Hints of New Life in the Shadows of Venezuela's Last Glacier

Hints of New Life in the Shadows of Venezuela's Last Glacier

Today, only one glacier remains in Venezuela: on the second highest peak, Pico Humboldt.“It’s an era that is [almost] completely finished now,” says Melfo, a particle physicist at the University of the Andes, who has recently been working on projects involving biology and ecology, including research on this last glacier.

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

When a curator from the Science Museum in London asked Deonie and Steve Allen whether they would like their work to be added to the museum’s permanent collection of artifacts, they jumped at the chance.

A Vaccine Against Valley Fever Finally Works—for Dogs

A Vaccine Against Valley Fever Finally Works—for Dogs

An experimental vaccine that could protect millions of people living in the American Southwest from valley fever —an infection caused by a soil-dwelling fungus that is difficult to treat and can cause disability and death—has passed its first test of efficacy and is moving toward federal approval, possibly within two years.

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Growing Crops Under Solar Panels? Now There’s a Bright Idea

Khanna will be studying what the ideal solar array might be for a particular crop, for instance, if it needs bigger or smaller gaps between panels to let sunlight pass through.

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

The agency’s newly released report highlights five areas of focus, including planning for climate risks as new missions move forward, adapting infrastructure as much as possible, and ensuring access to space, which could be disrupted if, say, a flooded road delayed the delivery of rocket fuel to a launchpad.

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

“So that means less clean air coming into the city, which would tend to make pollutant concentrations higher,” says Ban-Weiss, plus the loss of the breeze that itself keeps people cool.

Making Beetles Pee Can Protect Your Garden

Making Beetles Pee Can Protect Your Garden

Give these research teams a bit more time and between pee and fear, your garden could have new tools to protect it against insect pests – without the use of indiscriminate pesticides.

This 3D-Printed Chicken Breast Was Cooked With Frickin’ Lasers

This 3D-Printed Chicken Breast Was Cooked With Frickin’ Lasers

“Cooking is essential for nutrition, flavor, and texture development in many foods, and we wondered if we could develop a method with lasers to precisely control these attributes.” They used a blue diode laser (5-10 watts) as the primary heating source but also experimented with lasers in the near- and mid-infrared for comparison, as well as a conventional toaster oven.

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

Thomas Dietterich, a professor at Oregon State University and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, says he has “huge respect” for the researchers behind the new Stanford center, and he believes they are genuinely concerned about the problems these models raise.

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

That means not only that the virus was in the lab, but that it was amplified to make more of it so it could be used as a control to develop the test, says Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona.

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

The health of “entire ocean ecosystems” and food security is in jeopardy, said Dulvy, a former co-chair of the shark specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The number of species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras, known together as chondrichthyan fishes, facing “a global extinction crisis” has more than doubled in less than a decade, according to the paper published September 6 in the journal Current Biology.

The Dark Asteroid Ryugu Finally Comes Into the Light

The Dark Asteroid Ryugu Finally Comes Into the Light

This new research, led by Deborah Domingue at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, and Yasuhiro Yokota at Kochi University in Japan, sheds light on Ryugu’s complex structure, revealing it to be a dark, weathered pile of rubble tumbling in space, different from anything seen on the surface of the Earth.

I’m a Lyft Driver. My Passengers Act Like I’m Part of the App

I’m a Lyft Driver. My Passengers Act Like I’m Part of the App

In the future, ride-hailing passengers may conjure autonomous vehicles to their doorsteps with a few taps in an app.I’m replaced by an illusory me—the generic, invisible driver whom many Lyft passengers seem to have in mind.Passengers and drivers are two strangers in a moving vehicle.

Biologists Unlock the Secrets of ‘Invisible’ Animals

Biologists Unlock the Secrets of ‘Invisible’ Animals

“It’s like the power of invisibility,” says Pomerantz, lead author of a recent study in the Journal of Experimental Biology that examines how clear wings develop.In ocean environments there are lots of transparent species, but on land it’s much less common.

Fleeing Disaster Is Hard. Climate Change Is Making It Harder

Fleeing Disaster Is Hard. Climate Change Is Making It Harder

“More frequent, severe, and faster-growing wildfires and hurricanes increase the size and frequency of disasters and evacuations, and decrease the warning time,” says Keith Porter, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center.

I’m Vaccinated. When Is It Safe to Take My Mask Off?

I’m Vaccinated. When Is It Safe to Take My Mask Off?

“It is a little bit confusing that the public is told at one point that the vaccine is effective enough that they can pretty much ditch their mask anywhere, and now, this is clearly a different recommendation because of the very high transmissibility of the Delta variant,” Dan Diekema, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, says.

An Experimental Birth Control Attacks Sperm Like a Virus

An Experimental Birth Control Attacks Sperm Like a Virus

Other studies have investigated whether these antibodies could be used to fight off HIV or the virus that causes herpes, and whether they are safe to apply as a topical contraceptive or as an insert like a vaginal ring.“The timing is right,” says Anderson, a coauthor on the EBioMedicine paper, which showed that manufactured antibodies were effective at binding to sperm.

Computer Scientists Find a Key Research Algorithm's Limits

Computer Scientists Find a Key Research Algorithm's Limits

You know you can find an answer, because there are more people than houses, but it may take some looking (especially if they don’t share a last name).This question belongs to a complexity class called TFNP, short for “total function nondeterministic polynomial.” It is the collection of all computational problems that are guaranteed to have solutions and whose solutions can be checked for correctness quickly.

‘Prebunking’ Health Misinformation Tropes Can Stop Their Spread

‘Prebunking’ Health Misinformation Tropes Can Stop Their Spread

As media literacy expert Mike Caulfield notes, tropes flatten a scene to its essential bits, stripping out details to compel us to jump to a conclusion (the heroine will get out of her car!)

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

A wildfire that would once chew through a few dozen acres of underbrush, making way for new plant growth, now burns with extreme ferocity, producing so much heat and smoke that it can generate its own thunderclouds , which light more fires.

Can This Sun-Reflecting Fabric Help Fight Climate Change?

Can This Sun-Reflecting Fabric Help Fight Climate Change?

After an hour in the sun, the half of the student covered in the metafabric was nearly 5 degrees Celsius cooler than the side covered by the cotton vest, researchers reported earlier this month in Science.

How Much Will It Cost to Prevent Deaths by Climate-Driven Heat?

How Much Will It Cost to Prevent Deaths by Climate-Driven Heat?

To come up with this model, Bressler says he started with an existing one for the social cost of carbon developed by Yale University economist William Nordhaus, which originally pegged that figure at $37 per ton.

Study discovers microplastics in New Zealand’s seabed

Study discovers microplastics in New Zealand’s seabed

A pilot study carried out by NIWA and the University of Auckland has found microplastics in samples collected from the seafloor in the Marlborough Sounds.

Variant Hunters Race to Find New Strains Where Testing Lags

Variant Hunters Race to Find New Strains Where Testing Lags

Even during the pandemic, the country, a hub for the oil industry, had seen plenty of passengers from Europe and South Africa, where two concerning variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 hold sway.

Ancient Rocks Reveal When Earth's Plate Tectonics Began

Ancient Rocks Reveal When Earth's Plate Tectonics Began

Now, a study of the rocks from the Australian Outback by Tusch, Münker and their co-authors, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has captured “a snapshot” of the advent of plate tectonics, said Alan Collins, a geologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy

By the time he stepped onto a bus in downtown Toronto for the first leg of a trip to Lake Tahoe in December 2012, Geoff Hinton hadn’t taken a seat for seven years.

People Who Text While Walking Actually Do Ruin Everything

People Who Text While Walking Actually Do Ruin Everything

In a control experiment in which no one was distracted, the researchers observed a previously described phenomenon known as lane formation: As the two groups made contact, people arranged themselves in two or three columns.

Is Binge-Watching Bad for the Planet? Netflix Finally Answers

Is Binge-Watching Bad for the Planet? Netflix Finally Answers

For people binging Netflix, that’s useful context—but for the streaming giant, it provides crucial data to help it reduce its vast carbon footprint.

Covid-19 Meant a Year Without the Flu. That’s Not All Good News

Covid-19 Meant a Year Without the Flu. That’s Not All Good News

This was the time of year they’d ordinarily start looking at their numbers for influenza, the seasonal flu—to see how bad the outbreak would be, and to assess how well that year’s vaccine dealt with the protean respiratory virus.

Watch a Shape-Shifting Robot Prowl the Big, Bad World

Watch a Shape-Shifting Robot Prowl the Big, Bad World

Writing today in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, researchers in Norway and Australia describe how they got DyRET to learn how to lengthen or shorten its limbs to tackle different kinds of terrains.