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SCIENCE

Origin of Earth’s oldest crystals

New research suggests that the very oldest pieces of rock on Earth — zircon crystals — are likely to have formed in the craters left by violent asteroid impacts that peppered our nascent planet, rather than via plate tectonics as was previously believed. Rocks that formed over the course of ...

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If Your Science Professors Aren’t Confusing, They’re Doing It Wrong

Let me set a scene. It’s just after a physics class in which students wrestled with a complicated idea. Perhaps they measured the electrical current in different resistors and must build a mathematical relationship between change in potential, resistance, and electric current. In the particular, the students might be discussing what happens ...

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Venezuela’s Economic Success Fueled Its Electricity Crisis

This story originally appeared on CityLab and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. In battling its power crisis, Venezuela seems to be pulling out all the stops—well, almost. First, President Nicolas Maduro shut down the country for a week in March, giving citizens an extra three days off of work over the Easter ...

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New state of water molecule discovered

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling ...

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Triangles in the Sky Tell the Story of the Universe’s Birth

Once upon a time, about 13.8 billion years ago, our universe sprang from a quantum speck, ballooning to one million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times its initial volume (by some estimates) in less than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. It then continued ...

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How skeletal stem cells form the blueprint of the face

Timing is everything when it comes to the development of the vertebrate face. In a new study published in PLoS Genetics, USC Stem Cell researcher Lindsey Barske from the laboratory of Gage Crump and her colleagues identify the roles of key molecular signals that control this critical timing. Previous work ...

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New Maps Make Aftershocks Look Scarier Than the Main Quake

Aftershocks continue shaking the cities of Kumamoto, Japan and Muisne, Ecuador, almost a week after earthquakes rocked the two cities, frightening residents still reeling from the devastation and hampering relief efforts. A 7.0 temblor shook the island city of Kumamoto on April 15, killing at least two people. One day later, a magnitude 7.8 ...

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