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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum 3 hours 38 minutes ago. 1 comments

DNA Could Be One of a Million Possible Genetic Molecules

DNA Could Be One of a Million Possible Genetic Molecules

There could be a million different structures with the ability to store genetic information, according to a recent paper.

DNA stores the genetic information that describes all of Earth’s life, in the form of a twisted scaffold lined with a sequence composed of four data-encoding molecules. But is DNA the best way to store biological data for every purpose? What if there are better molecules...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum 4 hours 18 minutes ago.

Curiosity Finds Mysterious Oxygen Fluctuations on Mars

Curiosity Finds Mysterious Oxygen Fluctuations on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover sniffed out an unexpected seasonal variation to the oxygen on Mars, according to new research.

Curiosity has long been returning some appropriately curious results. After locating methane on the planet, studies from its spot in Gale crater found regular changes to the methane unexplainable by the environmental factors that scientists are already aware of. Now varying...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky today at 03:55. 1 comments

Japan's Asteroid Probe Is Finally Returning to Earth With Its Precious Cargo

Japan's Asteroid Probe Is Finally Returning to Earth With Its Precious Cargo

The Japanese space agency has declared an end to the exploratory phase of the Hayabusa2 mission. Beginning tomorrow, the overachieving spacecraft will leave Ryugu and head back to Earth, bringing—hopefully—its asteroid samples along with it.

After a year and a half of exploratory work around the Ryugu asteroid, the time has finally come for JAXA’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft to return home.

At 10:05...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky today at 00:30.

Japan to Reinvent Fukushima as a Renewable Energy Hub

Japan to Reinvent Fukushima as a Renewable Energy Hub

Plans have been announced to convert abandoned areas in Fukushima to a renewable energy hub, a scheme that will involve the construction of new solar plants, wind farms, and a power transmission grid that will feed Tokyo with electricity.

It’s been eight years since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The immediate area around the...

Andrew Liszewski Andrew Liszewski today at 00:10. 10 comments

Researchers Create a Metal Structure That Will Not Sink or Stay Submerged Under Water

Researchers Create a Metal Structure That Will Not Sink or Stay Submerged Under Water

Inspired by the way diving bell spiders and fire ants use their water-repelling legs and bodies to trap air in order to float on water, researchers from the University of Rochester have found a way to make solid metal structures float on water, potentially paving the way for unsinkable boats or smartphones that won’t immediately sink when accidentally dropped in a toilet.

MIT Created a Better...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara today .

34 Million Americans Know Someone Who Died Without Being Able to Afford Medical Care, Survey Estimates

34 Million Americans Know Someone Who Died Without Being Able to Afford Medical Care, Survey Estimates

A heartbreaking number of Americans know someone who has died after not being able to afford medical treatment, according to the results of a new Gallup survey out Tuesday. Within the last five years, it found, some 34 million Americans believe they’ve lost someone in exactly that way, and even more Americans currently struggle to pay for their own medical care.

The phone-based survey was run...

Yessenia Funes Yessenia Funes yesterday at 23:30. 1 comments

The EPA Amends Its 'Transparency' Proposal to Somehow Be Even More Terrible

The EPA Amends Its 'Transparency' Proposal to Somehow Be Even More Terrible

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking its denial of science a step further. The New York Times got its hands on a new draft of “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” a proposal the agency first announced last year. Unfortunately the latest version of the document looks even worse than the last.

In an effort to supposedly increase the transparency of the science...

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Tom McKay Tom McKay yesterday at 11:35. 1 comments

Fireball Lights Up the Skies Over St. Louis During Northern Taurid Meteor Shower

Fireball Lights Up the Skies Over St. Louis During Northern Taurid Meteor Shower

Make a wish: Cameras in St. Louis, Missouri caught what appeared to be a meteor falling from the skies on Monday night, KSDL and KMOV reported.

Both stations reported that local residents saw a flash of light and loud noise at about 8:55 p.m. local time (9:55 p.m. ET). Twitter user David Vergel posted footage from an EarthCam aimed at the city’s iconic Gateway Arch of the object streaking...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara yesterday at 06:30.

E-Cigarettes Don't Have to Be Tainted to Send You to the Hospital, UK Case Shows

E-Cigarettes Don't Have to Be Tainted to Send You to the Hospital, UK Case Shows

In recent months, hundreds of people in the U.S. have become acutely sick and have even died due to vaping. These cases have largely been tied to black-market vaping products made with toxic additives . But a new case study out of the UK seems to show that in rare circumstances, even legal e-cigarettes can cause life-threatening lung illness in users.

According to senior author Jayesh Mahendra...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky yesterday at 04:40.

Stingray-Shaped Probes Could Explore Venus’s Atmosphere

Stingray-Shaped Probes Could Explore Venus’s Atmosphere

Researchers with the University at Buffalo are working on a conceptual design that would see a morphing aircraft explore the skies above Venus, including its elusive “dark side.”

It’s called BREEZE, or Bio-inspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Explorations. Like a stingray propelling itself through water with its pectoral fins, this morphing probe would flap its wings during flight,...

Ed Cara Ed Cara yesterday at 03:05.

In a World First, the EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine

In a World First, the EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine

The first human vaccine against the often-fatal viral disease Ebola is now an official reality. On Monday, the European Union approved a vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, called Ervebo.

The stage for Ervebo’s approval was set this October, when a committee assembled by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a conditional marketing authorization for the vaccine by...

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum yesterday at 02:40.

The Nile Could Be a Window Into the Underworld

The Nile Could Be a Window Into the Underworld

Some scientists think the Nile river might be revealing the mysteries of the mantle beneath it.

There’s been debate over the age of the Nile—whether it formed from a river redirecting around 5 million years ago or whether a proto-Nile has flowed through the area for 30 million years. If the Nile is older, as one team of scientists’ evidence suggests, then it could be mirroring the course of a...

yesterday at 01:10. 1 comments

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Tens of thousands of years ago, a human walked north at what is now White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. A large proboscidean, possibly a Columbian mammoth, later walked west, stepping onto one of the footprints left by the human. Soon after, a person—perhaps the same individual who had gone north—walked south, parallel to the earlier tracks. And in walking south, they stepped...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 11, 2019 at 23:00.

'Lost' Species of Mouse-Deer Spotted in Vietnam After 30 Years

'Lost' Species of Mouse-Deer Spotted in Vietnam After 30 Years

Using dozens of motion-activated camera traps, conservationists in Vietnam have captured photographic evidence of the silver-backed chevrotain—an impossibly adorable deer-like creature that hadn’t been seen since 1990.

“In an age of mass extinctions, confirming the survival of lost species provides rare second chances for biodiversity conservation,” opens a new research article published today...

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 09, 2019 at 22:00. 14 comments

Oh Boy, Mercury Is Gonna Transit the Sun [Update: It's Over]

Oh Boy, Mercury Is Gonna Transit the Sun [Update: It's Over]

Mercury will transit the Sun for the first time since 2016 this coming Monday. It won’t do so again until 2032.

The smallest planet’s eccentric orbit means it doesn’t often pass in front of the Sun from Earth’s vantage point. This year, part of the 5.5-hour transit will be visible to much of North America starting at 7:36 a.m. ET. The eastern half of North America and all of South America will...

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Ed Cara Ed Cara Nov 09, 2019 at 05:20. 8 comments

We Now Have Direct Evidence That Vitamin E Is Behind Vaping Illness Outbreak

We Now Have Direct Evidence That Vitamin E Is Behind Vaping Illness Outbreak

On Friday, federal health officials announced a breakthrough in solving the mystery of why people are getting seriously sick from vaping. They detected vitamin E acetate—an oily, synthetic form of the vitamin commonly added to black-market THC vape products—in lung fluid samples taken from all of the patients they’ve tested so far.

For months now, health officials and doctors have suspected ...

8 Comments

Ed Cara Ed Cara Nov 09, 2019 at 02:00. 10 comments

'Yikes, I'm a Host': What It's Like to Have Parasitic Eye Worms

'Yikes, I'm a Host': What It's Like to Have Parasitic Eye Worms

It’s not every day that you turn into a medical curiosity. But that’s exactly what happened to Dianne Travers-Gustafson, a retired medical anthropologist and public health researcher from Nebraska. In February 2018, her eyes had the misfortune of becoming infected by a particular kind of parasitic roundworm spread by face flies. She likely fell victim to the parasite while trail running along...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 09, 2019 at 01:10. 15 comments

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists working at a site near Mexico City have unearthed a 15,000-year-old trap built by humans to capture mammoths, in what’s the first discovery of its kind.

Early settlers of the Mexico Basin subdued giant mammoths by digging out deep, wide trenches and then driving the animals into the pits, according to a press release issued by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and...

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Jake Buehler Jake Buehler Nov 09, 2019 at 00:30. 3 comments

Gollum-Like Daddy Long-Legs Discovered in the Bowels of the Earth

Gollum-Like Daddy Long-Legs Discovered in the Bowels of the Earth

Daddy long-legs—spider-like arachnids technically known as “harvestmen”—are already plenty unnerving, with their too-long-to-be-real limbs, jerky movements, and habit of clustering into a horrible, hairy mass. But researchers have recently unveiled a variety of harvestman totally new to science, and it cranks the creepy up to 11.

The creature, discovered deep in a cave in Argentina, looks...

3 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Nov 08, 2019 at 03:23. 8 comments

The Feds Are Cracking Down on Suspected Chinese Theft of Biomedical Research

The Feds Are Cracking Down on Suspected Chinese Theft of Biomedical Research

Federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FBI, are in the middle of a sweeping crackdown on what they believe is widespread Chinese scientific espionage in the biomedical field, the New York Times reported on Thursday, with nearly 200 such inquiries ongoing. Meanwhile, others have suggested the effort is targeting scientists of Chinese descent in the U.S....

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