Tag: Science (Journal)

Matter: Scott Kelly Spent a Year in Orbit. His Body Is Not Quite the Same.

For 340 days, Scott Kelly circled the Earth aboard the International Space Station, gathering data about himself. He drew blood from his arms. He saved his urine. He played computer games to test his memory and reaction speed. He measured the shape of his eyes. Two hundred and forty miles below, Mr. Scott’s twin brother, […]

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Apocalypse Next? Astronomers Find a Chunk of Planet Around a Distant, Dead Star

In a shard of galactic archaeology that offers a less-than-inviting hint at our own future, astronomers have discovered a chunk of a former planet orbiting the remains of its former star, now a smoldering cinder known as a white dwarf. The fragment, made mostly of iron, nickel and other metals, lies 410 light-years from Earth […]

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This Tarantula Became a Scientific Celebrity. Was It Poached From the Wild?

In February, the Journal of the British Tarantula Society published a paper describing a new species of tarantula, which was discovered in a national park in Sarawak, Malaysia. While the male of the species was an unremarkable brown, the female had eye-catching, electric blue legs. New spiders are discovered all the time, and the paper […]

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Matter: The Plague Killing Frogs Everywhere Is Far Worse Than Scientists Thought

On Thursday, 41 scientists published the first worldwide analysis of a fungal outbreak that’s been wiping out frogs for decades. The devastation turns out to be far worse than anyone had previously realized. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers conclude that populations of more than 500 species of amphibians have declined significantly because of […]

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Trilobites: Saturn’s Rings Are Sculpted by a Crew of Mini-Moons

Saturn has more than 60 moons, but a handful of them do more than spangle the planet’s skies. Snuggled close to Saturn, these innermost moons are small — Epimetheus, one of the largest, stretches just 72 miles across. But they are hefty enough to help sculpt Saturn’s rings. Orbiting at the edges of some of […]

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Warnings of a Dark Side to A.I. in Health Care

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device that can capture an image of your retina and automatically detect signs of diabetic blindness. This new breed of artificial intelligence technology is rapidly spreading across the medical field, as scientists develop systems that can identify signs of illness and disease in a wide variety […]

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The Asteroid Was Shooting Rocks Into Space. ‘Were We Safe in Orbit?’

HOUSTON — The asteroid Bennu, with the shape of a spinning top, turns out to be extremely rugged. That is going to make it difficult for a NASA spacecraft, Osiris-Rex, to vacuum up a sample to take back to Earth. It was designed to collect sand and gravel, not boulders. In addition, Bennu is shooting […]

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Did Dietary Changes Bring Us ‘F’ Words? Study Tackles Complexities of Language’s Origins

Thousands of years ago, some of our ancestors left behind the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and started to settle down. They grew vegetables and grains for stews or porridge, kept cows for milk and turned it into cheese, and shaped clay into storage pots. Had they not done those things, would we speak the languages and make […]

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The World Is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm, Study Finds

Fish populations are declining as oceans warm, putting a key source of food and income at risk for millions of people around the world, according to new research published Thursday. The study found that the amount of seafood that humans could sustainably harvest from a wide range of species shrank by 4.1 percent from 1930 […]

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Matter: These Mice Sing to One Another — Politely

High in the mountains of Central America lives a little known creature called Alston’s singing mouse. This rodent, which spends its life scuttling around the floor of the cloud forest, may not seem like it has much to tell us about ourselves. But the mouse produces remarkable songs, and researchers have discovered some profound similarities […]

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A High-Tech Pill to End Drug Injections

Here was the challenge for bioengineers: Find a way to for patients to take drugs — like insulin or monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancers and other diseases — without injections. The medicines are made of molecules too big to be absorbed through the stomach or intestines; in any event, the drugs would be quickly […]

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How NASA’s Curiosity Rover Weighed a Mountain on Mars

A mountain on Mars that is almost as tall as Denali in Alaska appears to be surprisingly light, scientists reported on Thursday. For more than four years, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been exploring Mount Sharp, located within an ancient meteor impact crater known as Gale and rising more than three miles high. Now measurements of […]

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Trilobites: An Elephant-Size Relative of Mammals That Grazed Alongside Dinosaurs

You can call it a Triassic titan. Or a pre-Jurassic juggernaut. Just don’t call it a dinosaur. Despite its appearance, this burly behemoth was a completely different prehistoric beast: a dicynodont. Early relatives to present-day mammals, dicynodonts dominated Earth more than 200 million years ago, living first before, and then alongside, dinosaurs. Unlike dinosaurs, these […]

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Mapping the Brain’s Genetic Landscape

For the past two decades, scientists have been exploring the genetics of schizophrenia, autism and other brain disorders, looking for a path toward causation. If the biological roots of such ailments could be identified, treatments might follow, or at least tests that could reveal a person’s risk level. In the 1990s, researchers focused on genes […]

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America’s Most Hazardous Volcano Erupted This Year. Then It Erupted and Erupted.

On April 30, the P’u ‘Ō’ō’ crater on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, suddenly collapsed. It was the starting point for the volcano’s monthslong eruption, which went on to produce 320,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of lava that transformed the landscape and ultimately destroyed 700 homes. Now the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and other scientists […]

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Matter: The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.

Some 252 million years ago, Earth almost died. In the oceans, 96 percent of all species became extinct. It’s harder to determine how many terrestrial species vanished, but the loss was comparable. This mass extinction, at the end of the Permian Period, was the worst in the planet’s history, and it happened over a few […]

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Trilobites: Meet the Spiders That Feed Milk to Their Young

The act of breast-feeding is so fundamental to being a mammal that we named ourselves after it. (“Mammalis” translates to “of the breasts.”) But over time, scientists have discovered that other animals also produce nutrient-rich elixirs to feed their young, including flamingos, cockroaches and male emperor penguins. The latest addition to the cast of organisms […]

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Matter: Crossing From Asia, the First Americans Rushed Into the Unknown

Nearly 11,000 years ago, a man died in what is now Nevada. Wrapped in a rabbit-skin blanket and reed mats, he was buried in a place called Spirit Cave. Now scientists have recovered and analyzed his DNA, along with that of 70 other ancient people whose remains were discovered throughout the Americas. The findings lend […]

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Matter: How to Turbocharge Flu Protection (Llamas Required)

The oncoming flu season has claimed its first lives, among them a child in Florida who had not gotten a flu shot. This year’s vaccine significantly reduces the odds of getting sick — and you should get one now if you haven’t already — but it’s far from perfect. For one thing, its effectiveness fluctuates […]

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Trilobites: Where Did Fish First Evolve? The Answer May Be Shallow

More than 400 million years ago, ancient oceans were teeming with many fish that might seem alien in today’s seas. Back then some wore plates of bony armor and lacked jaws, like the arandaspids, which looked like a clam with a tail. The heterostracans sometimes resembled underwater armadillos with spikes. There were also galeaspids, some […]

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