Category: science

By Davide Castelvecchi Albert Einstein famously said that quantum mechanics should allow two objects to affect each other’s behaviour instantly across vast distances, something he dubbed “spooky action at a distance”1. Decades after his death, experiments confirmed this, but to this day, it remains unclear exactly how much coordination nature allows between distant objects. Now, five …

By Beth Mole In the third episode of Goop’s Netflix series, a female guest remarks that we women are seen as “very dangerous when we’re knowledgeable.” [Ep. 3, 33:35] “Tell me about it,” Gwyneth Paltrow knowingly replies amid “mm-hmms”—as if she has a first-hand understanding of this. But after watching just a few minutes of any …

By Yale University Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, according to an international, Yale-led team of researchers. It was all about the asteroid. In a break from a number of other recent studies, Yale assistant professor of geology & geophysics Pincelli Hull and her …

By Brandon Specktor Like most large galaxies, the Milky Way is glued together by a supermassive black hole at its center, buried deep in the constellation Sagittarius. Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A*), constantly pulls stars, dust and other matter inward, forming a stellar megalopolis 1 billion times denser than our corner …

By Mindy Weisberger Scientists recently identified the oldest material on Earth: stardust that’s 7 billion years old, tucked away in a massive, rocky meteorite that struck our planet half a century ago. This ancient interstellar dust, made of presolar grains (dust grains that predate our sun), was belched into the universe by dying stars during the final …

By Stephanie Pappas Tiny, tubular fossils found in Nevada may contain the oldest digestive tracts ever found. The fossils date back more than half a billion years, to the late Ediacaran period. That makes them about 30 million years older than the next-oldest fossilized guts on record. More important than their age, though, is that …

By Martha Kempner As state legislative sessions kick off this month, advocates will push for improved sexuality education policies to curb the alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs and STDs) among young people. States like Montana—where gonorrhea numbers are at a 40-year high—and Michigan have reported surges in STIs like chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. These …

By Rafi Letzter We’re on our way to kill some galaxies, but long before that happens, we’re already eating little chunks of them. That’s the conclusion of a new pair of papers published Dec. 5 and Dec. 15 last year in The Astrophysical Journal. Researchers found a few thousand strange young stars at the edge of our galaxy, the …

By Heidi Ledford The prospect of using the popular genome-editing tool CRISPR to treat a host of diseases in people is moving closer to reality. Medical applications of CRISPR–Cas9 had a banner year in 2019. The first results trickled in from trials testing the tool in people, and more trials launched. In the coming years, …

By Jeanette Kazmierczak In 2019, when Wolf Cukier finished his junior year at Scarsdale High School in New York, he joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as a summer intern. His job was to examine variations in star brightness captured by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and uploaded to the Planet Hunters TESS citizen science …