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Accessed on 24 June 2019, 0500 UTC.

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ASTRONOMY

Astronomers Capture First Polarized Radio Signal from Gamma-Ray Burst

An artist’s impression of the GRB 190114C jet over time, and the small patches of magnetic fields. Image credit: Laskar et al.Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic explosions in the Universe, beaming out mighty jets which travel through space at 0.99 times the speed of light, as a star much more massive than our Sun collapses at the end of its life to produce a black hole. Scientists have struggled to understand how these powerful jets are formed and why they seem to appear only in GRBs. Because these jets are…

ARCHAEOLOGY

Neolithic Çatalhöyük Experienced Modern Urban Problems

This is an artist’s impression of Çatalhöyük. Image credit: Dan Lewandowski.An international team of researchers has found that the inhabitants of the Neolithic settlement Çatalhöyük (7100-5950 BCE) experienced overcrowding, infectious diseases, violence and environmental problems. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is an artist’s impression of Çatalhöyük. Image credit: Dan Lewandowski. Çatalhöyük began…

PALEONTOLOGY

Paleontologists Find Strange Microbes in Dinosaur Fossils

A fluorescence microscopy image showing lit-up modern microbes that took up residence in a Centrosaurus fossil. Image credit: Evan Saitta, Field Museum of Natural History.In a new study published in the journal eLife, an international team of paleontologists looked for preserved collagen proteins and DNA in the fossilized bones of a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus. They didn’t find the proteins or DNA, but they did find unusual communities of modern microbes living inside the dinosaur bones. A fluorescence microscopy image showing lit-up modern microbes that…

BIOLOGY

Researchers Record Songs of North Pacific Right Whale for First Time

The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). Image credit: NOAA.The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is a very large, thickset baleen whale species that is extremely rare and endangered. It ranges from Japan in the west to Alaska and the west coast of North America in the east. A team of marine biologists from NOAA Fisheries and the University of Washington has recorded singing (recording #1 and recording #2) from the rare species in the southeastern…

PHYSICS

Physicists Say Quantum Gravity ‘Has No Symmetry’

Quantum gravity is a field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics. Image credit: Gerd Altmann.An international team of theoretical physicists has found that when gravity is combined with quantum mechanics, no global symmetries are possible. Quantum gravity is a field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics. Image credit: Gerd Altmann. “There are four kinds of fundamental forces in Nature: electromagnetism, strong force, weak…

GENETICS

Almond Genome Sequenced

Almond kernels.The domesticated almond tree (Prunus amygdalus) has been feeding humans for millennia. Derivation from the wild, bitter, and toxic almond required loss of the cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin. A team of European scientists has sequenced the almond genome and analyzed the genomic region responsible for this shift. Almond kernels. The almond is the main tree nut species worldwide, with a cultivated…

GEOLOGY

Scientists Find 1.2-Billion-Year-Old Impact Crater Off Coast of Scotland

An artist’s depiction of an asteroid impact. Image credit: Don Davis / NASA.A 3,300-foot- (1 km) wide asteroid struck our planet 1.2 billion years ago, according to new research published in the Journal of the Geological Society. An artist’s depiction of an asteroid impact. Image credit: Don Davis / NASA. In 2008, a team of researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen found evidence for the ancient meteorite strike near Ullapool, Scotland. The thickness and…

OTHER SCIENCES

New Type of Computer Memory Invented

Device structure: (a) schematic of the processed device with control gate (CG), source (S) and drain (D) contacts (gold); the red spheres represent stored charge in the floating gate (FG); (b) details of the layer structure within the device. In both (a, b) InAs is colored blue, AlSb gray and GaSb dark red. Image credit: Tizno et al, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45370-1.An oxide-free, floating-gate memory cell invented and patented by Lancaster University researchers promises to transform daily life with its ultra-low energy consumption. Device structure: (a) schematic of the processed device with control gate (CG), source (S) and drain (D) contacts (gold); the red spheres represent stored charge in the floating gate (FG); (b) details of the layer structure within…

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Russ Roberts
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