George Phillips was not expecting to find any dinosaurs in the Northeastern Mississippi stream. But as he hunted for fossilized crabs and mollusks, he came across a strange specimen—a ridged object about the size of a quarter.
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On my first day of spacewalk training in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center, the future loomed in front of me as bright as the heavens I had hoped to reach. I wanted to master the fundamentals and, like all astronauts, I knew that spacewalk proficiency was the quickest path to that coveted first flight assignment.
Many rain jackets have zippers at the armpits that, when opened, let out perspiration and funk that would otherwise stay trapped inside. But researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a prototype of a wearable that vents itself automatically in response to sweat—and it does so using bacteria.
In addition to being delicious, mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, the plant chemicals that may stave off cell damage. They're also stuffed with beta glucans, a type of soluble fiber that may improve immune system function and help control cholesterol levels. Studies suggest that foods rich in antioxidants and beta glucans are the foundations of a healthy diet (effects, researchers emphasize, that cannot be mimicked by taking supplements).
Let's start with the gross stuff: up to ten grams of poop can wash off a little kid's butt in a pool. Ten grams is a pretty small amount, but now multiply that by the number of children in your average public pool. Think about how much poop that is. And now think about the last time you got an infection from swimming in a pool.
Caves are dark, dank, isolated, and home to very few plants or animals. At first glance they might seem devoid of life. But caves are full of microscopic creatures, bacteria and fungi at home in the gloom. These microbes, scientists are discovering, may be an untapped reservoir of new medicines to fight antibiotic-resistant germs.
A failure at a fail-safe vault. The irony is delicious (like many of the seeds), but that's not the whole story.
The first half of the 20th century saw war unlike any that had transpired before. Elements were the same: people still fought over ideas and land, and it was still infantry on foot and civilians that did most of the dying. But the weapons! Fantastical, horrific weapons, like the machine guns that turned trench warfare from protracted stalemate to meat grinder, and fighters and bombers that burned through the skies.
Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is only 55 feet tall. That's puny compared to SpaceX's 230-foot Falcon 9, but size isn't everything. The Electron could become a powerful system for putting small satellites into space for cheap—the company estimates each launch will cost $5 million compared to SpaceX's (already very cheap) $60 million. And on Sunday, it may fly for the very first time.
In genetics, sometimes one plus one equals zero. Genes that should work in concert with each other, each magnifying the other's effects, can in occasionally cancel each other out instead. A study released Thursday in the journal Cell Press looks at the genetic mutation that gave us the modern, domesticated tomato, shedding some light on how these cancellations happen —and how we can use them to create a more productive tomato.