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  • News in Brief

    Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

    Physicist Stephen Hawking, a black hole whisperer who divined secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects, died March 14 at age 76. In addition to his scientific research, Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, was known for his popular science books, including the best-selling A Brief History of Time, which captivated readers with lucid explanations of the universe’s...

    03/14/2018 - 10:06 Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    Newer drugs make hepatitis C-positive kidneys safe for transplant

    People who received kidneys from donors infected with hepatitis C did not become ill with the virus, thanks to treatment with newer drugs that can cure the disease, a small study reports.

    Ten patients not previously infected with hepatitis C took doses of powerful antiviral medications before and after receiving the transplants. None of the patients developed chronic infections,...

    03/08/2018 - 15:30 Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Diamonds reveal sign of the deepest water known inside Earth

    Deep within the hot interior of the planet, ice lurks. Now, a form of super-compact ice, found embedded in diamonds, offers the first direct clue that there is abundant water more than 610 kilometers deep in the mantle.

    This ice, identified by its crystal structure and called ice-VII, doesn’t exist at Earth’s surface. It forms only at pressures greater than about 24 gigapascals —...

    03/08/2018 - 14:22 Earth
  • 50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

    The strangest signals reaching Earth

    The search for neutron stars has intensified because of a relatively small area, low in the northern midnight sky, from which the strangest radio signals yet received on Earth are being detected. If the signals come from a star, the source broadcasting the radio waves is very likely the first neutron star ever detected. — Science News, March 16,...

    03/08/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Early land plants led to the rise of mud

    Early plants made Earth muddier. Ancient riverbed deposits of mud rock — rocks containing bits of clay and silt smaller than grains of sand — began increasing around 458 million years ago, around the time that rootless plants became common across Earth, researchers say.

    Anecdotally, geologists have long noted that early sediment deposits became muddier at some point, and suggested a...

    03/01/2018 - 16:19 Earth, Plants
  • Science Ticker

    Watch an experimental space shield shred a speeding bullet

    View the video

    Engineers are taking a counterintuitive approach to protecting future spacecraft: shooting at their experiments. The image above and high-speed video below capture a 2.8-millimeter aluminum bullet plowing through a test material for a space shield at 7 kilometers per second. The work is an effort to find structures that could stand up to the impact of space debris.


    02/27/2018 - 15:45 Astronomy, Materials
  • 50 years ago, early organ transplants brought triumph and tragedy

    Kidneys lead the field

    While the drama of human heart transplants has grasped the public interest, kidney transplants are ahead in the field…. Although only three little girls are now surviving liver transplants, the liver is a promising field for replacement…. The donor, of course, must be dead; no one can live without his liver. — Science News, March 2, 1968



    02/22/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • Mystery Solved

    Mix of metals in this Picasso sculpture provides clues to its mysterious origins

    AUSTIN, Texas — An analysis of the metals in dozens of Picasso’s bronze sculptures has traced the birthplace of a handful of the works of art to the outskirts of German-occupied Paris during World War II.

    This is the first time that the raw materials of Picasso’s sculptures have been scrutinized in detail, conservation scientist Francesca Casadio of the Art Institute of Chicago said...

    02/19/2018 - 06:00 Technology, Science & Society
  • News

    Americans would welcome alien life rather than fear it

    AUSTIN, Texas — If alien microbes crash-land on Earth, they may get a warm welcome.

    When people were asked how they would react to the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life, they give generally positive responses, researchers reported at a news conference February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    This suggests that if...

    02/16/2018 - 17:00 Astrobiology, Microbiology, Science & Society
  • News

    Look to penguins to track Antarctic changes

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Penguins preserve records of Antarctic environmental change. The birds’ feathers and eggshells contain the chemical fingerprints of variations in diet, food web structure and even climate, researchers reported February 12 at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

    The Antarctic environment has changed dramatically in recent decades. Overfishing has...

    02/14/2018 - 17:16 Climate, Animals