Astronauts leave behind many things when they boldly go. Bacteria, however, stay with them. Extreme spaceflight conditions can force these bacteria to toughen up, while simultaneously lowering the immune defenses of the stressed, isolated crew. These effects—and the risk of infection—grow with mission duration. Now researchers have taken another small step towards deep space exploration, by testing a

Blue-blooded and armored with 10 spindly legs, horseshoe crabs have perhaps always seemed a bit out of place. First thought to be closely related to crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans, in 1881 evolutionary biologist E. Ray Lankester placed them solidly in a group more similar to spiders and scorpions. Horseshoe crabs have since been thought

Scientists looking for signs of life beyond our solar system face major challenges, one of which is that there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone to consider. To narrow the search, they must figure out: What kinds of stars are most likely to host habitable planets? A new study finds a

The width, height and spacing of the cylinders depicted here dictates how the metamaterial described in the new paper absorbs electromagnetic energy. Credit: Kebin Fan, Duke University Researchers at Duke University have discovered that a perfect absorber of electromagnetic waves they described in a 2017 paper can easily be tweaked into a sort of “time-reversed

The black hole at the centre of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, has been visualised in virtual reality for the first time. The details are described in an article published in the open access journal Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology. Scientists at Radboud University, The Netherlands and Goethe University, Germany used recent astrophysical models of Sagittarius A*

The basic human need to get along with others results in the formation of extreme political groupings, according to a study from Dartmouth College. The findings, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, add to the widening body of research on the behavior of social and political networks. The Dartmouth research demonstrates that individuals

Sign languages can help reveal hidden aspects of the logical structure of spoken language, but they also highlight its limitations because speech lacks the rich iconic resources that sign language uses on top of its sophisticated grammar. The study, published in Theoretical Linguistics with nine peer-commentaries, is the culmination of more than eight years of

Industry uses platinum alloys as catalysts for oxygen reduction, essential in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, among other applications. Expensive and rare, that metal imposes tight restrictions on manufacture. Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung have discovered a five-element alloy that is noble metal-free and as active as platinum. Their findings are

The Big Bang has captured our imagination like no other theory in science: the magnificent, explosive birth of our Universe. But do you know what came next? Around 100 million years of darkness. When the cosmos eventually lit up its very first stars, they were bigger and brighter than any that have followed. They shone

Catalytic research led by University of Oklahoma researcher Steven Crossley has developed a new and more definitive way to determine the active site in a complex catalyst. His team’s research was recently published in Nature Communications. Catalysts consisting of metal particles supported on reducible oxides show promising performance for a variety of current and emerging

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