A Long March to the Moon and beyond

The launch of a rocket carrying China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe underlines how much progress Beijing has made towards its ‘space dream’ China’s landing this week of a probe on the Moon—the first attempt by any nation to retrieve lunar samples in four decades—underlined just how far the country has come in achieving its space dream. […]

Did early life need long, complex molecules to make cell-like compartments?

IMAGE: Membraneless compartments made from short polymers (10 unit long polymer of aspartic acid and 10 unit long lysine). Brightfield image (left) and fluorescent image (right) showing fluorescently labeled RNA (red)… view more  Credit: Fatma Pir Cakmak, Penn State Protocell compartments used as models for an important step in the early evolution of life on Earth […]

A long distance connection: polar climate affects trade wind strength in tropics

IMAGE: The blue ice covering Lake Fryxell in the Transantarctic Mountains comes from melted glacier water. view more  Credit: Joe Mastroianni, National Science Foundation The impact of sea surface temperature variations in the tropical Pacific on global climate has long been recognized. For instance, the episodic warming of the tropical Pacific during El Niño events causes […]

The Resurrection Plate Is Dead, Long Live the Resurrection Plate

The ground beneath our feet might seem solid, but Earth’s tectonic plates are always shifting. Sometimes, they even disappear. In a study published last month in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, researchers announced new evidence in favor of one such missing plate, dubbed the Resurrection plate after Alaska’s Resurrection Peninsula. The Resurrection […]

How to stock your pantry to endure a long, uncertain winter

Don’t be distracted by the bright colors—focus on what you need. (Hanson Lu/Unsplash/) This story was originally featured on Outdoor Life. Stocking up on food and supplies is an ancient tradition in fall. Bears feed heavily to build up body fat before hibernation and squirrels bury nuts for the days ahead. But stocking up for […]

How long do most species last before going extinct?

The majestic blue whale has plied the seas for about 4.5 million years, while the Neanderthals winked out of existence in a few hundred thousand years. But are those creatures representative of species overall? How long do species usually last before they go extinct? It turns out the answer we find now could be very […]

A blue-green glow adds to platypuses’ long list of bizarre features

Between the electricity-sensing bill, venomous heel spurs and egg laying, the platypus was already one of the strangest mammals alive today (SN: 5/8/08). Now, researchers have found that this Australian oddity has another unexpected feature: It fluoresces under ultraviolet light. Platypuses’ dense, waterproof fur absorbs ultraviolet light and emits a blue-green glow, mammologist Paula Spaeth […]

Some COVID-19 “long haulers” experience lasting skin problems

BOSTON – Some patients with COVID-19 have persistent skin-related symptoms long after their initial infection has cleared, according to a new analysis. The findings, presented at the 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), point to another burden experienced by so-called “long haulers” who get […]

Beaches can survive sea-level rises as long as they have space to move — ScienceDaily

An international team of coastal scientists has dismissed suggestions that half the world’s beaches could become extinct over the course of the 21st century. The claim was made by European researchers in a paper published in Nature Climate Change in March 2020 (Sandy coastlines under threat of erosion by Vousdoukas et al). See ‘World’s sandy […]