Upticks in radiocarbon in ancient tree rings do not align with the solar cycle A cryptic chemical signature of unknown origins, hidden for centuries inside the trunks of Earth’s trees, just became even more mysterious. In the last decade, scientists have discovered traces on Earth of six intense bursts of
Matter’s dominance over antimatter may revolve around lightweight subatomic particles The answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the universe may come down to one of the smallest, and spookiest, particles. Matter is common in the cosmos. Everything around us — from planets to stars to puppies — is
Pahrump poolfish react oddly to danger, a new study finds Getting out into society after a long isolation gets awkward. Ask the Pahrump poolfish, loners in a desert for some 10,000 years. This hold-in-your-hand-size fish (Empetrichthys latos) has a chubby, torpedo shape and a mouth that looks as if it’s
This lightning bolt over Oklahoma was one of the rarest and most powerful on Earth. The sky turns dark, a heavy rain falls and a bolt of lightning crackles through the air. But instead of striking down toward the ground, or zipping sideways between clouds, this lightning bolt does something
Could we ever create a brain-in-a-vat? Could a brain ever exist on its own, divorced from or independent of a body? For a long time, philosophers have pondered such “brain-in-a-vat” scenarios, asking whether isolated brains could maintain consciousness when separated from their bodies and senses. Typically, a person’s experiences are
Vortex rings are no longer just for fluids Smoke rings are being seen in a new light. Doughnut-shaped structures called vortex rings are sometimes seen swirling through fluids. Smokers can form them with their mouths, volcanoes can spit them out during eruptions and dolphins can blow them as bubble rings.
Synthetic biology could help displace petroleum as a chemical feedstock Chemicals cost more than just money: Today, petrochemical production spews out nearly 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Now, researchers have taken an important step to vastly reduce that footprint, by using bacteria and waste gases from steel plants,