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Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the Cretaceous
04/21/2021
Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the Cretaceous

Tarantula's ubiquity traced back to the Cretaceous

Tarantulas are among the most notorious spiders, due in part to their size, vibrant colors and prevalence throughout the world. But one thing most people don't know is that tarantulas are homebodies. Females and their young rarely leave their burrows and only mature males will wander to seek out a m...

COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection
04/21/2021
COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection

COVID-19: Scientists identify human genes that fight infection

Scientists have identified a set of human genes that fight SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. Knowing which genes help control viral infection can greatly assist researchers' understanding of factors that affect disease severity and also suggest possible therapeutic options. The g...

Hidden magma pools pose eruption risks that we can't yet detect
04/21/2021
Hidden magma pools pose eruption risks that we can't yet detect

Hidden magma pools pose eruption risks that we can't yet detect

Volcanologists' ability to estimate eruption risks is largely reliant on knowing where pools of magma are stored, deep in the Earth's crust. But what happens if the magma can't be spotted?

New CRISPR technology offers unrivaled control of epigenetic inheritance
04/21/2021
New CRISPR technology offers unrivaled control of epigenetic inheritance

New CRISPR technology offers unrivaled control of epigenetic inheritance

Scientists have figured out how to modify CRISPR's basic architecture to extend its reach beyond the genome and into what's known as the epigenome -- proteins and small molecules that latch onto DNA and control when and where genes are switched on or off.

Scientists generate human-monkey chimeric embryos
04/19/2021
Scientists generate human-monkey chimeric embryos

Scientists generate human-monkey chimeric embryos

Researchers have injected human stem cells into primate embryos and were able to grow chimeric embryos for a significant period of time -- up to 20 days. The research, despite its ethical concerns, has the potential to provide new insights into developmental biology and evolution. It also has implic...

How many T. rexes were there? Billions: Analysis of what's known about the dinosaur leads to conclusion there were 2.5 b...
04/19/2021
How many T. rexes were there? Billions: Analysis of what's known about the dinosaur leads to conclusion there were 2.5 billion over time

How many T. rexes were there? Billions: Analysis of what's known about the dinosaur leads to conclusion there were 2.5 billion over time

With fossils few and far between, paleontologists have shied away from estimating the size of extinct populations. But scientists decided to try, focusing on the North American predator T. rex. Using data from the latest fossil analyses, they concluded that some 20,000 adults likely roamed the conti...

Entanglement-based quantum network
04/19/2021
Entanglement-based quantum network

Entanglement-based quantum network

A team of researchers reports realization of a multi-node quantum network, connecting three quantum processors. In addition, they achieved a proof-of-principle demonstration of key quantum network protocols.

Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black hole
04/19/2021
Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black hole

Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black hole

In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.

Joyful screams perceived more strongly than screams of fear or anger
04/19/2021
Joyful screams perceived more strongly than screams of fear or anger

Joyful screams perceived more strongly than screams of fear or anger

The human scream signals more than fear of imminent danger or entanglement in social conflicts. Screaming can also express joy or excitement. For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that non-alarming screams are even perceived and processed by the brain more efficiently than their alarming...

Elusive particle may point to undiscovered physics
04/19/2021
Elusive particle may point to undiscovered physics

Elusive particle may point to undiscovered physics

The muon is a tiny particle, but it has the giant potential to upend our understanding of the subatomic world and reveal an undiscovered type of fundamental physics.

NASA's NICER finds X-ray boosts in the Crab Pulsar's radio bursts
04/19/2021
NASA's NICER finds X-ray boosts in the Crab Pulsar's radio bursts

NASA's NICER finds X-ray boosts in the Crab Pulsar's radio bursts

A global science collaboration using data from NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope on the International Space Station has discovered X-ray surges accompanying radio bursts from the pulsar in the Crab Nebula. The finding shows that these bursts, called giant radio puls...

More than 5,000 tons of extraterrestrial dust fall to Earth each year
04/11/2021
More than 5,000 tons of extraterrestrial dust fall to Earth each year

More than 5,000 tons of extraterrestrial dust fall to Earth each year

Every year, our planet encounters dust from comets and asteroids. These interplanetary dust particles pass through our atmosphere and give rise to shooting stars. Some of them reach the ground in the form of micrometeorites. An international program conducted for nearly 20 has determined that 5,200....

Mars didn't dry up in one go
04/11/2021
Mars didn't dry up in one go

Mars didn't dry up in one go

A research team has discovered that the Martian climate alternated between dry and wetter periods, before drying up completely about 3 billion years ago.

Corals carefully organize proteins to form rock-hard skeletons: Scientists' findings suggest corals will withstand clima...
04/11/2021
Corals carefully organize proteins to form rock-hard skeletons: Scientists' findings suggest corals will withstand climate change

Corals carefully organize proteins to form rock-hard skeletons: Scientists' findings suggest corals will withstand climate change

Scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study shows that several proteins are organized spatially -- a process that's critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.

Why our brains miss opportunities to improve through subtraction: Researchers explain the human tendency to make change ...
04/11/2021
Why our brains miss opportunities to improve through subtraction: Researchers explain the human tendency to make change through addition

Why our brains miss opportunities to improve through subtraction: Researchers explain the human tendency to make change through addition

A new study explains why people rarely look at a situation, object or idea that needs improving -- in all kinds of contexts -- and think to remove something as a solution. Instead, we almost always add some element, whether it helps or not.

Neanderthal ancestry identifies oldest modern human genome
04/11/2021
Neanderthal ancestry identifies oldest modern human genome

Neanderthal ancestry identifies oldest modern human genome

The fossil skull of a woman in Czechia has provided the oldest modern human genome yet reconstructed, representing a population that formed before the ancestors of present-day Europeans and Asians split apart.

Evidence of Antarctic glacier's tipping point confirmed
04/07/2021
Evidence of Antarctic glacier's tipping point confirmed

Evidence of Antarctic glacier's tipping point confirmed

Researchers have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level.

A new state of light: Physicists observe new phase in Bose-Einstein condensate of light particles
04/07/2021
A new state of light: Physicists observe new phase in Bose-Einstein condensate of light particles

A new state of light: Physicists observe new phase in Bose-Einstein condensate of light particles

A single 'super photon' made up of many thousands of individual light particles: About ten years ago, researchers produced such an extreme aggregate state for the first time. Researchers report a new, previously unknown phase transition in the optical Bose-Einstein condensate. This is a overdamped p...

How brain cells repair their DNA reveals 'hot spots' of aging and disease
04/07/2021
How brain cells repair their DNA reveals 'hot spots' of aging and disease

How brain cells repair their DNA reveals 'hot spots' of aging and disease

Neurons lack the ability to replicate their DNA, so they're constantly working to repair damage to their genome. A new study finds that these repairs are not random, but instead focus on protecting certain genetic 'hot spots' that appear to play a critical role in neural identity and function.

Why some cancer drugs may be ineffective
04/07/2021
Why some cancer drugs may be ineffective

Why some cancer drugs may be ineffective

A possible explanation for why many cancer drugs that kill tumor cells in mouse models won't work in human trials has been found.

African elephants' range is just 17 percent of what it could be
04/07/2021
African elephants' range is just 17 percent of what it could be

African elephants' range is just 17 percent of what it could be

A study has both good news and bad news for the future of African elephants. While about 18 million square kilometers of Africa -- an area bigger than the whole of Russia -- still has suitable habitat for elephants, the actual range of African elephants has shrunk to just 17 percent of what it could...

First X-rays from Uranus discovered
04/05/2021
First X-rays from Uranus discovered

First X-rays from Uranus discovered

Astronomers have detected X-rays from Uranus using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This result may help scientists learn more about this enigmatic ice giant planet in our solar system.

Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself
04/01/2021
Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself

Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself

Researchers find that the earliest bacteria had the tools to perform a crucial step in photosynthesis, changing how we think life evolved on Earth.

How humans develop larger brains than other apes
04/01/2021
How humans develop larger brains than other apes

How humans develop larger brains than other apes

A new study is the first to identify how human brains grow much larger, with three times as many neurons, compared with chimpanzee and gorilla brains. The study identified a key molecular switch that can make ape brain organoids grow more like human organoids, and vice versa.

Cephalopods: Older than was thought? Fossil find from Canada could rewrite the evolutionary history of invertebrate orga...
04/01/2021
Cephalopods: Older than was thought? Fossil find from Canada could rewrite the evolutionary history of invertebrate organisms

Cephalopods: Older than was thought? Fossil find from Canada could rewrite the evolutionary history of invertebrate organisms

Earth scientists have discovered possibly the oldest cephalopods in Earth's history. The 522 million-year-old fossils from Newfoundland (Canada) could turn out to be the first known form of these highly evolved invertebrate organisms. In that case, the find would indicate that the cephalopods evolve...

Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving: Experiments on ancient proteins reveal evolution of better ...
04/01/2021
Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving: Experiments on ancient proteins reveal evolution of better oxygen capture, release

Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving: Experiments on ancient proteins reveal evolution of better oxygen capture, release

Webbed feet, flipper-like wings and unique feathers all helped penguins adapt to life underwater. But by resurrecting two ancient versions of hemoglobin, a research team has shown that the evolution of diving is also in their blood, which optimized its capture and release of oxygen to ensure that pe...

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