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E.g., 01/19/2018
E.g., 01/19/2018
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  • News

    The secret to icky, sticky bacterial biofilms lies in the microbes’ cellulose

    To build resilient colonies, bacteria make a surprising tweak to a common substance found in cells.

    A  biochemical addition to the cellulose produced by E. coli and other species of bacteria lets them create colonies that are resistant to disruption, researchers report in the Jan. 19 Science. Called biofilms, these microbial colonies can form on medical devices or inside the body,...

    01/18/2018 - 14:31 Microbes, Chemistry
  • News in Brief

    Volume of fracking fluid pumped underground tied to Canada quakes

    Fracking wells should not go to 11. Instead, turning down the volume — that is, of water pumped underground to help retrieve oil and gas — may reduce the number of earthquakes related to hydraulic fracturing.

    The amount of water pumped into fracking wells is the No. 1 factor related to earthquake occurrence at Fox Creek, a large oil and gas production site in central Canada, researchers...

    01/18/2018 - 14:16 Earth
  • Science Ticker

    A robotic arm made of DNA moves at dizzying speed

    A new robotic arm made of DNA moves 100,000 times faster than previous DNA machinery.

    The DNA nanobot is shaped like a gearshift, with an extendible arm that ranges from 25 to more than 400 nanometers long that’s attached to a 55-by-55-nanometer platform. Researchers remotely control this DNA device, described in the Jan. 19 Science, with electric fields that tug on charged molecules in...

    01/18/2018 - 14:00 Biophysics, Technology
  • News

    Hunter-gatherer lifestyle could help explain superior ability to ID smells

    Smell has a reputation as a second-rate human sense. But that assumption stinks once hunter-gatherers enter the picture.

    Semaq Beri hunter-gatherers, who live in tropical forests on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, name various odors as easily as they name colors, say psycholinguist Asifa Majid and linguist Nicole Kruspe. Yet Semelai rice farmers, who live in...

    01/18/2018 - 12:00 Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Ultrathin 2-D metals get their own periodic table

    A new version of the periodic table showcases the predicted properties of 2-D metals, an obscure class of synthetic materials.

    Arrayed in 1-atom-thick sheets, most of these 2-D metals have yet to be seen in the real world. So Janne Nevalaita and Pekka Koskinen, physicists at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, simulated 2-D materials of 45 metallic elements, ranging from lithium to...

    01/17/2018 - 16:34 Materials, Physics, Chemistry
  • News

    The mystery of vanishing honeybees is still not definitively solved

    It was one of the flashiest mysteries in the news about a decade ago — honeybee workers were vanishing fast for no clear reason. To this day, that puzzle has never been entirely solved, researchers acknowledge.

    And maybe it never will be. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, as the sudden mass honeybee losses were called, has faded in recent years as mysteriously as it began. It’s possible...

    01/17/2018 - 13:42 Animals, Agriculture, Science & Society
  • News

    Evidence grows that normal childbirth takes longer than we thought

    A long-standing “rule” for women in labor has been challenged again.

    During labor, the cervix – the narrow, lower part of the uterus – dilates, or opens, to allow for a baby’s birth. For decades, the guidance has been that the cervix should dilate by at least 1 centimeter per hour. But a study in two African countries found a slower rate of dilation for many women who went on to have...

    01/16/2018 - 14:49 Health
  • Context

    Speed of universe’s expansion remains elusive

    Unless you are a recent arrival from another universe, you’ve no doubt heard that this one is expanding. It’s getting bigger all the time. What’s more, its growth rate is accelerating. Every day, the universe expands a little bit faster than it did the day before.

    Those day-to-day differences are negligible, though, for astronomers trying to measure the universe’s expansion rate. They...

    01/16/2018 - 12:52 Astronomy, History of Science
  • News

    DNA solves the mystery of how these mummies were related

    A pair of ancient Egyptian mummies, known for more than a century as the Two Brothers, were actually half brothers, a new study of their DNA finds.

    These two, high-ranking men shared a mother, but had different fathers, say archaeogeneticist Konstantina Drosou of the University of Manchester in England and her colleagues. That muted family tie came to light thanks to the successful...

    01/16/2018 - 07:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    Tiny scales in ancient lagoon may be the first fossil evidence of the moth-butterfly line

    Newly described little scaly bits could push back the fossil record of the moth-and-butterfly branch on the tree of life by some 70 million years. That raises the question of whether the drinking-straw mouthparts evolved long before the flower nectar many drink today.

    The microscopic ridged scales date from roughly 200 million years ago, around the time of one of Earth’s less famous mass...

    01/15/2018 - 07:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals