In astronomical terms, a blue moon is the name for the second full moon that occurs in a single month. We already had a full moon on July 2, so when a full moon rises again on Friday, July 31, it will indeed be a blue moon. It just won't appear blue in color. But that’s not to say there has never been a real blue-colored moon.
A group of researchers has reached deep into the human gut, plucked out a couple enzymes produced by bacteria residing there and determined their biological activities and molecular structures— details that should shed new light on how we digest many of the foods we eat.
Research has shown, for the first time, that— despite not having a nervous system— plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress. Scientists have reported on how plants respond to their environment with a similar combination of chemical and electrical responses to animals, but through machinery that is specific to plants.
With the results of a new study, neuroscientists have a firmer grasp on the way the brain formulates commands for the hand to grip an object. The advance could lead to improvements in future brain-computer interfaces that provide people with severe paralysis a means to control robotic arms and hands using their thoughts.
The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 help to explain the mystery of why many young stars seem to have more of this chemical element than expected.
Diseases like Alzheimer’s are caused when proteins aggregate and clump together. In a world first, scientists have successfully distinguished between the disease-causing aggregation forms of proteins. The finding can help change pharmaceutical treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Since the 17th century, it’s been a mystery without solution: two pendulum clocks on the same wall will eventually synchronize, after a matter of days or even hours. Even the inventor of the clock could not explain it.
A Minnesota dentist went on an African safari with a bow and arrow. He illegally killed a well-known lion in a national park in Zimbabwe– and then allegedly tried to destroy the GPS collar the big protected cat was wearing.
Reduced street lighting in England and Wales is not associated with road traffic collisions or crime, according to research. The study suggests that local authorities can safely reduce street lighting at night, saving energy costs and reducing carbon emissions.
Wild chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda are increasingly eating clay to supplement the minerals in their diet, according to a long-term international study. Researchers observed wild chimpanzees in the Budongo forest eating and drinking from clay pits and termite mounds.
More and more Americans on-the-go are skipping the "most important meal of the day," not eating until lunch. This tendency to miss breakfast has already been linked to the growing epidemic of obesity and cardiovascular problems in the U.S.— and it may put the health of diabetics at risk as well.
New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, D.C., could drop by six or more inches in the next century. This falling land will exacerbate the flooding that the nation’s capital faces from rising ocean waters because of a warming climate and melting ice sheets— accelerating the threat to the region’s monuments, roads, wildlife refuges and military installations.
On July 29, 1929, the first electric respirator, or iron lung, was installed in Bellevue hospital to fight a polio epidemic. The machine was made from two vacuum cleaners and worked on negative pressure.
In an open letter, scientists and tech experts— including Stephen Hawking and Steve Wozniak— argued that if any major military power pushes ahead with development of autonomous weapons, a global arms race is virtually inevitable. The endpoint, they wrote, of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.
Scientists have discovered that intestinal bacteria play an important role in inducing anxiety and depression. The new study is the first to explore the role of intestinal microbiota in the altered behavior that is a consequence of early life stress.
Hair samples can be used to measure the effects of asthma on the cortisol levels of women during pregnancy, according to research. The study also found that levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, tend to be lower among pregnant women with asthma than among pregnant women without the chronic, inflammatory lung disease.