Super-Earths are bigger, more common and more habitable than Earth itself – and astronomers are more than the billions discover they think are out there

Astronomers think the most likely place to find life in the galaxy is on super-Earths, like Kepler-69c, seen in this artist’s rendering. (Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-CalTech) This article was originally published at The Conversation. (opens in new tab) The contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Astronomers now routinely discover planets orbiting … Read more

Scientists discover new kind of synapse in neurons’ tiny hairs

Cell (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.07.026″ width=”450″ height=”450″/> A model of the serotonergic axo-ciliary synapse. The serotonergic axon comes from the brainstem (blue) and contacts the primary cilia (yellow). Cilia-specific serotonin receptors constitute a distinct signaling pathway to the nucleus. Activation of this pathway modulates nuclear actin, increases histone acetylation and chromatin accessibility. Credit: Cell (2022). DOI: … Read more

Oxygen-poor zones shrank under past warm periods, scientists discover

15N data, from this study (872/516) and from Kast et al. (1209/1263), and open circles indicate cores with foraminiferal δ18O data discussed in the text (and references therein). Dissolved O2 concentrations (in μmol kg−1) are shown in color. Credit: Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05017-0″ width=”800″ height=”438″/> Sites from which core data are reported or discussed, plotted … Read more

Scientists discover a new mechanism for bacterial polysaccharide export

Structural model of the composite OPX/β-barrel translocon in the EPS pathway in Myxococcus xanthus consisting of a part… [more] Credit: Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology/Schwabe In Gram-negative bacteria, which include some of the most devastating human pathogens, just two mechanisms for the export of polysaccharides have been identified so far. Now a Max Planck … Read more

Scientists discover fossils of giant sea lizard that ruled the oceans 66 million years ago

Artist’s representation of Thalassotitan atrox. Credit: Andrey Atuchin Researchers have discovered a huge new mosasaur from Morocco, named Thalassotitan atrox, which filled the apex predator niche. With massive jaws and teeth like those of killer whales, Thalassotitan hunted other marine reptiles—plesiosaurs, sea turtles, and other mosasaurs. At the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million … Read more

Scientists discover new antiviral defense system in bacteria

A team led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT has discovered that organisms across all three domains of life—bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes (which includes plants and animals)—use pattern recognition of conserved viral proteins to defend against pathogens. Credit: Feng Zhang Bacteria use … Read more

Roboticists discover alternative physics

Latent embeddings from a framework colored by physical state variables. Credit: Boyuan Chen/Columbia Engineering Energy, mass, velocity. These three variables make up Einstein’s iconic equation E=MC2. But how did Einstein know about these concepts in the first place? A precursor step to understanding physics is identifying relevant variables. Without the concept of energy, mass, and … Read more

‘Black hole police’ discover a dormant black hole outside the Milky Way galaxy

This artist’s impression shows what the binary system VFTS 243 might look like if we were observing it up close. The system, which is located in the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, is composed of a hot, blue star with 25 times the Sun’s mass and a black hole, which is at least … Read more

Physicists discover a ‘family’ of robust, superconducting graphene structures

MIT physicists have established twisted graphene as a new “family” of robust superconductors, each member consisting of alternating graphene layers, stacked at precise angles. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers When it comes to graphene, it appears that superconductivity runs in the family. Graphene is a single-atom-thin material that can be exfoliated from the same graphite … Read more

Did a giant radio telescope in China just discover aliens? Not so FAST…

The FAST radio telescope in China. (Image credit: Liu Xu / Xinhua / AP) This article was originally published at The Conversation. (opens in new tab) The contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Danny C. Price (opens in new tab)Senior research fellow, Curtin University “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”— Carl Sagan … Read more