Most diamonds share a common origin story
Older gems, younger crystals both formed under similar conditions deep within Earth, trapped carbonates suggest
Why watching comb jellies poop has stunned evolutionary biologists
Videos of captive marine creatures unexpectedly show jellies defecate from pores, not via their mouths
Pluto’s moon Charon may have hosted a vast ocean
A newly released image of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon, reveals a heavily fractured surface that may have formed when a subsurface ocean froze and expanded to split an exterior shell of ice.
Ancient tectonic plate blocks magma plume at Yellowstone, simulation shows
Scientists need new explanation for what fueled the North American supervolcano
Einstein’s genius changed science’s perception of gravity
General relativity has grown more important than it was in Einstein’s day
Cosmic threads may hide some of universe’s missing matter
Astronomers seek lost atoms in hard-to-see filaments between galaxy clusters
The tree of life gets a makeover
The tree of life might seem like a stable design, appropriate for indelible ink. Plenty of people think so. An Internet search for “phylogenetic tattoos” turns up some showy skin art.
But the branches are shifting. Since a radial diagram based on 1990s genetics inspired a rush for tree-of-life tattoos, technical diagrams of life’s ancestral connections have been redrawn. And the simplified version of the tree of life memorized by schoolchildren for decades lags far behind what researchers depict today.
Tropical forests may not combat climate change
Tropical forests may not save us from global warming. Scientists have long believed that as atmospheric carbon dioxide rises, the greenhouse gas could boost photosynthesis, enabling tropical and other forests to take up more carbon and store it as wood. Some data suggest this “carbon fertilization” effect is already happening, and many climate models assume it will help slow the rise in CO2. But a new analysis of tree ring samples collected in Bolivia, Cameroon, and Thailand finds no sign of increasing growth over the past 150 years.
Cows with human chromosomes enlisted to fight hantavirus
A team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people
Warming world could make it harder for planes to take off
Air travel is about to become even more frustrating. Warmer global temperatures will make it tougher for planes to take off, tightening restrictions on just how much luggage or how many people can come aboard, a new study suggests.