Science news, expert analysis and the latest discoveries (2024)


Scientists inserted a window in a man's skull to read his brain with ultrasoundByEmily Cooke published 16 June 24New research shows it's possible to use ultrasound waves to monitor activity in the human brain.


Space photo of the week: 'Earthrise,' the Christmas Eve image that changed the worldByJamie Carter published 16 June 24Snapped from lunar orbit in 1968 by NASA astronaut Bill Anders, who died this week at age 90, 'Earthrise' is perhaps the most iconic image of our planet ever taken.

The Moon

Have days on Earth always been 24 hours?BySarah Wells published 16 June 24Earth's day used to be five hours shorter, and it's predicted to continue lengthening over time.

Planet Earth

Solar storm slams Mars in eerie new NASA footageByMeredith Garofalo published 15 June 24A powerful solar storm in May 2024 created auroras on Mars and provided scientists with crucial information that could aid future crewed missions to the Red Planet.


Skeletons of Incan kids buried 500 years ago found marred with smallpoxByKristina Killgrove published 15 June 24Archaeologists in Peru have discovered two 16th-century toddler burials with evidence of smallpox, indicating that the foreign illness spread quickly with European contact.


Qinling panda: The shrunken pandas that diverged 300,000 years ago and sometimes come out brown ByLydia Smith published 15 June 24Qinling pandas were officially recognized as a subspecies in 2005, but the mystery of their brown fur was only resolved almost two decades later.


Gilgamesh flood tablet: A 2,600-year-old text that's eerily similar to the story of Noah's ArkByJennifer Nalewicki published 15 June 24The baked clay tablet tells the tale of an epic flood.


Why does the sun make people sneeze?ByCharles Q. Choi published 15 June 24People who sneeze in bright lights, like the sun, may have autosomal dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst syndrome, or ACHOO.


1st-known human case of H5N2 bird flu remains under investigationByNicoletta Lanese last updated 14 June 24A man in Mexico died after catching the world's first laboratory-confirmed case of H5N2 bird flu in humans. However, authorities think he likely died of existing conditions, rather than the infection itself.


Melatonin may stave off age-related vision loss, study hintsByEmily Cooke published 14 June 24A large new analysis has tied the use of supplemental melatonin to a lower risk of developing one of the most common age-related causes of vision loss.

Florida shark attacks caused by heat, not scary orcas, experts sayByJacklin Kwan published 14 June 24People had linked recent shark attacks in the Florida panhandle to orca activity in the Gulf. But a combination of dry weather and heat was the real driving force.


Gen Xers will have higher cancer rates than boomers, study forecastsByEmily Cooke published 14 June 24A new modeling study predicts that cancer rates in people over 60 may be rising among successive generations.


Vera C. Rubin Observatory: The groundbreaking mission to make a 10-year, time-lapse movie of the universeByJamie Carter published 14 June 24Armed with the world's largest digital camera, the forthcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile will take night-sky images that revolutionize astronomy.

Space Exploration

How long would it take to reach Planet 9, if we ever find it?ByHarry Baker published 14 June 24Some experts believe that the solar system's hypothetical ninth planet could be just a few years away from being discovered. If this is the case, how long would it take for humans to send probes to the elusive world?


Planet Nine: Is the search for this elusive world nearly over?ByHarry Baker published 14 June 24Astronomers have been scouring the outer solar system for signs of a hypothetical ninth planet for almost a decade, without success. However, we may finally be on the cusp of finding it, experts say.


Orangutan 'stoically waits' for tourists in award-winning photograph 'See No Evil'ByHannah Osborne published 14 June 24Aaron Gekoski's image of an orangutan sitting patiently at Safari World in Bangkok has won the 2024 Environmental Photography Award competition.


NASA will put a 'new star' in the sky by the end of the decade in 1st-of-its-kind missionByHarry Baker published 14 June 24The newly announced Landolt NASA Space Mission will launch a bread box-size "artificial star" satellite that will mimic stars by shining lasers directly at ground-based telescopes. This will enable astronomers to fine-tune instruments and potentially revolutionize how we study the universe.


Leatherback turtle dives deeper than a Navy sub, smashing world record in the processByPatrick Pester published 14 June 24A Western Pacific leatherback migrating from her nesting grounds in the Solomon Islands dove to a whopping 4,409 feet, conservationists say.


Hot Tub of Despair: The deadly ocean pool that traps and pickles creatures that fall inBySascha Pare published 14 June 24This stagnant brine pool at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is so toxic it kills and embalms any crabs and amphipods that are unlucky enough to stumble into it.

GPT-4 has passed the Turing test, researchers claimByDrew Turney published 14 June 24Most people couldn't distinguish ChatGPT from a human responder, suggesting the famous Turing test has been passed for the first time.

Artificial Intelligence

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Science news, expert analysis and the latest discoveries (2024)


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