Latest Blog Posts

Neil Cummings

Citizen Science Salon

Perfect your weighing and measuring skills with these projects!

By lshell | May 21, 2018 4:22 pm

Whether you’re a fan of imperial or metric, this past Sunday was the day to celebrate the way we measure our surroundings. What better way to celebrate a day dedicated to measurement than to participate in a citizen science project where you weigh (or measure) something for science? We’ve pulled together some special projects that ask you to do just that: weigh or measure something in your kitchen, yard or the galaxy!

The SciStarter Team

Sourdough for Science
What’s b …


Dead Things

New Round In The East-West Sweet Potato Kerfuffle

By Gemma Tarlach | May 21, 2018 2:00 pm

What’s the story, morning glory?

Well, let me tell you: the sweet potato and other morning glory family members may have been around millions of years earlier than believed — after first sprouting thousands of miles from where many paleobotanists thought they evolved.

Much like last year’s discovery that nightshades (which include both the delicious, like tomatoes, and the deadly, such as belladonna) are much older than previously thought, researchers believe they have evidence  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts


Astronomers Find First Interstellar Immigrant

By Jake Parks | May 21, 2018 11:50 am

Less than a year ago, astronomers discovered ‘Oumuamua, the first known object from another star system to pass through our own. Now, in a new study published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, astronomers announced the discovery of the first interstellar object known to have taken up permanent residence around the Sun.
A Perfect Fit
Astronomers first discovered the asteroid in question, which has the succinct name (413107) 2015 BZ509 (or Bee-Zed for …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts


Physicists See Quantum Effects in Photosynthesis

By Bill Andrews | May 21, 2018 10:26 am

We all probably learned about photosynthesis, how plants turn sunlight into energy, in school. It might seem, therefore, that we figured out this bit of the world. But scientists are still learning new things about even the most basic stuff (see also the sun and moon), and photosynthesis is no different.

In particular, according to a study released Monday in Nature Chemistry, an international team of scientists showed that molecules involved in photosynthesis display quantum mechanical b …

Lava flows from fissures 16-20 moving across the landscape on May 19, 2018. USGS/HVO.

Rocky Planet

Kīlauea's First Ocean Entry, Injury and Andesite of 2018

By Erik Klemetti | May 21, 2018 9:11 am

The eruption at Kīlauea had a number of firsts over the weekend, some of them quite significant. The style of eruption continued much the same as we’ve been seeing: lava flows, fountaining and spatter in the lower East Rift zone near Leilani Estates and intermittent explosions from the summit caldera. However, the nature of the former has changed over the last few days.

Lava reaches the ocean

For the first time in this eruption, lava has reached the ocean. The lava flows produced by f …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Rocky Planet, Science, Science Blogs

The Crux

A Master Teller of Fish Stories

By Bob Holmes | May 21, 2018 8:00 am

It has been called “the world’s most dangerous meal,” a fish whose internal organs are laced with one of the deadliest toxins on Earth. Specialized restaurants in Japan and a few other places serve carefully prepared fugu flesh as an expensive delicacy, in part because of this risky thrill.

But Byrappa Venkatesh was drawn to the fugu for an entirely different reason: It has the smallest genome of any vertebrate. That quality was gold back in the 1990s, when geneticists were still  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: animals, evolution, genetics


Slug Life: About That Injectable Memory Study

By Neuroskeptic | May 18, 2018 1:15 pm

A study claiming that a “memory” could be transferred from one animal to another in form of an injection has caused a lot of excitement. The Futurist said that Scientists Transferred Memories From One Snail to Another. Someday, They Could Do The Same in Humans. But I have to say I’m not convinced.

In the paper, published in eNeuro, UCLA researchers Alexis Bédécarrats and collagues report that they extracted RNA from the neurons of sea slugs (Aplysia) after training them to be sensitive  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, genes, papers, select, Top Posts
Lava flows from Fissure 17, seen on May 17, 2018. USGS/HVO

Rocky Planet

Kilauea Eruption Continues: How Long Could It Last?

By Erik Klemetti | May 18, 2018 8:48 am

The eruption at Kīlauea is still captivating the nation, as it should because this volcano hasn’t behaving like this in almost a century. I thought I’d take a moment to step back and review of the main events so far and what it might all mean for Kīlauea and the people who live around the volcano. These eruptions are separated by a long way if you look at the satellite data and should almost be treated at two different events.

The Leilani Estates Fissures
As we enter the third week of …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Rocky Planet, Science, Science Blogs


Time-lapse video captures the ash plume from Hawaii's volcano exploding higher than Mt. Everest

By Tom Yulsman | May 17, 2018 8:14 pm

The biggest explosion yet from the Kilauea volcano propelled 1,000-pound rocks into the air, and sent ash rocketing 30,000 feet high

The eruption of Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island this morning sent an ash plume exploding about 30,000 feet high into the atmosphere.

And as luck would have it, a camera was watching.

The camera is located about 40 miles away on the Gemini North telescope atop 13,803-foot Mauna Kea. It’s ordinarily is used to monitor the sky so that telescope ope …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Geology, select, Top Posts, Volcanoes

Rocky Planet

Meet the Volcanologist Running for Congress

By Erik Klemetti | May 17, 2018 7:24 pm

It is always exciting (to me) when a scientist runs for public office — and doubly so if that person is a geologist. There have been a few geologists who made waves as politicians, including Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (we’ll leave you to sort out Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s claims of “being a geologist”). Now, imagine if that person was also a volcanologist. Now you really have my attention. That’s Jess Phoenix, a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives i …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Rocky Planet, Science, Science Blogs

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar