New observations made with telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimeter telescopes was needed before the mystery could be explained.
Chocolate has many health benefits— it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn't get any better, there's this tasty new tidbit: researchers have found a way to make the treat even more nutritious— and sweeter.
Squid are the ultimate camouflage artists, blending almost flawlessly with their backgrounds so that unsuspecting prey can't detect them. Using a protein that's key to this process, scientists have designed "invisibility stickers" that could one day help soldiers disguise themselves, even when sought by enemies with tough-to-fool infrared cameras.
Jupiter may have swept through the early solar system like a wrecking ball, destroying a first generation of inner planets before retreating into its current orbit, according to a new study. The find helps explain why our solar system is so different from the hundreds of other planetary systems that astronomers have discovered in recent years.
Scientists have known for some time that people who carry a lot of weight around their bellies are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease than those who have bigger hips and thighs. But what hasn't been clear is why fat accumulates in different places to produce classic "apple" and "pear" shapes.
Strange creatures live in the deep sea, but few are odder than archaea, primitive single-celled microorganisms that go to great lengths to survive the most extreme environments on the planet. Now, scientists discovered something odder: a virus that seemingly infects methane-eating archaea living beneath the ocean’s floor. Stranger still, this virus selectively targets one of its own genes for mutation and, moreover, some archaea do too.
Fruit and vegetable selections in school meals increased after students had extended exposure to school food made tastier with the help of a professional chef and after modifications were made to school cafeterias, including signage and more prominent placement of fruits and vegetables, but it was only chef-enhanced meals that also increased consumption.
When it comes to adolescents with math and science homework, more isn't necessarily better— an hour a day is optimal— but doing it alone and regularly produces the biggest knowledge gain.
Poop could be a goldmine— literally. Surprisingly, treated solid waste contains gold, silver and other metals, as well as rare elements such as palladium and vanadium that are used in electronics and alloys. Now, researchers are looking at identifying the metals that are getting flushed and how they can be recovered. This could decrease the need for mining and reduce the unwanted release of metals into the environment.
Saccharin, the artificial sweetener that is the main ingredient in Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin and Necta, could do far more than just keep our waistlines trim. According to new research, this popular sugar substitute could potentially lead to the development of drugs capable of combating aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers with fewer side effects.
Scientists have developed a new, simple way to cook rice that could cut the number of calories absorbed by the body by more than half, potentially reducing obesity rates, which is especially important in countries where the food is a staple.
By crushing minerals between diamonds, a study has suggested the existence of an unknown layer inside Earth: part of the lower mantle where the rock gets three times stiffer. The discovery may explain a mystery: why slabs of Earth's sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles underground.
Twenty-five years ago it was a military zone where occupying Soviet troops held exercises. Today it's a sanctuary inhabited by wild animals that scientists hope will improve biodiversity among local plants as well as save endangered species. A herd of 14 wild mares from Britain's Exmoor National Park were moved in January to the former Milovice military base, 22 miles northeast of Prague, the Czech capital.
The new labeling of the world's most-popular weed killer as a likely cause of cancer is raising more questions for an aerial spraying program in Colombia that is the cornerstone of the U.S.-backed war on drugs. A research arm of WHO has reclassified the herbicide glyphosate as a result of convincing evidence the chemical produces cancer in lab animals and more limited findings it causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans.
Earlier this month, I wrote an editorial based on the release of a study that revealed stark differences between the general public and scientists on science-related issues. It received a lot of attention, garnering comments and sparking debate. Here are a few of the best comments and reaction to them.