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  • News

    Mosquito flight is unlike that of any other insect

    Mosquitoes take weird insect flight to new heights.

    The buzzing bloodsuckers flap their long wings in narrow strokes really, really fast — more than 800 times per second in males. That’s four times faster than similarly sized insects. “The incredibly high wingbeat frequency of mosquitoes is simply mind-boggling,” says David Lentink, who studies flight at Stanford University.

    ...

    03/29/2017 - 15:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News

    Distant galaxies lack dark matter, study suggests

    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...

    03/15/2017 - 14:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Science & the Public

    Online reviews can make over-the-counter drugs look way too effective

    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:...

    03/14/2017 - 14:48 Science & Society, Psychology
  • Feature

    Virtual reality has a motion sickness problem

    Tech evangelists predicted that 2016 would be “the year of virtual reality.” And in some ways they were right. Several virtual reality headsets finally hit the commercial market, and millions of people bought one. But as people begin immersing themselves in new realities, a growing number of worrisome reports have surfaced: VR systems can make some users sick.

    Scientists are just...

    03/07/2017 - 06:00 Technology, Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Magnetism helps black holes blow off gas

    Black holes are a bit like babies when they eat: Some food goes in, and some gets flung back out into space. Astronomers now say they understand how these meals become so messy — and it’s a trait all black holes share, no matter their size.

    Magnetic fields drive the turbulent winds that blow gas away from black holes, says Keigo Fukumura, an astrophysicist at James Madison University in...

    03/06/2017 - 11:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Rare triplet of high-energy neutrinos detected from an unknown source

    Three high-energy neutrinos have been spotted traveling in tandem.

    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica detected the trio of lilliputian particles on February 17, 2016. This is the first time the experiment has seen a triplet of neutrinos that all seemed to come from the same place in the sky and within 100 seconds of one another. Researchers report the find February 20 on...

    03/03/2017 - 13:20 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Instead of starving a cancer, researchers go after its defenses

    Like many living things, a cancer cell cannot survive without oxygen. When young and tiny, a malignancy nestles inside a bed of blood vessels that keep it fed. As the mass grows, however, its demand for oxygen outpaces supply. Pockets within the tumor become deprived and send emergency signals for new vessel growth, a process called angiogenesis. In the 1990s, a popular cancer-...

    02/22/2017 - 12:32 Cancer, Cells, Biomedicine
  • News

    Helium’s inertness defied by high-pressure compound

    Helium — the recluse of the periodic table — is reluctant to react with other elements. But squeeze the element hard enough, and it will form a chemical compound with sodium, scientists report.

    Helium, a noble gas, is one of the periodic table’s least reactive elements. Originally, the noble gases were believed incapable of forming any chemical compounds at all. But after scientists...

    02/17/2017 - 09:00 Chemistry
  • The List

    For Ebola patients, a few signs mean treatment’s needed — stat

    A new scorecard, devised by analyzing Ebola patients from the most recent outbreak in West Africa, may help doctors quickly decide who needs additional care to survive the virus in future epidemics.

    In the latest outbreak, which raged in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, 28,616 people were infected with virus and 11,310 people died. Doctors might be able to improve the...

    02/16/2017 - 07:00 Biomedicine
  • Growth Curve

    Birth may not be a major microbe delivery event for babies

    Babies are born germy, and that’s a good thing. Our microbiomes — the microbes that live on and in us — are gaining cred as tiny but powerful keepers of our health.

    As microbes gain scientific stature, some scientists are trying to answer questions about how and when those germs first show up on babies. Birth itself may be an important microbe-delivery event, some researchers suspect. A...

    02/15/2017 - 12:13 Human Development, Health