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  • Science Ticker

    Widespread coral bleaching threatens world’s reefs

    Corals across the globe are experiencing widespread bleaching from high ocean temperatures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states in its latest Coral Watch Report. Stressful conditions in the Pacific and Caribbean...

    10/08/2015 - 16:57 Oceans, Animals, Ecosystems
  • Editor's Note

    General relativity centennial celebrates Einstein’s genius

    eva headshotEinstein is shorthand for genius, and describing everything Albert Einstein did to inspire that synonym would take a book, or multiple books (see...

    10/07/2015 - 11:40 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Special Report: Gravity’s Century

    In 1915, the universe was small and static. Space was smooth. Gravity pulled things to the ground. At least that’s the way it was in the minds of all but one exceptional physicist — Albert Einstein.

    After years of pondering the interplay of space, time, matter and gravity, Einstein produced, in a single month, an utter transformation of science’s conception of the cosmos: the general...

    10/07/2015 - 11:27 Science & Society, Cosmology, Astronomy, Physics
  • Feature

    Entanglement: Gravity's long-distance connection

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    When Albert Einstein scoffed at a “spooky” long-distance connection between particles, he wasn’t thinking about his general theory of relativity.

    Einstein’s century-old theory describes how gravity emerges when massive objects warp the fabric of space and time. Quantum entanglement, the spooky source of Einstein’s dismay, typically concerns tiny...

    10/07/2015 - 10:42 Quantum Physics, Physics
  • Science Visualized

    Neurological condition probably caused medieval scribe’s shaky handwriting

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    Scribes usually have pretty good handwriting. That’s not the case for one prolific 13th century writer known to scholars only as the Tremulous Hand of Worcester. Now scientists suggest the writer suffered from a neurological condition called essential tremor. Neurologist Jane Alty and historical handwriting researcher Deborah Thorpe, both of the...

    10/06/2015 - 16:03 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Using general relativity to magnify the cosmos

    One of the most powerful known magnifying lenses isn’t found on Earth. The lens is built from stars, gas and dark matter and lies about 4 billion light-years away. As astronomers peer through it, they are finding the seeds of galaxies that were scattered around the universe more than 13 billion years ago.

    The lens is known as Abell 2744, a cosmic pileup where four groups of galaxies are...

    10/06/2015 - 12:38 Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    Chimpanzees show surprising flexibility on two feet

    Chimpanzees don’t strut. But their surprisingly flexible two-legged stride suggests that, more than 3 million years ago, members of the human evolutionary family walked pretty well, a new study concludes.

    Chimps rotate their upper bodies about as much as people do while walking, thus countering the force of their swinging hips, say paleoanthropologist Nathan Thompson of Stony Brook...

    10/06/2015 - 11:00 Human Evolution, Anthropology, Animals
  • It's Alive

    What really changes when a male vole settles down

    Bachelor prairie voles can’t tell females of their species apart. Yet the clueless fellows can change, forming pair-bonds for life with the opposite sex and even distinguishing between two female strangers. 

    Bachelors aren’t blind or stupid; they recognize individual males among their fellow short-tailed Microtus ochrogaster rodents scurrying through old fields in the center of...

    10/05/2015 - 15:28 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Stinky seeds dupe dung beetles

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    Poop-imitating seeds trick dung beetles into doing the dirty work.  

    The bumpy, brown seeds of the Ceratocaryum argenteum plant look like herbivore droppings— and smell like them, too. The seeds, native to South Africa, release aromatic gases similar to those from the...

    10/05/2015 - 11:00 Plants, Animals
  • Reviews & Previews

    Centennial books illuminate Einstein’s greatest triumph

    You don’t need an anniversary as an excuse to write a book about Albert Einstein. But the centennial of his general theory of relativity has nonetheless provided an occasion for several new entries in the Einstein library. And even though general relativity — Einstein’s theory of gravity — has been thoroughly explored many times, some 2015 publications do offer new twists and insights.


    10/04/2015 - 07:00 History of Science, Science & Society, Physics, Cosmology