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When a star gets too close to a black hole, sparks fly. And, potentially, so do subatomic particles called neutrinos. A dramatic light show results when a supermassive black hole rips apart a wayward star. Now, for the ... [more]
Six years ago, tour guide Brenden Miles was traveling down the Kinabatangan River in the Malaysian part of Borneo, when he spotted an odd-looking primate he had never seen before. He snapped a few pictures of the strange ... [more]
In 2007, 22-year-old P. Ramesh’s groundnut farm was losing money. As was the norm in most of India (and still is), Ramesh was using a cocktail of pesticides and fertilizers across his 2.4 hectares in the Anantapur district ... [more]
Two Inca children slated for ritual sacrifice more than 500 years ago quaffed a special soothing concoction that has gone undetected until now. Those young victims, most likely a girl and a boy roughly 4 to 8 years old, ... [more]
Any Martians out there should learn to duck and cover. On May 4, the Red Planet was rocked by a roughly magnitude 5 temblor, the largest Marsquake detected to date, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., ... [more]
To build its nest, a bird won’t go for any old twig. Somehow, birds pick and choose material that will create a cozy, sturdy nest. “That’s just totally mystifying to me,” says physicist Hunter King of the University of ... [more]
Prehistoric people may have used firelight to create the illusion of movement in their art. An analysis of 50 engraved stones excavated in France suggests that when the stones were placed near a fire, the flickering ... [more]
There’s a new addition to astronomers’ portrait gallery of black holes.  Astronomers announced May 12 that they have finally assembled an image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.  “This image ... [more]
Massive earthquakes don’t just move the ground — they make speed-of-light adjustments to Earth’s gravitational field. Now, researchers have trained computers to identify these tiny gravitational signals, demonstrating how ... [more]
Maybe you’ve heard that the pandemic is over in the United States. (It’s not.) Masks are no longer required in most places and large gatherings are becoming commonplace again. Most of the country is in the green, according ... [more]
When my friend Julie Babulski was a freshman in high school in the mid-1990s, she decided to stop eating meat. “I loved animals. I couldn’t see them suffering,” Babulski says. “The fact that it pissed off my mom was an ... [more]
Cradled inside the hushed world of the womb, fetuses might be preparing to come out howling. In the same way newborn humans can cry as soon as they’re born, common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) produce contact ... [more]
It’s hard to predict which songs will become hits. It’s even more difficult to predict which artists topping today’s charts will go on to record more hits and who will see their fame fizzle out. Now an extensive study ... [more]
In the solar system’s early years, the still-forming giant planets sidestepped, did a do-si-do and then swung one of their partners away from the sun’s gravitational grasp. Things settled, and our planetary system was in ... [more]
Some bats buzz like wasps and bees when grasped, and the sound seems to deter predatory owls. The findings reveal what may be the first known case of a mammal mimicking an insect, researchers report May 9 in Current ... [more]
Health experts recommend against washing chicken before cooking it because that can spread harmful bacteria. But if you’re among the nearly 70 percent of people who do, according to a survey of U.S. grocery shoppers, there ... [more]
No matter how you slice it, climate change will alter what we eat in the future. Today, just 13 crops provide 80 percent of people’s energy intake worldwide, and about half of our calories come from wheat, maize and rice. ... [more]
Cometary evidence of a planet beyond Pluto — Science News, May 6, 1972 There have been suggestions that our solar system might have a tenth planet…. In the April Publications of the Astronomical Society of the ... [more]
If you’ve got milk, you’ve got options. You can lighten your coffee or soak a cookie, ferment a cheese or bestow yourself a mustache. You can float some cereal or mix a shake. Replacing such a versatile substance is a tall ... [more]
When Igor de Almeida moved to Japan from Brazil nine years ago, the transition should have been relatively easy. Both Japan and Brazil are collectivist nations, where people tend to value the group’s needs over their own. ... [more]