Researchers say they have ruled the cosmic bubble theory, an alternate theory on the nature of dark energy, after recalculating the expansion rate of the universe to unprecedented accuracy.
The universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate and some believe that is because the universe is filled with a dark energy that works in the opposite way of gravity. One alternative to that hypothesis is that an enormous bubble of relatively empty space eight billion light-years across surrounds our galactic neighborhood. If we lived near the center of this void, observations of galaxies being pushed away from each other at accelerating speeds would be an illusion.
Bananas in their natural state have up to a hundred seeds but all commercial varieties that you see in stores are seedless. Making seedless varieties made bananas wildly popular, which was good for the people who grow them and good for the people who eat them. That is a science win.
Researchers have now discovered a way to make "the most delicious fruit known to man", as Mark Twain called it, more popular with the public also. The cherimoya, or custard apple, has lots of big, awkward seeds but a group of researchers studied the seedless variety of sugar apple, a relative of the cherimoya, and noted that the ovules, which would normally form seeds, lacked an outer coat.
Low temperatures in the Arctic 'ozone layer' have recently initiated massive ozone depletion, which means the Arctic could experience a record loss of this trace gas that protects the Earth's surface against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The result has been found by a measurement network of over 30 ozone sounding stations spread all over the Arctic and Subarctic.
In the long term the ozone layer will recover thanks to extensive environmental policy measures enacted decades ago for its protection. This winter's likely record-breaking ozone loss does not alter this expectation.
Earthquakes are big news due to the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday. As a result, some are curious about the worst earthquakes and resulting tsunamis we know about. Prior to the 20th century, methods for measuring were unreliable.
Researchers say a new tool may more about earthquakes of the ancient past and even help predict earthquakes of the future.
Prof. Shmuel Marco of Tel Aviv University's Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences in the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences and his colleagues have created a new tool which they have described as a "fossil seismograph," to help geophysicists and other researchers understand patterns of seismic activity in the past.
How did we ever last this long? As the occurrence of allergies. asthma and immune diseases rises, but just in wealthy countries, the idea that we are trying to keep kids too clean - the hygiene hypothesis - has gotten public attention.
Now a study claims if your child plays in instrument in music classes and does not have the instrument sterilized, they could be at risk. This will not do a lot for music class funding since schools would rather cut those programs that incur lawsuits if a child gets sick and a study shows the instrument may have done it.
More and more, policy decisions and what medications doctors prescribe for their patients are being driven by large 'studies of studies' called meta-analyses, which statistically combine results from many individual drug trials.
There's a problem, though. A group analyzing meta-analyses writes in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that important declarations of financial conflicts-of-interest in individual drug trials disappeared when those studies were combined in meta-analyses.
In other words, the information was right there, it wasn't hidden in the studies themselves.