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Petrologists who recreated hot, high-pressure conditions from 60 miles below Earth’s surface have found a new clue about a crucial event in the planet’s deep past. Their study describes how fossilized carbon--the remains of Earth’s earliest single-celled creatures--could have been subsumed and locked deep in Earth’s interior starting around 2.4 billion years ago--a time when atmospheric oxygen rose dramatically.
Image credit: ISS Expedition 7 Crew, EOL, NASA
A new technology concept could provide pest control companies with a more effective way to control termites and prevent associated damage. The technology works by targeting the termite’s resistance genes that help the insect fight off a known fungus that can effectively eliminate termites. Non-specific chemical insecticides are sometimes ineffective, or not preferred by some homeowners, and a method to target termites' genes to dismantle their defense mechanisms against fungus is needed.
Image credit: Purdue University/Tom Campbell
An international team of astronomers has for the first time, seen the strong cosmic magnification and multiple images of a class of supernova called Type Ia. Type Ia supernovas--often referred to as "standard candles" because of their well-known intrinsic brightness--are frequently used by astronomers to accurately measure the expansion rate of our universe, as well as the amount of dark energy, which is thought to be accelerating this expansion.
Image credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Palomar Observatory/California Institute of Technology
Emperor penguins parade in front of a U.S. Navy LC-130 in the late 1980s. The emperor penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is a native Antarctican.
Image credit: Matt Davidson, NSF
For adults, crossing the street by foot seems easy. You take stock of the traffic and calculate the time it will take to get from one side to the other without being hit. Yet it’s anything but simple for a child. New research shows children under certain ages lack the perceptual judgment and motor skills to cross a busy road consistently without putting themselves in danger. The researchers placed children from 6 to 14 years old in a realistic simulated environment and asked them to cross one lane of a busy road multiple times. The results: Children up to their early teenage years had difficulty consistently crossing the street safely, with accident rates as high as 8 percent with 6-year-olds. Only by age 14 did children navigate street crossing without incident, while 12-year-olds mostly compensated for inferior road-crossing motor skills by choosing bigger gaps in traffic.
Image credit: Tim Schoon/University of Iowa
Menisci, ear-shaped hunks of cartilage nestled between the thigh and shin bones, cushion every step we take. But a lifetime of wear and tear--or a single wrong step during a game of soccer or tennis--can permanently damage these key supports, leading to pain and an increased risk of developing arthritis. Researchers have developed a hydrogel-based material that is the first to match human cartilage in strength and elasticity, while also remaining 3-D-printable and stable inside the body. To demonstrate how it might work, the researchers used a $300 3-D printer to create custom menisci for a plastic model of a knee.
Image credit: Feichen Yang