The Crab nebula's strange behavior
In the year 1054, Chinese astronomers witnessed a supernova, or a brightly exploding star in the sky. Today, the remains of that supernova are still very well-studied by astronomers from all over the world.
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Improving CITES could save more species
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna -- known as CITES -- is an important global agreement that encourages countries around the world to monitor the trade of plants and animals. Unfortunately, the business of buying and selling wildlife across countries' borders often takes the form of illegal poaching. Furthermore, this illegal trade of wildlife can spread infectious diseases across borders and introduce destructive, invading species to ecosystems that can't handle them.
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Introducing the new field of 'culturomics'
Imagine how much you could learn from reading every book that was ever published. It would, of course, be impossible for any human being to do.
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Imaginary food can make you full
Thinking of a candy bar for a moment is probably enough to make your mouth water or your stomach growl. But, according to a new study, if you just imagine eating an entire candy bar -- visualizing every bite, chew, and swallow in your head -- then you'd probably eat less of an actual candy bar if you were to get your hands on one.
Living off toxic waste: Bacteria that munch on arsenic
Can you imagine eating toxic waste for breakfast? Researchers have discovered a bacterium that can live and grow entirely off arsenic, reports a new study appearing in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Science Express.
Evolution of the gigantic mammals
New research helps explain how mammals around the world evolved to huge sizes after the dinosaurs went extinct.
An unlikely planet
Ever wonder what other planets are lurking beyond our galaxy? Well, a new planet has been discovered near a star of extragalactic origin, implying that it comes from outside the Milky Way, reports a new study.
Cats are delicate drinkers, physics shows
Cat- and dog-owners already know that their beloved animals are completely different from each other, but scientists now have more evidence that relates to how our furry friends lap up liquids.
CO2 to blame in ancient global warming event
Increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere played a major role in global warming about 40 million years ago, during the Middle Eocene period, a new study reports. This research appears in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Science.
An early tool-making technique
A technique for shaping stones into sharp-edged points may have emerged about 55,000 years earlier than scientists have previously thought, according to a study of stone tools from a cave in South Africa called Blombos Cave.
Creating a crater: LCROSS mission finds minerals on the moon
Last year, a NASA space mission crashed a used rocket into the bottom of a dark crater near the Moon's South Pole. This experiment, known as LCROSS -- Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite -- was designed to locate water and other minerals stored in the moon's soil. Now, this week in Science, researchers describe exactly what happened when that empty shell of a rocket slammed into the moon's cold surface.
Why you should take that vocabulary test
Quizzes don't just tell us how well we've memorized something -- they actually help us remember it, scientists say in a new study.
Planting 2 types of corn pays off for farmers
Genetically modified corn plants can kill insect pests and reduce damage to other neighboring crops as well -- but farmers who plant both types of corn at the same time save the most money, researchers say.
Penguin fossil paints portrait of ancient feathers
The fossil feathers of a 35-million-year-old penguin found in Peru give clues to how these plump birds got some of their modern features, a new study reports.
Florida panther population saved by cats from Texas
In 1995, the population of Florida panthers had dwindled all the way down to just 20 or 25 unhealthy adults. As their numbers decreased, Florida's panther population became more and more inbred, which caused many health problems in the wild cats, including heart defects, low sperm quality, low testosterone levels, low reproduction rates and lots of parasites.
Grub-on-a-stick: Crafty crows use tools for nutritious snacking
For New Caledonian crows, using sticks to dislodge beetle grubs from rotting tree trunks takes a lot of time and practice, but the payoff is that the grubs are extremely nutritious, scientists report.
The human brain -- from childhood to adulthood
Have you ever wondered how the human brain grows and changes as people get older?
Portrait of an exploded star
It's almost time for school pictures again, and almost time for your parents to coo and carry on about how much you've grown since last year. If you think they make a big deal over those pictures, imagine how they would feel if their "baby" was an exploded star. And they hadn't seen a picture of it in more than six years!
When plants cry for help, predator bugs answer
Some plants have a really clever method for protecting themselves against pests. When caterpillars start nibbling on wild tobacco plants, their saliva cues a "help me!" signal from the plants that brings predatory insects flying in to the rescue, a new study shows.
The long-distance voyage of plastic
If you took a boat ride from Bermuda, heading east toward the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you'd start to see little bits of white and colored stuff floating alongside. This stuff is plastic.
Gamma rays from a nova explosion greet astronomers with surprise
Recent observations from a telescope in orbit around Earth have detected gamma rays coming from a nova explosion on a distant star system, known as V407 Cygni. Experts say that this is a surprising discovery because scientists have expected to observe x-rays, instead of gamma rays, coming from similar nova explosions.
White-nose disease a serious problem for bats -- how can kids help?
The little brown myotis, which was once one of most common bat species in North America, may be extinct in the northeastern United States within the next 16 to 20 years or so, due to a disease called White-Nose Syndrome, according to a study in the Aug. 6 issue of the journal Science.
Spider silk's real-life superpowers
When you look at a spider web, you might admire its delicate beauty, but don't let appearances deceive you. That web is made of an incredibly tough material -- silk!
How exploding moss launches its spores
When Sphagnum moss spores explode out of their capsules, they reach more than 10 centimeters in the air, thanks to tiny mushroom clouds that help drive the spores upward, scientists have found.
Gobies gobble up the jellies
Since the 1960s, the Benguela ecosystem off the coast of Namibia has experienced the collapse of the sardine fishery and a takeover by jellyfish and microbes. Surprisingly, a fish called the bearded goby has thrived in these conditions, partially fixing the food chain in this ecosystem, an international team of scientists explains in the in the July 16 issue of the journal Science.
Funding provided by the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation at AAAS.