Day: March 14, 2022

50 years ago, oxygen was touted as a potential memory loss treatment

Excerpt from the March 18, 1972 issue of Science News In spite of the age-old yearning for the Fountain of Youth, there is a marked lack of research toward retaining vitality in later years. Nonetheless … [researchers] have found they can reverse transient memory loss — or senility — in older patients by giving them…
Read more

Earth’s purported ‘nearest black hole’ isn’t a black hole

A contested multiple star system is a missing link in stellar evolution The nearest black hole to Earth isn’t a black hole at all. Instead, what scientists thought was a stellar triplet — two stars and a black hole — is actually a pair of stars caught in a unique stage of evolution. In May…
Read more

How did we get here? The roots and impacts of the climate crisis

People’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and the cutting down of carbon-storing forests have transformed global climate. Even in a world increasingly battered by weather extremes, the summer 2021 heat wave in the Pacific Northwest stood out. For several days in late June, cities such as Vancouver, Portland and Seattle baked in record temperatures that…
Read more

The spongy moth’s new name replaces an ethnic slur

Entomologists chose the common name as a nod to the invasive species’ eggs A menacing pest just became a bit less problematic, at least socially, after getting an update to its common name. Lymantria dispar is an invasive insect previously known as the gypsy moth — a label that contains an ethnic slur. On March…
Read more

Ancient Homo sapiens took a talent for cultural creativity from Africa to Asia

Stone Age hominids got culturally inventive starting nearly 100,000 years ago Creativity runs deep in human evolution. Stone Age people steered their cultures through some inventive twists and turns as far-flung groups of Homo sapiens independently learned to cope with harsh African environments and unfamiliar Asian settings, two new reports suggest. Southern African hunter-gatherers who…
Read more

The mysterious Hiawatha crater in Greenland is 58 million years old

The impact that carved the crater is too old to have caused the Younger Dryas cold snap The powerful impact that created a mysterious crater at the northwestern edge of Greenland’s ice sheet happened about 58 million years ago, researchers report March 9 in Science Advances. That timing, confirmed by two separate dating methods, means…
Read more

Genetically modified mosquitoes could be tested in California soon

The EPA also OK’d a Florida project for more trials. Now both states will decide next steps Genetically modified mosquitoes might soon be whining on both U.S. coasts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved two more years of testing Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes as living pest controls, continuing a pilot program started in 2021…
Read more

An extinct rat shows CRISPR’s limits for resurrecting species

Even a few missing genes in animals’ re-created genomes could be a problem, a study suggests Before the early 1900s, if it walked like a Christmas Island rat and talked like a Christmas Island rat, it probably was a Christmas Island rat. But if one of these now-extinct rats ever walks the Earth again, it…
Read more

Mirror beetles’ shiny bodies may not act as camouflage after all

A fake beetle test takes the shine off the idea that metallic high gloss can confound predators This is a story about camouflage, but forget mud-blob brown, mealy beige and somber green. Here scientists study mirror glitz and the paradoxical notion that there’s a shiny side to camo. Mirrorlike surfaces have evolved in open-ocean fishes…
Read more

Culturally prized mountain goats may be vanishing from Indigenous land in Canada

First Nation peoples in British Columbia partnered with academics to assess goat populations For thousands of years, members of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation in Canada have prized the mountain goats that roam the craggy peaks of British Columbia’s central coast. The animals have long been an important food source, explains Kitasoo/Xai’xais Chief Councillor Doug Neasloss.…
Read more