Learning From Animal Friendships
Videos of unlikely animal pairs romping or snuggling have become so common that they are piquing the interest of some scientists, who say they invite more systematic study. Among other things, researchers say, the alliances could add to an understanding of how species communicate, what propels certain animals to connect across species lines and the degree to which some animals can adopt the behaviors of other species.
New Phase of Space Travel Hopes to Set Sail on Sunlight
To sail on winds of sunlight has long been a dream of rocket scientists.
The Planetary Society, a nonprofit that promotes space exploration, announced Monday that it would send the first of two small spacecraft testing the technology of solar sails into orbit this May, tagging along with other small satellites on an Atlas 5 rocket.
Expansion Microscopy Stretches Limits of Conventional Microscopes
A new laboratory technique enables researchers to see minuscule biological features, such as individual neurons and synapses, at a nearly molecular scale through conventional optical microscopes.
Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says
A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.
Black Holes Inch Ahead to Violent Cosmic Union
Scientists say a pair of supermassive black holes appear to be spiraling toward a galaxy-wrecking collision that could release as much energy as 100 million supernova explosions.
In a New Approach to Fighting Disease, Helpful Genetic Mutations Are Sought
After years of looking for genetic mutations that cause diseases, investigators are now searching for those that prevent them.
Restored Forests Breathe Life Into Efforts Against Climate Change
Driven by a growing environmental movement and mounting pressure from Western consumers, corporate and government leaders are making a new push to slow the cutting of rain forests.
The Strange Tale of a New Species of Lizard
Aspidoscelis neavesi was produced in the lab by mating two other species, and its creation defies conventional ideas about how new species evolve.
An Evolutionary Battle Against Bacteria
Every disease has a history. Some of that history is written in books, and some is written in our DNA.
My Great-Great-Aunt Discovered Francium. And It Killed Her.
Just after Christmas of 1938, a young woman named Marguerite Perey — then 29, with a plain, open face, her eyes intent upon her work — sat at a bench in the Radium Institute of Paris, a brick mansion near the Jardin du Luxembourg. In a glass vessel, she examined fluid containing metal salts. She carefully dosed it with lead and hydrogen sulfide, then with barium, causing the solution to separate into different substances. She was in the final stages of purifying actinium, one of the rarest and most dangerous elements yet discovered, from uranium ore. Ten tons of ore yielded just one or two milligrams of actinium; Perey, who joined the institute as a teenager to be the personal technician for Marie Curie, was an expert in its isolation.