Plastic is in just about everything these days, including living, breathing creatures, from sea critters to people. Environmental waste and litter breaks down into tiny, microscopic particles. Those particles can then seep into water supplies and subsequently work their way into just about anything. That includes plastics in the seafood we eat.
Now, a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology has found that it takes just six hours for billions of nanoplastic particles� …
Giant tortoises have exceptionally long lifespans and often live well past 100 years old. Now, a new study unveils genetic clues to the animals’ longevity, including gene changes that may protect giant tortoises from cancer, bolster the immune system and help regulate metabolism. The findings add to how these processes contribute to aging.
“We found interesting [genetic] variants potentially affecting six [aging] hallmarks in giant tortoises, opening new lines for aging research,” s …
K2 might have run out of fuel a few months ago, but astronomers are still using its data to uncover a slew of new worlds.
Using stats from ESA’s Gaia mission and K2, an extension of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, two recent studies have confirmed the existence of 104 new exoplanets. Their characteristics stretch far and wide, including multi-planet systems, terrestrial compositions and planets that orbit dangerously close to their host stars. These newfound bodies can be used to under …
Uncertainty continues to swirl around scientist He Jiankui’s gene editing experiment in China. Using CRISPR technology, He modified a gene related to immune function in human embryos and transferred the embryos to their mother’s womb, producing twin girls.
Many questions about the ethical acceptability of the experiment have focused on ethical oversight and informed consent. These are important issues; compliance with established standards of practice is crucial for public trust in sc …
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, the space agency’s first craft to bring samples from an asteroid back to Earth, is set to rendezvous with its target, Bennu, at around noon EST today.
A special webcast is scheduled for just before the spacecraft reaches Bennu, at 11:45 a.m. EST. During this webcast, NASA officials and scientists will discuss the mission in depth.
OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) launched in September of …
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, KAZAKHSTAN – It was not even two months ago that a crew confidently told the Russian space commission here that it was ready to perform its duties in space. The journey was supposed to take half a year, but it only ended up being a few minutes. Expedition 57’s Soyuz rocket rose from the ground, began to experience some strange vibration, and then triggered an abort. Its two crew members returned home safely, but it left behind a trail of problems for the Russian space pr …
Overwhelmed with holiday shopping? Well, maybe our team can help you out with some gifts that support citizen science!
Whether it’s a kit or some citizen science project swag, there are a lot of ways to show your support and share the world of citizen science with your friends and relatives.
The SciStarter Team
Want high dollar lab equipment for less than $100? Try the Pocket Lab — you can measure motion, acceleration, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressu …
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Many years ago, this magazine was owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, and I would sometimes get one of the company’s songs stuck in my head: “It’s a Small World,” the relentless musical accompaniment to the ride of the same name at Disney World in Florida. That song has popped up in my brain again recently, but in a very different and more majestic context. We are entering a new stage in the exploration of the solar system, one that inverts the theme of much that came before. Big is out an …
If you think way, way back to your high school biology class, you might remember a little cellular structure called the mitochondrion. Its claim to fame is that it’s the “powerhouse” of the cell — the organelle in charge of creating energy. But it also contains its own DNA, separate from the traditional DNA we think of, which lives in the nucleus of a cell. That nuclear DNA contains genetic information from both of our parents. But in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), that genetic informati …
A Strange Supernova
Astronomers studying a violent stellar explosion have witnessed a unique supernova phenomenon that’s like nothing they’ve seen before.
Researchers discovered the supernova, known as ASASSN-18bt (or SN 2018oh), this past February. And, strangely, within the early stages of the stellar explosion, researchers saw an unusual burst of light emerge. New analysis of this unique supernova could help researchers gain insight into the still-unclear process of how stars die …