A simulation of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole. (Credit: Scott C. Noble) When the LIGO collaboration first detected the spacetime ripples of a gravitational wave it came from the merger of two black holes. To date, scientists have detected at least ten pairs of black holes spiraling into and combining with each other. But there’s still an outstanding mystery about these si
An illustration depicting a Type I X-ray burst. A similar supernova generated the extreme X-ray burst that NASA’s NICER instrument recently recorded. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA)) In late August, an instrument on the International Space Station, called NICER, spotted its brightest burst of X-ray radiation yet. NICER, or the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explor
(Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock) Some of the biggest public health crises of the last few years can be traced back to animals. HIV got its start as a virus in monkeys, and Ebola probably jumped to humans from other primates or fruit bats. And there’s no points for guessing the animals from which we got bird flu and swine flu. But animal-borne diseases can start a lot closer to home. In fac
What happened to make plague able to cause devastating epidemics, as in this depiction from 1349? (Credit: Pierart dou Tielt/Wikimedia) One of civilization’s most prolific killers shadowed humans for thousands of years without their knowledge. The bacteria Yersinia pestis, which causes the plague, is thought to be responsible for up to 200 million deaths across human history — more than twice the
The Falcon 9 rocket taking off for the Starlink mission on November 11. (Credit: SpaceX/Flickr) On November 11, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying another 60 Starlink satellites, which will eventually provide internet service worldwide. The launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station made history by reusing a record number of rocket parts. But even with that feat in aerospace design, the
A new study outlined a possible method to search for a wormhole at the center of the Milky Way, where a supermassive black hole, like the one seen in this artist’s concept, resides. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) If there was a wormhole in the center of our galaxy, how could we tell? Two physicists propose that carefully watching the motions of a star orbiting the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole m
Study finds significant improvements in vascular health of chronic smokers who transition to e-cigarettes. Women see greater health benefits than men following switch to e-cigarettes. VESUVIUS is the largest study to-date on the vascular impact of e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes.
A recent study by a group of scientists from Japan and Austria has revealed that a different mechanism is responsible for the formation and maintenance of the cell organelle called endosome that sorts and distributes substances entering a cell. Contrary to current knowledge in the field, the scientists show that the functioning of the Golgi is crucial for this organelle’s upkeep. This result can u
A new EPFL and MIT study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data — information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Keto regimen has its fans, but influenza apparently isn’t one of them.Mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates, according to a new Yale University study published Nov. 15 in the journal Science Immunology.
An international team of researchers has found a way to make bendable glass using lasers fired at crystalline aluminum oxide. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their technique and the features of the glass they produced. Lothar Wondraczek with the University of Jena has published a companion piece in the same journal issue outlining the history of scientists atte
To help people spot fake news, or create technology that can automatically detect misleading content, scholars first need to know exactly what fake news is, according to a team of Penn State researchers. However, they add, that’s not as simple as it sounds.
A new catalyst breaks carbon dioxide into useful chemicals faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than the standard method, reports a team of researchers in this week’s issue of PNAS. The discovery could make it possible to economically turn carbon dioxide into fuels.
Oumuamua may be made of a fine web of dust rather than rock or ice. (ESO/M. Kornmesser/) Asteroids and comets tend to be heavy, but ‘oumuamua—the first interstellar visitor spotted passing through our solar system—acted impossibly light. Today, two years after the object receded from sight, researchers are still puzzling over ‘oumuamua’s inexplicable behavior. Too agile to be a rocky asteroid but
Narwhal’s second tail, a congenital birth defect, probably won’t ever wag but also won’t cause him any harm. Narwhal—a 20-week old dachshund mix—acts like any other puppy. He chews shoe strings and takes frequent naps on his owners’ lap. Except there is one feature of the dachshund mix that makes him unlike other pups—the tiny tail hanging between his two eyes. Narwhal’s veterinarian, Dr. Brian H
Looking at this photo, you can almost hear the sound the phone makes when you close it. (Motorola/) Motorola just released a version of its iconic Razr flip phone with a folding display and it looks really good. That’s a surprising fact here in 2019. First, Motorola hasn’t exactly had a ton of blockbuster hits when it comes to smartphone hardware recently. On top of that, folding screen phones ha
Amber fossils have the power to preserve organisms in amazing detail. (Courtesy of Bo Wang/) 99 million years ago, the world looked very different. It was the middle of the Cretacious period. Dinosaurs roamed the Earth in herds. Ancient carnivorous birds were experimenting with flight . The forests were lush and green, filled with shrubby cycads and fan-leafed ginkgos . And—for the first time in
This little buddy has been MIA from scientific knowledge for the past 30 years. (Southern Institute of Ecology/Global Wildlife Conservation?Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research/NCNP/) A mysterious fanged creature called the silver-backed chevrotain, or Vietnamese mouse-deer, made a surprising reappearance on a camera trap in the mountains of Southeast Asia. The shy, tiny creature, whic
Thanksgiving is just a regular dinner. With a ton more menu options. And your in-laws. And your sister whose political views radically oppose those of your grandfather. What could possibly go wrong? Even for the most confident cooks, Thanksgiving dinner is a massive undertaking. The sheer scale and scope of this holiday’s menu are so over-the-top that it’s tempting to drop serious cash on product
Up to one in five patients treated for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, iNPH, also develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. The researchers were able to predict the development of Alzheimer’s disease by using the Disease State Index, DSI, that combines patient-specific data from various sources.
A new genetic study demonstrates that, at the end of the Iron Age, Finland was inhabited by separate and differing populations, all of them influencing the gene pool of modern Finns. The study is so far the most extensive investigation of the ancient DNA of people inhabiting the region of Finland.
Lichens — a combo of fungus and algae — can grow on bare rocks, so scientists thought that lichens were some of the first organisms to make their way onto land from the water, changing the planet’s atmosphere and paving the way for modern plants. But a closer look at the DNA of the algae and fungi that form lichens shows that lichens likely evolved millions of years after plants.
When will the next eruption take place? Examination of samples from Indonesia’s Mount Merapi show that the explosivity of stratovolcanoes rises when mineral-rich gases seal the pores and microcracks in the uppermost layers of stone. These findings result in new possibilities for the prediction of an eruption.