News That Matters

Science

New galactic test clarifies existence of dark matter

New galactic test clarifies existence of dark matter

Science
June 25 (UPI) -- New computer models designed to simulate the distribution of dwarf galaxies surrounding the Milky Way have clarified the existence of dark matter. The models helped researchers simulate "radial acceleration relation," or RAR, the relationship between the movement of satellite galaxies caused the attraction between galactic matter. RAR considers the observed circular acceleration of a galaxy and the acceleration explained by the galaxy's distribution of ordinary matter. The new models account for acceleration caused by dark matter, as well. "We have now simulated, for the first time, the RAR of dwarf galaxies on the assumption that dark matter exists," Cristiano Porciani, a researcher with the Argelander Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn, said in a news re...
Scientists sequence genome of syphilis from colonial-era Mexico

Scientists sequence genome of syphilis from colonial-era Mexico

Science
June 22 (UPI) -- Scientists have successfully sequenced the genome of syphilis from colonial-era Mexico. The bacterium Treponema pallidum features two subspecies, one that causes syphilis and a second that causes yaws. Evidence of these two diseases are indistinguishable when examining skeletal remains. By extracting genetic material from ancient human remains, researchers were able to confirm the presence of the subspecies responsible for the sexually transmitted disease. Researchers hope to use the same methodology to differentiate between the genetic evidence of the two diseases in future surveys. Scientists continue to debate whether a 15th century European outbreak of syphilis was spread by Europeans who brought the disease back from the New World, or whether the disease was already...
Scientists tackle the sound of a leaky faucet

Scientists tackle the sound of a leaky faucet

Science
June 22 (UPI) -- Why is the sound of a leaky faucet so loud and annoying? Scientists finally have an answer -- and a solution. The sound made by a dripping faucet isn't produced by the droplet itself, researchers found, but by a tiny pocket of air trapped beneath the water's surface. The miniature bubble causes the water to oscillate, producing a distinct sound. "A lot of work has been done on the physical mechanics of a dripping tap, but not very much has been done on the sound," Anurag Agarwal, an engineer at the University of Cambridge, said in a news release. "But thanks to modern video and audio technology, we can finally find out exactly where the sound is coming from, which may help us to stop it." Agarwal, who studies acoustics and aerodynamics as they relate to aerospace and bio...
Mystery extinct ape found in ancient Chinese tomb

Mystery extinct ape found in ancient Chinese tomb

Science
An ape that is new to science has been discovered buried in an ancient tomb in China.The gibbon has already become extinct, suggesting humans wiped out primate populations long before the modern age.Living primates are in peril, with many on the brink of extinction.The new gibbon, named Junzi imperialis, may be the first to vanish as a direct result of human actions, according to scientists led by the Zoological Society of London."All of the world's apes - chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons - are threatened with extinction today due to human activities, but no ape species were thought to have become extinct as a result of hunting or habitat loss," said lead researcher Dr Samuel Turvey."However, the discovery of the re...
Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds

Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device New footage of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on wildlife has been captured by a BBC team.Seabirds are starving to death on the remote Lord Howe Island, a crew filming for the BBC One documentary Drowning in Plastic has revealed.Their stomachs were so full of plastic there was no room for food.The documentary is part of a BBC initiative called Plastics Watch, tracking the impact of plastic on the environment. The marine biologists the team filmed are working on the island to save the birds. They captured hundreds of chicks - as they left their nests - to physically flush plastic from their stomachs and "give them a chance to survive".No room for nutrition ...