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LATEST

New images clarify how glasswing butterflies make their wings transparent

Sparse, spindly scales and a waxy membrane coating are behind the insect’s transparency. Most butterflies sport colorful, eye-catching patterns on their wings. But some species, like the glasswing butterfly, use mostly transparent wings to hide in plain sight. To figure out how these Central American butterflies go incognito, researchers put the wings of glasswing butterflies […]

How does the summer solstice affect animals?

Does it keep them up later? The summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, happens Sunday (June 20) at 11:32 p.m. EDT (Monday, June 21 at 03:32 UTC). This event happens when Earth’s tilt toward the sun is at its maximum and the sun points directly over the […]

Climate ‘tipping points’ could push us past the point-of-no-return after less than 2 degrees of warming

Knock-on effects could transform the Amazon rainforest into savannah As climate change continues to heat the planet, ice sheets and ocean currents could destabilize each other, leading to a climate domino effect impacting 40% of the world’s population, according to new research. And these effects could be seen at way lower temperatures than previously thought. […]

What is the Milky Way?

Let’s dive into the science of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, one of hundreds of billions in the observable universe. It’s also our home. Like other galaxies, the Milky Way is an isolated collection of stars and other material bound together by their common gravity. In […]

Dramatic images capture rapid slide of Antarctic glacier

Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-shrinking glaciers in Antarctica, hastened its slide into the sea between 2017 and 2020, when one-fifth of its associated ice shelf broke off as massive icebergs, a new study reveals. The glacier sped up another time in recent history, between the 1990s and 2009, when warm ocean currents ate […]

Tons of toxic pellets blanket Sri Lanka beaches, causing environmental disaster

A burning container ship dumped tons of plastic debris onto Sri Lanka’s beaches. A burning container ship dumped tons of plastic debris onto Sri Lanka’s beaches, prompting a widespread environmental disaster, according to recent news reports. The ship, the X-Press Pearl, had sailed to Sri Lanka from India and was anchored near Colombo on May […]

‘Bonanza’ gold veins in rocks finally explained

Gold veins thicker than your arm finally get a geological explanation. Why did some gold prospectors strike it rich with a bonanza gold vein, while others came up empty-handed? The credit may go to nanoparticles. New research reveals that high-grade veins of gold contain clusters of gold nanoparticles, which is important because it explains how […]

Giant tortoise thought extinct for a century discovered on Galapagos island

Her nickname is “Fernanda.” A giant tortoise in the Galápagos Islands that was thought to have gone extinct over a century ago just came out of hiding. Researchers discovered the female tortoise on the Galápagos’ Fernandina Island during a joint expedition carried out by the Galápagos National Park Directorate and the Galápagos Conservancy in 2019, […]

Florida airport monkeys are the descendants of zoo escapees

A colony of wild African green monkeys living near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport finally gets an origin story. Much-beloved wild African monkeys that live near the Fort Lauderdale airport are the descendants of a bunch of zoo escapees from 1948. Local lore long held that the monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) may have descended from a […]

Technology

New device gets power from 5G signals grabbed from the air

New device gets power from 5G signals grabbed from the air

The new technology might one day help power the Internet of Things. A few years ago, Aline Eid was sitting...

5G promises new energy savings for digital tech

5G promises new energy savings for digital tech

Some of that savings will come from new opportunities made possible by this technology. Almost all apps and programs on...

Training AI to be really smart poses risks to climate

Training AI to be really smart poses risks to climate

The computing power needed can use a lot of energy and spew lots of carbon dioxide. Artificial intelligence — or...

A robot made with a Venus flytrap can grab fragile objects

A robot made with a Venus flytrap can grab fragile objects

Scientists attached electrodes to the leaves of Venus flytraps to force them to snap shut. A new robotic grabber is...

A new catalyst turns greenhouse gas into jet fuel

A new catalyst turns greenhouse gas into jet fuel

Materials like this could someday be used to curb airplanes’ climate footprint. Airplanes pump a lot of carbon dioxide, or...

Tracking Santa with science

Tracking Santa with science

Satellites, radar and fighter jets keep track of St. Nick. When Santa Claus takes off on Christmas Eve, he won’t...