For Daily Use
Gas concentrations in the gut can reveal secrets about digestive tract health, and may be skewed in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. But sampling gas in breath or stool doesn’t give the most accurate picture of what’s bubbling in the intestines. Australian researchers have designed a swallowable gas-sensing capsule that could someday provide an inside look at the gases in the human...
Florida harvester ants “make a nest that is truly beautiful in its architecture,” says Walter Tschinkel. He has poured molten metal or plaster into the underground nests and dug up the hardened casts to reveal their multilevel shapes. Much about these ant nests, however, defies explanation.
For reasons still unknown,...
50 Years Ago
Soviet TV lands on moon —The first spacecraft to land on the moon without demolishing itself in the process did so on Feb. 3. The Soviet Union sent it, and it proved its feat by sending back photographs of the lunar surface...
Tabby’s star is an oddball.
Branded as a home to an “alien megastructure,” it flickers and dims like an aging lightbulb. Twice, the star’s light plummeted by roughly 20 percent and then quickly rebounded. That was after the star steadily dimmed by about an additional 20 percent between 1890 and 1989, astronomer Brad Schaefer of Louisiana...
Letters to the Editor
Gene drives at the wheel
Tina Hesman Saey discussed the power of a new gene-editing technique to boost the development of gene drives in “Gene drives unleashed” (...
Broad generalizations can provide for powerful rhetoric. Whether discussing a moonshot to cure cancer or the merits of genetically modified foods, the strongest statements lump distinct things together — the dozens of types of cancer, for instance, or the myriad crops that...
Arriving home after work a few summers ago, agricultural economist Matin Qaim found several disturbing messages on his home phone. A study by Qaim had shown that small-scale farmers in India who grew genetically modified cotton had larger harvests compared with conventional cotton growers. Those better yields resulted in greater profits...
Octopus emotions may run skin deep, researchers report January 28 in Current Biology. Changes in octopus skin color primarily function as camouflage, though some evidence points to other purposes.
Biologists from Australia and the United States spied on shallow-water octopuses (...
The lab where a company called General Fusion is trying to spark an energy revolution looks like a cross between a hardware store and a mad scientist’s lair. Bins full of electrical gadgets are piled high against the walls. Capacitors recycled from a bygone experiment are stacked up like bottles in wine racks. Ten-foot-high contraptions bristle with...
First of two (entangled) parts. Read part two.
A couple of weeks before last Halloween, physicists in the Netherlands treated the physics world with experimental proof of what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
It’s not the first time experiments have...