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E.g., 11/18/2017
E.g., 11/18/2017
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  • Arecibo observatory and radio telescope
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  • Science Ticker

    The Arecibo Observatory will remain open, NSF says

    The iconic Arecibo Observatory has survived a hurricane and dodged deep budget cuts. On November 16, the National Science Foundation, which funds the bulk of the observatory’s operating costs, announced that they would continue funding the radio telescope at a reduced level.

    It’s not clear yet who will manage the observatory in the long run, or where the rest of the funding will come...

    11/17/2017 - 15:15 Astronomy
  • News

    Skeletons could provide clues to who wrote or protected the Dead Sea Scrolls

    BOSTON — A decades-long debate over who once occupied a settlement located near the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found has taken a chaste turn.

    Analyses of 33 newly excavated skeletons of people buried at the West Bank site, Qumran, supports a view that the community consisted of a religious sect of celibate men. Anthropologist Yossi Nagar of the Israel Antiquities Authority in...

    11/17/2017 - 14:05 Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    The key to breaking down plastic may be in caterpillars’ guts

    MINNEAPOLIS — To destroy plastic, caterpillars go with their gut bacteria.

    Caterpillars that nibble through polyethylene plastic cultivate a diverse community of digestive bacteria that process the plastic, researchers reported November 13 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America. Dousing old plastic in a similar mix of bacteria might...

    11/17/2017 - 13:12 Animals, Pollution
  • Science Visualized

    Fluorescence could help diagnose sick corals

    Sickness makes some corals lose their glow.

    Disease reduces a coral’s overall fluorescence even before any sign of the infection is visible to the naked eye, a new study finds. An imaging technique that illuminates the change could help with efforts to better monitor coral health, researchers report November 6 in Scientific Reports.

    Many corals naturally produce fluorescent...

    11/17/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Technology, Conservation
  • News

    Current CRISPR gene drives are too strong for outdoor use, studies warn

    Gene-editing tools heralded as hope for fighting invader rats, malarial mosquitoes and other scourges may be too powerful to use in their current form, two new papers warn.

    Standard forms of CRISPR gene drives, as the tools are called, can make tweaked DNA race through a population so easily that a small number of stray animals or plants could spread it to new territory, predicts a...

    11/16/2017 - 15:00 Genetics, Conservation
  • News

    Excess antielectrons aren’t from nearby dead stars, study says

    New observations of the whirling cores of dead stars have deepened the mystery behind a glut of antimatter particles raining down on Earth from space.

    The particles are antielectrons, also known as positrons, and could be a sign of dark matter — the exotic and unidentified culprit that makes up the bulk of the universe’s mass. But more mundane explanations are also plausible: Positrons...

    11/16/2017 - 14:19 Particle Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Colliding black holes are reported for a fifth time

    Spacetime ripples from black holes are becoming routine.

    For a fifth time, scientists have reported the detection of two colliding black holes via their gravitational waves, tiny vibrations that warp the fabric of spacetime. Unlike previous gravitational wave detections, which were heralded with news conferences often featuring panels of scientists squinting at journalists under bright...

    11/16/2017 - 11:40 Physics, Astronomy
  • 50 years ago, artificial limbs weren’t nearly as responsive

    Electric limbs

    Very subtle control of artificial limbs by means of a tiny electronic device may become possible.… [The] electronic device … [is] designed to be injected into a muscle through a thick hypodermic needle. A tiny package strapped to the outside of the limb will beam radio waves at the device, which will return them, modified by the electric current produced in the muscle. — ...

    11/16/2017 - 08:00 Technology, Neuroscience
  • News

    Study casts doubt on whether adult brain’s memory-forming region makes new cells

    In stark contrast to earlier findings, adults do not produce new nerve cells in a brain area important to memory and navigation, scientists conclude after scrutinizing 54 human brains spanning the age spectrum.

    The finding is preliminary. But if confirmed, it would overturn the widely accepted and potentially powerful idea that in people, the memory-related hippocampus constantly churns...

    11/16/2017 - 06:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    How dad’s stress changes his sperm

    Sperm from stressed-out dads can carry that stress from one generation to another. “But one question that really hasn’t been addressed is, ‘How do dad’s experiences actually change his germ cell?’” Jennifer Chan, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said November 13 in Washington, D.C., at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Now, from a study in mice...

    11/15/2017 - 15:30 Health, Development