Science News


Here's a list of all the news articles that have appeared on Science a GoGo this year.


You can also view articles from previous years.
2013    2012    2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005
2004     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999     1998     Features

4 August 2014

Did feminization create modern humans?


Duke University anthropologists have been measuring more than 1,400 ancient and modern skulls, leading them to theorize that modern humans emerged concurrently with a lowering of testosterone levels...

31 July 2014

Physicists map quantum to classical collapse


Extracting information from a system as it collapses from a quantum state to a classical state was never considered possible by the original founders of quantum theory, but Berkeley physicists have managed to extract information from a system continuously throughout its change of state, an achievement they say is like monitoring Schrodinger's cat through the whole life or death process...

29 July 2014

Compelling new evidence for artificial lighting's role in breast cancer


Scientists have found that for laboratory rats with human breast tumors, exposure to dim light at night made the tumors resistant to the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. The new research is the first to show that a significant correlation exists between melatonin levels and the effectiveness of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer...

24 July 2014

Locate alien civilizations by their pollution, suggest astrophysicists


Harvard-Smithsonian scientists speculate that little green men may not be "green" at all, and finding them might be a simple matter of looking for industrial pollution in the atmospheres of exoplanets...

14 July 2014

Prehistoric token "bookkeeping" persisted long into age of written language


An archaeological dig in Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade before the advent of writing around 3,000 B.C. But the newly found tokens show the rudimentary accounting system didn't die out with the invention of writing, and persisted for at least another 2,000 years...

10 July 2014

New fossil interpretation challenges notion that birds are descended from dinosaurs


Re-examination of a sparrow-sized fossil from China has led researchers to challenge the commonly held belief that birds evolved from ground-dwelling dinosaurs that gained the ability to fly...

8 July 2014

Scientists uncover biggest-ever flying bird


The fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird with a wingspan of 24 feet place the creature above theoretical upper limits for powered flight in animals, leaving scientists to wonder how the enormous bird managed to take to the air...

4 July 2014

Biological basis for magic mushrooms' mind-expansion revealed


For the first time, researchers have measured the level of entropy for different networks in the brain under the influence of psilocybin. They found that activity in the more primitive brain network linked to emotional thinking became more pronounced - a pattern of activity similar to that observed in people who are dreaming...

1 July 2014

Antihistamines may be next blockbuster anti-cancer drug


Scientists have established a connection between two diseases that aren't commonly linked: allergy and cancer. The new research shows that antihistamines appear to have "significant" anti-cancer properties...

26 June 2014

African music preferred by chimps


Chimpanzees like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, but prefer silence to music from the West according to new research...

24 June 2014

Software scans family photos to diagnose rare disorders


Software that scans and analyzes family snapshots could help doctors diagnose which rare genetic disorder a child is suffering from, say Oxford University researchers...

20 June 2014

UV light can be addictive, say scientists


Why do people still spend extended periods in the sun when the dangers of skin cancer are so well recognized? A new study adds important support to the theory that ultraviolet light can actually be addictive, triggering opiate-like effects in the body...

19 June 2014

Animals conceal sickness in mating situations


In research that has implications for our understanding of how infectious diseases spread in human populations, researchers from the University of Zurich have been studying how sick animals will conceal their illness when mating opportunities arise...

17 June 2014

Algae turn quantum coherence on and off


A team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on-and-off a quantum phenomenon known as coherence. The function of coherence in the algae remains a mystery, but the researchers think it could help the organisms harvest energy from the Sun much more efficiently. They add that working out its precise role in a living organism could lead to technological advances, such as much-improved organic solar cells...

13 June 2014

Feminization of men causing obesity epidemic, say Aussie researchers


An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, as men artificially imitate the female pattern of weight gain...

11 June 2014

Singing primates and tweeting birds: Uncovering human language's deep origins


By re-examining contemporary human language, MIT researchers believe they can uncover how human communication could have evolved from the systems underlying the older communication modes of birds and primates...

10 June 2014

Could "free will" arise from random brain noise?


Free will, the ability that we believe we have to make choices - and mistakes - might arise from simple random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, say neuroscientists from the University of California, Davis...

9 June 2014

Human face evolved to be punched


A controversial new paper contends that human faces have evolved over time to minimize injury from punches to the face during fights. The new theory presents an alternative view to the long-held hypothesis that the robustness of our faces resulted from the need to chew hard-to-crush foods...

3 June 2014

Laser sensor busts drunk drivers from outside car


Most health and law enforcement agencies would agree that the effective early detection of drivers under the influence of alcohol would significantly reduce the number of fatal car accidents. To date, this has been only been possible by stopping individual vehicles and requiring the driver to breath into a device that measures the alcohol content of the driver's breath. Now, however, researchers in Poland have shown that a simple laser device can measure alcohol vapor levels in a moving vehicle...

30 May 2014

Domestication of dogs may explain success of early humans


A new analysis of European archaeological sites suggests that early humans working with the earliest domestic dogs were extremely successful at killing large animals. The success of this dog-human hunting combo could explain the mysterious, massive collections of mammoth bones found in Europe...

27 May 2014

Could heat from a Martian volcano create a habitable environment?


Scientists think that the heat from a volcano erupting beneath an immense glacier might have created large lakes of liquid water on Mars in the relatively recent past. And where there's water, there is also the possibility of life...

23 May 2014

Scientists map mental illness' effects on life expectancy


A new study by researchers at the University of Oxford shows that mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years, a loss of years that's equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking. Why then, ask the researchers, is mental health much less of a public health priority?

21 May 2014

Vitamin E in canola linked to asthma, lung inflammation


A new study shows the drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form. The study authors say a vitamin E variant known as gamma-tocopherol - found in soybean, corn, and canola oils - was found to be associated with decreased lung function in humans...

19 May 2014

Windshield washer water a "significant" source of Legionnaire's


Outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease are most often linked to large-scale air conditioning systems, but new research shows that automobile windshield washers can harbor the Legionella bacteria for long periods and release potentially dangerous numbers of these bacteria into the air...

16 May 2014

Researchers go beyond quantum limit


Scientists are capable of measuring the position of an object with unprecedented accuracy, but the Heisenberg uncertainty principle ultimately places a fundamental limit on such measurements. Now, however, Caltech researchers have found a way to make measurements that go beyond the limits imposed by quantum physics...

14 May 2014

Species turnover: this isn't the biodiversity you're looking for


Re-examining biodiversity data from one hundred long-term ecosystem monitoring studies done around the world, a new paper has revealed that the number of species in many of these places has not changed much - or has actually increased. But the researchers did discover something changing rapidly: which species were thriving...

13 May 2014

The War on Drugs in 10,000 B.C.


New archaeological research suggests that the use of alcohol, opium poppies, and hallucinogenic mushrooms by prehistoric Europeans was highly regulated and restricted to sacred burial rituals, where intoxication was believed to be an integral part of communication with the spirit world...

11 May 2014

Short men living longer


Shorter men live longer, according to new research that shows shorter men were more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development, lower blood insulin levels, and less cancer...

6 May 2014

New type of avian flu found in Antarctic penguins


An international team of researchers has identified a previously unknown avian influenza virus in a group of Adelie penguins from Antarctica...

2 May 2014

Space station experiment identifies microbes that can survive unprotected in space


Scientists conducting a series of experiments on the International Space Station have found that some organisms can survive long periods exposed to the hostile environment of outer space, lending weight to the concept of panspermia, where life on Earth was seeded by bacterial colonies carried on comets and asteroids...

30 April 2014

Entire star cluster flung from distant galaxy


Astrophysicists have discovered an entire star cluster that has been ejected from the galaxy known as M87 at more than two million miles per hour. The newly discovered cluster, which astronomers named HVGC-1, will now travel through the void between the galaxies for all time...

28 April 2014

Newly discovered neighboring star as cold as the North Pole


Discovered using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescopes, a brown dwarf star only 7 light years distant appears to be the coldest of its kind - as chilly as Earth's North Pole...

25 April 2014

New Hubble analysis reveals hidden planetary disks


Using a new image processing technique, astronomers combing through data from the Hubble Space Telescope have identified five planetary disks around young stars much like our Sun. The disks, say the astronomers, are telltale evidence of newly formed planets...

23 April 2014

Speed-reading apps hinder comprehension, say researchers


Speed-reading apps for phones and tablets work by eliminating the time we supposedly waste moving our eyes as we read. But new research suggests that the eye movements we make during reading actually play a vital role in our ability to understand what we're reading...

21 April 2014

Niacin: the vitamin from outer space


Niacin, or vitamin B3, could have been delivered to Earth by carbon-rich meteorites, say NASA researchers, whose findings support a theory that the emergence of life on Earth may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts...

17 April 2014

Kepler mission identifies most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered


An international team of astronomers have announced the discovery of a new rocky planet the same size as Earth that could have liquid water on its surface. The potentially habitable planet, dubbed Kepler-186f, was discovered using data from NASA's Kepler telescope and verified by the Gemini and Keck telescopes...

16 April 2014

Wobbly planets could be best place for finding life, say astrobiologists


Pivoting planets that lean one way and then change orientation within a relatively short time period might be surprisingly habitable. That's according to NASA scientists who say the climate effects generated on these wobbling worlds could prevent them from turning into glacier-covered ice lockers, even if those planets are somewhat far from their stars...

14 April 2014

Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, you just can't do it


A series of experiments suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble increasing their vocal allure...

11 April 2014

Earliest roots of psychiatric disorders traced to stress effects on single gene


Babies whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy to stressors such as trauma, illness, alcohol, or drug abuse become susceptible to various psychiatric disorders later in life. Now, researchers think that it may be the stressor's effect on single gene that gives rise to conditions such as schizophrenia, PTSD, autism, and bipolar disorders...

8 April 2014

Paraplegic men move their legs again after breakthrough therapy


Epidural electrical stimulation, which delivers a continuous electrical current to the lower spinal cord, has allowed four young men who had been paralyzed for years to move their legs...

6 April 2014

Rising CO2 causing nutritional content of crops to fall


Field tests have shown conclusively that rising levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' ability to assimilate nitrates into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops such as wheat, barley, rice, and potatoes is at risk as climate change intensifies...

3 April 2014

Fences causing "ecological meltdown," claims new study


A general belief by conservationists that fences can help prevent the spread of diseases, protect wildlife from poachers, and help manage populations of threatened species has been overturned by a new study that shows fences are actually causing extinctions and destroying ecosystems...

1 April 2014

A cure for age-related sleep problems?


As the quality of our sleep worsens as we get older, our overall quality of life suffers too. But age-related poor sleep quality may be reversible, according to new research in the journal Plos Biology...

31 March 2014

Breast lifts: the only way is up


The annual stats report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that breast lifts are the procedure du jour for American women, growing at twice the rate of breast implant surgeries...

27 March 2014

Newly discovered dwarf planet hints at a much larger not-yet-seen planet


A newly discovered dwarf planet in the distant Oort cloud region of our Solar System indicates the potential presence of an enormous as yet undiscovered planet, perhaps up to 10 times the size of Earth...

26 March 2014

Work by celestial archaeologists hints at Earth's ultimate fate


For decades, astronomers have known that the atmospheres surrounding stars are often "polluted" with elements like carbon, silicon, and iron. How these elements came to be there has been an intriguing mystery that astronomers believe they have now solved...

25 March 2014

Next-generation solar cell can also emit light


Scientists in Singapore have developed a photovoltaic material which, as well converting light to electricity, can also emit light too. According to the researchers, this new type of solar cell could be used to make display screens that also function as solar panels...

21 March 2014

Mug shots from DNA possible, say scientists


DNA analysis can already tell us the sex and ancestry of unknown individuals, but now an international team of researchers is beginning to connect genetics with facial features. The scientists speculate that law enforcement groups might soon be able to create a mug shot from a DNA sample...

19 March 2014

Radiation risk from Chernobyl forest fire smoke worries scientists


According to a new study, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster decimated the microorganisms that would otherwise decompose fallen trees and leaves, making the area an extreme fire risk that could spread radiation throughout Eastern Europe...

17 March 2014

First direct evidence supporting cosmic inflation


Scientists announced today that they have successfully measured a B-mode polarization signal in the Universe's cosmic microwave background. The signal, detected using a telescope at the South Pole, represents an important confirmation of the theory of cosmic inflation and provides insights into how the Universe may have behaved in the first fractions of a second of its existence...

17 March 2014

Bionic plants created with carbon nanotubes


Researchers from MIT report boosting plants' ability to capture light energy by 30 percent by embedding carbon nanotubes in the chloroplast, the part of the plant where photosynthesis takes place. The new field of "plant nanobionics" could, according to the research team, create plants with enhanced energy production that are a hybrid of electronic circuits, sensors, and biological systems...

13 March 2014

Solar toilet locks-in greenhouse gases, increases crop yields


Developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a self-contained, waterless, solar-powered toilet heats human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize it and create biochar, a highly porous charcoal used to both increase crop yields and sequester carbon dioxide...

12 March 2014

Unusual gem find provides evidence for vast underground oceans


The chance discovery of a sample of a mineral called ringwoodite provides strong evidence for scientific theories about vast volumes of water trapped 410 to 660 kilometers (250 - 400 miles) beneath the surface of the Earth...

10 March 2014

Camouflage or bright colors? What's better to live long and prosper?


In nature, bright colors are signals that scream, "Don't eat me!" But how did prey species evolve these characteristics? Now, thanks to a computer simulation of evolving populations of organisms, evolutionary scientists think they know the answer...

6 March 2014

Astronomers witness mysterious disintegration of asteroid


Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have witnessed for the first time the breakup of an asteroid into as many as 10 smaller pieces...

5 March 2014

Smoking linked to ADHD in future generations


Scientists investigating neurobehavioral disorders say that ADHD could be an environmentally induced health condition inherited from a grandmother who smoked during pregnancy...

4 March 2014

Massive decline in food crop diversity threatens global food security


A detailed new study into global food supplies confirms for the first time what experts have long suspected: human diets around the world have grown ever more similar and the trend shows no signs of slowing, with major consequences for human nutrition and food supply reliability...

28 February 2014

New evidence for link between alcohol consumption and cancer metastasis


New research looking at the biological processes involved in breast cancer development has strengthened the argument for a potential link between alcohol consumption and progression of the disease...

27 February 2014

Bend me, shape me... into a heart


The human body has lots of soft muscular systems that bend, twist, extend, and flex in complex ways. Robotic systems that try to emulate these biological workhorses have usually fallen well short, but a team of researchers at Harvard has developed a low-cost, programmable soft actuated material which can replicate the biological motions of the heart...

25 February 2014

Spinning nanoparticles hint at origin of life


Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what researchers call "living rotating crystals," a self-organizing behavior where the crystals take on a life of their own...

24 February 2014

Ancient teeth give up bacterial goldmine


Researchers have discovered a "microbial Pompeii" preserved in the dental plaque of 1,000 year old teeth. Intriguingly, the research team says that the ancient oral bacteria they discovered already showed the beginnings of antibiotic resistance more than eight centuries before the invention of the first therapeutic antibiotics...

21 February 2014

Quasars at opposite ends of the Universe could close a loophole in quantum mechanics


Physicists have proposed an experiment that may close the last major loophole of Bell's inequality - a 50-year-old theorem that, if violated by experiments, would mean that our Universe is based not on the laws of classical physics, but on the probabilities of quantum mechanics...

20 February 2014

Genetics play no role in disease risk, claims controversial new study


Genes have been implicated in influencing everything from our sexual orientation to our risk of cancer, but a new paper asserts that the prominent emphasis currently given to the gene in biology is based on a flawed interpretation of experimental genetics...

18 February 2014

Artificial leaf clears developmental barrier


Putting together the chemical reactions that make photosynthesis happen has proven harder than scientists initially thought, but in a new paper, researchers describe the breakthroughs they have made toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf...

17 February 2014

Stress hormone a key player in financial crises


Scientists studying levels of the stress hormone cortisol in financial traders say that appetite for risk may be "physiologically-driven" by the body's response to cortisol and that stress could be a trigger for market instability...

14 February 2014

Obesity could be an evolutionary hangover from prehistoric gut bacteria


Today, obesity is considered to be undesirable, but in the past getting more fat and more energy from the diet might have been important to survival in cold places. This, say scientists, might explain the dramatic differences in gut bacteria between people from warm latitudes and those who live in colder parts of the world...

12 February 2014

Fusion lab reports important boot-strapping milestone


Being able to generate more energy from a fusion reaction than the energy required to control the reaction is a key step needed before nuclear fusion power becomes a reality. This milestone of achieving fuel gains greater than unity (greater than 1) has now been reached for the first time ever...

11 February 2014

Bees using scavenged plastic to build hives


The scientists who discovered that urban bees are using plastic bags and building sealant to construct hives say it demonstrates bees' resourcefulness and flexibility in adapting to a human-dominated world...

10 February 2014

Cars, TVs, triggering type-2 diabetes epidemic in developing world


Skyrocketing obesity and an epidemic of type-2 diabetes look likely for developing countries, as researchers find a striking correlation between disease prevalence and ownership of TVs, computers, and cars...

7 February 2014

Chlamydia infection? Your gut may be to blame


For many sufferers, the standard treatment regime for chlamydia fails to eradicate the disease, and researchers think the culprit may be the gastrointestinal tract...

6 February 2014

Temporary blindness may fix hearing problems


Researchers have long known that young brains are malleable enough to re-wire the circuits that process sensory information. A young child who is blind, for example, develops a much keener sense of hearing. Now, researchers have overturned conventional wisdom, showing that adult brains can also benefit from the Ray Charles Effect...

4 February 2014

Stock prices can be predicted, say math researchers


A new mathematical analysis challenges the generally held belief that stock prices cannot be predicted. The authors of the new study say that that there is a window of predictability once a stock price escapes the confines of the bid-ask spread...

3 February 2014

Vitamin C and E supplements found to handicap muscular endurance


Scientists from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences report that vitamin C and E supplements can interfere with cellular signaling and handicap the development of muscular endurance...

31 January 2014

Scans reveal frenzied activity inside the autistic brain


Neuroscientists say that the brains of autistic children generate significantly more information in a resting state, a discovery that helps explain the most typical characteristic of autism - withdrawal into one's own inner world...

30 January 2014

Testosterone fails as menopausal magic bullet


A new study involving women with early onset menopause found no detrimental effects from testosterone supplementation, but there were no significant improvements either; in quality of life, self esteem, or mood...

29 January 2014

Foodborne bacteria may be trigger for multiple sclerosis


A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that multiple sclerosis may be triggered by Clostridium perfringens, a spore-forming bacterium that is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness...

28 January 2014

The surprising correlation between guilt and last meals


A new study that examined the last meal choices made by death row inmates found a significant link between the inmate's food selection and their self-perceived guilt or innocence...

25 January 2014

How a cold or the flu can cripple your spatial awareness


Catching a cold or the flu, which leads to inflammation in the brain, impairs our ability to form spatial memories. That's according to researchers who have been studying how brain chemistry changes with inflammation and the resulting effects on cognition...

24 January 2014

Solar wind creating interplanetary rain


Scientists have discovered that when tiny interplanetary dust particles are battered by the solar wind, the ion bombardment can free oxygen and hydrogen atoms from the dust, creating water molecules that can nurture microscopic life in space...

22 January 2014

Water vapor plumes observed erupting from dwarf planet


The Herschel space observatory has used its far-infrared capabilities to capture a clear spectral signature of water vapor venting from the largest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres...

21 January 2014

Sperm-like biological robot displays "remarkable" self-organization


Powered by cultured heart cells, tiny, self-organizing bio-hybrid machines that swim like sperm have been created by scientists at the University of Illinois...

19 January 2014

Study reveals how ecstasy triggers euphoria


A study in the journal Biological Psychiatry reveals for the first time how ecstasy produces feelings of euphoria in users. The researchers, from Imperial College London, say their findings hint at ways that ecstasy might be used in the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder...

17 January 2014

Recent discovery of quantum vibrations in brain neurons lends weight to his controversial theory of consciousness, says Sir Roger Penrose


Incorporating the recent discovery of quantum vibrations inside brain neurons, a new assessment of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness presents compelling evidence for the idea that consciousness derives from very fine scale activities inside brain neurons...

16 January 2014

Single-use computer memories may emerge as gold standard for secure transactions


Computer security systems may one day get a boost from quantum physics, as a result of recent research into a "one-shot" memory unit, whose contents can be read only a single time...

14 January 2014

Primate metabolism study reveals disconnect between exercise and calorie burning


A new study reveals that humans and other primates burn 50 percent fewer calories each day than other mammals. Interestingly, the study also reports that primates in zoos expend as much energy as those in the wild, suggesting that physical activity may have less of an impact on daily energy expenditure than previously thought...

13 January 2014

Ultrasound used to enhance senses


Ultrasound is widely used in medicine to reveal what's happening inside the body, but scientists at Virginia Tech have found that ultrasound can also modulate brain activity to heighten sensory perception in humans...

11 January 2014

Mysterious "hypervelocity stars" observed fleeing the galaxy


Astronomers have discovered dozens of solitary stars that are moving fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way galaxy. These cryptic hypervelocity stars appear to be traveling at speeds in excess of a million miles-per-hour, but scientists aren't sure what force could have given them such a kick...

8 January 2014

Rhubarb battery could finally free solar households from the electricity grid


Harvard scientists have developed a metal-free flow battery based on the electrochemistry of the naturally abundant, inexpensive, organic molecules that store energy in plants and animals. The new battery, which mimics rhubarb's energy storage mechanism, could finally provide the reliable and inexpensive storage mechanism needed for effective widespread renewable energy use...

7 January 2014

First exoplanet images from Gemini


After nearly a decade of development, construction, and testing, the world's most advanced instrument for directly imaging planets around other stars is pointing skyward and producing its first images of planets outside our solar system...

5 January 2014

Triple star system could reveal true nature of gravity


Astronomers have discovered a unique stellar system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense neutron star, all packed within a space smaller than Earth's orbit around the Sun. The closeness of the stars allows the scientists to make the most accurate measurements yet of the system's complex gravitational interactions, measurements that might resolve one of the principal outstanding problems of fundamental physics - the true nature of gravity...

3 January 2014

The entropy of nations


Scientists have been investigating the similarities between nations and molecules and found that the distribution of energies among molecules in a gas and the distribution of per-capita energy consumption among nations both obey the same exponential law...

1 January 2014

Researchers reveal how emotions are mapped in the body


Emotions not only affect our mental state, but also different areas of the body. Anxiety may be experienced as pain in the chest, for example, whereas falling in love may trigger warm sensations all over the body. Now, researchers at Aalto University have mapped a variety of different emotions and the corresponding areas of the body that are activated...