Future ‘Flash’ Radiation Therapy Could Treat Cancer in Milliseconds

An emerging cancer therapy could someday shorten the time patients spend in treatment and improve their overall outcomes. Someday, specialized systems could barrage cancer patients with particles to deliver a full course of radiation therapy in mere microseconds, new research suggests. Using an emerging technique known as flash radiotherapy, doctors could eradicate tumors in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional radiation therapy — at least in theory. As of yet, the lightning-fast technique has not faced formal clinical trials in human patients,…

Dark Energy Is Real, Despite Claim to the Contrary

The galaxy cluster Abell 1689 is famous for the way it bends light in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. Study of the cluster has revealed secrets about how dark energy shapes the universe. (Image: © NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (JPL/LAM), P. Natarajan (Yale) and J-P. Kneib (LAM)) A new study suggests that dark energy might not be real after all. But other scientists have found major flaws with this bold claim. Dark energy is a mysterious and hypothetical form of energy that is used to explain the accelerating expansion of…

Incredible ‘Heslington Brain’ Resists Rotting for 2,600 Years. Here’s How.

Here’s how the famous Iron Age ‘Heslington brain’ got preserved. Scientists are amazed that a human brain could persist for 2,600 years. (Image: © Axel Petzold/Journal of the Royal Society Interface) In 2008, archaeologists were stunned to discover a human brain dating to the Iron Age. The finding seemed to defy basic biology; human brains, like any other soft tissue, typically decay soon after death. But now, scientists have figured out how this brain remained intact for 2,600 years. Multiple factors, they said in their new study, played a role,…

Satellite Spots Iran Missile Attack Aftermath from Space

The sharp images clearly show which buildings were reduced to ruin and rubble. A closeup of the wreckage at Iraq’s al-Asad airbase, as captured on Jan. 8, 2020, by one of Planet’s SkySat satellites. (Image: © Planet Labs Inc.) You don’t have to be on the ground in Iraq to see the damage done by Iran’s recent missile attack. Satellites operated by San Francisco-based company Planet have captured photos of Iraq’s al-Asad airbase, one of the sites hit in last night’s (Jan. 7) bombardment. The sharp images clearly show which…

You’re Not Seeing Things, These Spider Butts Look Like Faces

The flashy abdomens of male peacock spiders may serve a very important purpose. This design on the abdomen of a peacock spider resembles the face of a mantis. Do you see it? (Image: © Jurgen Otto) AUSTIN, Texas — Male peacock spiders have the ultimate challenge to contend with when it comes to mating: The much larger females would rather kill and eat the male than have sex with him. But the males might have a clever trick up their sleeve, or abdomen, rather. New research presented at the Society…