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  • News

    New Horizons shows Ultima Thule looks like a snowman, or maybe BB-8

    The results are in: Ultima Thule, the distant Kuiper Belt object that got a close visit from the New Horizons spacecraft on New Year’s Day, looks like two balls stuck together.

    “What you are seeing is the first contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft, two separate objects that are now joined together,” principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder...

    01/02/2019 - 17:42 Planetary Science
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    12/18/2018 - 13:25
  • Science Visualized

    Erosion has erased most of Earth’s impact craters. Here are the survivors

    When it comes to impact craters, Earth is the pauper of the solar system.

    Even with a recent, still-to-be-confirmed crater discovery under Greenland’s ice, there are fewer than 200 known impact craters on the planet. Mars, for comparison, has hundreds of thousands.

    Produced by falling space rocks, most impact craters on Earth have been wiped away over time by wind, rain, shifting...

    12/18/2018 - 06:00 Earth
  • Year in Review

    News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm

    A Chinese scientist surprised the world in late November by claiming he had created the first gene-edited babies, who at the time of the announcement were a few weeks old. Scientists and ethicists quickly responded with outrage.

    In an interview with the Associated Press and in a video posted November 25, Jiankui He announced that twin girls with a gene altered to reduce the risk of...

    12/17/2018 - 08:34 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows

    WASHINGTON – A months-long heat wave that scorched the Tasman Sea beginning in November of 2017 is the latest example of an extreme event that would not have happened without human-caused climate change.

    Climate change also increased the likelihood of 15 other extreme weather events in 2017, from droughts in East Africa and the U.S. northern Plains states to floods in Bangladesh, China...

    12/11/2018 - 10:41 Climate
  • News

    The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends his work but fails to quell controversy

    A Chinese researcher who helped create the world’s first gene-edited babies publicly disclosed details of the work for the first time to an international audience of scientists and ethicists, and revealed that another gene-edited baby is due next year.

    Lulu and Nana, twin girls whose DNA was edited with CRISPR/Cas9 to disable the CCR5 gene involved in HIV infections, may soon be joined...

    11/28/2018 - 15:54 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    Chinese scientists raise ethical questions with first gene-edited babies

    A Chinese scientist’s surprise announcement on the eve of an international human gene-editing summit that he has already created the world’s first gene-edited babies has led to swift condemnation.

    Jiankui He is expected to discuss his work November 28 in Hong Kong at the second International Summit on Human Genome Editing. But in an interview with the Associated Press, and in a video...

    11/27/2018 - 17:51 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Engineers are plugging holes in drinking water treatment

    Off a gravel road at the edge of a college campus — next door to the town’s holding pen for stray dogs — is a busy test site for the newest technologies in drinking water treatment.

    In the large shed-turned-laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst engineer David Reckhow has started a movement. More people want to use his lab to test new water treatment technologies than the...

    11/25/2018 - 06:00 Pollution, Health
  • News

    Lyme and other tickborne diseases are on the rise in the U.S. Here’s what that means.

    There’s no sign that ticks are backing down.

    A record high of 59,349 cases of tickborne diseases were reported in 2017 in the United States. That’s a 22 percent increase in cases — or roughly 11,000 more — than were reported in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on November 14.

    Lyme disease accounted for most of the reported diseases, with nearly 43,000...

    11/15/2018 - 16:58 Health
  • News

    A massive crater hides beneath Greenland’s ice

    There’s something big lurking beneath Greenland’s ice. Using airborne ice-penetrating radar, scientists have discovered a 31-kilometer-wide crater — larger than the city of Paris — buried under as much as 930 meters of ice in northwest Greenland.

    The meteorite that slammed into Earth and formed the pit would have been about 1.5 kilometers across, researchers say. That’s large enough to...

    11/14/2018 - 14:00 Earth, Climate