News in Brief
MONTREAL — For the first time, scientists have precisely captured a map of the boisterous bang radiating from a lightning strike. The work could reveal the energies involved in powering some of nature’s flashiest light shows.
As electric current rapidly flows from a negatively charged cloud to the ground below, the lightning rapidly heats and...
A zap to the head can stretch the time between intention and action, a new study finds. The results help illuminate how intentions arise in the brain.
The study, published in the May 6 Journal of Neuroscience, “provides fascinating new clues” about the process of internal decision making, says neuroscientist Gabriel...
On a test of visual perception, children with autism perceive moving dots with more clarity than children without the disorder. The results, published in the May 6 Journal of Neuroscience, reveal a way in which children with autism see the world differently.
When asked to determine the overall direction of a mess of...
The 18-year-old had stabbed himself four times in the neck and chest with a pair of scissors. Alone in his dorm room, he had suddenly felt trapped, convinced that the only way to get out was to kill himself.
When he woke up hours later in a pool of blood, the psychedelic trip that had gripped him was waning. Horrified, he managed to call an ambulance. As he recovered, the college student...
Two partial skeletons unearthed in northeastern China have dashed the record for the oldest avian relatives of today's birds.
The remains belonged to a species, Archaeornithura meemannae, that lived 130.7 million years ago — about 6 million years earlier than the previous record holders. Fossil hunters discovered bones of the hummingbird-sized creatures embedded in siltstone...
A century from now, when biologists are playing games of clones and engineers are playing games of drones, physicists will still pledge their loyalty to the Kingdoms of Substance and Force.
Physicists know the subjects of these kingdoms as fermions and bosons. Fermions are the fundamental particles of matter; bosons transmit forces that govern the behavior of the matter particles. The...
The app uses data from the Dawn spacecraft, which orbited the asteroid from July 2011 to September 2012. Users can overlay maps of geology,...
Stretchy nerves help some whales stuff their mouths with fish.
Rorqual whales, which include the behemoth blue whale and the fin whale, have nerves in their tongues and mouths that stretch and recoil like rubber bands,...
A mouse’s optic nerve glows in a rainbow of colors in the micrograph above.
By tweaking an enzyme borrowed from a bacterium, researchers have taken a step closer to creating blood that is safe for transfusing to all people, regardless of their blood type — A, B, AB or O.
Compared with the unaltered enzyme, designated Sp3GH98, the engineered version is 170 times faster at chopping apart certain sugar-based markers found on blood cells,...