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E.g., 01/18/2017
E.g., 01/18/2017
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  • How Bizarre

    Weird wave found in Venus’ wind-whipped atmosphere

    With scorching temperatures and a mind-numbingly slow rotation (one Venus day lasts 243 Earth days), Venus was already a contender for weirdest planet in the solar system. Now add a giant arc-shaped structure to its list of oddities. The mysterious 10,000-kilometer-long structure was so big that it appeared to stretch between the planet’s poles. And it didn’t budge, even as winds in the planet...

    01/17/2017 - 18:11 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Coastal waters were an oxygen oasis 2.3 billion years ago

    Earth was momentarily ripe for the evolution of animals hundreds of millions of years before they first appeared, researchers propose.

    Chemical clues in ancient rocks suggest that 2.32 billion to 2.1 billion years ago, shallow coastal waters held enough oxygen to support oxygen-hungry life-forms including some animals, researchers report the week of January 16 in the Proceedings of the...

    01/17/2017 - 16:23 Earth, Evolution, Paleontology
  • News

    Petrified tree rings tell ancient tale of sun’s behavior

    The sun has been in the same routine for at least 290 million years, new research suggests.

    Ancient tree rings from the Permian period record a roughly 11-year cycle of wet and dry periods, climate fluctuations caused by the ebbing and flowing of solar activity, researchers propose January 9 in Geology. The discovery would push back the earliest evidence of today’s 11-year solar cycle by...

    01/17/2017 - 07:00 Climate, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Here's how earwax might clean ears

    NEW ORLEANS — The self-cleaning marvel known as earwax may turn the dust particles it traps into agents of their own disposal.

    Earwax, secreted in the ear canal, protects ears from building up dunes of debris from particles wafting through the air. The wax creates a sticky particle-trapper inside the canal, explained Zac Zachow January 6 at the annual meeting of the Society of...

    01/13/2017 - 16:29 Biophysics, Physiology, Animals
  • News in Brief

    New ‘smart’ fibers curb fires in lithium-ion batteries

    Hoverboards and certain cell phones powered by lithium-ion batteries occasionally go up in flames. Scientists now have a new plan for squelching these fires before they flare out of control: incorporating a flame retardant in the battery that’s released if temperatures get too toasty.

    Within lithium-ion batteries, ions travel between positive and negative electrodes through a liquid...

    01/13/2017 - 14:00 Materials, Technology
  • Growth Curve

    Though complex, new peanut allergy guidelines are based on science

    Six hours before I gave birth to my son, our labor and delivery nurse started choking.

    The cause, we later discovered, was a jar of peanuts that my unsuspecting husband had cracked open for a snack. Our fast-acting (and highly allergic) nurse rushed out of the room and made it to her EpiPen in time. She was OK, to our immense relief, and we managed to not endanger anyone else’s life that...

    01/13/2017 - 13:29 Health
  • News

    Promise and perils of marijuana deserve more scientific scrutiny

    Marijuana’s medical promise deserves closer, better-funded scientific scrutiny, a new state-of-the-science report concludes.

    The report, released January 12 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington, D.C., calls for expanding research on potential medical applications of cannabis and its products, including marijuana and chemical components called...

    01/12/2017 - 15:02 Health, Mental Health, Science & Society
  • News

    New molecular knot is most complex yet

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    One hundred and ninety-two atoms have tied the knot.

    Chains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms, woven together in a triple braid, form the most complex molecular knot ever described, chemists from the University of Manchester in England report in the Jan. 13 Science.

    Learning how to tie such knots could one day help researchers weave molecular...

    01/12/2017 - 14:00 Chemistry, Materials
  • News

    How mice use their brain to hunt

    The part of the brain that governs emotions such as fear and anxiety also helps mice hunt. That structure, the amygdala, orchestrates a mouse’s ability to both stalk a cricket and deliver a fatal bite, scientists report January 12 in Cell.

    Scientists made select nerve cells in mice’s brains sensitive to light, and then used lasers to activate specific groups of those cells. By turning...

    01/12/2017 - 12:08 Neuroscience
  • Science Visualized

    Shimmering soap bubbles have a dark side

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    Zoom in on a soap bubble just before it bursts and brilliant, complex patterns emerge. Shimmery rainbows appear in thicker portions of the soap film, while clusters of dark spots appear in the thinnest regions.

    The thickness of the soap film determines the color seen. Light rays that reflect off of the top and bottom of the film combine to amplify particular...

    01/12/2017 - 07:00 Biophysics