Gravity waves evidence
The long search for gravitational waves … may be in the final lap…. Rotating binary stars or, perhaps, other galaxies like the Milky Way but far beyond it, or the center of the Milky Way itself, are likely sources for gravitational radiation. — Science News, June 22, 1968.Update
Although Joseph Weber, a physicist at the University of Maryland, announced...
In Central America’s rain-drenched forests, leaf-cutting ants collect pieces of leaves on which they grow fungi for food. But the rain can hit hard, especially for a small ant. When leaf-cutting ants sense an incoming shower, they hoof it back to their nests, says a study in the May Insectes Sociaux.
Researchers from Argentina, Mexico and Peru tested how one species of leaf-cutting ants...
Commercials abound for DNA testing services that will help you learn where your ancestors came from or connect you with relatives. I’ve been interested in my family history for a long time. I knew basically where our roots were: the British Isles, Germany and Hungary. But the ads tempted me to dive deeper.
Previous experience taught me that different genetic testing companies can yield...
Michael Douglas, a new resident of southern Maryland, credits genetic testing for helping him find his heritage — and a family he knew very little about.
Douglas, 43, is adopted. He knew his birth mother’s name and had seen a birth certificate stating his birth name: Thomas Michael McCarthy. Over the years, Douglas had tried off and on to find his birth family, mostly by looking for his...
On a warm summer evening, a visitor to 1920s Göttingen, Germany, might have heard the hubbub of a party from an apartment on Friedländer Way. A glimpse through the window would reveal a gathering of scholars. The wine would be flowing and the air buzzing with conversations centered on mathematical problems of the day. The eavesdropper might eventually pick up a woman’s laugh cutting through...
Emmy Noether may be the most influential mathematician you’ve never heard of.06/12/2018 - 07:15 History of Science, Science & Society, Physics
In 1918, she solved a puzzle in Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. To do that, she created a mathematical theorem that changed forever how scientists study the universe, one that remains a guiding star for theoretical physics.
Not only was she a scientific pioneer, Noether was by all...
Letters to the Editor
Cutting remark06/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Archaeology, Technology
Archaeologist Nicholas Blackwell built a version of a Bronze Age pendulum saw that may have been used to build Mycenaean palaces, Bruce Bower reported in “How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery” (SN: 4/28/18 & 5/12/18, p. 32).
Reader Fredric Blum argued that a pendulum saw’s blade would have dulled too fast to completely cut through stone...
Stay younger, longer. Great idea. But direct-to-consumer test kits that promise to gauge a person’s biological age by analyzing a drop of blood are not worth the $100 or so investment, says oncologist Mary Armanios. The tests measure the length of telomeres, the bits of DNA that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. But the consumer tests are unreliable and can be misinterpreted, Armanios...
Pip-squeak particles called neutrinos are dishing out more than scientists had bargained for.
A particle detector has spotted a puzzling abundance of the lightweight subatomic particles and their antimatter partners, antineutrinos, physicists report May 30 at arXiv.org. The finding mirrors a neutrino excess found more than two decades ago. And that match has researchers wondering if a...
Pluto’s heart-shaped plains are striped with sand dunes, where the sand is made of solid methane ice, a new study finds.
Images from the New Horizons spacecraft’s July 2015 flyby of Pluto show 357 linear ridges that planetary scientist Matt Telfer of the University of Plymouth in England and colleagues interpret as dunes that have been shaped by a novel process, the team reports in the...