Torrential rains kill 27 across Central America

A farmer sells guanabas on a highway in the pouring rain in Honduras. Torrential rains across Central America have left at least 27 dead in landslides and flooding over the past week, mainly in El Salvador, but also in Guatemala and Honduras, officials said Friday. El Salvador’s Environment Minister Fernando Lopez said the deluge was … Read more

Bulking tips for black holes; microbes influence drinking; new dinosaur just dropped

Reconstruction of Lokiceratops in the 78-million-year-old swamps of northern Montana, as two Probrachylophosaurus move past in the background. Credit: Fabrizio Lavezzi What did scientists do this week? Exactly four things, all of which are summarized below. ‘This sweet baby can hold 4.3 million suns’ Supermassive black holes: How do they get so huge? This simple … Read more

Kangaroo teeth grow forever—and keep a record of their owner’s age and sex

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain How do you find out the age of a wild animal? For some Australian marsupials, we have discovered you can tell from their teeth. In a new paper published in Archives of Oral Biology, we show that the front teeth of kangaroos record their age in a number of different ways—and … Read more

Protected areas can boost biodiversity and local economies

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Protected areas, like nature reserves, can conserve biodiversity without harming local economic growth, countering a common belief that conservation restricts development. A new study outlines what is needed for conservation to benefit both nature and people. Conservation zones aim to preserve biodiversity, protect endangered species, and maintain natural habitats. “There’s long … Read more

NASA faces $80,000 claim after space debris hit family home

Credit: Edvin Richardson from Pexels An American family is claiming more than $80,000 from NASA after a small piece of debris fell from space and smashed through the roof of their Florida home, a law firm said Friday. The problem of space trash has risen in tandem with increased spatial traffic, and NASA’s response could … Read more

A double-edged sword in the face of drought

Reduced springtime precipitation in the Central Andes due to anthropogenic aerosol forcing. Credit: POSTECH Earth and environmental scientists have reported that, as human socio-economic activities increase, greenhouse gas emissions will rise, leading to more frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. However, a research team from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) … Read more

Many more bacteria produce greenhouse gases than previously thought, study finds

Fieldwork to understand greenhouse gases and microbial communities in Santa Barbara rangeland soils. Credit: W. Fischer Caltech researchers have discovered a new class of enzymes that enable a myriad of bacteria to “breathe” nitrate when in low-oxygen conditions. While this is an evolutionary advantage for bacterial survival, the process produces the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide … Read more

New perspectives on cognitive flexibility

(Left) Increase in gray matter volume in the left insula in habitual entrepreneurs compared to managers. Significant clusters are shown on the brain template. The color bar illustrates the corresponding t value. (Right) Correlation plots of left insula gray matter density and the normalized score for divergent thinking. The shaded area represents a 95% confidence … Read more

Exploring the roots of the Anthropocene

Even the early colonisation of the tropical forests had serious consequences. Credit: Patrick Roberts Understanding how tropical land use and deforestation affects the dynamics of the global Earth system and identifying potential tipping points are key to the future of our species on this planet. By exploring the long history of human societies in tropical … Read more

How does heat kill? It confuses your brain. It shuts down your organs. It overworks your heart.

A man pours cold water onto his head to cool off on a sweltering hot day in the Mediterranean Sea in Beirut, Lebanon, July 16, 2023. As temperatures and humidity soar outside, what’s happening inside the human body can become a life-or-death battle decided by just a few degrees. Credit: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File As … Read more