Science

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine about the passing of Rona Ramon, widow of Ilan Ramon: [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Bettina Inclán has been named by Administrator Jim Bridenstine to be NASA's Associate Administrator for Communications. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on firmly establishing the groundwork to send Americans back to the Moon sustainably, with plans to use the agency's lunar experience to prepare to send astronauts to Mars. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Engineers built a tank identical to the Space Launch System tank that will be flown on Exploration Mission-1, the first flight of Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft for testing. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
For most of human history, we mortals have dreamed of taking to the skies. Then, 115 years ago on on December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the impossbile. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

A series of new CubeSats now are in space, conducting a variety of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations, following launch Sunday of Rocket Lab's first mission for NASA under a Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

This week's Carnival of Space is hosted by Brian Wang at his Next Big Future blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #591 And if you're interested in looking back, here's an archive to all the past Carnivals of Space. If you've got a space-related blog, you should really join the carnival. Just email an entry … Continue reading "Carnival of Space #591" The post Carnival of Space #591 appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier ) Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org) Announcements: Want to support CosmoQuest? Here are specific ways you can help: * Donate! (Streamlabs link) https://streamlabs.com/cosmoquestx * Donate and challenge your friends to donate too! (Tiltify … Continue reading "Weekly Space Hangout: Dec 19, 2018: News Roundup" The post Weekly Space Hangout: Dec 19, 2018: News Roundup appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Scientists have known for some time that Earth's atmosphere loses several hundred tons of oxygen each day. They understand how this oxygen loss happens on Earth's night side, but they're not sure how it happens on the day side. They do know one thing though; they happen during auroras. According to a press release from … Continue reading "Did You Know that the Earth Loses Several Hundred Tons of Atmosphere to Space Every Day?" The post Did You Know that the Earth Loses Several Hundred Tons of Atmosphere to Space Every Day? appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Located in the Pisces constellation, roughly 30 million light years from Earth, is the spiral galaxy known as Messier 74 (aka. the "Phantom Galaxy"). The post Messier 74 – the NGC 628 Spiral Galaxy appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Astronomers have discovered a distant body that's more than 100 times farther from the Sun than Earth is. Its provisional designation is 2018 VG18, but they've nicknamed the planet “Farout.” Farout is the most distant body ever observed in our Solar System, at 120 astronomical units (AU) away. The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center … Continue reading "Just discovered! “Farout”, the Farthest Object Ever Seen in the Solar System" The post Just discovered! “Farout”, the Farthest Object Ever Seen in the Solar System appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A new survey by an ALMA collaboration has resulted in stunning images of 20 nearby protoplanetary disks, which shows the process of planet formation as it happens. The post Here are 20 Protoplanetary Disks, With Newly Forming Planets Carving Out Gaps in the Gas and Dust appeared first on Universe Today. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Antarctica, a continent isolated by vast oceans and brutal weather, has weathered the impacts of human activities better than most places. It's clearly not immune, of course — it's melting — but the South Pole has been spared most other human-caused degradations. Unfortunately, we can add another to the list. An invasive insect species is spreading across Signy Island in Antarctica, endangering the local ecosystem. It's a species of flightless midge, Eretmoptera murphyi, and a lack of nat [...]
Wed, Dec 19, 2018, Continue reading at the source
In the mid-'80s, scientists discovered a giant fungus growing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Now, researchers have found the organism is at least 2,500 years old. And the secret to the mushroom's longevity might be a genome that's highly resistant to mutation, the team reports today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The discovery could help researchers figure out why cancer genomes are so unstable. Forest Recycler In 1983, Johann Bruhn planted red pines in the forest. Wi [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Cosmic rays are energetic particles moving at high speeds. Because it takes significant energy to create them, they often serve as cosmic messengers, revealing clues about the extreme environments that produce them — such as supermassive black holes. On Earth, scientists use accelerators to generate and study particles moving at high speeds, but nature needs no such apparatus. Now, researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a possible mechanism [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Hellooo, ladies! This male broad-tailed hummingbird was captured on the upswing of a dramatic dive meant to impress a potential mate. Many male birds put on a flashy show to woo females, and the broad-tailed hummingbird is no exception. Princeton University researchers Benedict Hogan and Mary Caswell Stoddard have been studying the courtship routines of this tiny Don Juan, published today in the journal Nature Communications. A male looking to catch a lady hummingbird's eye will clim [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Last week, Virgin Galactic made history when they launched their SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle to space (by one definition) and back with two test pilots on board. This was the first vehicle to launch humans to space from U.S. soil since NASA's Shuttle program ended in 2011. This was also the first time a commercial craft built to carry paying passengers reached space. But what's next for the spaceflight company? Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson says he plans to be the first pass [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Methane on Mars There's a methane mystery brewing on Mars. Scientists first detected traces of methane gas on Mars years ago, and it was exciting because the compound is a sign of life here on Earth. But a European orbiter has yet to find any evidence of methane in the planet's atmosphere, despite being expressly made for the purpose. It's complicating scientists' search for life on the Red Planet. Traces of methane were first detected in Mars' atmosphere by the European Space Agenc [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Our editors found 12 projects related to the 12 Days of Christmas jingle. Ok, some are a stretch, but we hope you enjoy our holiday edition! We have some exciting developments on the horizon. Will you please take a moment to update your dashboard settings so you can really make the most of the new features in the new year? Thank you. Cheers! The SciStarter Team On the 1st Day of Christmas, Trees Please gave to me: A partridge in a pear tree when measuring air quality and tree [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Women have an average life expectancy that's about 4 years longer than men's – regardless of culture or geography. Even among animal species, females outlive males. Why females have an advantage in the longevity department hadn't been well understood. In the past, some had assumed it had to do with lifestyle. But scientists say there may be a genetic mechanism underlying this age-old phenomenon. In a new study, researchers found that mice with two X chromosomes lived longer, regardless of [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Protecting an infant from pain may be a matter of instinct. In a new study, researchers show that gently stroking babies during medical procedures, as parents intuitively do, reduces infants' feelings of pain about as well as applying a topical anesthetic. The discovery suggests touch and tactile stimulation are effective means to mollify pain in newborns and an alternative to using drugs. "Touch seems to have analgesic potential without the risk of side effects,” Rebeccah Slater, a pedia [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A Far-Out Planet An ambitious team of astronomers has discovered the most “far out” object ever observed in our Solar System. The object, a pink dwarf planet called 2018 VG18 and nicknamed “Farout,” lies more than 100 times further from the sun than the Earth is. This discovery, made by Carnegie's Scott S. Sheppard, the University of Hawaii's David Tholen and Northern Arizona University's Chad Trujillo, was formally announced today (Dec. 17) by the International Astronomical Union's Minor [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Policies aimed at removing sweets and chips from checkouts could lead to a dramatic reduction to the amount of unhealthy food purchased to eat 'on the go' and a significant reduction in that purchased to take home, suggests new research. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Southwest forests may decline in productivity on average as much as 75 percent over the 21st century as climate warms. The finding is based on a treasure trove of about 20,000 unanalyzed tree cores discovered in a Utah laboratory about a decade ago. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
CRISPR allows scientists to precisely target and edit DNA within living cells, which could help them correct anomalies that cause inherited diseases. A team has now developed a method to use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to set off a cascade of activities in cells, a phenomenon known as conditional gene regulation. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Olfactory sensory receptors in mice change as a function of exposure to odors emitted from members of the opposite sex, researchers have discovered. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Researchers used NMR to detail how the matrix domain of the Avian Sarcoma Virus Gag protein binds to certain phospholipids. These phospholipids are vital for Gag protein binding to the plasma membrane of a cell, as the virus replicates and takes its first step toward virus formation and budding. ASV is widely used as a model to study mechanisms of HIV infection and replication. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Researchers have identified modifications in a sodium transporter gene with key consequences for plants needing to adapt to fluctuating soil salinity. The research can help to improve the sustainability of crops in rising salinity levels associated with climate change and human pressure. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A focus on high-risk tuberculosis patients may be the answer to stalled progress in stamping out the illness in the United States. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A research team is harnessing the power of machine learning, data science and the domain knowledge of experts to autonomously discover new materials. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Children born in the most recent century have bones that reach full maturity earlier -- by nearly 10 months in girls and nearly seven months in boys -- according to a new study. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A team of researchers has solved a longstanding puzzle of how to build ultra-sensitive, ultra-small electrochemical sensors with homogenous and predictable properties by discovering how to engineer graphene structure on an atomic level. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Good luck predicting the economic future; even the experts get it wrong. But there are sure warning signs to look for when a recession is ahead. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
In which we explore one of the weirdest funeral superstitions of pagan Europe, and John explains why he likes to retell Aesop's Fables from the bad guys' point of view. Certificate #44411. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
We tallied up how much dough it costs the big guy to give every kid in the world toys. And it's way more than we expected. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Like many Viking leaders, Halfdan and Bjorn wanted to be known for their fearlessness in battle and their ability to locate the finest spoils -- they wanted the community to tell stories of their valor for generations to come. Their father Ragnar built a name for himself raiding Paris, so they wanted to kick things up a notch and raid an even more prominent city: Rome. However, there was one small problem with their plan. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Maeven decides that she will never sleep ever again leading Peter and Beth to slowly lose their minds while a sleeping Bryn seems entirely unaware that the person he shares a room with has been screaming “Mommy” for an hour and a half. Beth researches famous celebrity deaths of 2004 after Bryn declares that before he was born he had been dead for 10 years. Bryn learns (not only) how to cook from watching Peter and Beth, but also, how to act stressed while cooking. Finally, Beth and Peter revisit last week's Would You Knows? scenario after a listener accepts the challenge to make it more specific. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The U.S. has a large number of older people who have dementia and are gun owners. And that's a problem. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Sometimes a good idea doesn't pan out in real life. Take Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome: It requires less energy to heat and cool, it's cheap, and it's durable enough to withstand a hurricane – but it's also godawful ugly and that was its undoing. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Or what about half open? It's more common than you might think. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
In this illuminating two-part series, we explore the cultural history of black dandyism with Monica L. Miller, author of the book Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Put on your yellow spandex and get ready to take down Magneto, this week the gang is talking about X-Men: The Animated Series! Once again Ify is joined by Ed Greer on co-hosting duties to nerd out on muscle-clad mutants. The two talk about which Wolverine suit is best, whether Jubilee's abilities actually did anything and many more tales from the TV. Channel all the mutants and tell them to tune in for another episode of Nerdificent!FOOTNOTES: CBR: Top 15 X-Men: Animated Series EpisodesHR: 'X-Men' at 25: The Unlikely Story of the Animated Hit No Network WantedMAUW: X-Men (TV Series)ET Online: How 'X-Men' Became One of TV's Best Animated Series [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source

Australia cuts research funding for universitiesAustralia cuts research funding for universities, Published online: 19 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07840-wGovernment investment in research and development is at its lowest in 40 years. [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
2018 in news: The science events that shaped the year2018 in news: The science events that shaped the year, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07685-3Wildfires, cosmic rays and ancient-human hybrids are some of this year's top stories. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A ‘Ginsu shark' lost a tooth in its Cretaceous dinner A ‘Ginsu shark' lost a tooth in its Cretaceous dinner , Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07832-wSome 85 million years ago, an apex predator chomped on a flying reptile. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Classical and quantum computers are vying for superiorityClassical and quantum computers are vying for superiority, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07801-3There are two research routes to the supercomputers of the future. Which side are you on? [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Daily briefing: The scientists who mattered in 2018Daily briefing: The scientists who mattered in 2018, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07835-7The ten people who made an impact in science, for good or bad. Plus, ‘social punishments' for scientific misconduct, and a glimmer of hope for the Paris climate accord. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
From the archiveFrom the archive, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07806-yHow Nature reported a strange apparition in 1918, and the latest Christmas toys in 1968. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Spain to establish parliamentary office of science Spain to establish parliamentary office of science , Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07823-xNation's parliament has budgeted for a new office next year, following push from a grassroots scientists' movement. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Vaccine candidates for poor nations are going to wasteVaccine candidates for poor nations are going to waste, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07758-3Promising immunizations for diseases that affect mostly people in low- and middle-income countries need help getting to market, urge David C. Kaslow and colleagues. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
What a partial US-government shutdown would mean for scienceWhat a partial US-government shutdown would mean for science, Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07825-9Showdown over Trump's border-wall plan could bring key agencies to a halt. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Why a palm-fringed Pacific island harbours pools of ice Why a palm-fringed Pacific island harbours pools of ice , Published online: 18 December 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07822-yHawaiian peaks host icy pockets year-round, but the cold spots are at risk from climate change. [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source