Science & the Public
Stormy, with a good chance of cyclones. That’s the forecast for Jupiter’s south pole — a region never seen before but quickly coming into focus with the help of citizen scientists.
Music producer Roman Tkachenko’s edited image of Jupiter’s nether regions (featured above) is a perfect example. His enhancements make the swirling cyclones and white oval storms really pop compared with the...
BOSTON — For a lawn that helps the environment — and doesn’t need to be mowed — look to the ocean. Meadows of underwater seagrass plants might lower levels of harmful bacteria in nearby ocean waters, researchers reported February 16 during a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That could make the whole ecosystem — from corals to...
50 Years Ago
Computers that hear
Computer engineers have dreamed of a machine that would translate speech into something that a vacuum tube or transistor could understand. Now at last, some promising hardware is being developed.... It is still a long way from the kind of science fiction computer that can understand sentences or long speeches. — Science News, March 4, 1967Update
A tsunami’s immense wall of water may not be stoppable. But there may be a way to take the ferocious force of nature down a few notches, using a pair of counterwaves.
If released at the right moment, a type of sound wave known as an acoustic-gravity wave could subdue a tsunami, applied mathematician Usama Kadri of Cardiff University in Wales reports January 23 in Heliyon. These acoustic-...
To some forest creatures, a tree is a home. To scientists, it’s a beacon. A new way of mapping forests from the air by measuring chemical signatures of the tree canopy is revealing previously unrecognized biodiversity.
The swath of tropical forest covering the Peruvian Andes Mountains and the Amazon basin is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. But it’s such a wild and remote...
Are you feeling the pressure of Valentine’s Day and in need of advice on how to find someone special? The animal world has some advice for you.Make sure you look nice.
There’s no need to go for an entire makeover, but looking your best is usually a good idea when on the search for a partner. Male black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys appear to have taken a lesson from Revlon — they go for...
Physical abuse at home doesn’t just leave kids black and blue. It also bruises their ability to learn how to act at school and elsewhere, contributing to abused children’s well-documented behavior problems.
Derailment of a basic form of social learning has, for the first time, been linked to these children’s misbehavior years down the line, psychologist Jamie Hanson of the University of...
The Name Game
Deep beneath coral rubble in reefs off the coast of Guam, there lives a pale, black-eyed crab whose true taxonomic character has long been unknown.
In 2001, amateur researcher Harry Conley discovered the translucent crab burrowing among reef rocks. Eventually, two specimens — each several millimeters long — came to the lab of biologist Peter Ng at the National University of Singapore....
Not one but two rising plumes of magma from deep within the Earth fueled the titanic volcanic eruptions that marked the final days of the dinosaurs, new research suggests. The Deccan eruptions in what is now India, some scientists argue, helped wipe out most animal and plant species around 66 million years ago, including all nonbirdlike dinosaurs.
The geologic source of that volcanism...
Malaria parasites seduce mosquitoes on the sly.
Plasmodium falciparum parasites produce a molecule that makes parasite-infected blood more attractive to malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, researchers report online February 9 in Science. The insects slurp up this enticing meal, helping the parasite spread to new hosts.
“It’s a really intriguing glimpse into how Plasmodium might have...