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  • Year in Review

    Neutrino discovery launched a new type of astronomy

    Mysterious particles called neutrinos constantly barrel down on Earth from space. No one has known where, exactly, the highest-energy neutrinos come from. This year, scientists finally put a finger on one likely source: a brilliant cosmic beacon called a blazar. The discovery could kick-start a new field of astronomy that combines information gleaned from neutrinos and light.

    It...

    12/17/2018 - 08:29 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Engineers are plugging holes in drinking water treatment

    Off a gravel road at the edge of a college campus — next door to the town’s holding pen for stray dogs — is a busy test site for the newest technologies in drinking water treatment.

    In the large shed-turned-laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst engineer David Reckhow has started a movement. More people want to use his lab to test new water treatment technologies than the...

    11/25/2018 - 06:00 Pollution, Health
  • News

    Sound-absorbent wings and fur help some moths evade bats

    Some moths aren’t so easy for bats to detect.

    The cabbage tree emperor moth has wings with tiny scales that absorb sound waves sent out by bats searching for food. That absorption reduces the echoes that bounce back to bats, allowing Bunaea alcinoe to avoid being so noticeable to the nocturnal predators, researchers report online November 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    11/14/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Teens born from assisted pregnancies may have higher blood pressure

    Assisted pregnancies give infertile couples the chance at a child. But kids conceived with reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, or IVF, were more likely to develop high blood pressure as adolescents than their naturally conceived counterparts, a new study finds.  

    Of 52 teens conceived with technological help, eight had hypertension, defined as blood pressure...

    09/05/2018 - 06:00 Health, Development, Epigenetics
  • News

    Google Glass could help children with autism socialize with others

    Google Glass may have failed as a high-tech fashion trend, but it’s showing promise as a tool to help children with autism better navigate social situations.

    A new smartphone app that pairs with a Google Glass headset uses facial recognition software to give the wearer real-time updates on which emotions people are expressing. In a pilot trial, described online August 2 in npj Digital...

    08/02/2018 - 05:00 Mental Health, Technology
  • Feature

    People are bad at spotting fake news. Can computer programs do better?

    Scrolling through a news feed often feels like playing Two Truths and a Lie.

    Some falsehoods are easy to spot. Like reports that First Lady Melania Trump wanted an exorcist to cleanse the White House of Obama-era demons, or that an Ohio school principal was arrested for defecating in front of a student assembly. In other cases, fiction blends a little too well with fact. Was CNN really...

    07/26/2018 - 13:30 Science & Society, Technology
  • News

    A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace

    A zippy little particle has been traced back to its cosmic stomping grounds, a flaring galaxy 4 billion light-years away, for the first time solving a cosmic whodunit.

    Scientists have long puzzled over the sources of high-energy particles from space, which batter the Earth at energies that can outstrip the world’s most advanced particle accelerators. Now, physicists have identified the...

    07/12/2018 - 11:00 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    A 2,200-year-old Chinese tomb held a new gibbon species, now extinct

    A royal crypt from China’s past has issued a conservation alert for apes currently eking out an existence in East Asia.

    The partial remains of a gibbon were discovered in 2004 in an excavation of a 2,200- to 2,300-year-old tomb in central China’s Shaanxi Province. Now, detailed comparisons of the animal’s face and teeth with those of living gibbons show that the buried ape is from a...

    06/21/2018 - 14:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    With this new system, robots can ‘read’ your mind

    Getting robots to do what we want would be a lot easier if they could read our minds.

    That sci-fi dream might not be so far off. With a new robot control system, a human can stop a bot from making a mistake and get the machine back on track using brain waves and simple hand gestures. People who oversee robots in factories, homes or hospitals could use this setup, to be presented at the...

    06/20/2018 - 00:00 Robotics, Technology
  • News

    Phone apps are helping scientists track suicidal thoughts in real time

    Suicide research is undergoing a timing shift, and not a moment too soon. A new breed of studies that track daily — and even hourly — changes in suicidal thinking is providing intriguing, although still preliminary, insights into how to identify those on the verge of trying to kill themselves.

    Monitoring ways in which suicidal thoughts wax and wane over brief time periods, it turns out,...

    06/18/2018 - 09:00 Psychology, Mental Health