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SCIENCE

First gamma-ray pulsar detected in another galaxy

Researchers using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have discovered the first gamma-ray pulsar in a galaxy other than our own. The object sets a new record for the most luminous gamma-ray pulsar known. The pulsar lies in the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small ...

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New species of duckbilled dinosaur neatly fills an evolutionary gap

A previously undiscovered dinosaur species, first uncovered and documented by an adjunct professor at Montana State University, showcases an evolutionary transition from an earlier duckbilled species to that group’s descendants, according to a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE. The paper was written by that professor, Elizabeth Freedman Fowler, ...

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Ant colony responds to predation simulation as a ‘superorganism’

Ants may respond to disturbances in their nest as one highly organized ‘superorganism’, according to a study published November 11, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Thomas O’Shea-Wheller from the University of Bristol, England, and colleagues. Ant colonies are incredibly complex, and at the same time, intensely cooperative, ...

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Scientific research is conservative but could be accelerated, analysis finds

Institutional and cultural pressures lead scientists to avoid risk-taking and choose inefficient research strategies, two new University of Chicago papers conclude. Despite increased opportunities for groundbreaking experiments, most scientists choose conservative research strategies to reduce personal risk, which makes collective discovery slower and more expensive. However, these computational studies also ...

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What Computational Physics Is Really About

I would like to address the following question: When you use a computer to solve a problem (I would call this a numerical calculation), is it an experiment or theory? Or is it something else? It’s a very common question. One that comes up often—usually when drinking beer with scientists ...

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Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity

Our ears are now open to gravity’s faint symphony. On September 18, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or Advanced LIGO, began to listen for gravitational waves, cosmic ripples that subtly warp the fabric of space-time. Albert Einstein solved the equations that implied that these waves should exist, and nearly ...

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What makes a leader? Clues from the animal kingdom

As the American media continues to buzz over who is more or less likely to secure the Republican and Democratic nominations for U.S. President, researchers in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution review some interesting perspectives on the nature of leadership. The experts from a wide range of disciplines ...

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