Scientists discover potentially habitable planets

Is there life beyond our solar system? If there is, our best bet for finding it may lie in three nearby, Earth-like exoplanets.

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Dinosaurs 'already in decline' before asteroid apocalypse

Dinosaurs were already in an evolutionary decline tens of millions of years before the meteorite impact that finally finished them off, new research has found.

Hubble discovers moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake

This Hubble image reveals the first moon ever discovered around the dwarf planet Makemake. The tiny satellite, located just above Makemake in this image, is barely visible because it is almost lost in the glare of the very bright dwarf planet. Hubble's sharp-eyed WFC3 made the observation in April 2015.Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second brightest icy dwarf planet -- after Pluto --...

Hubble sees a star 'inflating' a giant bubble

This is a Hubble Space Telescope photograph of an enormous, balloon-like bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. Astronomers trained the iconic telescope on this colorful feature, called the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635.For the 26th birthday of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are highlighting a Hubble image of an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. The Hubble...

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Evolution in action detected in Darwin's finches

The medium ground finch (<i>Geospiza fortis</i>) diverged in beak size from the large ground finch (<i>Geospiza magnirostris</i>) on Daphne Major Island, Gal&aacute;pagos following a severe drought.The most characteristic feature of Darwin's finches is the diversification of beak morphology that has allowed these species to expand their utilization of food resources in the Gal√°pagos archipelago. A...

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UCI astronomers determine precise mass of a giant black hole

Astronomers from the University of California, Irvine and other universities have derived a highly precise measurement of the mass of a black hole at the center of a nearby giant...

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How did human paired limbs evolve? MBL Whitman Center study targets role of gill arch in fish

Skeletal preparation of a late-stage skate (<i>Leucoraja erinacea</i>) embryo. The gill arches and branchial rays sit on either side of the head, below the eyes.Sharks, skates, and rays are oddities among the fish: They have appendages growing out of the gill arch, a small cradle of bones that supports the gills. This anatomical peculiarity...

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Fastest-ever molecular imaging reveals reaction crucial for vision

Every process that sustains life is carried out by proteins, but understanding how these complex molecules do their jobs depends on learning the arrangement of their atoms -- and how...

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Six new fossil species form 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate change

This is a left lower jaw of <i>Yunnanadapis folivorus</i>, one of six new fossil species found in southern China.In a study to be published this week in the journal Science, researchers describe unearthing a "mother lode" of a half-dozen fossil primate species in southern China.

Gene therapy shows long-term benefit for treating rare blindness

Pioneering gene therapy has restored some vision to patients with a rare form of genetic blindness for as long as four years, raising hopes it could be used to cure...

'Dirty mouse' may model human immune system more accurately, NIH-funded study suggests

Medical interventions that work well when tested in mouse models can fail when they advance to safety and efficacy testing in humans. One reason for this, scientists propose, may be...

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Shorter treatment course potentially on the horizon for hep C patients

April 15, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: Data from a Phase 2 clinical trial show that an investigational injectable treatment known as RG-101 in combination with a four week course of oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment was well tolerated and resulted in...

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Scientists develop human embryos through early post-implantation stages for first time

A new technique that allows embryos to develop in vitro beyond the implantation stage (when the embryo would normally implant into the womb) has been developed by scientists at the...

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UC Berkeley, Stanford find LA LGBT Center's canvassing conversations reduce transphobia

Researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, report in today's edition of Science that volunteer canvassers - both transgender and not - reduced voters' prejudice against transgender...

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Rapid, low-cost detection of Zika virus using paper-based synthetic gene networks

University of Toronto Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Keith PardeeUniversity of Toronto Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Keith Pardee and an international team of collaborators, including scientists from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, have developed a low-cost, easy-to-use diagnostic...

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Swarming red crabs documented on video

A research team studying biodiversity at the Hannibal Bank Seamount off the coast of Panama has captured unique video of thousands of red crabs swarming in low-oxygen waters just above...

Seeing double: NASA missions measure solar flare from 2 spots in space

During a December 2013 solar flare, three NASA missions observed a current sheet form -- a strong clue for explaining what initiates the flares. This animation shows four views of the flare from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, and JAXA/NASA's Hinode, allowing scientists to make unprecedented measurements of its characteristics. The current sheet is a long, thin structure, especially visible in the views on the left. Those two animations depict light emitted by material with higher temperatures, so they better show the extremely hot current sheet.Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through a process...

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Study suggests medical errors now third leading cause of death in the US

Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the...

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World's shallowest slow-motion earthquakes detected offshore of New Zealand

Scientists deploy an ocean bottom seismometer and absolute pressure gauge offshore of Gisborne, New Zealand from the R/V Tangaroa.Research published in the May 6 edition of Science indicates that slow-motion earthquakes or "slow-slip events" can rupture the shallow portion of a fault that also moves in large, tsunami-generating...

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River food webs threatened by widespread hydropower practice

<p>Grand Canyon Youth river trip participants collect a sample of aquatic insects along the Colorado River.

<p>The decline of aquatic insects downstream from some hydroelectric dams has been linked to a widespread practice known as hydropeaking, whereby river flows are increased during the day when electricity demands are large, according to a new study led by the US Geological Survey, along with researchers from Oregon State University, Utah State University and Idaho State University. Findings show it may be possible to mitigate these negative effects by using alternative hydropower practices.

<p>The research was based in part on a large citizen science project with more than 2,500 insect samples taken on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, downstream of Glen Canyon Dam. This dataset was collected almost entirely by river guides, educational groups, and other citizen scientists.The decline of aquatic insects downstream from some hydroelectric dams has been linked to a widespread practice known as hydropeaking, whereby river flows are increased during the day when electricity...

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Study finds readability of dense breast notifications poor

About half of American women have dense breasts, which makes it harder for mammograms to identify cancer and add to a woman's risk for cancer. Nearly half of U.S....

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Newly discovered titanosaurian dinosaur from Argentina, Sarmientosaurus

Sarmientosaurus head posture, brain & eye (WitmerLab): Digital renderings of the skull and reconstructed brain endocast and eye of the new titanosaurian dinosaur species <i>Sarmientosaurus musacchioi</i>. At left is the skull rendered semi-transparent in left side view, showing the relative size and position of the brain endocast (in blue, pink, yellow, and red) and the inferred habitual head posture. At center is the isolated brain endocast in left side view, and at right is a left/front view of the skull showing the reconstructed eyeball and its associated musculature. Scale bar equals five centimeters.Scientists have discovered Sarmientosaurus musacchioi, a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur, based on an complete skull and partial neck fossil unearthed in Patagonia, Argentina, according to a study published April...