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E.g., 06/26/2019
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  • News

    Parasites ruin some finches’ songs by chewing through the birds’ beaks

    Invasive parasites in the Galápagos Islands may leave some Darwin’s tree finches singing the blues.

    The nonnative Philornis downsi fly infests the birds’ nests and lays its eggs there. Fly larvae feast on the chicks’ blood and tissue, producing festering wounds and killing over half of the baby birds. Among survivors, larval damage to the birds’ beaks may mess with the birds’ songs when...

    06/21/2019 - 11:39 Animals, Evolution, Ecology
  • News

    The cosmic ‘Cow’ may be a strange supernova

    The cosmic oddity known as the Cow may have been a dying star that shed its skin like a snake before it exploded.

    Newly released observations support the idea that the burst occurred in a dense environment with strong magnetic fields, astronomer Kuiyun Huang and colleagues report in The Astrophysical Journal Letters June 12.

    These new measurements “for the mysterious transient …...

    06/21/2019 - 10:54 Astronomy
  • News

    How NASA’s portable atomic clock could revolutionize space travel

    Traveling the solar system could one day be as easy as taking a bus to work. Scientists envision self-driving spaceships ferrying astronauts through deep space, and GPS-like systems guiding visitors across the terrains of other planets and moons. But for those futuristic navigation schemes, spacecraft and satellites would need to be equipped with clocks that keep time with extreme precision —...

    06/21/2019 - 07:00 Technology, Planetary Science
  • News

    Lost wallets are more likely to be returned if they hold cash

    If you’re prone to losing your wallet, keep it filled with cash.

    That’s a tip from researchers who “lost” over 17,000 wallets in 40 countries. In all but two countries, the likelihood of a stranger returning a wallet increased if there was money inside. And the more money in the wallet, the higher the rate of return, the researchers report June 20 in Science. 

    “We were expecting a...

    06/20/2019 - 15:45 Science & Society, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    U.S. honeybees had the worst winter die-off in more than a decade

    U.S. honeybees just weathered an unusually bad winter.

    About 38 percent of beekeepers’ colonies died between October 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019, the Bee Informed Partnership estimates.  While it wasn’t the worst recent year overall for honeybee losses — that was 2012–2013 — preliminary results released June 19 show it is the worst winter die-off recorded over the University of Maryland–...

    06/20/2019 - 15:02 Animals, Conservation, Agriculture
  • News

    The world’s fisheries are incredibly intertwined, thanks to baby fish

    Marine fisheries are typically managed by individual nations. But the fish in those stocks often originate elsewhere, according to a computer simulation of how eggs and larvae from hundreds of fish species ride ocean currents around the world.

    That finding means that many nations with economies that rely on fishing must depend on other countries to maintain important spawning grounds....

    06/20/2019 - 14:00 Oceans, Ecology, Sustainability
  • News in Brief

    Mice and bats’ brains sync up as they interact with their own kind

    When animals are together, their brain activity aligns. These simpatico signals, described in bats and mice, bring scientists closer to understanding brains as they normally exist — enmeshed in complex social situations.

    Researchers know that neural synchrony emerges in people who are talking, taking a class together and even watching the same movie. But scientists tend to study human...

    06/20/2019 - 11:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    DNA confirms a weird Greenland whale was a narwhal-beluga hybrid

    Researchers have made a whale of a discovery — a hybrid of a beluga whale and a narwhal.

    DNA analysis of the whale’s skull confirmed it to be the male offspring of a narwhal mother and a beluga father, researchers report June 20 in Scientific Reports.

    The animal was one of three unusual whales caught during a subsistence hunt in 1986 or 1987 in western Greenland’s Disko Bay, and...

    06/20/2019 - 09:00 Genetics, Animals
  • 50 years ago, bulletproof armor was getting light enough to wear

    Lighter bulletproof vest —

    A new, lighter bulletproof armor ... composed of boron carbide fibers ... [is] capable of stopping a .30-caliber bullet.... The armor weighs about six pounds per square foot, compared to previous boron carbide armor of seven pounds per square foot.... Until now boron carbide armor has been used mainly to protect vital helicopter parts, but the lighter...

    06/20/2019 - 07:00 Materials
  • News in Brief

    This body-on-a-chip mimics how organs and cancer cells react to drugs

    A new body-on-a-chip system could provide a more holistic view of drug effects than other devices of its kind.

    Unlike traditional organ-on-a-chip devices that simulate a single organ (SN: 3/17/18, p. 13), the new setup contains five chambers to house different types of cells, connected by channels that circulate a nutrient solution to mimic blood flow. This is the first organ-on-a-chip...

    06/19/2019 - 14:00 Biophysics, Technology, Cells