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E.g., 11/14/2018
E.g., 11/14/2018
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Your search has returned 447 articles:
  • News

    Virtual avatars learned cartwheels and other stunts from videos of people

    Animated characters can learn from online tutorials, too.

    A new computer program teaches virtual avatars new skills, such as dances, acrobatic stunts and martial art moves, from YouTube videos. This kind of system, described in the November ACM Transactions on Graphics, could render more physically coordinated characters for movies and video games, or serve as a virtual training ground...

    11/05/2018 - 14:09 Computing, Technology
  • News

    The Milky Way feasted on a smaller galaxy 10 billion years ago

    In its younger days, the Milky Way devoured a smaller galaxy, and stars from the hapless victim still roam the skies today to tell the tale, a new study finds.

    “This is a major event in the history of the galaxy,” says astronomer Amina Helmi of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “We’re really starting to probe the ancestors of the Milky Way.”

    Helmi and her colleagues...

    11/01/2018 - 13:54 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Virtual reality therapy has real-life benefits for some mental disorders

    Edwin adjusted his headset and gripped the game controller in both hands. He swallowed hard. The man had good reason to be nervous. He was about to enter a virtual environment tailor-made to get his heart pumping way more than any action-packed video game: a coffee shop full of people.

    Determined to overcome his persistent fear that other people want to hurt him, Edwin had enrolled in a...

    11/01/2018 - 08:24 Technology, Mental Health
  • News in Brief

    A new robot decides how and when to transform to get the job done

    A robot made of several smaller robotic pieces can autonomously transform its body into shapes best suited for a particular task. 

    The bot primarily consists of wheeled, cubic “modules” that link up with one another using magnets, forming a small assortment of body types reminiscent of cars or snakes. The brains of the operation reside in a specialized module equipped with cameras and a...

    10/31/2018 - 14:00 Robotics, Technology
  • News

    How roaches fight off wasps that turn their victims into zombies

    Real-life fights against zombie-makers offer plenty of tips for avoiding undeath. Just ask cockroaches, targets of the emerald jewel wasp.

    The female wasps (Ampulex compressa) specialize in attacking the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). If a wasp succeeds, she leads away an unprotesting roach like a dog on a leash just by tugging at a roach antenna. Then she lays an egg on the...

    10/31/2018 - 03:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Science Visualized

    Dandelion seeds create a bizarre whirlpool in the air to fly

    When you’re essentially a little ball of floof, flying is hard.

    To ride the wind, dandelion seeds stir up a weird type of whirlpool in the air directly above them. The newly discovered way of moving through the air, described October 17 in Nature, resolves a long-standing question about how the seeds stay aloft.

    Dandelion seed flight is not unlike the flight of Mary Poppins:...

    10/17/2018 - 13:00 Biophysics, Plants
  • It's Alive

    How nectar bats fly nowhere

    Flying forward is hard enough, but flying nowhere, just hovering, is so much harder. Most bats and birds can manage the feat for only a few frantic seconds.

    Hovering means losing a useful aerodynamic shortcut, says aerospace engineer and biologist David Lentink of Stanford University. As a bat or bird flies forward, its body movement sends air flowing around the wings and providing some...

    10/15/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Film

    The Neil Armstrong biopic ‘First Man’ captures early spaceflight's terror

    First Man is not a movie about the moon landing.

    The Neil Armstrong biopic, opening October 12, follows about eight years of the life of the first man on the moon, and spends about eight minutes depicting the lunar surface. Instead of the triumphant ticker tape parades that characterize many movies about the space race, First Man focuses on the terror, grief and heartache that led to...

    10/12/2018 - 15:45 Astronomy, History of Science, Science & Society
  • Science Visualized

    See these dazzling images of a growing mouse embryo

    A new microscope is giving researchers an unprecedented view of how mammals are built, cell by cell.

    Light sheet microscopes use ultrathin laser beams to illuminate sections of a specimen while cameras record those lit-up sections. Previous iterations of the device have captured detailed portraits of living zebra fish and fruit fly embryos as they develop. Kate McDole, a developmental...

    10/11/2018 - 11:00 Cells, Development, Animals
  • News

    Lemur study suggests why some fruits smell so fruity

    It’s a lovely notion, but tricky to prove. Still, lemurs sniffing around wild fruits in Madagascar are bolstering the idea that animal noses contributed to the evolution of aromas of fruity ripeness.

    The idea sounds simple, says evolutionary ecologist Omer Nevo of the University of Ulm in Germany. Plants can use mouth-watering scents to lure animals to eat fruits, and thus spread around...

    10/03/2018 - 14:12 Evolution, Plants, Animals