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E.g., 09/19/2017
E.g., 09/19/2017
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  • Science Ticker

    The Cassini probe dies tomorrow. Here’s how to follow its end

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    It’s not every day that a spacecraft gets vaporized by the very planet it sought to explore.

    After 13 years studying Saturn and its moons, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will plunge into the ringed gas giant’s atmosphere. The mission will come to a close at about 7:55 a.m. EDT (4:55 a.m. PDT) Friday, when Saturn’s atmosphere pushes Cassini’s antenna away from Earth,...

    09/14/2017 - 14:30 Planetary Science
  • News

    A researcher reveals the shocking truth about electric eels

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    Kenneth Catania knows just how much it hurts to be zapped by an electric eel. For the first time, the biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville has measured the strength of a defensive electrical attack on a real-life potential predator — himself.

    Catania placed his arm in a tank with a 40-centimeter-long electric eel (relatively small as eels go) and...

    09/14/2017 - 14:14 Animals, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Microbes hobble a widely used chemo drug

    Some bacteria may shield tumor cells against a common chemotherapy drug.

    Certain types of bacteria make an enzyme that inactivates the drug gemcitabine, researchers report in the Sept. 15 Science. Gemcitabine is used to treat patients with pancreatic, lung, breast and bladder cancers.

    Bacteria that produce the enzyme cytidine deaminase converted the drug to an inactive form. That...

    09/14/2017 - 14:00 Cancer, Microbiology
  • Scicurious

    Two artificial sweeteners together take the bitter out of bittersweet

    Artificial sweeteners can have a not-so-sweet side — a bitter aftertaste. The flavor can be such a turnoff that some people avoid the additives entirely. Decades ago, people noticed that for two artificial sweeteners — saccharin and cyclamate, which can taste bitter on their own — the bitterness disappears when they’re combined. But no one really knew why.

    It turns out that saccharin...

    09/14/2017 - 13:30 Genetics
  • News

    How to peel permanent marker off glass

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    Permanent markers aren’t so permanent after all. All that’s required to peel the ink from glass is the surface tension of water and a little patience, scientists report.

    When glass marked with permanent ink is slowly dipped in water, the writing lifts off the glass and floats intact atop the water. For the first time, scientists have now explained the physics behind...

    09/14/2017 - 07:00 Condensed Matter
  • Growth Curve

    Help for postpartum mood disorders can be hard to come by

    Words can’t describe the pandemonium that follows a child’s birth, but I’ll try anyway. After my first daughter was born, I felt like a giant had picked up my life, shaken it hard, martini-style, and returned it to the ground. The familiar objects in my life were all still there, but nothing seemed to be the same.

    The day we came home from the hospital as a family of three, my husband...

    09/13/2017 - 16:30 Pregnancy, Health
  • Science Ticker

    So long, Titan. Cassini snaps parting pics of Saturn’s largest moon

    The Cassini spacecraft has snapped its penultimate pics of Saturn’s moon Titan.

    This image, shot September 11 as Cassini swung past the moon at a distance of about 119,049 kilometers, shows Titan’s lake region near its north pole. “The haze has cleared remarkably as the summer solstice has approached,” Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker said in a news conference September 13.

    ...

    09/13/2017 - 16:05 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Skeleton ignites debate over whether women were Viking warriors

    Viking warriors have a historical reputation as tough guys, with an emphasis on testosterone. But scientists now say that DNA has unveiled a Viking warrior woman who was previously found in a roughly 1,000-year-old grave in Sweden. Until now, many researchers assumed that “she” was a “he” buried with a set of weapons and related paraphernalia worthy of a high-ranking military officer.

    If...

    09/13/2017 - 15:49 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    Like sea stars, ancient echinoderms nibbled with tiny tube feet

    Sea stars and their relatives eat, breathe and scuttle around the seafloor with tiny tube feet. Now researchers have gotten their first-ever look at similar tentacle-like structures in an extinct group of these echinoderms.

    It was suspected that the ancient marine invertebrates, called edrioasteroids, had tube feet. But a set of unusually well-preserved fossils from around 430 million...

    09/12/2017 - 19:05 Paleontology, Animals
  • Science & the Public

    How hurricanes and other devastating disasters spur scientific research

    Every day, it seems like there’s a new natural disaster in the headlines. Hurricane Harvey inundates Texas. Hurricane Irma plows through the Caribbean and the U.S. south, and Jose is hot on its heels. A deadly 8.1-magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico. Wildfires blanket the western United States in choking smoke.

    While gripping tales of loss and heroism rightly fill the news, another story...

    09/12/2017 - 17:15 Earth, Oceans, Science & Society