Say What?

  1. bread-crust bubble ash samples

    These tiny, crackly bubbles are a new type of volcanic ash

    Scientists have identified a new type of volcanic ash made up of millimeter-long spheres with a crackled surface.

  2. Algeria

    You’re living in a new geologic age. It’s called the Meghalayan

    The newly defined Meghalayan Age began at the same time as a global, climate-driven event that led to human upheavals.

  3. hand with magnifying glass
    Health & Medicine

    Delusions of skin infestation may not be so rare

    Delusional infestation, an unwavering belief that one’s skin is overrun with creatures or objects, may not be as rare as previously thought, researchers say.

  4. illustration of a laser hitting a charged atom

    A single atom can gauge teensy electromagnetic forces

    The force of scattering particles of light was measured in zeptonewtons, a billionth of a trillionth of a newton.

  5. Cratena peregrina

    This sea slug makes its prey do half the food catching

    Nudibranchs’ stolen meals blur classic predator-prey levels.

  6. synestia illustration
    Planetary Science

    Earth might once have resembled a hot, steamy doughnut

    Newly proposed space objects called synestias are large, spinning hunks of mostly vaporized rock. They look like a jelly-filled doughnut.

  7. Earth

    Ice particles shaped like lollipops fall from clouds

    Small ice particles called ice-lollies, because of their lollipop-like appearance, can form in clouds.

  8. Kluane Lake

    ‘River piracy’ on a high glacier lets one waterway rob another

    The melting of one of Canada’s largest glaciers has rerouted meltwater from one stream into another in an instance of river piracy.

  9. a gravel devil

    Whirlwinds of crystals called gravel devils spotted in Andes Mountains

    Large whirlwinds in northern Chile can carry gravel-sized gypsum crystals several kilometers before dumping them in mounds.

  10. E.coli

    Tiny toxic proteins help gut bacteria defeat rivals

    A strain of E. coli makes competition-killing tiny proteins and soothes inflamed intestines.

  11. 3-D printed bone scaffolds
    Materials Science

    Superflexible, 3-D printed “bones” trigger new growth

    New ultraflexible material could be the future of bone repair, but awaits human testing.

  12. bagpipes
    Health & Medicine

    Clean inside those bagpipes — and trumpets and clarinets

    Bagpipes’ moist interiors may be the perfect breeding ground for yeasts and molds.