how the brain learns to repeat patterns of neural activity that elicit the all-important feel-good sensation. This research offers key insights into how brain activity is shaped and refined as animals learn to repeat behaviors that evoke a feeling of pleasure. The findings also point to new strategies for targeting disorders characterized by abnormal repetitive behaviors, such as addiction and OCD.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

Leishmaniasis strain in Iraq outbreak identified

In the hot, dry border region between northern and central Iraq, Leishmania parasite infections are so common that they've been dubbed 'Baghdad sores.' Now, for the first time, researchers have studied the prevalence of different Leishmania species and strains in the region. Most cases of leishmaniasis in Iraq match an Iranian strain.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

Smartphones and data centers harm the environment, study shows

Data centres and smartphones will be the most damaging information and communications technologies to the environment by 2040, according to new research.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

Voice problems: Updates to treatment and care of patients with hoarseness

Updated guideline provides some substantially revised, evidence-based recommendations for healthcare providers when treating patients with hoarseness, a very common complaint that affects nearly one-third of the population at some point in their life.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:42 pm

Songs in the key of life: The linguistic universals of adapting sound to artistic expression

A new study of how tone languages are sung has implications for the way humans manipulate and adapt the sounds of their language to artistic expression.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:41 pm

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