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E.g., 02/15/2019
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  • News

    STEM professors’ beliefs on intelligence may widen the racial achievement gap

    WASHINGTON — Beliefs among some university professors that intelligence is fixed, rather than capable of growth, contribute to a racial achievement gap in STEM courses, a new study suggests.

    Those professors may subtly communicate stereotypes about blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans allegedly being less intelligent than Asians and whites, say psychologist Elizabeth Canning of Indiana...

    02/15/2019 - 14:00 Psychology
  • February 16, 2019

    02/15/2019 - 13:58
  • News

    Muons reveal the whopping voltages inside a thunderstorm

    An invisible drizzle of subatomic particles has shown that thunderstorms may store up much higher electric voltages than we thought.

    Using muons, heavier relatives of electrons that constantly rain down on Earth’s surface, scientists probed the insides of a storm in southern India in December 2014. The cloud’s electric potential — the amount of work necessary to move an electron from one...

    02/15/2019 - 07:00 Earth, Particle Physics
  • News

    A new insulation material is practically weightless yet still durable

    A new, nearly weightless insulation material can withstand extreme heat that would destroy other materials.

    The porous aerogel is at least 99 percent open space, with the rest made up of an atomically thin ceramic called hexagonal boron nitride. The design proves extremely durable under high temperatures and rapid temperature shifts of over 1,000 degrees Celsius, researchers report in...

    02/14/2019 - 14:00 Materials, Technology
  • News

    Climate change could increase foodborne illness by energizing flies

    Warmer springs and summers could make house flies friskier, spreading diarrhea-causing bacteria to more places. As a result, foodborne Campylobacter infections could increase with climate change, proposes epidemiologist Melanie Cousins of the University of Waterloo in Canada. 

    Cousins’ computer simulation, still a proof-of-concept version, focuses on how the warm weather surge in house...

    02/14/2019 - 09:00 Climate, Health
  • 50 years ago, DDT pushed peregrine falcons to the edge of extinction

    Fierce and swift, steel blue in color and called the world’s most perfect flying machine, the peregrine falcon is heading toward extinction in North America. The reason: DDT. Perilously high levels of the pesticide and related chemicals have been found in the eggs, fat and tissues of the birds…. [The falcons] are not picking up the DDT directly, but get it by eating other birds which...
    02/14/2019 - 07:00 Animals, Conservation, Toxicology
  • News

    Slow sperm may fail at crashing ‘gates’ on their way to an egg

    The female reproductive tract is an obstacle course that favors agile sperm. Narrow straits in parts of the tract act like gates, helping prevent slower-swimming sperm from ever reaching an egg, a study suggests. 

    Using a device that mimics the tract’s variable width, researchers studied sperm behavior at a narrow point, where the sex cells faced strong head-on currents of fluid. The...

    02/13/2019 - 14:49 Development
  • News

    After 15 years on Mars, it’s the end of the road for Opportunity

    Opportunity has finally run out of, well, opportunities. After weeks of trying to revive the veteran Mars rover in the wake of a blinding dust storm, NASA has given up on ever hearing from it again.

    After one last failed attempt to reach Opportunity February 12, NASA officials announced the end on February 13. “I was there with the team as these commands went out into the deep sky,”...

    02/13/2019 - 14:16 Planetary Science
  • News

    Photons reveal a weird effect called the quantum pigeonhole paradox

    Quantum pigeons don’t like to share.

    In keeping with a mathematical concept known as the pigeonhole principle, roosting pigeons have to cram together if there are more pigeons than spots available, with some birds sharing holes. But photons, or quantum particles of light, can violate that rule, according to an experiment reported in the Jan. 29 Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    02/13/2019 - 06:00 Quantum Physics, Numbers
  • News in Brief

    A new 2-D material uses light to quickly and safely purify water

    Using light, a prototype “green” material can purify enough daily drinking water for four people in just one hour. In tests, it killed nearly 100 percent of bacteria in 10 liters of water, researchers report February 7 in Chem.

    This new material, a 2-D sheet of graphitic carbon nitride, is a photocatalyst: It releases electrons when illuminated to create destructive oxygen-based...

    02/12/2019 - 15:30 Technology, Sustainability