50 Years Ago
Coolest stars found — The coolest stars yet have been discovered. One is reported to have a surface temperature as low as 800° F.... The other of the two cool stars has a surface temperature of about 1,200°. Both objects are...
Long before we reached Green Bank, W.Va., the gleaming white dish of a massive radio telescope stood out against the lush green vegetation of a remote valley four hours southwest of Washington, D.C. By then, the car radio received only static, and our cellphones hadn’t gotten a signal in hours. To get even closer to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope — the world’s largest movable land...
When you stumble into Starbucks for your morning coffee and are greeted by a super cheery barista inquiring about your day and your life in general, do you ever want to smack that smile off her face?
Well, pity the barista. In recent years the “service with a smile”...
Ceramic shards unearthed in highland New Guinea more than 40 years ago have now been pegged as the oldest known pottery on the island, by a lot. That discovery offers a first glimpse of encounters between island residents and seafarers that influenced the rise of modern South Pacific societies.
Eleven of 20 pottery pieces excavated in 1972 and 1973 at Wañelek, a site in New Guinea’s...
When organisms enter a new environment, they’re bound to make some missteps. A new study suggests those initial flubs may speed up evolution.
Trinidadian guppies transplanted from predator-infested waters to streams devoid of predators responded by changing activity of some genes in the brain. Although some changes were helpful, most were disadvantageous. But genes that got off on the...
Reviews & Previews
The Diet Myth
Overlook Press, $28.95
For 10 days, Tom Spector lived off McDonald’s. He had chicken nuggets or Big Macs for meals and McFlurries for dessert. Tom, a 22-year-old...
Six million years ago, a relative of modern river dolphins once frolicked along Panama's Carribbean shores, researchers report September 1 in PeerJ. Unearthed in 2011, the fossilized skull, teeth and jaw bones belong to a novel dolphin species (Isthminia panamensis).
Researchers originally rescued the fragile specimen from...
Ask not what your gadgets can do for you; ask what you can do for your gadgets.
In the race to create bionic humans, researchers are nanometers away from turning people into device chargers. Instruments called nanogenerators can harvest energy from swinging limbs, jiggling skin and ballooning lungs. And that energy can power wearable and implantable gizmos, such as pacemakers, muscle...
Jellyfish are best avoided, in my opinion. Though beautiful to watch in an aquarium, jellies are equipped with stingers that can be harmless — or cause pain or even kill. And it can be difficult to tell the difference without some research — which you don’t really have time for when one is heading...
The closest quasar to Earth might harbor a rare pair of supermassive black holes. The dark duo is probably left over from a galaxy collision, researchers report, and offers a way to test theories about gravity and the growth of galaxies.
Black hole couples should pop up in the center of pretty much every galaxy at some point, as galaxies grow by colliding with one another. This galactic...