Sea otters restocked in old home
When the [Atomic Energy Commission] first cast its eye on the island of Amchitka as a possible site for the testing of underground nuclear explosions, howls of anguish went up; the island is part of the Aleutians National Wildlife Refuge, created to preserve the colonies of nesting birds and some 2,500 sea otters that live there…— Science News, ...
News in Brief
Weird materials called Weyl metals might reveal the secrets of how Earth gets its magnetic field.
The substances could generate a dynamo effect, the process by which a swirling, electrically conductive material creates a magnetic field, a team of scientists reports in the Oct. 26 Physical Review Letters.
Dynamos are common in the universe, producing the magnetic fields of the Earth...
News in Brief
SAN DIEGO — A sleepless night can leave the brain spinning with anxiety the next day.
In healthy adults, overnight sleep deprivation triggered anxiety the next morning, along with altered brain activity patterns, scientists reported November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
People with anxiety disorders often have trouble sleeping. The new results uncover...
Reviews & Previews
End of the MegafaunaRoss D.E. MacPhee and Peter Schouten (illustrator)W.W. Norton & Co., $35
Today’s land animals are a bunch of runts compared with creatures from the not-too-distant past. Beasts as big as elephants, gorillas and bears were once much more common around the world. Then, seemingly suddenly, hundreds of big species, including the woolly mammoth, the giant ground...
SAN DIEGO — Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage.
After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Other brain changes followed, scientists reported at a news briefing November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
It’s not known whether similar damage happens in...
Animated characters can learn from online tutorials, too.
A new computer program teaches virtual avatars new skills, such as dances, acrobatic stunts and martial art moves, from YouTube videos. This kind of system, described in the November ACM Transactions on Graphics, could render more physically coordinated characters for movies and video games, or serve as a virtual training ground...
News in Brief
Puny particles have given scientists a glimpse inside the Earth.
For the first time, physicists have measured the planet’s mass using neutrinos, minuscule subatomic particles that can pass straight through the entire planet. Researchers also used the particles to probe the Earth’s innards, studying how the planet’s density varies from crust to core.
Typically, scientists determine...
Yeast intentionally stuffed with bacteria may teach scientists something about the origins of cells’ powerhouses.
Cellular power-generating organelles, called mitochondria, are thought to have once been bacteria captured by archaea, single-celled microbes that are one of the earliest forms of life. Now, almost all eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus) contain mitochondria. At first,...
Vinita Surukan knew the mosquitoes were trouble. They attacked her in swarms, biting through her clothes as she worked to collect rubber tree sap near her village in Sabah, the northern state of Malaysia. The 30-year-old woman described the situation as nearly unbearable. But she needed the job.
There were few alternatives in her village surrounded by fragments of forest reserves and...
In any given year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, more than 40 million people, have to contend with a mental illness. Getting treatment is often a struggle; fewer than half of those affected get any sort of care, which can be especially hard to find in rural and underserved communities.11/04/2018 - 06:15 Science & Society, Technology, Neuroscience
Virtual reality may seem like the least likely technology to address the lack of mental health...