Credit NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (University of California, Los Angeles), J. Agarwal (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research), H. Weaver (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), M. Mutchler (STScI), and S. Larson (University of Arizona)
These NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 4:11 pm
Astronomers using both ground- and space-based telescopes have discovered a new kind of asteroid that sports not one, but six comet-like tails, and has been described as looking something like a rotating lawn sprinkler.
P/2013 P5 was first spotted with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the top of Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, in August and then followed up with more detailed observations using the Hubble Space Telescope.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:23 pm
The National Geodetic Survey doesn't often get the opportunity to take detailed measurements of the massive stone obelisk that sits in the middle of Washington, D.C.
But a 2011 earthquake in nearby Mineral, Va., damaged the Washington Monument enough that to repair it, the tower had to be wrapped in scaffolding. That gave surveyors access to the very top of the structure.
Legend holds that the length of a woolly bear caterpillar's color bands can be used to forecast how severe the winter weather will be. The myth dates back to colonial American folklore but was popularized by a 1948 study. SciFri finds out if there's any truth to the lore, and what the caterpillar's fuzzy bristles are really used for.
This week, India launched Mangalyaan, its first robotic mission to orbit Mars and probe its atmosphere. Only Russia, Europe, and the U.S. have successfully orbited the planet. Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor in national security affairs, and planetary scientist Bruce Jakosky discuss the Indian space program, as well as NASA's upcoming mission to the Martian atmosphere.
Echinacea, vitamins, and other dietary supplements have become a $5 billion industry, but the products don't need to be pre-approved by the FDA before they go on the market. How do we know what is really in our supplements? What regulations are currently in place? How can we keep ourselves safe and informed?
Since its appearance in the U.S. seven years ago, white-nose syndrome has decimated bat populations across eastern North America. Scientists say they've determined the culprit--a soil-dwelling fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans--and now they're investigating novel ways to stop it, including antifungal bacteria.
Forget dissecting frogs and building potato batteries. High school students today are learning genetic engineering--and some are even redesigning life. Bioethicists and the FBI have taken note and are rethinking biosecurity for the synthetic biology revolution.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $3.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support health care centers in Alabama.
Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that the funding will help expand the delivery of health care services in the state, which is expected to impact more than 20,700 Alabamians. Officials say the funding is expected to support five health care centers in Alabama.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 6:36 am
In the hunt for new ways to help people fight alcoholism, doctors are studying gabapentin, a generic drug that's commonly used to treat epilepsy and fibromyalgia.
In a 12-week clinical trial conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, people taking taking gabapentin were much better at reducing their alcohol intake than those who got a placebo. The research, involving 150 people, was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:15 am
In the essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," philosopher Albert Camus — who would have turned 100 on Thursday — explored the nature of boring work. There's new psychological research into why people end up in boring jobs.
H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have "shape memory." The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:37 am
Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.
In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.