Cosmos reporter

  • Comets are bigger and more numerous than we thought

    There are more comets in the outer reaches of the solar system than astronomers previously believed

    Comet Lovejoy viewed from the International Space Station in 2011. The comet has a period of roughly 622 years.NASA /...

    July 26, 2017
  • Ravens can plan ahead and barter for food

    The clever corvids show cognitive abilities that were believed to exist only in primates, accordi...

    Humans – most of us, at least – can plan ahead. So can chimpanzees. But ravens? A new behavioural study shows that pr...

    July 14, 2017
  • Reducing the side-effects of CRISPR gene editing

    Carefully timed application of an inhibitor protein may reduce off-target changes to DNA caused b...

    The revolutionary CRISPR gene-editing technology holds huge potential to cure all manner of genetic diseases and diso...

    July 12, 2017
  • Weak-hearted sea spiders use guts to pump blood

    The complex intestines of the underwater arthropod move gases and fluid around the body.

    Most animals use the strong, steady beating of their hearts to move blood around their bodies and keep up the supplie...

    July 12, 2017
  • Fire ants self-organise to build towers to reach safety

    A new study shows how individual fire ants follow simple rules to achieve dramatic collective act...

    Many animal social groups demonstrate amazing abilities in self-organisation and collective action, efficiently accom...

    July 12, 2017
  • Older people may sleep less for the good of the tribe

    Variations in sleep patterns may be an evolutionary legacy, researchers suggest.

    Why do our sleep patterns change as we get older? Neurologists might give you one explanation, to do with a specific ...

    July 12, 2017
  • Fronds with benefits: what led to the rise of giant rangeomorphs

    550 million years ago, the rangeomorph was a giant in a world of micro-organisms.

    They lived in the ocean and looked like plants but are believed to have been animals. In a world of micro-organisms t...

    July 11, 2017
  • Conquering the galaxy begins with fighting fungi

    Researchers preparing for life off-world have found that the greatest threat may come from an unl...

    What potential disasters could kill off future missions to colonise other planets? A meteorite strike puncturing vita...

    July 11, 2017
  • Meet the giant crocodile that terrorised Jurassic-era Madagascar

    The huge crocodile-like Razanandrongobe sakalavae had teeth much like those of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

    New research on fossils from Madagascar by Italian and French paleontologists has uncovered a previously unknown Jura...

    July 5, 2017
  • Muscle builders

    A stunning image shows the muscle-building myomerger protein in action.

    This microscopic image of fibroblast cells shows the induction of cell fusion by a newly described gene and its prote...

    June 1, 2017
  • Sherpas use oxygen more efficiently to thrive at high altitude

    New study shows how Sherpas’ blood, muscles and even individual cells equip them for Himalayan life.

    The high life: Sherpas have genetic adaptations that give them the right metabolism for living at altitude. Bartosz H...

    May 23, 2017
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex a champion bone crusher

    The massive dinosaur combined bite force and enormous tooth pressure to chomp into nutritious bones.

    The powerful jaws and teeth of the Tyrannosaurus rex would have made short work of the flimsy human skeleton.James mo...

    May 17, 2017
  • Why comets have oxygen atmospheres

    A chemical engineer has used his work with semiconductors to explain a mystery that has puzzled s...

    Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as seen by Rosetta.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAMWhy would a comet have oxygen in its atmosphere...

    May 8, 2017
  • Asteroid near-miss a once in 900 year event

    On April 19 a 600-metre asteroid will come within in 1.8 million km of Earth.

    Astronomers both amateur and professional will have a rare opportunity to observe a potentially hazardous asteroid in...

    April 13, 2017
  • Black holes eject matter as well as feed off it

    New modelling describes how magnetic fields drive turbulent winds that can snuff out star formation.

    Photo12/UIG via Getty ImagesBlack holes are well known to be voracious feeders, but in the rush to consume all around...

    March 7, 2017
  • Zika hits travellers harder than thought

    A Canadian study of people returning from affected areas shows symptoms were more severe than exp...

    An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which spreads Zika, dengue and chikungunya, is photographed in a laboratory of control of ...

    March 6, 2017
  • New technique could stop transplant organ waste

    Warming chilled organs donated for transplant is problematic

    A transmission electron microscopy image shows the iron oxide nanoparticles coated in a mesoporous silica that are us...

    March 2, 2017
  • Ancient earthworks shed light on secret life of the Amazon

    Dig uncovers evidence of early human agriculture that created a ‘prehistoric supermarket’ of usef...

    Scientists have uncovered a mysterious system of ancient earthworks in the Amazon basin that have been hidden until n...

    February 22, 2017
  • Martian mudflats hark back to the time the planet dried out

    Latest images from Curiosity show first signs of mud cracks that probably came as Martian climate...

    The network of cracks in this Martian rock slab called "Old Soaker" may have formed from the drying of a mud layer mo...

    February 22, 2017
  • Nickel helps scientists iron out a core planetary mystery

    Laboratory experiments offer a glimpse into why planets are not all created equal.

    The asteroid Vesta in an image taken from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Vesta orbits the Sun between the orbits of Mars and...

    February 21, 2017
  • Gabon forest elephants numbers collapse by 80%

    New study shows catastrophic losses due to cross-border poaching.

    An African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) crosses a river. Forest elephants are an elusive subspecies of Africa...

    February 20, 2017
  • Gay marriage legalisation cuts youth suicide attempts

    US study says same-sex marriage policies make all adolescents more hopeful for the future.

    Miryana Slivenska / EyeEm / Getty ImagesHigh school students are less likely to commit suicide in jurisdictions where...

    February 20, 2017
  • One year lasts a day in alien solar system

    Astronomers have analysed a distant solar system with unusually tightly packed planets.

    NASA/JPLAstronomers have been investigating the secrets of an alien solar system that has planets orbiting its star s...

    July 25, 2016
  • Why jetlag is worse flying east

    Mathematical modelling of circadian cells suggests travellers' instincts might be right.

    AARON FOSTER/GETTY IMAGESFrequent travellers often insist that flying east causes worse jetlag than flying west. And,...

    July 21, 2016
  • The top 10 emerging technologies of 2016

    The World Economic Forum highlights technological advances that have the power to improve lives, ...

    Getty/PASIEKA/SPLThe World Economic Forum published this diverse list of breakthrough technologies which could soon p...

    June 28, 2016
  • Osprey captured fishing in spectacular slow motion

    It took over a week of patience and dedication to capture this bird of prey fishing in slow motion.

    Cameraman Lindsay McCrae captured for the first time super slow motion footage of an osprey fishing in Scotland‘s hig...

    June 28, 2016
  • How baby birds learn to sing

    Neurons in the brain of young zebra finches selectively respond to the song of an adult 'tutor'.

    As with human speech, a songbird's vocal learning depends on hearing examples in early life. Young birds listen to an...

    June 23, 2016
  • Why some black hole jets blast out their galaxy – and others fail

    Simulations show a stable magnetic field is key to a strong set of jets.

    hfkdshfkjlsajWhy do some supermassive black holes blast immensely powerful jets that punch through their galaxy and c...

    June 21, 2016
  • Amazing ammonite architecture

    The now-extinct marine animal came in at least 30 different shapes.

    Ammonites – extinct marine molluscs – flourished in Earth's oceans until they were wiped out by an asteroid, along wi...

    June 20, 2016
  • Nine scientists named Kavli Prize winners

    Honouring groundbreaking achievements in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

    The Kavli FoundationNine scientists have been named as winners of the prestigious Kavli Prize, honoured for their cut...

    June 3, 2016
  • Killer whales colonised the oceans in 200,000 years

    They're highly social and found all around the world. New research shows just how quickly orca gr...

    Some Antarctic killer whales sup on seals. Others, such as this one, prefer penguins.HOLLY FEARNBACH / NOAA SOUTHWEST...

    June 1, 2016
  • Light fixes defects in perovskite solar cells

    Intense blasts 'sweep away' imperfections in the crystals.

    A sample of the mineral perovskite (foreground), while behind is fluorescence imaging showing areas receiving more li...

    May 25, 2016
  • Neanderthals were broad and stocky from birth

    Comparison of baby Neanderthal skeletons to modern humans suggest infants resembled robust adults.

    Neanderthals inhabited Europe and western Asia between 230,000 and 29,000 years ago. A new study of skeletons shows i...

    May 24, 2016
  • ESA set to launch latest Galileo satellites

    The next step in Europe's mission to build its own navigation satellite system.

    A cutaway view of the Soyuz rocket fairing carrying the Galileo-13 and -14 satellites, seen on top of the Fregat uppe...

    May 24, 2016
  • Watch these robots create works of art

    Is the artist behind the brushstrokes programmed or human?

    Human artist or robot? You'd be forgiven for thinking people wielded brushes to create these works, but they're all p...

    May 22, 2016
  • Australian scientists smash solar cell efficiency record

    By splitting the spectrum into four, scientists have maximised electricity generation from a beam...

    While the spectrum-splitting high-efficiency four junction modules may be too expensive for homes, they could work wi...

    May 19, 2016
  • Watch: an experiment to create and ‘taste’ neutrinos

    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment aims to dissect properties of these notoriously slippery...

    The most elusive particles in the Universe – neutrinos – might not stay hidden for much longer. Testing of the Deep U...

    May 19, 2016
  • CubeSat deployed to view Sun’s soft X-rays

    It's only the size of a loaf of bread but the MinXSS should tell us plenty about the Sun's commun...

    MinXSS observes soft X-rays from the Sun which can disturb the ionosphere and hamper radio and GPS signals.ESA / NASA...

    May 17, 2016
  • Explore the eerie world of deep-sea vents

    Chimneys at the bottom of the ocean that spew black 'smoke' can now be viewed in high-definition ...

    The crushing pressures and searing heat of volcanic vents deep under the ocean are no longer unreachable – well, almo...

    May 13, 2016
  • NASA releases first global topographic model of Mercury

    Data will enable exciting scientific discoveries for decades to come, scientists say.

    Mercury’s northern volcanic plains shown here in enhanced colour to emphasize different types of rocks on the surface...

    May 9, 2016
  • Saving cut flowers with science

    Unfortunately, a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers can't last forever but, thanks to science, ...

    For some countries, after April showers come May flowers, and many celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday. If you're th...

    May 6, 2016
  • NASA set to cover the transit of Mercury

    The Solar System's tiniest planet is about to cross the face of the Sun for the first time si...

    The track of Mercury across the face of the Sun on its 2006 transit. – NASA Mercury, the smallest planet in...

    May 4, 2016
  • Ancient Martian volcanoes shed light on ice sheets

    Spectrometer analysis of mountainous region by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows simil...

    A graphic showing where minerals indicate where a volcano erupted beneath an ice sheet. The site is far from any ice ...

    May 4, 2016
  • Video: real-time facial manipulation technology

    Researchers developed software which seamlessly blends real-world facial movements with those in ...

    Pre-recorded videos can be edited in real-time via facial capture and re-enactment technology, thanks to software dev...

    May 2, 2016
  • Eel-like robot to become seabed janitor

    Meet Eelume, the swimming robot that will significantly reduce costs related to subsea inspection...

    Most remotely operated vehicles are large and bulky, making them costly and impractical for use in quick fixes. Enter...

    May 2, 2016
  • Video: stunning polar lightshow from space

    Using time-lapse photography shot from the International Space Station, this spectacular video sh...

    NASA has compiled stunning high-definition views of Earth's auroras as seen from the Internation Space Station. U...

    April 27, 2016
  • Red crabs swarm the sea floor

    A research team has captured unique footage of thousands of red crabs, also known as tuna crabs, ...

    During a dive in a manned submersible off the coast of Panama, the team came across the large aggregation of swarming...

    April 24, 2016
  • NASA turns gaze to Pluto’s craters

    Scientists are puzzled as to why methane ice should settle on this particular region of the dwarf...

    Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI NASA scientists studying the treasure trove of images and data sent back by the N...

    April 21, 2016
  • Operation IceBridge returns to the Arctic

    An eighth year of collecting data that helps scientists predict the summer melt. But a particular...

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s P-3 Orion airplane carrying IceBridge’s scientists and instrume...

    April 21, 2016
  • New images give spectacular views of Ceres

    Close-ups show evidence of fault lines and geological activity on the dwarf planet.

    Ceres' Haulani Crater shows evidence of landslides from its crater rim. – NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA ...

    April 20, 2016
  • How human eyes see different colours

    Have you ever found yourself wondering if the colour blue you see is the same as the colour blue ...

    Cones within human eyes are sensitive to red, green and blue wavelengths allowing most people, who are trichromats, t...

    April 14, 2016
  • What does our DNA really look like?

    You might imagine DNA as a double helix or a sequence of letters but what does this incredibly lo...

    If you were to take all the DNA in the cells of a human body and line them up, they would stretch one hundred times t...

    April 12, 2016
  • US launches unmanned submarine-hunter

    'Drone ships', guided by artificial intelligence, could be in US Naval service by 2018.

    'Sea Hunter' shortly after its launch in Portland. – DARPA The US has launched a new unmanned “drone ship” ...

    April 11, 2016
  • The spider of Pluto gives up its secrets

    The unusual pattern of fractures is caused by localised stress beneath the surface of the dwarf p...

    NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI NASA scientists released high-resolution images of a feature that sprawls across Pluto&#39...

    April 8, 2016
  • World’s tiniest diode brings molecular electronics a step closer

    DNA molecule forms the basis for the nanoscale component.

    Illustration of the coralyne-layered DNA junction used to create a single-molecule diode, which can be used as an act...

    April 5, 2016
  • The wild ride of a ‘hot Jupiter’

    A giant exoplanet is giving scientists new insights into planet formation in distant solar systems.

    HD 80606b heats up and cools off during its orbit around its star that brings it from far in the distance to close by...

    March 30, 2016
  • Arctic sea ice hits a record low wintertime maximum

    The 13 smallest maximum extents on the satellite record have happened in the last 13 years.

    The Arctic Ocean ice cap peaked for the winter on 24 March at 14.52 million square kilometres – a record low and 20,0...

    March 29, 2016
  • Five cool chemical reactions explained

    Oozing snakes and exploding volcanoes, all thanks to chemistry.

    Pharaoh's serpent This reaction is created by burning white powdered mercuric thiocyanate – an inorganic chemical com...

    March 27, 2016
  • Social web: why do these spiders live together?

    Most spider species are loners. But deep in the Amazon jungle live colonies of Anelosimus eximius...

    One spider is enough to strike fear in the heart of an arachnophobe. Can you imagine 50,000 living together in a sing...

    March 27, 2016
  • How does food make your mouth water?

    Even thinking about a delicious meal can get the saliva flowing. This video explains the chemical...

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    March 24, 2016
  • How stress affects the brain

    Chronic stress can affect the size of your brain, its structure and how it functions – right down...

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    March 24, 2016
  • Popping to the shops? Hop in a passenger drone

    The world's first passenger drone was unveiled in January by Chinese company Ehang. The quadc...

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    March 23, 2016
  • Closest view yet of Ceres sheds light on bright spots

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft mission scientists chip away at dwarf planet's secrets.

    The bright spots of Occator Crater are shown in enhanced colour in this view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. – NASA/JPL...

    March 23, 2016
  • Solar storms trigger massive X-ray aurorae on Jupiter

    A new study shows the interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere when giant solar storms arrive...

    X-ray: NASA/CXC/UCL/W.Dunn et al, Optical: NASA/STScI Solar storms trigger X-ray aurorae on Jupiter that ar...

    March 22, 2016
  • New gravity map gives us a glimpse inside Mars

    Data from three orbiting NASA spacecraft give us an unprecedented picture of the Red Planet.

    The most detailed map of Mars' gravity to date gives us unprecedented information about its interior."Gravity map...

    March 22, 2016
  • A Braille tablet for blind readers

    A pneumatic tablet promises not only a practical design but a more affordable full-page reading o...

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    March 22, 2016
  • Micro-robots make their own tools to use in microfactories

    Swarms of tiny automated bots working together co-operatively like ants could be a cost-effective...

    The first generation of the micro-robots had different tools attached to them to perform specific tasks. Now those to...

    March 20, 2016
  • How mushrooms make it rain

    There are around a billion mushroom spores above every square metre of Earth’s surface. These spo...

    When it comes to rainmaking power, fungi spores are number one.Other types of particles such as pollen, bacteria, dus...

    March 20, 2016
  • Behind the scenes at the Hyperloop Technologies lab

    Go inside the lab working on a prototype for Hyperloop – the ultra-high-speed pneumatic transport...

    Journey inside the lab working on a prototype for Hyperloop with this episode of Van Alen Sessions Tunnel Vision.Conc...

    March 17, 2016
  • ‘Ghost octopus’ believed to be new species

    Unusual cephalopod found at more than 4,000 metres deep off the coast of Hawaii.

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    March 6, 2016
  • Methane snow-capped peaks on Pluto

    Latest New Horizons' data suggests methane on Pluto acts like water in Earth's atmosphere.

    Images show the mountains covered in frozen methane. – NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI NASA scientsists have discovered a...

    March 4, 2016
  • LIVE: Space station crew head back to Earth

    Watch NASA TV's coverage below as Expedition 46 marks the end of a year in space for NASA&#39...

    NASA Today is back-to-Earth day for International Space Station's Expedition 46 crew – Scott Kelly of N...

    March 2, 2016
  • Art gives scientists new insights into seed development

    A novel technique in time-lapse photography developed by an Australian artist gives a unique view...

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    March 1, 2016
  • Virginia Tech researchers unlock secrets of poo power

    By understanding the way bacteria can create energy, scientists have paved the way for a microbia...

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    February 26, 2016
  • Record numbers apply for astronaut school

    Selection process will take 18 months before basic training begins.

    Astronaut Bruce McCandless II photographed from the Space Shuttle Challenger during the first untethered EVA (extrave...

    February 22, 2016
  • Astronomers glimpse black hole in glow of the Big Bang

    Collisions with cosmic microwave background radiation have left an X-ray band trail that gives sc...

    Astronomers have caught sight of a jet emitted from a very distant supermassive black hole emitted when the Universe ...

    February 17, 2016
  • New species of ancient flower found preserved in amber

    Specimens are the earliest example of an asterid found in the New World.

    The new fossil flower Strychnos electri in its original Dominican amber piece. The whole flower is less than 20 mm lo...

    February 16, 2016
  • Taser causes brain changes similar to dementia

    Cognitive impairment raises questions over police interrogation.

    Riot police threaten at a demonstrator with a Taser in Rio de Janeiro. – CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images ...

    February 9, 2016
  • James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror complete

    Hubble's successor, the world most powerful telescope, takes a major step towards 2018 launch.

    The 18 mirrors are seen fully installed on the James Webb Space Telescope structure. – NASA/Chris Gunn The...

    February 8, 2016
  • How aerodynamics will win the Super Bowl 50

    Every NASA mission depends on a deep understanding of how an object moves through a gas or a liqu...

    Who better to explain the aerodynamics of the football than NASA? The very success of every space mission depends on ...

    February 8, 2016
  • The mysterious floating hills of Pluto

    Hills of water ice on Pluto "float" in a sea of frozen nitrogen.

    Detail of the vast ice plain named Sputnik Planum show the hills of water ice. See the image at the end of the articl...

    February 5, 2016
  • Ancient wildebeest shared nose with duck-billed dinosaur

    Structural similarities surprise researchers with a 'convergent evolution'.

    Rusingoryx atopocranion had large sinuses and a trumpet-like nasal passage. – Todd S. Marshall An ancient ...

    February 5, 2016
  • Mystery invaders redrew the map of Europe after last ice age

    ‘Unknown chapter in human history’ shows survivors were replaced by a new group as the world warmed.

    Mystery invaders conquered hunter-gatherers who had fled south during the last ice age, redrawing the map of Europe a...

    February 4, 2016
  • Juno spacecraft on track for Jupiter after thruster-burn

    NASA declares trajectory correction a success and all set for probe of the Solar System's big...

    Juno has travelled further from Earth than any other solar-powered vehicle. – NASA/JPL-Caltech The solar-po...

    February 4, 2016
  • How physicists discover new particles

    When it comes to discovering new particles, there are a few ways physicists can go about it.

    First, chemists and molecular biologists create new particles by taking old particles that we already know of and bui...

    February 3, 2016
  • Tiny satellite set to monitor particles streaming from the Sun

    CubeSat will ride the solar wind, observing events in space hours before they reach Earth.

    The CubeSat to study Solar Particles, or CuSP, will launch from the inaugural flight of NASA’s Space Launch System in...

    February 3, 2016
  • Video flight over dwarf planet Ceres

    Enhanced colour imagery provides insights into age of asteroid belt dwarf planet.

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    February 2, 2016
  • Antiperspirants alter our skin bacteria, study shows

    Researchers question health impacts of changing microbial activity.

    Cultura RM / Jeremy Rice / Getty Images Antiperspirants can significantly reduce the microbial makeup of yo...

    February 2, 2016
  • A new technique for finding copper deposits

    Chemical identification will help locate resources deeper underground.

    Magmatic rock from which the large porphyry deposit in Chile was formed. – University of Exeter A new techn...

    February 2, 2016
  • Probability and the birthday paradox

    How few people does it take to have one common birthdate amongst the group? The answer is counter...

    In mathematics, probability theory often goes against what feels “right” or “natural”, it can even seem illogical unt...

    February 1, 2016
  • Pop quiz can predict STIs in women (but not men)

    Test evaluates risk of infection based on six "yes or no" questions.

    wundervisuals / Getty Images A pop-quiz developed to assess a person’s risk of sexually transmitted infecti...

    January 31, 2016
  • Pluto holds more water ice than we thought

    Latest New Horizons imaging shows water ice forms crust on which other ices build.

    This false-colour image, derived from observations in infrared light, shows where the spectral features of water ice ...

    January 30, 2016
  • Blocked protein stops autism developing in mice

    Research provides clues to how to handle pregnancies to avoid autism spectrum disorder.

    A ‘zootherapy' session for a 10-year old French boy suffering from Asperger syndrome. The session involves educationa...

    January 29, 2016
  • Can we predict large earthquakes?

    A new technique being developed in Japan holds out hopes that we will be able to forecast where a...

    A woman searches through the rubble in the aftermath of the 1995 in Kobe, in which more than 6,000 people died. With ...

    January 29, 2016
  • When octopuses don’t want any trouble

    Hours of observing octopuses show they have a range of techniques to communicate with each other ...

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    January 29, 2016
  • Diving between two tectonic plates

    The Silfra crack in Iceland runs beneath Þingvallavatn Lake. The fissure lies between the plates ...

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    January 28, 2016

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