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E.g., 04/22/2018
E.g., 04/22/2018
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  • Mystery Solved

    How ravens caused a LIGO data glitch

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — 

    While the data was amassing, suddenly there came a tapping,As of something gently rapping, rapping at LIGO’s door.

    The source of a mysterious glitch in data from a gravitational wave detector has been unmasked: rap-tap-tapping ravens with a thirst for shaved ice. At the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO...

    04/18/2018 - 15:00 Physics
  • News

    This meteorite’s diamonds hint that it was born in a lost planet

    A chunk of space rock may have been forged inside a long-lost planet from the early solar system. Tiny pockets of iron and sulfur embedded in diamonds inside the meteorite probably formed under high pressures found only inside planets the size of Mercury or Mars, researchers suggest April 17 in Nature Communications.

    The parent planet no longer exists, though — it was smashed to...

    04/18/2018 - 14:30 Planetary Science
  • News

    Why touch can be such a creepy sensation in VR

    There’s a fine line between immersive and unnerving when it comes to touch sensation in virtual reality.

    More realistic tactile feedback in VR can ruin a user’s feeling of immersion, researchers report online April 18 in Science Robotics. The finding suggests that the “uncanny valley” — a term that describes how humanoid robots that look almost but not quite human are creepier than their...

    04/18/2018 - 14:00 Technology
  • News

    Masses of shrimp and krill may play a huge role in mixing oceans

    When it comes to tiny ocean swimmers, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Ocean turbulence stirred up by multitudes of creatures such as krill can be powerful enough to extend hundreds of meters down into the deep, a new study suggests.

    Brine shrimp moving vertically in two different laboratory tanks created small eddies that aggregated into a jet roughly the size of the...

    04/18/2018 - 13:20 Oceans, Ecology
  • News

    These seals haven’t lost their land ancestors’ hunting ways

    Some seals still eat like landlubbers.

    Just like lions, tigers and bears, certain kinds of seals have claws that help the animals grasp prey and tear it apart. X-rays show that the bones in these seals’ forelimbs look like those found in the earliest seals, a new study finds.

    Ancestors of these ancient seals transitioned from land to sea at some point, preserving clawed limbs...

    04/17/2018 - 19:09 Animals, Paleontology
  • News

    This ancient Maya city may have helped the Snake King dynasty spread

    WASHINGTON — New insights into an ancient Maya kingdom are coming from a remote outpost in the Guatemalan jungle.

    Aerial laser maps, excavations and stone-slab hieroglyphics indicate that La Corona, a largely rural settlement, became a key part of a far-ranging Classic-era Maya kingdom that incorporated sites from southern Mexico to Central America, researchers reported on April 15 at...

    04/17/2018 - 14:00 Archaeology
  • News

    Here’s why putting a missile defense system in space could be a bad idea

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A beefed-up missile defense system might seem like a good idea in a time of heightened nuclear tensions. But such enhancements could have dangerous consequences.

    The current U.S. missile defense system isn’t all it was cracked up to be, performing unreliably in tests, physicist and missile defense expert Laura Grego argued April 14 at a meeting of the American Physical...

    04/17/2018 - 11:52 Science & Society, Physics, Technology
  • Teaser

    A new plastic film glows to flag food contaminated with dangerous microbes

    Pathogen detectors built into plastic patches could someday spare you food poisoning.

    Carlos Filipe, a chemical engineer at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues have developed a new kind of flexible film that’s coated in molecules that glow when they touch E. coli cells. This type of sensor also glows in the presence of molecules secreted by E. coli, so the material...

    04/17/2018 - 07:00 Materials, Microbes, Health
  • News

    Dogs lived and died with humans 10,000 years ago in the Americas

    WASHINGTON — A trio of dogs buried at two ancient human sites in Illinois lived around 10,000 years ago, making them the oldest known domesticated canines in the Americas.

    Radiocarbon dating of the dogs’ bones shows they were 1,500 years older than thought, zooarchaeologist Angela Perri said April 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The previous age estimate...

    04/16/2018 - 15:30 Archaeology
  • Science Ticker

    Delayed launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter is now set for tonight

    Editor's note: This story has been updated April 18 with new launch plans for TESS.

    The launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter, TESS, has been rescheduled for 6:51 p.m. EDT April 18. You can watch launch coverage on NASA TV starting at 6:30 p.m. 

    SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rocket is set to carry TESS into space, had scrubbed the satellite’s planned April 16 just hours before liftoff,...

    04/16/2018 - 14:53 Astronomy