RealClearScience

Syndicate content
Updated: 3 weeks 2 days ago

The Craziest Ways Animals Escape Predators

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
James Macdonald, JSTOR Daily
When attacked by a predator, most animals will go to any length to escape. Some animals, like lizards, crabs, or octopus, can autotomize, or intentionally drop off body parts, to escape. Few animals, however, take things quite as far as a type of fish scale gecko recently discovered in Madagascarwhen grabbed, these little lizards shed virtually all of their scales.
Categories: RealClearScience

Radioactive Boars Delay Fukushima Residents' Return

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Kimiko Tamura, NYT
They descend on towns and villages, plundering crops and rampaging through homes. They occasionally attack humans. But perhaps most dangerous of all, the marauders carry with them highly radioactive material.Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock. Some animals, like cattle, were left to rot in their pens.
Categories: RealClearScience

Ebola Vaccine Trial Stalled by Animal Testing Laws

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Anthea Batsakis, Cosmos

In what may be the last US biomedical research trial on captive chimpanzees, food laced with a new vaccine has been shown to be an effective way to protect chimpanzees from the Ebola virus, a new study reports.Estimates suggest that as many as one-third of Africa's wild great apes have been wiped out by Ebola in the past 30 years. With the aim of protecting the remaining populations, a team of scientists in the US and UK have concluded safety trials of a vaccine made from a modified rabies treatment. Their findings were published in Scientific Reports.
Categories: RealClearScience

Lost Lunar Spacecraft Detected by New Radar

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Phys.org
Finding derelict spacecraft and space debris in Earth's orbit can be a technological challenge. Detecting these objects in orbit around Earth's moon is even more difficult. Optical telescopes are unable to search for small objects hidden in the bright glare of the moon. However, a new technological application of interplanetary radar pioneered by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has successfully located spacecraft orbiting the moonone active, and one dormant. This new technique could assist planners of future moon missions.
Categories: RealClearScience

Possible New Antidote for Tylenol Overdose

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Alex B. Berezow, ACSH
Dr. Cox: Did you actually just page me to find out how much Tylenol to give to Mrs. Lendsner?J.D.: I was worried that it could exacerbate the patient's... Dr. Cox: It's regular strength Tylenol. Here's what-chya do: Get her to open her mouth, take a handful, and throw it at her. Whatever sticks, that's the correct dosage.Of Dr. Cox's many rants on the comedy show Scrubs, this is definitely one of the funnier and more memorable1. However, it isn't quite accurate.
Categories: RealClearScience

Milky Way's Mysterious Bulge Explained by Hubble

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
Alison Klesman, Astro
The Milky Way appears as a relatively flat structure when viewed along its plane in visible light. Gamma-ray emission, however, paints a different picture: two huge structures billowing outward from the galaxy's bulge like an enormous hourglass. Named the Fermi Bubbles, these structures are the result of the Milky Way's supermassive black hole gorging itself on interstellar gas in the past. Using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers have now determined just when these structured formed.A team of astronomers led by Rongmon Bordoloi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has used...
Categories: RealClearScience

Artificial Yeast Genome One Step Closer

10 March 2017 - 10:44pm
The Economist
BIOLOGY'S biggest division is not between plants and animals, nor even between multicellular and single-celled creatures. It is between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prokaryotesbacteria are the most familiar sortare simple. Their DNA is an unadorned circular molecule between 500,000 and 10m genetic letters long. As such, it is fairly easy to replicate from off-the-shelf chemicals.
Categories: RealClearScience

Is Planet Earth a Living Organism?

10 March 2017 - 12:32pm
David Grinspoon, Nautilus
Can a planet be alive? Lynn Margulis, a giant of late 20th-century biology, who had an incandescent intellect that veered toward the unorthodox, thought so. She and chemist James Lovelock together theorized that life must be a planet-altering phenomenon and the distinction between the living and nonliving parts of Earth is not as clear-cut as we think. Many members of the scientific community derided their theory, called the Gaia hypothesis, as pseudoscience, and questioned their scientific integrity. But now Margulis and Lovelock may have their revenge. Recent scientific...
Categories: RealClearScience

Hubble Finds Some of Universe's First Galaxies

12 February 2017 - 8:07pm
Irene Klotz, Seeker
By using a quirk of Einstein's general relativity and applying a new technique to remove obscuring light, astronomers have found an ancient population of the universe's first galaxies.
Categories: RealClearScience

Can We Stop Brain Cancer With Rabies?

12 February 2017 - 8:06pm
Matt Blois, Science News
A ruthless killer may soon help brain cancer patients. The rabies virus, which kills tens of thousands of people a year, has a rare ability to enter nerve cells and use them as a conduit to infect brain tissue. Now, scientists are trying to mimic this strategy to ferry tumor-killing nanoparticles into brain tumors. So far the approach has been shown to work only in mice. If successful in people, these nanoparticles could one day help doctors send treatment directly to tumors without harming healthy cells.
Categories: RealClearScience

3 Sites Where NASA Might Get Its First Mars Rock

12 February 2017 - 8:06pm
Alexandra Witze, Nature

The future of NASA's Mars programme just got a lot more focussed. The agency has narrowed from eight to three the list of potential landing sites for its 2020 rover, which will scoop up Martian rock and soil in the hopes of one day returning them to Earth.
Categories: RealClearScience

The Curious Case of Magnetic Cockroaches

12 February 2017 - 8:06pm
MIT Technology Review
Birds are the best-known example of creatures able to sense magnetic fields and to use them for orientation and navigation. Less well known are the magneto-sensing abilities of American cockroaches, which quickly become magnetized when placed in a magnetic field.
Categories: RealClearScience

Rare, 'Middleweight' Black Hole Discovered

12 February 2017 - 8:05pm
Lexy Hamilton-Smith, ABC Science
A Queensland scientist has played a vital role in the world-first discovery of a "middleweight" black hole in space, spending 40 years searching the universe to find it.University of Queensland astronomer Associate Professor Holger Baumgardt said it was the missing link between small and super-sized black holes.
Categories: RealClearScience

New Uranium-Based Minerals Discovered in Utah

12 February 2017 - 8:05pm
David Grossman, Pop Mech
A Notre Dame graduate student recently found three new minerals while exploring old uranium mines in Utah. The three new minerals, leesite, leszilrdite and redcanyonite, are all new compounds of uranium and other components, allowing researchers to study how different forms of uranium can propagate in the natural environment.
Categories: RealClearScience

Why the Flow of Time Is Not an Illusion

12 February 2017 - 8:05pm
Melinda Baldwin, Physics Today
Nowthat enigmatic and ephemeral moment that changes its meaning every instanthas confounded priests, philosophers, and physicists, and with good reason. So writes Richard Muller, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the opening lines of Now: The Physics of Time (W. W. Norton, 2016).
Categories: RealClearScience

How to Stop Astronauts From Going Mad

12 February 2017 - 8:04pm
Paul Marks, BBC Future
"Impulsive, suicidal, sexually-aberrant thrill seeker." What kind of person might that describe? A Big Brother contestant? A Base jumper? A cult leader? Guess again. It is how some US Air Force (USAF) psychiatrists, back in the early days of the space race, imagined the psychological profile of would-be astronauts.
Categories: RealClearScience

Low-Carb or Low-Cal? It Doesn't Matter.

12 February 2017 - 8:04pm
Tamar Haspel, Undark
In his new book The Case Against Sugar, journalist Gary Taubes makes, as you might easily guess, a spirited case against sugar. His argument is based on the straightforward idea that sugar contributes to obesity and disease well beyond its calorie content, because it affects human metabolism in a way that encourages fat storage.
Categories: RealClearScience

The War on Women's Body Hair

12 February 2017 - 8:03pm
Nadine Ajaka, The Atlantic
I'm sure there was a time when I was not hairy, but I can't remember it. I have an early memory from middle school where a doctor examined my sideburns, which stretched almost down to my jawline, and suggested some pills to slow the growth. She told me they were for people with a lot of facial hair, like me.
Categories: RealClearScience