Culture

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are used, which can be switched back and forth between two different states in a very precisely defined way. Even more precise, however, would be a nuclear clock that does not use states of electrons, but internal states of the atomic nucleus.

Ever since the discovery of the first exoplanet in the 1990s, astronomers have made steady progress towards finding and probing planets located in the habitable zone of their stars, where conditions can lead to the formation of liquid water and the proliferation of life.

If Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity holds true, then a black hole, born from the cosmically quaking collisions of two massive black holes, should itself "ring" in the aftermath, producing gravitational waves much like a struck bell reverbates sound waves. Einstein predicted that the particular pitch and decay of these gravitational waves should be a direct signature of the newly formed black hole's mass and spin.

Plants emit gases, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that enter the atmosphere, where they can interact with other natural and human-made molecules to form secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). These tiny, suspended particles influence atmospheric processes, such as cloud formation and sunlight scattering. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry have shown that aphid-infested Scots pine trees produce a different mixture of VOCs than healthy plants, which then leads to different SOAs.

URBANA, Ill. - Bacterial leaf streak, a foliar disease in corn, has only been in the United States for a handful of years, but Tiffany Jamann says it's a major problem in the Western Corn Belt.

The Acheulian culture endured in the Levant for over a million years during the Lower Paleolithic period (1.4 million to 400,000 years ago). Its use of bifaces or large cutting tools like hand axes and cleavers is considered a hallmark of its sophistication -- or, some researchers would argue, the lack thereof.

One would expect that entrepreneurs who pitch their startup ideas with passion are more apt to entice investors. Now there's scientific proof the two are connected: enthusiasm and financial backing.

According to new research from Case Western Reserve University, the brains of potential investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion.

In The Little Prince, the classic novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the titular prince lives on a house-sized asteroid so small that he can watch the sunset any time of day by moving his chair a few steps.

Of course, in real life, celestial objects that small can't support life because they don't have enough gravity to maintain an atmosphere. But how small is too small for habitability?

As plants expand into new open habitats, geographical and climatic factors may matter more than species-specific traits, according to a study published September 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Miki Nomura of the University of Otago in New Zealand, and colleagues.

On Oct. 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano sparked a firestorm on social media when she asked her Twitter followers to reply "me too" if they had ever been sexually harassed or assaulted. (Social justice activist Tarana Burke founded the "Me Too" movement more than 10 years ago as a way to help sexual assault survivors heal.) What followed were 1.5 million responses -- many from sexual assault survivors sharing their experiences, others from people showing support and some from critics -- all using the hashtag #MeToo.

The enormous black hole at the center of our galaxy is having an unusually large meal of interstellar gas and dust, and researchers don't yet understand why.

"We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole," said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and a co-senior author of the research. "It's usually a pretty quiet, wimpy black hole on a diet. We don't know what is driving this big feast."

Annapolis, MD; September 11, 2019--As the global food supply faces the dual challenge of climate change and a growing human population, innovative minds are turning to a novel source for potential solutions: insects.

The study is a collaborative effort of an international team of solar energy experts from Aalto University of Finland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and SMART (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology). It analyses the intersection of two dominant trends in the energy sector during the 21st century: the impetus to decarbonise the energy sector to mitigate dangerous anthropogenic climate change and the increased economic prosperity in tropical countries which makes for a higher demand for cooling than heating.

Since 2012, researchers at the Division of Bedrock Geology in the Department of Geology of Tallinn University of Technology Aivo Lepland and Tõnu Martma have been engaged in the research of an international research group investigating the factors controlling methane seepages and reconstructing the chronology of past methane emissions in one of the world's most climate-sensitive regions - the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The belief that one is smarter, better looking, more successful and more deserving than others - a personality trait known as narcissism - tends to wane as a person matures, a new study confirms. But not for everyone, and not to the same extent.

The study, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, finds that the magnitude of the decline in narcissism between young adulthood and middle age is related to the specific career and personal relationship choices a person makes.