Planetary collision that formed the moon made life possible on Earth
Most of Earth's life-essential elements probably arrived with the planetary collision that produced the moon. Petrologists now conclude Earth most likely received the bulk of its carbon, nitrogen and other life-essential volatile elements from a collision with a Mars-sized planet more than 4.4 billion years ago.
Researchers Recreate Famous Draupner Freak Wave in Lab for First Time
Freak waves are so called because of their unexpectedly large size relative to the population of smaller waves in which they occur. The 84-foot- (25.6 m) high Draupner wave, observed in the North Sea on the 1st of January 1995, was one of the first confirmed field measurements of a freak wave. Now, a team [...]
Birth of massive black holes in the early universe
The light released from around the first massive black holes in the universe is so intense that it is able to reach telescopes across the entire expanse of the universe. Incredibly, the light from the most distant black holes (or quasars) has been traveling to us for more than 13 billion light years. However, we do not know how these monster black holes formed.
CRISPR/Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in mice
Using active genetics technology, biologists have developed the world's first CRISPR/Cas9-based approach to control genetic inheritance in a mammal. The achievement in mice lays the groundwork for further advances based on this technology, including biomedical research on human disease. Future animal models may be possible of complex human genetic diseases, like arthritis and cancer, which are not currently possible.
Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients
A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones.
Scientists reconstruct ancient lost plates under Andes mountains
Geologists demonstrate the reconstruction of the subduction of the Nazca Ocean plate, the remnants of which are currently found down to 1,500 kilometers, or about 900 miles, below the Earth's surface. Their results show that the formation of the Andean mountain range was more complicated than previous models suggested.
New water splitting catalyst could make it easier to generate solar fuel
Water splitting, the process of harvesting solar energy to generate energy-dense fuels, could be simplified thanks to new research.
In surprising reversal, scientists find a cellular process that stops cancer before it starts
Scientists studying the relationship of telomeres to cancer made a surprising discovery: a cellular recycling process called autophagy -- generally thought of as a survival mechanism -- actually promotes the death of cells, thereby preventing cancer initiation.
Climate change tipping point could be coming sooner than we think
A new study confirms the urgency to tackle climate change. While it's known that extreme weather events can affect the year-to-year variability in carbon uptake, and some researchers have suggested that there may be longer-term effects, this study is the first to actually quantify the effects through the 21st century and demonstrates that wetter-than-normal years do not compensate for losses in carbon uptake during dryer-than-normal years, caused by events such as droughts or heatwaves.
Feeling groovy: Neurons integrate better with muscle grown on grooved platforms
Growing muscle tissue on grooved platforms helps neurons more effectively integrate with the muscle, a requirement for engineering muscle in the lab that responds and functions like muscle in the body, researchers found in a new study. Such engineered muscle with integrated nerves has applications in reconstructive and rehabilitative medicine, as well as for engineered biological machines or robots.
Forest soils need many decades to recover from fires and logging
Researchers have found that forest soils need several decades to recover from bushfires and logging -- much longer than previously thought.
Unique form of chronic sinusitis in older patients
Older patients with a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis -- a disease of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses that often persists over many years -- have a unique inflammatory signature that may render them less responsive to steroid treatment, according to a new study.
Can you pick an MMA winner by studying fighters' faces?
With the UFC set to appear in Prague for the first time this February 23rd, Czech researchers have been getting into the fighting spirit. Participants were unable to predict fighters' MMA score based on 360 degree headshots -- but their face-based favorites tended to have higher anaerobic performance
Star material could be building block of life
An organic molecule detected in the material from which a star forms could shed light on how life emerged on Earth.
Protein engineering extends the language of immune cells
Small infections can be fatal: Millions of people die each year from sepsis, an overreaction of the immune system. A new immune signaling molecule now provides the basis for potential new approaches in sepsis therapy.
Shedding light on Saturn's moon Titan's mysterious atmosphere
A new study tackles one of the greatest mysteries about Titan, one of Saturn's moons: the origin of its thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The study posits that one key to Titan's mysterious atmosphere is the 'cooking' of organic material in the moon's interior.
An icy forecast for ringed seal populations
Scientists have already observed and predicted that high ringed seal pup mortality rates are linked to poor environmental conditions like early ice breakup and low snow. Researchers have now gone a step further by coupling these hypotheses with forecasts of future spring snow and ice conditions, developing a mathematical model, and following it to some stark conclusions for populations off the Amundsen Gulf and Prince Albert Sound in Canada.
Plants can smell, now researchers know how
Plants don't need noses to smell. The ability is in their genes. Researchers have discovered the first steps of how information from odor molecules changes gene expression in plants. Manipulating plants' odor detection systems may lead to new ways of influencing plant behavior.
3D-printed soft mesh robots
Researchers have created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them the potential to be useful as soft robots that mimic creatures living on water surfaces or that can serve as tissue scaffolds for cell cultures.
Copy cats: When is a bobcat not a bobcat?
Biologists, who have publicly solicited images of wild cats for their research, have answered that question. Their recently published study explains how hard it can be when it comes to wildlife classification -- even experts have difficulty agreeing on whether a cat in a picture is a bobcat or a lynx.
Top science news
3 Newborn Endangered Right Whales Seen After Year With No Births
The sighting this winter of newborn whales off the coasts of Florida and Georgia is being greeted with mild optimism, as the North Atlantic population has dwindled.