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...
Pluto is a planet. It always has been, and it always will be, says Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Now he just has to convince the world of that.
For centuries, the word planet meant “wanderer” and included the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Eventually the moon and sun were dropped from the definition, but Pluto was included, after its...
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This rainbow pinwheel of mouse placentas isn’t just an eye-catching, award-winning image. The differences in color also provide researchers with new clues to how a mother’s immune system may affect her or her baby’s health during pregnancy. The work could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication.
Aside from being adorable, sea otters and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins share an ecological feat: Both species use tools. Otters crack open snails with rocks, and dolphins carry cone-shaped sponges to protect their snouts while scavenging for rock dwelling fish.
Researchers have linked tool use in dolphins to a set of differences in mitochondrial DNA — which passes from mother to...
News in Brief
NEW ORLEANS — In a primordial soup on ancient Earth, droplets of chemicals may have paved the way for the first cells. Shape-shifting droplets split, grow and split again in new computer simulations. The result indicates that simple chemical blobs can exhibit replication, one of the most basic properties of life, physicist Rabea Seyboldt of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex...
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The ZooIsobel CharmanPegasus$27.95
When Tommy the chimpanzee first came to London’s zoo in the fall of 1835, he was dressed in an old white shirt.
Keepers gave him a new frock and a sailor hat and set him up in a cozy spot in the kitchen to weather the winter. Visitors flocked to get a look at the little ape roaming around the keepers’ lodge, curled up in the cook’s lap or tugging...
Huge cuts could be in store for federal science spending if President Donald Trump’s vision for fiscal year 2018 becomes reality.
Although details are skimpy, Trump’s $1.15 trillion budget proposal, released March 16, would make national security the top priority. The budget blueprint calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending for 2018, offset by an equally big reduction in...
Not all of the newborn Earth’s surface has been lost to time. Transformed bits of this rocky material remain embedded in the hearts of continents, new research suggests. These lingering remnants hint that full-fledged plate tectonics, the movements of large plates of Earth’s outer shell, began relatively late in the planet’s history, researchers report in the March 17 Science.
Very distant galaxies have surprisingly little dark matter, the invisible stuff thought to make up the bulk of matter in the universe, new observations suggest.
Stars in the outer regions of some far-off galaxies move more slowly than stars closer to the center, indicating a lack of dark matter, astronomer Reinhard Genzel and colleagues report online March 15 in Nature. If confirmed, the...
Science & the Public
Here’s one good reason why people often take medications and use health products that don’t live up to expectations or just don’t work — digital word of mouth.
The reviews can be glowing. Take this scuttlebutt about a cholesterol treatment: “I have been using this product for 2 years. Within the first 3 – 4 months my cholesterol was down 30 points. Just got cholesterol tested last week:...