Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge&quot) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3500 to 3000 BCE.
Keep up with what's going on in the natural world and universe.
  • Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

    (The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) Jason A. Delborne, North Carolina State University (THE CONVERSATION) Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame. But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology. Even as the techniques of molecular biology have advanced, humans have not yet released a genetically engineered plant that is intended to spread and persist in an unmanaged environment. Biotech trees – genetically engineered or gene-edited

  • Tennesseans getting ready to view 'Super Blood Moon Eclipse' this weekend
    WSMV Nashville

    Tennesseans getting ready to view 'Super Blood Moon Eclipse' this weekend

    We are just days away from the next total lunar eclipse. The Super Blood Moon will be able to be seen across North and South America this weekend. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Here comes a total lunar eclipse and supermoon, all wrapped into one. A partial eclipse will begin at 9:33 CT Sunday. The total eclipse begins at 10:41 p.m. and ends at 11:43 p.m. A second partial eclipse ends at 12:50 a.m. The moon will turn a reddish hue because of the eclipse. MTSU will be opening its observatory to anyone who wants to view the lunar eclipse. You can visit between 9 and 11:45 p.m. Sunday. Click here for directions and parking information. This will be the last total lunar eclipse until May 2021, and the

  • Science Daily

    Synaptic logic for connections between two brain hemispheres

    Each of the 20 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex receives thousands of synaptic connections from other neurons, forming complex neural networks that make sensation, perception, movement, and higher cognitive functions possible. Ultimately the function of these networks depends on events that occur within a neuron's dendrite -- extensions from the neuron's cell body that resemble branches of a tree and receive synaptic connections from the axons of other neurons, A critical piece of the puzzle of cortical networks that continues to challenge neuroscientists is understanding the functional organization of synapses within a neuron's dendritic field. This requires determining the functional

  • Nobel prize winner Donna Strickland on how her life has changed

    Nobel prize winner Donna Strickland on how her life has changed

    Canadian physicist Donna Strickland used to have a quiet life. Not anymore. On Oct. 2, the professor from Guelph, Ont., was awakened by a phone call informing her she would receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for her work on chirped pulse amplification. Before that life-changing call, Strickland says she spent a lot of time in her lab at the University of Waterloo. “My students now have to schedule a time to see me,” she said. “We travel a lot,” she added. “I'm scheduled up to 2020 with speaking engagements.” On Friday, Strickland sat for an interview with CTV's Kevin Gallagher at the National Research Council in Ottawa, where she worked early in her career. “People are paying a little bit more

  • Scientists suggest new threat to endangered B.C. orcas: pink salmon

    Scientists suggest new threat to endangered B.C. orcas: pink salmon

    SEATTLE -- Over the years, scientists have identified dams, pollution and vessel noise as causes of the troubling decline of the Pacific Northwest's resident killer whales. Now, they may have found a new and more surprising culprit: pink salmon. Four salmon researchers were perusing data on the website of the Center for Whale Research, which studies the orcas, several months ago when they noticed a startling trend: that for the past two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years. In a newly published paper, they speculate that the pattern is related to pink salmon, which return to the Salish Sea between Washington state and Canada in enormous numbers every other year -- though they're not sure how.

  • How to use '20% time' to manage pet projects

    How to use '20% time' to manage pet projects

    I'm now two years into my postdoc in data-driven business development at Copenhagen Business School, and have started to realize that academic life rarely provides you with enough time to stimulate your curiosity and motivation. Yes, it can be argued that academia is especially accommodating for curiosity-led work, but it is also filled with a heavy workload of less creative tasks: writing papers and grant applications, teaching classes, and administrative duties. I have adopted a system that gives me time to work on pet projects that might seem unconventional and far-fetched, or out of my comfort zone — but which I find fun and interesting. I adopted my system after encountering several examples,

  • The Cerebellum Is Your "Little Brain"--and It Does Some Pretty Big Things
    Scientific American

    The Cerebellum Is Your "Little Brain"--and It Does Some Pretty Big Things

    For the longest time the cerebellum, a dense, fist-size formation located at the base of the brain, never got much respect from neuroscientists. For about two centuries the scientific community believed the cerebellum (Latin for “little brain”), which contains approximately half of the brain's neurons, was dedicated solely to the control of movement. In recent decades, however, the tide has started to turn, as researchers have revealed details of the structure's role in cognition, emotional processing and social behavior. The longstanding interest in the cerebellum can be seen in the work of French physiologist Marie Jean Pierre Flourens—(1794–1867). Flourens removed the cerebella of pigeons

  • Cassini Saw Rain Falling at Titan's North Pole
    Universe Today

    Cassini Saw Rain Falling at Titan's North Pole

    The Cassini mission to Saturn ended in September 2017, but the data it gathered during its 13 year mission is still yielding scientific results. On the heels of a newly-released global image of Saturn's moon Titan comes another discovery: Rainfall at Titan's north pole. Climate models developed by scientists during Cassini's mission concluded that rain should fall in the north during Titan's summer. But scientists hadn't seen any clouds. Now, a team of scientists have published a paper centered on Cassini images that show light reflecting off a wet surface. They make the case that the reflecting light, called a Bright Ephemeral Flare (BEF) is sunlight reflecting from newly-fallen rain. The rain

  • Cheaper, faster diagnostic test
    Vanguard News

    Cheaper, faster diagnostic test

    Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a highly innovative new enzyme biomarker test that has the potential to indicate diseases and bacterial contamination saving time, money and possibly lives. The test, developed by scientists at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's, can detect enzyme markers of disease known as proteases in humans, animals and food products. Proteases are crucial for microorganism growth and are responsible for the progression of many diseases. Levels of proteases can be highly elevated in the urine of patients with diabetic kidney disease, or at the sites of infected wounds. In food, proteases produced by bacteria contaminated in meat and dairy

  • How Different Might an Alien Intelligence Be From Us?

    How Different Might an Alien Intelligence Be From Us?

    If, and when, we make first contact with an intelligent alien species, we may find ourselves faced with the daunting task of trying to communicate with beings so perfectly strange in relation to ourselves that it's nearly impossible. In a nearly infinite universe, the possibilities for life are also nearly infinite. Life has taken many unique paths throughout the history of evolution on our own Earth. The “tree of life” is filled with branches that have grown on for millions, and even billions, of years, while others have only progressed for a few million or hundreds of thousands of years. What forms might life take on other planets, in other solar systems across our galaxy? Life as we know it

  • Are Alien Intelligences Waiting to be Discovered? – The Startup

    Are Alien Intelligences Waiting to be Discovered? – The Startup

    Elon Musk's SpaceX sent a Tesla Roadster into space in February 2018. It will travel almost 250 million miles into space before shifting into an orbit around the Sun. And yet such an extreme distance is nothing compared to the cosmos as a whole. The scales of time and distance when it comes to astronomy boggle the mind. Our nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.243 light-years away. If you send a laser beam of light or radio or TV signals toward that star, the fastest-moving things physics allows — at 186,000 miles per second — , it will take over 4 years to reach the destination, and, potentially, to be detectable by any alien life that might live there. The universe is unfathomably

  • Supermoon: A Marginally Meaningful Term with a Loaded Origin, But Still Fun

    Supermoon: A Marginally Meaningful Term with a Loaded Origin, But Still Fun

    What's the big deal? Supermoons are just a little bigger and brighter than regular full moons. Here's how they work, and why the term itself is a bit sketchy. Supermoons have been around for, oh, I don't know, roughly 4.5 billion years. They just didn't used to be called that. In fact the origin of the term is really, really recent and, shall we say, unconventional by normal scientific conventions (as you'll learn below, the word has nothing to do with science). And even by the overused definition, they're not very rare. In fact, there will be three of them this year: This Sunday night, Jan. 20-21, then Feb. 19 and March 21. [This Sunday's supermoon will be slightly, ahem, overshadowed by the

  • The Elixir of Youth That Once Gave Meaning to Our Lives

    The Elixir of Youth That Once Gave Meaning to Our Lives

    Exercise and the molecular hallmarks of aging We have all grown up believing that our age is something we cannot control. As youths we wished to be older, seeking out fake IDs and chasing the luxuries of an adult lifestyle. Now, progressing through adulthood, our enthusiasm wanes just a little each year, as we unceremoniously mock the idea of adding another stroke to our birthday tally. While we certainly cannot control the rate at which time passes us by, a multidisciplinary research team from Portugal has given new life to the notion that age is not a number, but rather, a biologically measurable process that is subject to influence by our lifestyle. Modern society is defined by an aging population,

  • Rocket Report: Iranian booster failure, SpaceX cuts, Vulcan near final design
    Ars Technica

    Rocket Report: Iranian booster failure, SpaceX cuts, Vulcan near final design

    Welcome to Edition 1.32 of the Rocket Report! As we get deeper into the new year, the launch business is starting to heat up, especially among the smaller rockets. Companies are eyeing launch sites, securing launch contracts, and scrambling on development of their rockets. This is simply going to be a huge year for small-sat launchers, and we're going to do our best to stay on top of everything. As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next

  • Concordia's '4th Space' brings innovative research into the public eye

    Concordia's '4th Space' brings innovative research into the public eye

    A wind tunnel lab, hydroponic systems creating living walls, fungus building seats for public transit, and a solar panel bus shelter – it's all part of Concordia's new exhibition venue called '4th Space.' The venue is trying to bring the university closer to the community and showcase its research. “Normally knowledge from a university comes out in publications or you go to a lecture or there's a poster presentation. It's high-level academic, but what we want is a space where anyone can walk in and start a conversation,” explained 4th Space programmer Prem Sooriyakumar. It's an opportunity for researchers to share their work and get feedback in tangible ways. The research themes will rotate every