Lifestyle

NASA, FEMA, international partners plan asteroid impact exercise

While headlines routinely report on “close shaves” and “near-misses” when near-Earth objects (NEOs) such as asteroids or comets pass relatively close to Earth, the real work of preparing for the possibility of a NEO impact with Earth goes on mostly out of the public eye. For more than 20 years, NASA and its international partners […]

Lifestyle

Carbon dioxide from Silicon Valley affects the chemistry of Monterey Bay

MBARI researchers recently measured high concentrations of carbon dioxide in air blowing out to sea from cities and agricultural areas, including Silicon Valley. In a new paper in PLOS ONE, they calculate that this previously undocumented process could increase the amount of carbon dioxide dissolving into coastal ocean waters by about 20 percent. Extending their […]

Lifestyle

Defying the laws of physics? Engineers demonstrate bubbles of sand

The flow of granular materials, such as sand and catalytic particles used in chemical reactors, and enables a wide range of natural phenomena, from mudslides to volcanos, as well as a broad array of industrial processes, from pharmaceutical production to carbon capture. While the motion and mixing of granular matter often display striking similarities to […]

Lifestyle

New variety of zebra chip disease threatens potato production in southwestern Oregon

Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100% for farmers. The disease, caused by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum,’ has been economically damaging commercial crops, including potato, tomato, and pepper, in […]

Lifestyle

New workflow for annotating genomes will help both researchers and undergraduate students

As genome sequencing becomes cheaper and faster, resulting in an exponential increase in data, the need for efficiency in predicting gene function is growing, as is the need to train the next generation of scientists in bioinformatics. Researchers in the lab of Lukas Mueller, a faculty member of the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), have developed […]

Lifestyle

Thermodynamic magic enables cooling without energy consumption

Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears to contradict the fundamental laws of physics. If you put a teapot of boiling water on the kitchen table, it […]

Lifestyle

Data mining digs up hidden clues to major California earthquake triggers

A powerful computational study of southern California seismic records has revealed detailed information about a plethora of previously undetected small earthquakes, giving a more precise picture about stress in the earth’s crust. A new publicly available catalog of these findings will help seismologists better understand the stresses triggering the larger earthquakes that occasionally rock the […]

Lifestyle

Scientists restore some functions in a pig’s brain hours after death

Circulation and cellular activity were restored in a pig’s brain four hours after its death, a finding that challenges long-held assumptions about the timing and irreversible nature of the cessation of some brain functions after death, Yale scientists report April 18 in the journal Nature. The brain of a postmortem pig obtained from a meatpacking […]

Lifestyle

Urine salts reveal timing and scale of Neolithic Revolution at Turkish site

The transition from hunting and gathering to farming and herding is considered a crucial turning point in the history of humanity. Scholars think the intensive food production that came along with the Neolithic Revolution, starting around 10,000 B.C., allowed cities to grow, led to technological innovation and, eventually, enabled life as we know it today. […]

Lifestyle

A genetic and computational analysis of birds suggests that the Andean and Atlantic tropical forests, which are now almost a thousand kilometers apart, were connected via the Cerrado in the distant past

The tropical forests of the Andes and Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest biome are separated by almost 1,000 km of drier areas with open vegetation in the Chaco, Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), and Caatinga (Brazilian semiarid) biomes. Today, these tropical forests are not connected, but the fact that they share closely related species and lineages suggests that these […]