US News | Science Discoveries
Summary: Get the latest science news about the environment, genetics, animals, technology, archaeology and space.
Waters from warmer latitudes, or subtropical waters, are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Researchers at MIT have shown that they can genetically engineer viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.
Neuroscientists at MIT have developed a powerful new class of tools to reversibly shut down brain activity using different colors of light. When targeted to specific neurons, these tools could potentially lead to new treatments for the abnormal brain activity.
A new study led by Oregan State University shows that declining populations of "apex" predators such as wolves, lions or sharks has led to a huge increase in smaller "mesopredators" that are causing major economic and ecological disruptions.
New research out of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine says that cheaters may prosper in the short term, but over time they seem doomed to fail, at least in the microscopic world of amoebas where natural selection favors the noble.
Michigan State University researchers have designed robots that, in the future, could be ocean-going and cooperatively track moving targets underwater. Schools of swimming robots would be able to work together to do things that one could not do alone, such as tracking large herds of animals or mapping expanses of pollution that can grow and change shape.
Princeton University researchers have come up with a new twist on the mysterious visual phenomenon experienced by humans known as the "uncanny valley." That twist is that monkeys experience the same exact feeling. The uncanny valley describes that disquieting feeling that occurs when viewers look at representations designed to be as human-like as possible.
Longer toes and a unique ankle structure provide some sprinters with the burst of acceleration that separates them from other runners, according to biomechanists at Penn State University.
A new analysis of climate risk, published by researchers at MIT and elsewhere, shows that even moderate carbon-reduction policies now can substantially lower the risk of future climate change. It also shows that quick, global emissions reductions would be required in order to provide a good chance of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how. Plants recognize family members by detecting chemical cues secreted by their roots. The finding not only sheds light on the intriguing chemical sensing system in plants, but also may have implications for agriculture and even home gardening.
A new study done by researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that when a TV is on in a room both the quantity and the quality of the interactions between parents and their children drops. The researchers studied about 50 1-, 2-, and 3-year-olds, each of whom was placed with one of their parents in two half-hour sessions.
A new computer algorithm developed at the University of Washington uses hundreds of thousands of tourist photos to automatically reconstruct entire cities in about a day. The tool harnesses the increasingly large digital photo collections available on photo-sharing Web sites such as Flickr.
An international team of scientists has for the first time thoroughly described Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species that lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. The female skeleton, nicknamed Ardi, is 4.4 million years old, 1.2 million years older than the skeleton of Lucy.
A team of researchers in Denmark, at the University of California, Davis, and at UC Berkeley have identified a group of plant proteins that "shut the door" on bacteria that would otherwise infect the plant's leaves. The findings provide a better understanding of plants' immune systems and will likely find application in better protecting crops and horticultural plants against diseases.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say you're more likely to scan a room, jumping from object to object as you search for something. In addition, the timing of these jumps appears to be determined by waves of activity in the brain that act as a clock.