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Accessed on 24 June 2019, 0500 UTC.
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Astronomers Capture First Polarized Radio Signal from Gamma-Ray Burst
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic explosions in the Universe, beaming out mighty jets which travel through space at 0.99 times the speed of light, as a star much more massive than our Sun collapses at the end of its life to produce a black hole. Scientists have struggled to understand how these powerful jets are formed and why they seem to appear only in GRBs. Because these jets are…
‘Meteoric Smoke’ May Play Key Role in Formation of High-Altitude Clouds on Mars
Planetary scientists have long observed water-ice clouds in the Martian middle atmosphere (18.6-37.2 miles, or 30-60 km, above the surface). Now, a University of Colorado, Boulder-led study suggests that those clouds owe their existence to a phenomenon called ‘meteoric smoke.’ NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity imaged these drifting clouds on May 7, 2019. These are likely water-ice clouds about 19…
Neolithic Çatalhöyük Experienced Modern Urban Problems
An international team of researchers has found that the inhabitants of the Neolithic settlement Çatalhöyük (7100-5950 BCE) experienced overcrowding, infectious diseases, violence and environmental problems. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is an artist’s impression of Çatalhöyük. Image credit: Dan Lewandowski. Çatalhöyük began…
Paleontologists Find Strange Microbes in Dinosaur Fossils
In a new study published in the journal eLife, an international team of paleontologists looked for preserved collagen proteins and DNA in the fossilized bones of a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus. They didn’t find the proteins or DNA, but they did find unusual communities of modern microbes living inside the dinosaur bones. A fluorescence microscopy image showing lit-up modern microbes that…
Researchers Record Songs of North Pacific Right Whale for First Time
The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is a very large, thickset baleen whale species that is extremely rare and endangered. It ranges from Japan in the west to Alaska and the west coast of North America in the east. A team of marine biologists from NOAA Fisheries and the University of Washington has recorded singing (recording #1 and recording #2) from the rare species in the southeastern…
Physicists Say Quantum Gravity ‘Has No Symmetry’
An international team of theoretical physicists has found that when gravity is combined with quantum mechanics, no global symmetries are possible. Quantum gravity is a field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics. Image credit: Gerd Altmann. “There are four kinds of fundamental forces in Nature: electromagnetism, strong force, weak…
Molecule Normally Associated with DNA Repair Plays Central Role in Hardening of Arteries: Study
A new study, published in the June 11 issue of the journal Cell Reports, found that poly(ADP ribose), or PAR, a molecule once thought only to exist inside cells for the purpose of repairing DNA, is responsible for hardening (biomineralization) of the arteries. Additionally, using rats with chronic kidney disease, the study found that minocycline — a widely-prescribed antibiotic often used to…
Almond Genome Sequenced
The domesticated almond tree (Prunus amygdalus) has been feeding humans for millennia. Derivation from the wild, bitter, and toxic almond required loss of the cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin. A team of European scientists has sequenced the almond genome and analyzed the genomic region responsible for this shift. Almond kernels. The almond is the main tree nut species worldwide, with a cultivated…
Scientists Find 1.2-Billion-Year-Old Impact Crater Off Coast of Scotland
A 3,300-foot- (1 km) wide asteroid struck our planet 1.2 billion years ago, according to new research published in the Journal of the Geological Society. An artist’s depiction of an asteroid impact. Image credit: Don Davis / NASA. In 2008, a team of researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen found evidence for the ancient meteorite strike near Ullapool, Scotland. The thickness and…
New Type of Computer Memory Invented
An oxide-free, floating-gate memory cell invented and patented by Lancaster University researchers promises to transform daily life with its ultra-low energy consumption. Device structure: (a) schematic of the processed device with control gate (CG), source (S) and drain (D) contacts (gold); the red spheres represent stored charge in the floating gate (FG); (b) details of the layer structure within…