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E.g., 07/25/2016
E.g., 07/25/2016
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  • Feature

    SPIDER shrinks telescopes with far-out design

    In the space business, weight and size are what run up the bills. So imagine the appeal of a telescope that’s a tenth to as little as a hundredth as heavy, bulky and power hungry as the conventional instruments that NASA and other government agencies now send into space. Especially alluring is the notion of marrying the time-tested technology called interferometry, used in traditional...

    07/25/2016 - 14:00 Technology
  • News

    Ancient air bubbles could revise history of Earth’s oxygen

    Whiffs of ancient air trapped in rock salt for hundreds of millions of years are shaking up the history of oxygen and life on Earth.

    By carefully crushing rock salt, researchers have measured the chemical makeup of air pockets embedded inside the rock. This new technique reveals that oxygen made up 10.9 percent of Earth’s atmosphere around 815 million years ago. Scientists have thought...

    07/25/2016 - 07:00 Earth, Chemistry, Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    New books deliver double dose of venomous animal facts

    In the arms race of life, a number of animals use venom as a weapon to paralyze prey and jump-start digestion. Meanwhile, venom also helps a variety of other seemingly defenseless creatures improve their odds against larger, stronger or more aggressive foes.

    In Venomous, molecular biologist Christie Wilcox surveys the animal kingdom’s wide array of biochemical warriors, from...

    07/24/2016 - 08:00 Animals
  • To Do

    See the Starship Enterprise, design virtual robots, and more

    Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

    Now open

    After two years of renovations, some of the museum’s most cherished artifacts — including the Spirit of St. Louis and an Apollo Lunar Module — are now on display alongside new objects, including a studio model of the Starship Enterprise.

    ...
    07/24/2016 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Debate accelerates on universe’s expansion speed

    A puzzling mismatch is plaguing two methods for measuring how fast the universe is expanding. When the discrepancy arose a few years ago, scientists suspected it would fade away, a symptom of measurement errors. But the latest, more precise measurements of the expansion rate — a number known as the Hubble constant — have only deepened the mystery.

    “There’s nothing obvious in the...

    07/22/2016 - 12:00 Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    How dinosaurs hopped across an ocean

    Two land bridges may have allowed dinosaurs to saunter between Europe and North America around 150 million years ago.

    The bridges would explain how dinosaurs, mammals and other animals were able to hop from one continent to the other after the Atlantic Ocean formed during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent. Some species of Stegosaurus, for instance, appear in the fossil...

    07/22/2016 - 10:48 Earth, Paleontology
  • Science Stats

    U.S. lags in road safety

    U.S. drivers love to hit the road. The problem is doing so safely.

    In 2013, 32,894 people in the United States died in motor vehicle crashes. Although down since 2000, the overall death rate — 10.3 per 100,000 people — tops 19 other high-income countries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

    07/21/2016 - 16:00 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Yeasts hide in many lichen partnerships

    The discovery of unknown yeasts hiding in lichens from six continents could shake up a basic idea of what makes up a lichen partnership.

    For more than a century, biologists have described a lichen as a fungus growing intimately with some microbes (algae and/or cyanobacteria) that harvest solar energy. The fungus is treated as so important that its name serves as the name for the whole...

    07/21/2016 - 14:43 Fungi, Microbes, Ecology
  • Science Ticker

    Getting rid of snails is effective at stopping snail fever

    To stop snail fever, control the snails.

    That’s the takeaway of a new study of snail fever, or schistosomiasis, a tropical disease that affects more than 250 million people worldwide. It’s caused by a water-borne parasite that reproduces inside some snails. Parasite larvae burrow through people’s skin and can cause infertility, cognitive problems and even cancer. Today, most countries...

    07/21/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Humans, birds communicate to collaborate

    When asked the right way, a savvy bird species steers African hunter-gatherers to honey. All it takes is a loud trill followed by a grunt that sounds like “brrr-hm.”

    Birds known as greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead hunter-gatherers in Mozambique to honey-rich bees’ nests after hearing humans make this signature call, say evolutionary ecologist Claire Spottiswoode of...

    07/21/2016 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution, Animals