Discover Magazine: Latest Blog Posts

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Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 28 March 2019, 0645 UTC.

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

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D-BRIEF

Scientists Create Blood Vessels That Become Living Tissue

By Roni Dengler | March 27, 2019 5:10 pm

Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Many cardiovascular disorders damage blood vessels, the network of ducts the heart pumps blood through to send oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. But fixing damaged blood vessels often requires replacing them with blood vessels from other parts of the body or synthetic substitutes. Neither solution is great.

Now researchers report Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine that they have engineered art …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

D-BRIEF

Ancient Rivers Raged on Mars, Upsetting Geologic Timeline

By Korey Haynes | March 27, 2019 2:28 pm

A new global study of ancient Martian riverbeds shows they are wider than Earth rivers on average, and once carried large volumes of water and runoff. They also flowed until surprisingly recently in Mars’ history, perhaps into the last billion years. This is a puzzle, given the Red Planet’s current desert environment, its thin atmosphere and dim sunlight. These features should have prevented vast water resources even early in the world’s history. Now scientists must puzzle out how bo …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: MARS

D-BRIEF

High-tech Melanin Might Help Put Technology Inside Our Bodies

By Bill Andrews | March 27, 2019 2:07 pm

We have a complicated relationship with melanin, the natural chemical pigment that gives color to our eyes, hair and skin. It protects our skin from harmful radiation from the sun, but can also lead to cancer. There’s also the whole matter of discrimination based on differences in physical appearance caused by melanin, which we as a species are apparently still working on.

Scientifically, things are no different. A type of melanin known as eumelanin is electrically conductive, meaning i …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGYTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: BIOTECHNOLOGY

D-BRIEF

Astronomers Get A Direct, Detailed Look At An Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

By Alison Klesman | March 27, 2019 1:00 pm

Most exoplanet observations are indirect, inferring the existence and characteristics of a planet by watching the light or motion of its host star. But direct exoplanet observations have begun, and the GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Cerro Paranal, Chile, is leading the way. In a paper published March 27 in Astronomy & Astrophysics, the GRAVITY Collaboration presents a peek at the swirling, stormy atmosphere of the exoplanet HR8799e using optical interfe …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: EXOPLANETS

THE CRUX

Despite Passenger Fears, Automation is the Future of Aviation

By Stephen Rice and Scott Winter, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University | March 27, 2019 11:40 am

In the wake of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes, people are thinking about how much of their air travel is handled by software and automated systems – as opposed to the friendly pilots sitting in the cockpit.

Older commercial airliners, such as the Beechcraft 1900, which are still in service mostly as small commuter aircraft, often do not have any autopilot installed. By contrast, modern commercial airliners have automated systems that can augment or  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGYTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: COMPUTERSTRANSPORTATION

D-BRIEF

Making a Sarlacc Pit: How Tiny Antlions Lay the Best Traps

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 26, 2019 7:00 pm

The lair of an antlion looks like nothing more than a pit from above. To an ant walking on the surface, it probably looks like nothing at all. But one wrong step can send an unfortunate insect tumbling to the bottom of a clever trap in a shower of sand. There, a pair of merciless jaws await, held wide open to deliver a deadly embrace.

To those of us with even a bit of pop culture knowledge, the pits the insects dig look suspiciously familiar. If you’re waiting for a forest of tentacles  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ANIMALS

D-BRIEF

What Causes Hallucinations? The Brain May Be OverInterpreting a Lack of Info

By Roni Dengler | March 26, 2019 5:30 pm

Mental illness affects millions of Americans. Many people with bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia suffer hallucinations, the perception of something that is not present. From phantom smells to hearing voices and seeing things that are not there, hallucinations can take many forms and stem from many causes. It’s not just mental illness, either. Strokes, migraines and inner ear diseases can also lead to hallucinations. And obviously, psychedelic drugs do as well.

Yet surprising …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: MIND & BRAINTOP POSTS

THE CRUX

Drink Your Beets: The Science Behind the Vegetable’s Surprising Benefits

By Rodrigo Pérez Ortega | March 26, 2019 5:04 pm

Carnitine, chromium, anabolic steroids: Athletes have experimented with a broad array of aids in pursuit of a performance edge. A popular — if unglamorous — one today that seems safe and backed by solid data: the juice of beets, for the nitrate it contains.

Inorganic nitrate (NO3-) is added to cured and processed meats to extend their shelf life and give them their distinctive pink color. It’s also naturally found in spinach, arugula and beets. In the past decade, new evidence h …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: NUTRITION

D-BRIEF

Did Climate Change Help Take Down the Byzantine Empire?

By Charles Choi | March 26, 2019 5:00 pm

(Inside Science) —  By examining the literal dustbins of history, archaeologists have now shed light on how a 125-year “little ice age” might have wreaked havoc on the Byzantine Empire — an example of how climate change might influence human civilization.

Although the Roman Empire is often said to have fallen in 476 A.D., that was only the end of its western part. Its richer, stronger eastern half continued as the Byzantine Empire for almost another thousand years until it fell to the …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

Pence: America Will Put Astronauts Back on the Moon in Five Years

By Korey Haynes | March 26, 2019 3:15 pm

The Trump administration wants to put Americans back on the moon by 2024, Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday at a meeting of the National Space Council in Huntsville, Alabama.

“The first woman and the next man on the moon will both be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil,” he pledged. It’s an audacious pledge, given NASA’s current capabilities, and especially in light of recent setbacks to the Space Launch System (SLS), the agency’s long-dela …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION
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For the latest trends in science, technology, medicine, health, environment, cyber security, and artificial intelligence (AI), please visit this blog daily.  These news features are updated daily and weekly.  Thanks for joining us today.
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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
https;//hawaiisciencedigest.net (the daily update).
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