What’s Going on Around This Strange Neutron Star? – D-brief

Neutron stars are the hot, rapidly rotating remnants of massive stars. Many are pulsars, which send out radio signals that happen to coincide with Earth, like seeing the light from a lighthouse. (Credit: Kevin Gill) Neutron stars, the end-stage remnants of massive stars, are high-energy objects. They’re usually studied in X-rays, some of the most […]

Opioid Epidemic Part Of Decades-Long Rise in Drug Overdoses – D-brief

Scientists looked at deaths in the United States going back decades and were astonished at the exponential rise in fatal drug overdoses. (Credit: Yaroslau Mikheyeu/shutterstock) Drug overdoses kill close to 200 people everyday in the United States. And while opioids are a major contributor to those deaths today, a new analysis of nearly 600,000 accidental […]

What’s the Maximum Gravity We Could Survive? – D-brief

The super-Earth Kepler 62f, estimated to be around 40% larger than Earth. (Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech) If we wish to colonize another world, finding a planet with a gravitational field that humans can survive and thrive under will be crucial. If its gravity is too strong our blood will be pulled down into our legs, our bones […]

For the First Time, A Praying Mantis Has Been Caught Fishing – D-brief

The male praying mantis (Hierodula tenuidentata) eating a guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) starting from the tail, while the fish is still alive and breathing in the water. (Credit: Rajesh Puttaswamaiah) There’s nowhere you can hide from the praying mantis. The ferocious insects are known to feast on a veritable buffet of living creatures, including everything […]

Sharing is Caring? Actually, it’s Just Contagious – D-brief

A Hadza woman plays the honey stick public goods game inside the researchers’ vehicle. (Photo: Eduardo Acevedo) Once upon a time (er, yesterday), we might have thought a character trait like generosity was something deeply ingrained by life experiences or even decided by a person’s genes. But research today in Current Biology suggests that a […]

Gambling Monkeys Shed Light on Risky Behavior – D-brief

Two rhesus macaques, though not the two shown here, have helped scientists identify a brain region important for risky decision-making. (Credit: izarizhar/shutterstock) Researchers have identified a key brain area associated with high-risk behavior, thanks to two monkeys they trained to gamble. Before the rhesus monkeys could start gambling, they had to learn the researchers’ system […]

Employees Trust Each Other More in Competitive Workplaces – D-brief

(Credit: g-stockstudio/shutterstock) Firms in competitive industries are often seen as cutthroat and intense places to work. But while the work might be intense, the employees tend to trust and cooperate with each other, according to a study published Wednesday in Science Advances. The high stakes appear to bring about group cohesiveness, which might have deep […]

Here’s what the devastating flooding from Florence looks like from space – ImaGeo

An animation of before and after images acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite shows flooding in the wake of Florence across southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. (Source: Modified from CIMSS Satellite Blog) You’ve probably seen imagery shot in the Carolinas showing the devastating flooding that Hurricane Florence left its wake. Now, check out what that flooding […]

How AI Is Teaching Gliders to Soar – D-brief

(Credit: Aerovista Luchtfotografie/Shutterstock) An adult albatross can spend days without ever touching the ground. Long wings that lock into place provide enormous amounts of lift. And a keen sense for thermals and air currents lets the birds soar with little energy expenditure. Sleeping, eating, drinking and bathing all take place on the wing, over the course of […]

Scientists ID Major Ivory Trafficking Cartels Using Genetics – D-brief

Scientists studied captured shipments of ivory tusks and managed to tie them to cartels. (Credit: Joe Mercier/shutterstock) Nearly 40,000 elephants die each year from illegal poaching orchestrated by large criminal organizations. The perpetrators are after ivory — the white, teeth-like material that forms the main part of elephants’ tusks. It also funds an illicit $4 […]