sciencealert.com
sciencealert.com
Sharing the most fascinating and inspiring science news. We analyse and fact check to bring you the best in real, genuine scientific research you can trust.Source
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New Study Reveals COVID-19 Causes Serious Neurological Symptoms Shockingly Often

New Study Reveals COVID-19 Causes Serious Neurological Symptoms Shockingly Often

About half of hospitalized patients experience neurological symptoms including dizziness, difficulty concentrating, a loss of smell and taste, seizures, strokes, and weakness, according to a  published in the Annals of Neurology.The findings illustrate that , the disease the coronavirus causes, is far more than a respiratory infection and rather one that poses "a global threat" to the whole nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, the study authors say."It's important for the general public and physicians to be aware of this, because a infection may present with...

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Jun 16
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Researchers Discover Unexpected Magma Systems Lurking Beneath 'Boring' Volcanoes

Researchers Discover Unexpected Magma Systems Lurking Beneath 'Boring' Volcanoes

Not all volcanoes are suddenly explosive. Some spew steady rivers of gloppy, slow-moving lava for millennia on end, like those in the Hawaiian or Galápagos islands.These are what volcanologist Michael Stock from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland calls the 'boring' volcanoes – yet underneath their monotonous exterior, lurks a bombshell that Stock and his colleagues have just discovered.  Analysing microscopic crystals in the basalt and ejected material of two volcanoes in the Galápagos, the researchers found hidden systems of magma that are not so simple or predictable after all.Even though...

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Carly Cassella
4d ago
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Scientists Say We Need to Save The World's Parasites Before We Lose Them Forever

Scientists Say We Need to Save The World's Parasites Before We Lose Them Forever

There are lots of animals that need conservation help. Cuddly creatures like pandas and koalas, or brainy beasts like whales and octopuses, just to name a few. But a team of scientists is urging us to not forget one particularly unlovable group that also needs our assistance: parasites. Parasites, the team explains, have a bit of a PR problem. They're not just blood-sucking monsters, or freeloading fiends (which, don't get us wrong, they still are). As the team says, parasites also perform incredibly significant ecological roles.Parasites influence the of many host species, and form . For...

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Jacinta Bowler
4d ago
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Scientists Discover Strange 'Glassy' State of Metal That Could Boost Lithium Batteries

Scientists Discover Strange 'Glassy' State of Metal That Could Boost Lithium Batteries

Longer-lasting, more efficient batteries would be a boost for everything from smartphones to , and scientists have now made an unexpected discovery that could help develop next-gen battery tech, as well as faster catalysts and other advanced materials. An analysis of the very earliest stages of lithium battery charging – known as – has shown that slowing electrical currents near the electrode creates disorganised patterns of atoms, which in turn improves the overall charging behaviour.Through a combination of detailed electron microscopy, liquid-nitrogen cooling, and computer modelling, the...

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David Nield
4d ago
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Humans Might Be So Sickly Because We Evolved to Avoid a Single Devastating Disease

Humans Might Be So Sickly Because We Evolved to Avoid a Single Devastating Disease

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our ancestors evolved a simple trick that could have helped thwart a major infectious disease. It probably saved our skins, but the change was far from a perfect solution. New research has uncovered evidence that mutations arising between 600,000 and 2 million years ago were part of a complex of adaptations that may have inadvertently made us prone to inflammatory diseases and even other pathogens. An international team of researchers compared around a thousand human genomes with a few from our extinct cousins, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, to fill...

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Mike McRae
5d ago
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1,000-Year-Old Onion And Garlic Remedy Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Biofilms in The Lab

1,000-Year-Old Onion And Garlic Remedy Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Biofilms in The Lab

As deadly bacteria grow ever more resistant to modern antibiotics, some researchers have turned to . And it looks like a medieval salve dating back 1,000 years might succeed where many modern antibiotics are starting to fail. The "ancientbiotic", as the researchers are calling it, was found in one of the earliest known medical textbooks from medieval England, known as Bald's Leechbook. While many of the remedies included in this tome have not exactly aged well - - others, like 'Bald's eyesalve', have stood up better to modern scrutiny. Building on previous research, scientists have shown...

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Carly Cassella
Jul 31
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MIT Tests 'Dream Incubation' Device That Manipulates The Content of People's Dreams

MIT Tests 'Dream Incubation' Device That Manipulates The Content of People's Dreams

Scientists have developed an experimental device and protocol for manipulating the content of people's dreams while they are sleeping, by making them recall specific cues that can trigger targeted dream themes and experiences. While the boundless dream-building of Inception remains the stuff of science fiction for now, the new research shows that the evolving science of is far more than fantasy – and that information processing during sleep is capable of being engineered from the outside.In a , a team led by neuroscientist Adam Haar Horowitz from MIT describes how a wearable electronic...

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Peter Dockrill
Jul 31
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By Pollinating Just a Handful of Crops, Wild Bees Contribute Over $1.5 Billion Per Year

By Pollinating Just a Handful of Crops, Wild Bees Contribute Over $1.5 Billion Per Year

It's not just honeybees that pollinate our crops and put food on our plates. In North America alone there are , and new research has calculated these wild insects provide over US$1.5 billion each year from pollinating just a handful of crops. Analysing the production of 131 commercial farms in the United States and Canada, scientists have shown that even in areas with intense agriculture where honeybees are abundant, wild bees play a comparable role in producing our food.That's not surprising when you consider , but in the past,  than wild ones."We found that wild bee abundance on crop...

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Carly Cassella
Jul 31
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A New 'Forever Chemical' Has Been Detected in Arctic Seawater For The First Time

A New 'Forever Chemical' Has Been Detected in Arctic Seawater For The First Time

Common chemicals nicknamed '' for their tendency to stick around in the environment for a disconcertingly long time have been detected in Arctic seawater.PFAS () chemicals are used in a lot of household products. While the effects of PFAS on human health are still , they have been detected in the past in and , as well as many . Looking at the waters of the Arctic, researchers were able to detect 29 different PFAS coming in and going out of the Arctic Ocean, and, worryingly, one compound – the supposedly less persistent  HFPO-DA – has been identified in these waters for the first...

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David Nield
Jul 31
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Interstellar Travel Could Make Human Language Evolve Beyond Recognition, Study Says

Interstellar Travel Could Make Human Language Evolve Beyond Recognition, Study Says

It's a captivating idea: build an interstellar ark, fill it with people, flora, and fauna of every kind, and set your course for a distant star! The concept is not only science fiction gold, its been the subject of many scientific studies and proposals. By building a ship that can accommodate multiple generations of human beings (aka. a ), humans could colonize the known Universe.But of course, there are downsides to this imaginative proposal. During such a long voyage, multiple generations of people will be born and raised inside a closed environment. This could lead to all kinds of...

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MATT WILLIAMS
Jul 28
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It's Official: NASA's Next Mission to Mars Has Been Cleared For Launch This Thursday

It's Official: NASA's Next Mission to Mars Has Been Cleared For Launch This Thursday

NASA on Monday gave its latest Mars rover Perseverance the all clear to launch later this week on a mission to seek out signs of ancient microbial life."The launch readiness review is complete, and we are indeed go for launch," administrator Jim Bridenstine said. "We are in extraordinary times right now with the , and yet we have in fact persevered and we have protected this mission because it is so important."The launch will take place at 7:50 am (1150 GMT) on Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on board a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.Live coverage will take place on YouTube...

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AFP
Jul 28
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Carbon Emissions Are Chilling The Atmosphere 90 Km Above Antarctica

Carbon Emissions Are Chilling The Atmosphere 90 Km Above Antarctica

While greenhouse gases are warming Earth's surface, they're also causing rapid cooling far above us, at the edge of space.In fact, the upper atmosphere about 90 kilometres (56 miles) above Antarctica is cooling at a rate 10 times faster than the average warming at the planet's surface. Our has precisely measured this cooling rate, and revealed an important discovery: a new four-year temperature cycle in the polar atmosphere. The results, based on 24 years of continuous measurements by Australian scientists in Antarctica, were published in this month.The findings show Earth's upper...

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John French
Jul 28
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Disease Experts Create Color-Coded Chart to Help You Decide When to Leave The House

Disease Experts Create Color-Coded Chart to Help You Decide When to Leave The House

When businesses began reopening from the shutdown across the US, Arizona-based epidemiologist Saskia Popescu started fielding a whole series of new questions from colleagues, friends, and worriers on the internet. Everyone, it seemed, had questions.Can I eat at a restaurant?Can I play tennis?Can I golf?"We were finding just that people really struggled to understand risk dynamics," Popescu, from the University of Arizona and George Mason University, told Insider."There was this kind of false dichotomy of either you stay in, or you go out and it's really, really dangerous."So  got together...

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Hilary Brueck
Jul 28
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Science May Have Finally Explained The Reason Why We Still Get Goosebumps

Science May Have Finally Explained The Reason Why We Still Get Goosebumps

We all know what goosebumps are, but why have we evolved to hang on to this seemingly pointless physical reaction to the cold? New research suggests an answer: regulating that control and hair growth. In a detailed analysis of mice, scientists found that the specific muscles that contract when goosebumps appear are connected to the . When low temperatures are sensed, these muscles bridge the gap between sympathetic nerves and hair follicles.In the short term, it causes hair to stand up and goosebumps to appear; in the long term, it appears to promote hair growth. The researchers say this is...

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David Nield
Jul 28
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Engineers Create Strange Four-Winged Flapping Drones Inspired by Bird Wings

Engineers Create Strange Four-Winged Flapping Drones Inspired by Bird Wings

We have developed four-winged , called ornithopters, that can take off and fly with the agility of swifts, hummingbirds and insects. We did this by reverse engineering the aerodynamics and biomechanics of these creatures. Our ornithopters have the potential to outperform and outmanoeuvre existing drone configurations with static wings or propellers.Ornithopters are flying machines based on the design of birds. Existing drone configurations rely on propellers and static wings. Ornithopters flap their wings to generate forward thrust. The complex relationship between aerodynamics and wing...

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Javaan Chahl
Jul 28
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Hubble Just Took an Astonishingly Detailed Image of Saturn

Hubble Just Took an Astonishingly Detailed Image of Saturn

The has spent the past 30 years orbiting 547 km (340 miles) above Earth. The ageing satellite has had a in the last few years, but it's not done taking incredible photos of our cosmic backyard yet. For example, earlier this month, Hubble flexed its Solar System chops, and took a crystal-clear image of Saturn from 1.35 billion kilometres (839 million miles) away – a planet which you can normally only see as a pinprick of light .Right now, it's summer in Saturn's northern hemisphere, which, as we can see, means its top north half is tilted towards us (and the Sun).But it's not quite summer as...

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Jacinta Bowler
Jul 28
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The Entire Earth Is Vibrating Less Due to COVID-19 Lockdowns, Study Reveals

The Entire Earth Is Vibrating Less Due to COVID-19 Lockdowns, Study Reveals

We humans are a rowdy, disruptive bunch. Our very day-to-day living causes the planet to hum. Quite literally - driving and travelling, digging and construction, industry, and even  all contribute to a constant background hum of high-frequency seismic noise. Now, thanks to global lockdowns due to the , the world is experiencing the most dramatic reduction in that anthropogenic seismic noise in recorded history."This quiet period is likely the longest and largest dampening of human-caused seismic noise since we started monitoring the Earth in detail using vast monitoring networks of...

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Michelle Starr
Jul 24
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China Successfully Launches a Mars Rover Mission, Joining The New Space Race

China Successfully Launches a Mars Rover Mission, Joining The New Space Race

China launched a rover to Mars on Thursday, a journey coinciding with a similar US mission as the powers take their rivalry into deep space.The two countries are taking advantage of a period when Earth and Mars are favourably aligned for a short journey, with the US spacecraft due to lift off on July 30. The Chinese mission is named Tianwen-1 ("Questions to Heaven")  a nod to a classical poem that has verses about the cosmos.Engineers and other employees cheered at the launch site on the southern island of Hainan as it lifted off into blue sky aboard a Long March 5  China's biggest space...

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Ludovic Ehret
Jul 23
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First Methane Leak Found on Antarctic Sea Floor Confirms Researchers' Fears

First Methane Leak Found on Antarctic Sea Floor Confirms Researchers' Fears

Scientists have, for the first time, discovered an active leak of methane gas from the sea floor in Antarctica. It is a process that's likely to accelerate the process of global heating. The finding was published in the peer-reviewed  scientific journal on Tuesday.Methane is powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates , and warms the planet much more than carbon dioxide does.The risk of it leaking from under ice has long concerned scientists, who  before it is released into the atmosphere.But the new findings appear to dent the hopes of the effectiveness of this process in Antarctica.Above:...

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Sinead Baker
Jul 23
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Analysis of 200 Years of Human Activity in Antarctica Reveals an Unsettling Picture

Analysis of 200 Years of Human Activity in Antarctica Reveals an Unsettling Picture

Antarctica is known for its remote and pristine wilderness, as one of the last intact expanses of land on our planet. But after just two centuries of exploration, new research has found there are very few parts of this icy continent that have never been touched by humans. While 99.6 percent of Antarctica can still be considered undeveloped wilderness, that area has become fragmented and does not include most of the continent's biodiversity, which tends to clump right where we put our research stations and take tourists."In a region often thought of as remote, we showed that in fact human...

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Carly Cassella
Jul 23
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Experts Provide Tips on How to Wear a Mask Without Fogging Glasses or Short Breath

Experts Provide Tips on How to Wear a Mask Without Fogging Glasses or Short Breath

Yes, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable or frustrating, especially if you're not used to it. People who wear glasses, those anxious about being able to breathe properly, or who wear masks for extended periods of time face particular challenges. But health workers, who have long used face masks as part of their everyday work, have developed a number of useful workarounds we'd like to share.For people with glasses, wearing a mask can lead to their lenses , reducing their vision. As you breathe out, your warm breath shoots upwards out the top of the mask. When it hits the colder lens, it...

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Craig Lockwood
Jul 23
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Astronomers Use Supercomputer to Model a Hypernova For 300 Days After Explosion

Astronomers Use Supercomputer to Model a Hypernova For 300 Days After Explosion

The answers to many questions in astronomy are hidden behind the veil of deep time.One of those questions is around the role that supernovae played in the early Universe. It was the job of early supernovae to forge the heavier elements that were not forged in the . How did that process play out? How did those early stellar explosions play out? A trio of researchers turned to a supercomputer simulation to find some answers.Their results are presented in a paper titled ''. The lead author is Ke-Jung Chen from the Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Taiwan. The paper is...

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Evan Gough
Jul 23
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In a Fascinating Twist, Beluga Whale Societies Are Almost as Complex as Our Own

In a Fascinating Twist, Beluga Whale Societies Are Almost as Complex as Our Own

Similar to orcas and pilot whales, the enigmatic beluga whale has long been assumed to live out their lives in pods based around close maternal ties. But new research shows their social structures go far beyond sibling quid-pro-quo.By combining DNA profiling with mathematical network analysis, researchers have found belugas () across the Arctic hang out in far more diverse crowds than their other whale species.Research led by Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute confirms suspicions that belugas regularly interact with their mother's side of the family, species...

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Jul 17
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Brain Scans Show Why Our Mind's Eye Sees The World So Differently to Everyday Vision

Brain Scans Show Why Our Mind's Eye Sees The World So Differently to Everyday Vision

Researchers have discovered a neural overlap between human and machine that helps to explain why what we see in our mind's eye is different to the information being processed by our actual eyes when we're peering at something in reality. With the help of an fMRI scanner and an – an AI engine designed to mimic the brain – the new study draws parallels between the way the human brain works and the way a computer system works.As well as explaining why a dog in your head doesn't exactly match a picture of a real dog, the findings could have important implications for research into both mental...

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David Nield
Jul 21
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Spectacular Photo Shows 4 Celestial Wonders in One Picture, Including a Comet

Spectacular Photo Shows 4 Celestial Wonders in One Picture, Including a Comet

Comet NEOWISE – a glowing ball of space ice with two colourful tails – has starred in countless photos as it streaks through the skies across the Northern Hemisphere this week. On Tuesday, three cosmic co-stars joined it, making for an astonishing spectacle. The image above shows a split-second meteor streaking across the sky, the green aurora shimmering over Comet NEOWISE, and purple ribbons dancing in a mysterious atmospheric phenomenon called .The shot was one of nearly 600 that photographer and farmer  snapped on Tuesday night near her farm in Manitoba, Canada. Lach volunteers for a...

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Morgan McFall
Jul 21
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