UNH scientist: Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper by University of New Hampshire scientists.

What americans fear most -- new poll from Chapman University

Chapman University has initiated the first comprehensive nationwide study on what strikes fear in Americans in the first of what is a planned annual study. According to the Chapman poll,...

Physicists solve longstanding puzzle of how moths find distant mates

The way in which male moths locate females flying hundreds of meters away has long been a mystery to scientists.

Backpack physics: Smaller hikers carry heavier loads

A group of backpackers hike on an Outward Bound course in the La Sal Mountains, UT.Hikers are generally advised that the weight of the packs they carry should correspond to their own size, with smaller individuals carrying lighter loads. Although petite backpackers might appreciate the...

A global surge of great earthquakes from 2004-2014 and implications for Cascadia

The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of Mw8.0 or greater -- a rate...

Tarantula venom illuminates electrical activity in live cells

The UC Davis research team includes (from left to right) Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy, Daniel Austin, Sebastian Fletcher-Taylor, Jon Sack and Kenneth S. Eum, who passed away earlier this year. The team has dedicated the work to his memory. 'Ken was a talented postdoctoral student, a driven and caring soul who brought joy to the lives of those who knew him,' they said.Researchers at the University of California, Davis, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with...

Rising above the risk: America's first tsunami refuge

Washington's coast is so close to the seismically active Cascadia Subduction Zone that if a megathrust earthquake were to occur, a tsunami would hit the Washington shoreline in just 25...

Beyond LOL cats, social networks could become trove of biodiversity data

Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey. Grumpy Cat. "Peanut," the Ugliest Dog in the World. These might be a sampling of the most familiar animals to millions of users of social networking...

Bite to the death: Sugarbag bees launch all-conquering raids

They may be tiny and stingless but there's nothing sweet and innocent about a species of native sugarbag bee when it goes to war over a coveted honey-filled hive.

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries

ORNL researchers used scanning transmission electron microscopy to take an atomic-level look at a cubic garnet material called LLZO that could help enable higher-energy battery designs.Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of higher-energy battery designs.

University of Tennessee study finds fish just wanna have fun

A cichlid fish strikes a bottom-weighted thermometer that would immediately right itself. It was often struck repeatedly in bouts.Fish just want to have fun, according to a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, study that finds even fish "play."

This is the Huan Tran Telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile. The POLARBEAR microwave bolometers are mounted on the telescope to study the polarization of light from a period 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

Controlling Ebola in West Africa most effective way to decrease international risk: Paper

Controlling the Ebola virus outbreak at the source in West Africa is the most effective way to decrease international risk of transmission, according to a research paper published today in <i>The Lancet</i> by Dr. Kamran Khan, a physician and researcher at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.Controlling the Ebola virus outbreak at the source in West Africa is the most effective way to decrease international risk of transmission, according to a research paper published in The...

Exploring X-Ray phase tomography with synchrotron radiation

Phase-contrast imaging is a technique for scanning the volumes of soft tissues like tumors or internal organs, but with much greater contrast than conventional CT scans. This image shows a non-invasive 'slice' of a rat's heart tissue made with X-ray phase tomography by propagation-based imaging, which provides sharper data with higher resolution than phase tomography using X-ray grating interferometry (see image #2).X-ray phase tomography is an imaging technique that uses penetrating X-rays to create volumetric views through "slices" or sections of soft biological tissues, such as tumors, and it offers strongly...

Triplet threat from the sun

This is the initial UV excitation leading to photofragmentation.The most obvious effects of too much sun exposure are cosmetic, like wrinkled and rough skin. Some damage, however, goes deeper -- ultraviolet light can damage DNA and cause proteins...

Big black holes can block new stars

This is elliptical galaxy NGC 1132, as seen by NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory; the blue/purple in the image is the X-ray glow from hot, diffuse gas that is not forming into stars.Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.

Could I squeeze by you?

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have developed deeper understanding of the ideal design for mesoporous nanoparticles used in catalytic reactions, such as hydrocarbon conversion to biofuels....

Less-numerate investors swayed by corporate report presentation effects

Less-numerate investors are more susceptible to style and presentation effects in corporate social responsibility reports, according to research from W. Brooke Elliott, the Roedgers Fellow in Accountancy and Professor Ken Perry Faculty Fellow at the College of Business.Publicly traded corporations are increasingly publishing social responsibility reports for investors, who now consider such information alongside traditional financial data before investing in a company.

Massive debris pile reveals risk of huge tsunamis in Hawaii

Hawaii's evacuation maps are based in part on the 1946 tsunami, the most destructive tsunami in Hawaii's recent history. But new research shows that mammoth tsunamis, many times the size of the 1946 event, have struck the island in the past, and may again in the future.A mass of marine debris discovered in a giant sinkhole in the Hawaiian islands provides evidence that at least one mammoth tsunami, larger than any in Hawaii's recorded history, has...

BOFFFFs (big, old, fat, fertile, female fish) sustain fisheries

This is a a big (1.1 m), old (ca.100 years), fat (27.2 kg), fertile female fish, in this case a shortraker rockfish (<i>Sebastes borealis</i>) taken off Alaska.  New research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa indicates that so-called BOFFFFs sustain fisheries.Recreational fishermen prize large trophy fish. Commercial fishing gear targets big fish. After all, larger fish feed the egos of humans as well as their bellies.

New tracers can identify frack fluids in the environment

Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment.

Penn researchers untangle the biological effects of blue light

This image depicts Geoffrey K. Aguirre, MD, PhD, a behavioral neurologist and associate professor in the department of Neurology; Manuel Spitschan, a Penn graduate student in psychology; and David Brainard, PhD, RRL professor of Psychology, director of the Vision Research Center and director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science; found that melanopsin, a protein and short wave-sensitive S-cones, both in the retina, have opposite effects and compete for control of the pupil in response to blue light.Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have...

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