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  • Screentime

    Help ornithologists develop bird photo ID tool

    If you have a terrific picture of a Tennessee warbler, you can help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology improve its Merlin Bird Photo ID program. Upload your picture and put dots on the beak, eye and tail tip. Then, using patterns in the data, Merlin attempts to identify the bird. The aim is to help Cornell create a mobile device tool for...

    07/28/2015 - 07:00 Animals, Technology
  • News

    Laser light made inside cells

    Biologists often use lasers to probe cells. Now, for the first time, cells have returned fire.

    Harvard University researchers have created intracellular lasers by implanting microscopic beads and oil droplets into animal cells. When energized by an outside laser pulse, an implant traps and amplifies light and then emits a laser pulse of its own. “It’s a wonderful way of coupling optics...

    07/27/2015 - 11:00 Biophysics, Cells, Microbiology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Fossils illustrate evolution of life

    The Story of Life in 25 Fossils
    Donald R. Prothero...

    07/26/2015 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view

    LAUREL, Md. — Alan Stern, head of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, had just three words for the team of scientists and engineers assembled with him on July 14: “We did it.”

    At 8:52:37 p.m. Eastern time, a radio antenna near Madrid received the first signal from the spacecraft since it buzzed the dwarf planet. After decades of planning and a 9....

    07/26/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    Autism’s journey from shadows to light

    ...

    07/25/2015 - 07:00 Science & Society, Mental Health, History of Science
  • News

    Kepler telescope identifies new ‘habitable zone’ planet

    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered a “cousin” of Earth 1,400 light-years away.

    The exoplanet Kepler 452b orbits a sunlike star at about the same distance as Earth orbits the sun, scientists reported at a news conference July 23. The discovery is the first confirmed planet among 500 candidates newly identified by the...

    07/23/2015 - 16:25 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • 50 Years Ago

    First craters on Mars spotted 50 years ago

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    Craters found on Mars — Astronomers are speculating whether the surfaces of other bodies in the solar system, besides Earth’s moon and Mars, are covered with craters from meteorite strikes...

    07/23/2015 - 16:05 Planetary Science
  • News

    Museum fossil links snakes to lizards

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    The worldwide hunt for a fossil link between snakes and lizards has succeeded — in a museum.

    The fossil, of a four-legged snake, hints that the ancestors of modern-day snakes may have evolved on land rather than at sea, researchers report in the July 24 Science. It’s the first four-legged snake fossil ever discovered, bridging the...

    07/23/2015 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • Culture Beaker

    Microbes may be a forensic tool for time of death

    There is life after death. And it’s kind of gross.

    For most of us, death means life (as we know it) is over, kaput, finis. Whatever we believe about a continued existence metaphysically, when we die, our body’s time on Earth comes to an end. But for the microbes living within us, time marches on. And if you are a microbial ecologist, that’s when things get interesting.

    “Once your...

    07/22/2015 - 11:30 Science & Society, Microbiology
  • News

    Research teams duel over Native American origins

    A previously hidden genetic link between native peoples in Australia and the Amazon has inspired two different teams of researchers to reach competing conclusions about the origins of Native Americans.

    One team analyzing modern genetic data finds evidence that at least two ancestral populations gave rise to Native Americans. Another team, analyzing DNA from present-day and ancient...

    07/21/2015 - 13:00 Genetics, Ancestry