Science

The best sci-fi thriller on HBO Max reveals a brutal truth about life on Mars

The best sci-fi thriller on HBO Max reveals a brutal truth about life on Mars

Mars is a hellscape. Enter the planet without a protective space suit and your eyes will pop out of their sockets as your blood vessels rupture and your whole body convulse. At least that’s the premise of one of the most successful science fiction films to ever set foot on the red planet. Luckily the …

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Wireless activation of targeted brain circuits in less than a second

Wireless activation of targeted brain circuits in less than a second

Researchers from Rice University, Duke University, Brown University and Baylor College of Medicine developed magnetic technology to wirelessly control neural circuits in fruit flies. They used genetic engineering to express heat-sensitive ion channels in neurons that control behavior and iron nanoparticles to activate the channels. When the researchers activated a magnetic field in the flies’ …

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The next generation robots that could explore sea worlds

The next generation robots that could explore sea worlds

Ocean worlds in our solar system are attractive sites for searching for life beyond Earth. Underneath a thick, icy shell, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus likely harbor oceans, scientists believe. Earth’s oceans teem with life, but is the same scenario possible on these frosty moons? Future missions could reveal whether ocean …

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Revealed: Hundreds of billions of stars. Now we are looking for them for life | Louise Preston

TThis week, the James Webb Space Telescope made history, proving to be the most powerful space-based observatory mankind has ever built and revealing a tiny portion of the vast universe around us in stunning detail. Astronomers around the world were shown cheering, in tears and speechless. Astrobiologists like me who study the origin, evolution, distribution …

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An international team of researchers analyzed high-speed video footage of three woodpecker species.  Here is an image sequence from a high speed video showing the Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopuspileatus) being pecked.

Woodpeckers ‘act like stiff hammers’, not hard hats, study finds

Scientists have debunked a popular theory that the woodpecker can repeatedly strike a tree with its beak at high speed without causing brain damage to itself. Researchers analyzed high-speed video of three species of woodpecker – crested woodpecker, black woodpecker and great spotted woodpecker. They found that their skulls do not act like shock-absorbing helmets …

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Researchers have for the first time successfully sequenced the genome of late Pleistocene fossils.  Pictured above is a side view of the excavated skull from Red Deer Cave

DNA from fossils unearthed in southern China suggests Native Americans have East Asian roots

DNA from fossils unearthed in southern China dating back 14,000 years suggests Native Americans have East Asian roots Fossils found in China indicate that Native Americans may have had genetic roots in East Asia The data will help us understand “how people change their physical appearance as they adapt to local environments over time,” says …

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Woodpeckers' heads look more like stiff hammers than hard hats

Woodpeckers’ heads look more like stiff hammers than hard hats

Frame sequence from a high-speed video of pecking by the Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopuspileatus). Photo credit: Erica Ortlieb & Robert Shadwick (University of British Columbia) Scientists have long wondered how woodpeckers can repeatedly bang their beaks against tree trunks without damaging their brains. This led to the notion that their skulls should act like shock-absorbing helmets. …

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Why don't woodpeckers get brain damage?  Research presents an intriguing new hypothesis

Why don’t woodpeckers get brain damage? Research presents an intriguing new hypothesis

Forced to spend their days banging their tiny skulls into the sides of trees in search of buried bites, woodpeckers should have developed a trick or two to avoid brain damage. That’s how you would think. A new study of the woodpecker’s biomechanics has cast doubt on speculation that the tiny chisel-headed bird avoids turning …

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Russian space agency head threatens to deny access to new ISS robotic arm

Russian space agency head threatens to deny access to new ISS robotic arm

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide on a spacewalk outside the ISS.picture: NASA The invasion of Ukraine has taken a toll on Russia’s ongoing partnerships with the US and Europe in space. Yesterday, the European Space Agency announced it was completely ending its collaboration with its Russian counterpart on an upcoming mission …

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Modeling the merger of a black hole with a neutron star and the subsequent process in a single simulation

Modeling the merger of a black hole with a neutron star and the subsequent process in a single simulation

Numerical simulation of a black hole-neutron star merger. The density profile is shown in blue and green, the magnetic field lines penetrating the black hole are shown in pink. Unbound matter is shown in white and its speed is indicated by green arrows. Photo credit: K. Hayashi (Kyoto University) With supercomputer calculations, scientists from the …

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