A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them.
In as little as five years, the sugar-rejecting trait had become so widespread that the bait had been rendered useless. (AP Photo / Ayako Wada-Katsumata)
After 17 years underground growing from larva to bug, billions of cicadas are about to revel in the final four climactic weeks of their unusual life cycle.
At some point over the next few weeks, when the temperature at eight feet below ground reaches a steady 64F, the nymphs, as juvenile cicadas are called, will scramble out of the ground.
They will then embark on their noisy, short-lived adult life in pursuit of a mate. Males flex their tymbals, drum-like organs in their abdomens, making a distinctive clicking sound. Female cicadas answer by snapping their wings. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File)
At least that’s what NASA shows in a recently released photograph which combines data from their Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), visible light obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (gold) and radio waves from the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array (pink).
“This multi-wavelength view shows 4C+29.30, a galaxy located some 850 million light years from Earth. The radio emission comes from two jets of particles that are speeding at millions of miles per hour away from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy,” the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics wrote in a release explaining the image. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
After floating around weightlessly for months, suddenly, he needs to keep his own head aloft. He feels dizzy. And because there are no callouses on his feet anymore, he says, he feels like he’s walking on hot coals.
A first trip to the gym was excruciating, he says, because it felt like two people had jumped on him when he was trying to do a situp.
”My neck is sore and my back is sore,” Hadfield told a news conference from Houston on Thursday.
”It feels like I played a hard game of rugby yesterday or played full-contact hockey yesterday and I haven’t played in a while.” (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mikhail Metzel)
Remember Dolly? Critics of a new embryonic skin cell breakthrough do The prospect of using a patient’s skin to generate healthy heart, liver or nerve cells for transplant operations has moved a step closer after a breakthrough by scientists, but some researchers are concerned the development leaves the door open too wide to the cloning of human babies. [Getty Images]
It’s been bubbling out of the rocks beneath their feet since the 1880s, but no one really appreciated the significance — until now.
An international research team reported Wednesday that miners near Timmins are tapping into an ancient underground oasis that may harbour prehistoric microbes. The water flowing out of fractures and bore holes in one mine near Timmins dates back more than a billion years, perhaps 2.6 billion, making it the oldest water known to exist on Earth, says the team that details the discovery in the journal Nature.
“This is the oldest [water] anybody has been able to pull out, and quite frankly, it changes the playing field,” says geologist Barbara Sherwood Lollar, at the University of Toronto, who co-led the team. (Barbara Sherwood Lollar)
The six-member crew on Thursday noticed white flakes of ammonia leaking out of the station. Ammonia runs through multiple radiator loops to cool the station’s power system. NASA said the leak is increasing from one previously leaking loop that can be bypassed if needed. NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said engineers are working on rerouting electronics just in case the loop shuts down. The Earth-orbiting station has backup systems. (AP Photo/NASA)
Tiny winged robots — This photograph provided May 6, 2013 courtesy of Harvard University shows miniature winged robots inspired by flies that could one day help pollinate crops or aid the search for survivors at collapse sites — once they get off the leash, that is. The prototypes by researchers at Harvard University weigh 80 milligrams and have managed short controlled flights by flapping their mechanical wings while still tethered to a tiny power cable, the journal Science said this week. The coin-sized robots sport two thin wings that flap 120 times per second. Flight tests have shown they can make basic maneuvers, including hovering in place for about 20 seconds before crashing. (AFP PHOTO/Courtesy of Harvard University/Kevin Ma and Pakpong Chirarattananon/Getty Images)
NASA captures stunning photos of gigantic hurricane whipping across Saturn’s North Pole NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole. The eye is an enormous 2,000 kilometres across. That’s 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it’s spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 530 kilometres per hour. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)
Watch three years of solar activity in four minutes: NASA releases mesmerizing new video of the sun It’s the job of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to keep an eye on the sun, a job the SDO has presented in a new video showing off three years’ worth of solar activity. “In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle,” NASA said in a release.
In the last week or so, since an excerpt of Edward O. Wilson’s new book, Letters To A Young Scientist, ran in the Wall Street Journal, the evolutionary biologist and ant expert has been criticized as “insulting,” “misinformed,” “sad,” “misguided,” “counterproductive,” “frustrating,” “flat-out wrong,” and “a disgrace.” He is “trading on fear” of math, and “uncritically accepting the idea that math is something inherently unpleasant.”
“Don’t listen to E.O. Wilson,” one mathematician wrote of the Harvard professor emeritus. “He does not understand what mathematics is.”
In the book, the two time Pulitzer Prize-winning Prof. Wilson shares what he calls a secret: that many top scientists today are mathematically merely “semiliterate,” and this is not so bad, because they can work with mathematicians as needed. (Getty Images/Thinkstock)
New planets painted — Scientists using NASA’s Kepler telescope have found two distant planets that are in the right place and are the right size for potential life. This handout image from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows an artist concept of what these two planets, called Kepler-62-e and Kepler-62-f look like. The larger planet in the left corner is somewhat covered by ice and is f, which is farther from the star. The planet below it is e, which is slightly warmer and has clouds and may be a water world. (AP Photo/Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Kepler is “the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.”
Although click-baiting headlines suggesting that NASA has found alien life are probably false, NASA is giving this press conference a lot of exposure, so they are probably announcing something pretty notable.