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E.g., 06/29/2016
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  • News in Brief

    Comet 67P carries two ingredients for life: glycine, phosphorus

    Two more of the ingredients for life as we know it have turned up in space, this time from a comet orbiting the sun. While hints of both have been seen in comets before, this is the clearest evidence to date.

    Glycine, the smallest of the 20 amino acids that build proteins, is floating in the tenuous atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, researchers...

    05/27/2016 - 14:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology, Chemistry
  • News

    Schrödinger’s cat now dead and alive in two boxes at once

    Schrödinger’s cat can’t seem to catch a break. The unfortunate imaginary feline is famous for being alive and dead at the same time, as long as it remains hidden inside a box. Scientists have now gone one step further, splitting one living-dead cat between two boxes.

    Animal lovers can relax — there are no actual cats involved. Instead, physicists used microwaves to mimic the cat’s weird...

    05/26/2016 - 14:00 Quantum Physics
  • News

    Climate-cooling aerosols can form from tree vapors

    The cooling effect of pollution may have been exaggerated.

    Fossil fuel burning spews sulfuric acid into the air, where it can form airborne particles that seed clouds and cool Earth’s climate. But that’s not the only way these airborne particles can form, three new studies suggest. Tree vapors can turn into cooling airborne particles, too.

    The discovery means these particles were...

    05/25/2016 - 16:57 Climate, Pollution, Chemistry
  • Science Stats

    The center of Earth is younger than the outer surface

    Our home planet is young at heart. According to new calculations, Earth’s center is more than two years younger than its surface.

    In Einstein’s general theory of relativity, massive objects warp the fabric of spacetime, creating a gravitational pull and slowing time nearby. So a clock placed at Earth’s center will tick ever-so-slightly slower than a clock at its surface. Such time shifts...

    05/23/2016 - 14:33 Physics, Earth
  • News

    Zapping clouds with lasers could tweak planet’s temperature

    Laser blasts might help scientists tweak Earth’s thermostat by shattering the ice crystals found in cirrus clouds.

    Zapping tiny ice particles in the lab forms new, smaller bits of ice, researchers report May 20 in Science Advances. Since clouds with more numerous, smaller ice particles reflect more light, the...

    05/20/2016 - 14:00 Climate, Physics
  • Television

    Stephen Hawking finds the inner genius in ordinary people

    It’s hard to believe that it took reality television this long to get around to dealing with space, time and our place in the cosmos.

    In PBS’ Genius by Stephen Hawking, the physicist sets out to prove that anyone can tackle humankind’s big questions for themselves. Each of the series’ six installments focuses on a...

    05/15/2016 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    Remnants from Earth’s birth linger 4.5 billion years later

    Shaken-but-not-stirred remnants of Earth’s earliest years still exist nearly 4.6 billion years later.

    Researchers traced the shadowy footprints of an isotope that hasn’t existed for over 4.5 billion years to much younger lava rocks from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. That suggests that reservoirs of the ancient...

    05/12/2016 - 14:01 Earth, Chemistry
  • 50 Years Ago

    Early work on human growth hormone paved way for synthetic versions

    Growth hormone mapped — Discovery of the complete chemical structure of the human growth hormone has been reported…. The discovery marks a major advance toward understanding how the powerful growth-promoting substance works and increases...

    05/12/2016 - 11:09 Biomedicine, Chemistry
  • News

    Physicists smash particle imitators

    Physicists of all stripes seem to have one thing in common: They love smashing things together. This time-honored tradition has now been expanded from familiar particles like electrons, protons, and atomic nuclei to quasiparticles, which act like particles, but aren’t.

    Quasiparticles are formed from groups of particles in a solid material that collectively behave like a unified particle...

    05/11/2016 - 13:00 Quantum Physics, Particle Physics
  • News

    Communicating covertly goes quantum

    Coded messages can keep your secrets safe, but you also might prefer to conceal the fact that you’re communicating at all. Now, scientists are working to make even the whispers of top-secret communications completely undetectable by eavesdroppers. And the methods for sending such stealthy dispatches are being extended from ordinary “classical” messages to quantum ones.

    The typical method...

    05/09/2016 - 07:00 Quantum Physics