Archives: Science News

Older gems, younger crystals both formed under similar conditions deep within Earth, trapped carbonates suggest

Videos of captive marine creatures unexpectedly show jellies defecate from pores, not via their mouths

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.

Scientists need new explanation for what fueled the North American supervolcano

General relativity has grown more important than it was in Einstein’s day

Astronomers seek lost atoms in hard-to-see filaments between galaxy clusters

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 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.

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

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.