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Mosquito Birth Control May Prove More Environmentally Friendly Than Insecticides

By Catherine Meyers | January 21, 2019 6:00 pm

(Inside Science) — Scientists searching for environmentally friendly ways to fight the menace of mosquitoes may want to consider a new type of pesticide, according to a new study. Mosquitoes are more than an annoyance at summer picnics — the World Health Organization has estimated the insects kill several million people each year by transmitting diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

A common way to fight mosquito-borne illnesses in places where there can be high rates of transmissi …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
MORE ABOUT: animals, sustainability


SNAPSHOT: Musicians Don Motion Capture Devices to Reveal How Bands Synchronize

By Alison Mackey | January 21, 2019 5:45 pm

Musicians from a Canadian chamber music ensemble called the Gryphon Trio have been helping scientists at McMaster University in Ontario learn how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another.

When a band plays, musicians often rely on nonverbal cues to synchronize their movements and play as one. So, to catch this in action, the research team fitted each musician with motion capture devices. That let the team measure and analyze every movement.

Interestingly, the scientists disc …

MORE ABOUT: computers


'Hot Jupiter' Exoplanets May Be Born Uncomfortably Close to Their Stars

By Alison Klesman | January 21, 2019 5:30 pm

Today, astronomers have numerous extrasolar systems to study, but most look very different from our own. Determining how these solar systems — and ours — formed is challenging. New research presented at the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington, on January 8 lends credence to an idea that goes against previous thoughts about planet formation, but has been gaining traction in the field: Giant planets that orbit their stars in a matter of days may have f …

MORE ABOUT: exoplanets, stars


Radio Jets from the Milky Way’s Black Hole Could be Pointing Right at Earth

By Amber Jorgenson | January 21, 2019 5:00 pm

We’ve spent decades trying to decode our supermassive black hole, but crucial clues could’ve been in front of us all along.

Using an array of 13 radio telescopes, astronomers from the Max Planck Institute were able to home in on Sagittarius A* (pronounced A-star), the region that houses the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole. And once they’d cleared out the noise of scattered light that surrounds it, they found that the powerful radio emission that blasts from the black hole is co …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: cosmology

The Crux

How Does Wildlife Survive Winter's Freezing Temperatures?

By Bridget B. Baker, Wayne State University | January 21, 2019 11:45 am

Anyone who’s walked their dog when temperatures are frigid knows that canines will shiver and favor a cold paw – which partly explains the boom in the pet clothing industry. But chipmunks and cardinals don’t get fashionable coats or booties.

In fact, wildlife can succumb to frostbite and hypothermia, just like people and pets. In the northern United States, the unfurred tails of opossums are a common casualty of cold exposure. Every so often an unusual cold snap in Florida results i …

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


Cloudless, Methane Rain Falls on Titan's North Pole

By Chelsea Gohd | January 21, 2019 11:25 am

NASA’s Cassini orbiter captured the north pole on Saturn’s largest moon looking like a wet sidewalk after a bit of rain. This rainfall, which scientists take to signify a change in season on the moon, brought summer to Titan’s northern hemisphere earlier than scientists had predicted. This is the first time summer rainfall has ever been seen on the moon. But strangely, the rain came without any clouds.
Summer Rain on Titan
The Cassini spacecraft may be long gone, but the data it coll …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts


Astronomers May Have Finally Connected Supernovae and Gamma Ray Bursts

By Amber Jorgenson | January 21, 2019 11:00 am

The link between gamma ray bursts (GRBs) and supernovae has been a confusing one. GRBs are highly energetic jets that blast from massive star explosions, but not all powerful supernovae produce them. Their sporadic nature has puzzled scientists for decades, but now, they might finally have some answers.

During a recent study of a distant GRB, researchers saw a “cocoon” of energy surrounding it. They believe that GRBs create these cocoons by transferring energy to them, and if they tra …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Dead Things

Fossil Shark Teeth Found With Sue The T. Rex Are Clues To Ecosystem

By Gemma Tarlach | January 21, 2019 7:00 am

Tiny fossil shark teeth trapped in the matrix — that’s the matrix of rock and other material that once encased the world’s most famous T. rex — represent a new species. The find is helping researchers recreate a Cretaceous environment that might not be what you’d expect.

Sue the T. rex has called The Field Museum in Chicago home for nearly 20 years, and the iconic fossil is a huge draw for tourists and paleontologists alike. With more than 90 percent of it recovered, it’s the most c …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts


Bullied Into Bad Science?

By Neuroskeptic | January 20, 2019 3:22 pm

There’s been an interesting discussion on Twitter about senior scientists who pressure their students or postdocs into scientific misconduct or otherwise poor science:

Bullying students into providing the “right” results: research misconduct by proxy?
This is probably among the worst but receives little attention

— Simon Eickhoff (@INM7_ISN) January 19, 2019
Today, I was made aware of a site called Bullied Into Bad Science which aims to tackle this problem.

Founded by behavi …


Why Does Pain Hurt? Scientists Find the Neurons That Cause Our Aches

By Lacy Schley | January 18, 2019 5:21 pm

A group of researchers have found the brain cells responsible for the emotional unpleasantness of pain — well, they’ve at least found them in mice. But the results, published in Science, could help scientists develop new treatments for chronic pain if that same cluster of cells exits in humans.

“While painful stimuli are detected by nerves,” says Gregory Scherrer, one of the study’s authors, in a press release, “this information doesn’t mean anything emotionally until it reache …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: Vaccines & drugs

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