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  • News

    Mosquito flight is unlike that of any other insect

    Mosquitoes take weird insect flight to new heights.

    The buzzing bloodsuckers flap their long wings in narrow strokes really, really fast — more than 800 times per second in males. That’s four times faster than similarly sized insects. “The incredibly high wingbeat frequency of mosquitoes is simply mind-boggling,” says David Lentink, who studies flight at Stanford University.

    ...

    03/29/2017 - 15:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Science Ticker

    Neandertals had an eye for patterns

    Neandertals knew how to kick it up a couple of notches. Between 38,000 and 43,000 years ago, these close evolutionary relatives of humans added two notches to five previous incisions on a raven bone to produce an evenly spaced sequence, researchers say.

    This visually consistent pattern suggests Neandertals either had an eye for pleasing-looking displays or saw some deeper symbolic...

    03/29/2017 - 14:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    Thinning ice creates undersea Arctic greenhouses

    Sea ice skylights formed by warming Arctic temperatures increasingly allow enough sunlight into the waters below to spur phytoplankton blooms, new research suggests. Such conditions, probably a rarity more than two decades ago, now extend to roughly 30 percent of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean during July, researchers report March 29 in Science Advances.

    The microscopic critters need...

    03/29/2017 - 14:00 Oceans, Ecosystems, Climate
  • How Bizarre

    Asteroid in Jupiter's orbit goes its own way

    View the video

    One of Jupiter’s companions is a bit of a nonconformist.

    The gas giant shares its orbit around the sun with a slew of asteroids, but scientists have now discovered one that goes against the flow. It journeys around the solar system in reverse — in the opposite direction of Jupiter and all the other planets. Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is the first object found that orbits in...

    03/29/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Gene editing of human embryos yields early results

    Scientists have long sought a strategy for curing genetic diseases, but — with just a few notable exceptions — have succeeded only in their dreams. Now, though, researchers in China and Texas have taken a step toward making the fantasies a reality for all inherited diseases.

    Using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, the researchers have successfully edited disease-causing...

    03/29/2017 - 11:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Sarcasm looks the same in the brain whether it's words or emoji

    SAN FRANCISCO — Millennials, rejoice: A winking-face emoji is worth a slew of ironic words. The brain interprets irony or sarcasm conveyed by an emoji in the same way as it does verbal banter, researchers reported March 26 in San Francisco at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    Researchers measured brain electrical activity of college students reading sentences ending in...

    03/28/2017 - 18:36 Neuroscience
  • News

    Supermassive black hole gets kicked to the galactic curb

    A black hole weighing more than a billion suns appears to have gotten the boot toward the outer edges of its galaxy.

    Data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories reveal a supermassive black hole zipping away from the center of its galaxy at a 7.5-million-kilometer-per-hour clip. It’s moving so quickly that it could leave the galaxy for good in 20 million years, says Marco...

    03/28/2017 - 15:08 Astronomy
  • For Daily Use

    Spray-on mosquito repellents are more effective than other devices

    Mosquitoes are more than an itchy nuisance. They can carry serious diseases, including Zika, West Nile, yellow fever and chikungunya. Now after testing 11 types of mosquito repellents, researchers say they’ve identified the products most effective at warding off the bloodsuckers.

    Spray-on repellents with DEET or a refined tree extract called oil of lemon eucalyptus are most likely to...

    03/28/2017 - 13:00 Health
  • Growth Curve

    Don’t put greasy Q-tips up your kid’s nose, and other nosebleed advice

    Ever since she was a baby, my older daughter has periodically endured massive nosebleeds. When she was 10 months old, I walked into her room to pick her up after her nap. There, I was greeted with a baby happily standing in what appeared to be a sea of ruby red blood. Her busy little hands had smeared blood all over the crib and wall. The sight haunts me still. 

    My daughter’s very calm...

    03/28/2017 - 07:00 Health, Human Development
  • News in Brief

    Math-anxious brains tackle simple problems differently

    SAN FRANCISCO — When faced with simple math problems, people who get jittery about the subject may rely more heavily on certain brain circuitry than math-savvy people do. The different mental approach could help explain why people with math anxiety struggle on more complicated problems, researchers reported March 25 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    While in fMRI...

    03/27/2017 - 17:33 Neuroscience