An 8-year-old girl found a well-preserved sword dating back to the fifth or sixth century as she was paddling in a lake in Sweden. The sword comes from a time before the Vikings, according to archaeologists, who have been searching the area for more artifacts.
Scientists have developed a laser that emits 30 billion pulses of light per second, according to findings published in Science. The team devised a new method that breaks the laser's continuous beam into separate pulses and removed disruptive electronic jitter.
Members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this weekend released the final version of a report urging global leaders cap rising temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report warns failure to limit global warming could threaten the planet's livability as soon as 2030.
Parasitic wasps that invade sand live oak trees in southern Florida are finding themselves the victims of another parasite -- the love vine, according to a study published in Current Biology. The love vines take over galls created by the wasps to take advantage of the trees, often killing the wasps by depriving them of nutrients.
Research shows that not only does poor sleep affect food choices, but food choices also affect sleep quality, and a diet rich in tryptophan, B vitamins and magnesium encourages melatonin production and secretion, promoting quality sleep, writes clinical dietitian Sophie Medlin, who teaches nutrition and dietetics at King's College London. Dairy products, nuts and lean meats are good sources of all three nutrients; and fish, pulses, beans and lentils provide at least two of the three, Medlin writes.
Canadian researchers found that an artificial intelligence algorithm based on blood tests and other clinical data in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative can forecast the risk of Alzheimer's five years before the appearance of major symptoms. The approach, described in PLOS Computational Biology, could help physicians better treat individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease, said researcher Mallar Chakravarty.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $1.3 million to professor Denise Smith at New York's Skidmore College to study heart health in firefighters. Funds will go toward developing a screening program for firefighters that looks for evidence of health problems including enlarged hearts.
Genome Quebec and Genome Canada awarded a $1.54 million grant to McGill University Health Centre in Montreal to develop a treatment for cystinosis, a rare kidney disease. Funds will go toward trials of a drug for the disease, which causes cystine crystals to build up in the kidneys and other organs, often leading to end-stage kidney failure.
Scientists, engineers and students will discuss opportunities, challenges and ethical considerations of using big data in research during symposia at Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society's Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference. The events will take place Oct. 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in California. The Student Research Conference on Oct. 27 includes a research poster competition that is open to high school students through graduate students. Register today!
American Scientist's special issue on big data and astrophysics is now available
The September-October issue of American Scientist illuminates the ways that astronomers employ computational techniques to manage the ever-increasing flood of data from state-of-the-art observatories -- and how these techniques can benefit other areas of science. Sigma Xi members should look for their digital or print editions (additional content is exclusively available on the americanscientist.org website). Nonmembers can find the magazine on newsstands or order a copy for $5.95 plus shipping fees by calling 1-800-282-0444 and selecting option 4.