Tattoos may have staying power because of a hand off between generations of immune cells known as macrophages, say a group of French researchers.
If true, this would overturn notions that tattoo ink persists in connective tissue or in long-lasting macrophages.
Immunologist Sandrine Henri of the Immunology Center of Marseille-Luminy, in France, and colleagues tattooed mice tails...
Science & the Public
It certainly feels like the northeastern United States is getting snowier.
In the first two weeks of March, three winter storms slammed into the northeast corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Over the last decade, a flurry of extreme winter storms has struck the region, giving birth to clever portmanteau names such as Snowpocalypse (2009), Snowmageddon (2010) and Snowzilla (2016...
The existence of supermassive black holes in the early universe has never made much sense to astronomers. Sightings since 2006 have shown that gargantuan monsters with masses of at least a billion suns were already in place when the universe was less than a billion years old – far too early for them to have formed by conventional means.
One or two of these old massive objects could be...
News in Brief
Artificial intelligence is helping draw a more detailed map of the moon.
An AI that studied lunar images to learn what craters look like has discovered thousands of new pockmarks on the moon’s surface. This program could also be used to catalog impact scars on other moons or planets, which might improve scientists’ understanding of how various objects roamed our solar system in the past...
Dramatic shifts in the East African climate may have driven toolmaking advances and the development of trading networks among Homo sapiens or their close relatives by the Middle Stone Age, roughly 320,000 years ago. That’s the implication of discoveries reported in three papers published online March 15 in Science.
Newly excavated Middle Stone Age tools and red pigment chunks from...
Meet STEVE, a newfound type of aurora that drapes the sky with a mauve ribbon and bedazzling green bling.
This feature of the northern lights, recently photographed and named by citizen scientists in Canada, now has a scientific explanation. The streak of color, which appears to the south of the main aurora, may be a visible version of a typically invisible process involving drifting...
News in Brief
The sex organs of primitive plants are inspiring precise pipettes.
Liverworts are a group of ground-hugging plants with male and female reproductive structures shaped like tiny palm trees. The female structures nab sperm-packed water droplets by surrounding them with their fronds, like an immobilized claw in an arcade machine.
Scientists have coopted that design to create a plastic...
Ceres may be regularly coughing up briny water or slush onto its surface.
The discovery of waterlogged minerals and a growing ice wall suggests that the dwarf planet could harbor underground liquid water or slushy brine, which has escaped through cracks and craters in the recent past and may still be seeping out today. The findings, reported in two papers published online March 14 in...
The Name Game
And the winner is in. Of the roughly 34,000 submissions sent in by the public, NASA has finally chosen an official nickname for the New Horizons spacecraft’s next destination: Ultima Thule.
New Horizons is scheduled to visit the tiny Kuiper Belt object on New Year’s Day 2019. NASA announced in November that it was seeking public input for a catchier name than the object’s existing...
As I’ve been reporting a story about the opioid epidemic, I’ve sorted through a lot of tragic numbers that make the astronomical spike in deaths and injuries related to the drugs feel more real.
The rise in the abuse of opioids — powerfully addictive painkillers — is driven by adults. But kids are also swept up in the current, a new study makes clear. The number of children admitted to...