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Possible marker of life spotted on venus

Planet Venus (stock image; elements furnished by NASA). Credit: © Igor_Filonenko / An international team of astronomers today announced the discovery of a rare molecule -- phosphine -- in the clouds of Venus. On Earth, this gas is only made industrially or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. Astronomers have speculated for decades…

COVID-19 study links strict social distancing to much lower chance of infection

People social distancing concept (stock image). Credit: © Photocreo Bednarek / Using public transportation, visiting a place of worship, or otherwise traveling from the home is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of testing positive with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, while practicing strict social distancing is associated with a markedly lower likelihood, suggests a study…

How coronavirus took hold in North America and in Europe

Global spread of coronavirus, concept illustration (stock image). Credit: © solvod / A new study combines evolutionary genomics from coronavirus samples with computer-simulated epidemics and detailed travel records to reconstruct the spread of coronavirus across the world in unprecedented detail. Published in the journal Science, the results suggest an extended period of missed opportunity…

Unconscious learning underlies belief in God, study suggests

Hands raised to sunset, prayer concept (stock image). Credit: © ipopba / Individuals who can unconsciously predict complex patterns, an ability called implicit pattern learning, are likely to hold stronger beliefs that there is a god who creates patterns of events in the universe, according to neuroscientists at Georgetown University. Their research, reported in…

Europe’s largest Solar Telescope GREGOR unveils magnetic details of the Sun

Teide Observatory in Tenerife, Spain, including the GREGOR solar telescope (stock image). Credit: © sotavento1000 / GREGOR, the largest solar telescope in Europe, which is operated by a German consortium and located on Teide Observatory, Spain, has obtained unprecedented images of the fine-structure of the Sun. Following a major redesign of GREGOR's optics, carried…

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first?

Coronavirus vaccine concept (stock image). Credit: © Dmytro S / When effective COVID-19 vaccines are developed, their supply will inevitably be scarce. The World Health Organization (WHO), global leaders, and vaccine producers are already facing the question of how to appropriately allocate them across countries. And while there is vocal commitment to "fair and…

True size of prehistoric mega-shark finally revealed

Megalodon illustration (stock image). Credit: © warpaintcobra / To date only the length of the legendary giant shark Megalodon had been estimated. But now, a new study led by the University of Bristol and Swansea University has revealed the size of the rest of its body, including fins that are as large as an…

Has Earth’s oxygen rusted the Moon for billions of years?

Moon (stock image). Credit: © taffpixture / To the surprise of many planetary scientists, the oxidized iron mineral hematite has been discovered at high latitudes on the Moon, according to a study published today in Science Advances led by Shuai Li, assistant researcher at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in the…

A ‘bang’ in LIGO and Virgo detectors signals most massive gravitational-wave source yet

Gravitational waves concept illustration (stock image). Credit: © grafonom / For all its vast emptiness, the universe is humming with activity in the form of gravitational waves. Produced by extreme astrophysical phenomena, these reverberations ripple forth and shake the fabric of space-time, like the clang of a cosmic bell. Now researchers have detected a…

Researchers discover a specific brain circuit damaged by social isolation during childhood

Person and shadow, loneliness concept (stock image). Credit: © Jorm S / Loneliness is recognized as a serious threat to mental health. Even as our world becomes increasingly connected over digital platforms, young people in our society are feeling a growing sense of isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many countries to implement social…

How to make AI trustworthy

Autonomous cars concept illustration (stock image). Credit: © folienfeuer / One of the biggest impediments to adoption of new technologies is trust in AI. Now, a new tool developed by USC Viterbi Engineering researchers generates automatic indicators if data and predictions generated by AI algorithms are trustworthy. Their research paper, "There Is Hope After…

Study finds ‘nomophobia’ is associated with poor sleep health in college students

Person using smart phone in bed concept (stock image). Credit: © Proxima Studio / A new study found that the fear of being out of mobile phone contact -- "nomophobia" -- is extremely common among college students and is associated with poor sleep health. Preliminary results show that 89% of a sample of college…

Antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus also works against SARS-CoV-2

Cat in animal hospital concept (stock image). Credit: © Elnur / Researchers at the University of Alberta are preparing to launch clinical trials of a drug used to cure a deadly disease caused by a coronavirus in cats that they expect will also be effective as a treatment for humans against COVID-19. "In just…

COVID-19 less deadly and causes milder symptoms in children, UK study finds

Child with face mask (stock image). Credit: © skif / Children and teenagers are less likely than adults to develop severe Covid-19 or die from the disease, according to the world's largest study of hospital patients with Covid-19. Obesity, Black ethnicity and being under one month old are factors that increased the risk of…

Meteorite study suggests Earth may have been wet since it formed

Planet Earth (stock image). Credit: © dell / A new study finds that Earth's water may have come from materials that were present in the inner solar system at the time the planet formed -- instead of far-reaching comets or asteroids delivering such water. The findings published Aug. 28 in Science suggest that Earth…

Hubble maps giant halo around Andromeda Galaxy

This illustration shows the location of the 43 quasars scientists used to probe Andromeda's gaseous halo. These quasars--the very distant, brilliant cores of active galaxies powered by black holes--are scattered far behind the halo, allowing scientists to probe multiple regions. Looking through the immense halo at the quasars' light, the team observed how this light…

Genetics of the tree of life

African baobab tree (stock image). Credit: © EcoView / The African baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is called the tree of life. Baobab trees can live for more than a thousand years and provide food, livestock fodder, medicinal compounds, and raw materials. Baobab trees are incredibly significant. However, there are growing conservation concerns and until…

Got fatigue? Study further pinpoints brain regions that may control it

Fatigue concept, woman at desk (stock image). Credit: © kite_rin / Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine using MRI scans and computer modeling say they have further pinpointed areas of the human brain that regulate efforts to deal with fatigue. The findings, they say, could advance the development of behavioral and other strategies that increase…

Cosmic rays may soon stymie quantum computing

Quantum computing abstract concept (stock image). Credit: © vchalup / The practicality of quantum computing hangs on the integrity of the quantum bit, or qubit. Qubits, the logic elements of quantum computers, are coherent two-level systems that represent quantum information. Each qubit has the strange ability to be in a quantum superposition, carrying aspects…

Meteorite strikes may create unexpected form of silica

Quartz (stock image). Credit: © ala / When a meteorite hurtles through the atmosphere and crashes to Earth, how does its violent impact alter the minerals found at the landing site? What can the short-lived chemical phases created by these extreme impacts teach scientists about the minerals existing at the high-temperature and pressure conditions…


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