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You Are Getting Sleepy—Tagged Proteins May Point to Why

Two years ago, scientists in Japan reported the discovery of a mouse that just could not stay awake. This creature, which had a mutation in a gene called Sik3, slept upwards of 30 percent more than usual: Although it awoke apparently refreshed, it would need to snooze again long before ...

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Space Photos of the Week: Hubble Sees Things a Long Time Ago

The Hubble Space Telescope is a time machine. Images like this reveal the earliest galaxies, because they gather light in the infrared range. Hubble is especially designed to look at that spectrum, and these dazzling galaxies were captured by the ‘scope in 2014. This particular photo combines infrared data, which ...

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Nanotubes change the shape of water

First, according to Rice University engineers, get a nanotube hole. Then insert water. If the nanotube is just the right width, the water molecules will align into a square rod. Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari and his team used molecular models to demonstrate their theory that weak van der Waals ...

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The Rebirth of Radio Astronomy

In the early 1930s, Bell Labs was experimenting with making wireless transatlantic calls. The communications goliath wanted to understand the static that might crackle across the ocean, so it asked an engineer named Karl Jansky to investigate its sources. He found three: nearby thunderstorms, distant thunderstorms, and a steady hiss, ...

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Prepare to Be Hypnotized By These Delicate Paper Robots

As far as plant names go, the sleepy plant—or shy plant, or shameplant, known more formally as Mimosa pudica—is hard to beat. Touch one of its leaves and it curls up like it’s embarrassed, the leaflets folding in on each other. It’s hypnotic and, well, kind of a surprising response ...

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How to Show That the Earth Orbits the Sun

One of my favorite classes to teach is Physics for Elementary Education. It’s a physics class designed to address the needs of future elementary school teachers—grades 1 through 6 or so. To guide the class, I’ve been using a version of Next Gen Physical Science and Everyday Thinking for a ...

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Light from ancient quasars helps confirm quantum entanglement

Last year, physicists at MIT, the University of Vienna, and elsewhere provided strong support for quantum entanglement, the seemingly far-out idea that two particles, no matter how distant from each other in space and time, can be inextricably linked, in a way that defies the rules of classical physics. Take, ...

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Scientists Are Developing a Unique Identifier for Your Brain

Michaela Cordova, a research associate and lab manager at Oregon Health and Science University, begins by “de-metaling”: removing rings, watches, gadgets and other sources of metal, double-checking her pockets for overlooked objects that could, in her words, “fly in.” Then she enters the scanning room, raises and lowers the bed, ...

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