A tiny knee bone called the fabella is reappearing in humans after having been lost to evolution early on, according to a study published in the Journal of Anatomy. About 39% of people had the bone in 2018, compared to 11% in 1918, and researchers say the return may be due to genetic as well as environmental factors.
An image of a black hole and its event horizon that was recorded by a collaborative of eight radio telescopes in 2017 was released today. "We have seen what we thought was unseeable," said Event Horizon Telescope Director Sheperd Doeleman.
A flash seen on the surface of the moon by livestream observers during Monday's lunar eclipse was a meteorite hitting the moon, according to an astronomer who had extra telescopes trained on the moon in hopes of catching such an event. Astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva said the meteorite strike was likely more visible because it hit when the eclipse wasn't especially bright.
Merging shock waves created by the supersonic speeds of two Air Force jets can be seen for the first time in photos taken by NASA. A plane flying over the two T-38 planes snapped the photos using air-to-air schlieren photographic technology.
Horseshoe crabs belong to the class of arachnids, rather than crustaceans, according to findings published in Systematic Biology. "By showing that horseshoe crabs are part of the arachnid radiation, instead of a lineage closely related to but independent of arachnids, all previous hypotheses on the evolution of arachnids need to be revised," says study co-author Jesus Ballesteros.
A settlement between Duke University and the Justice Department requires Duke to pay $112.5 million to settle claims that it used falsified data in applications for grants from the NIH and the Environmental Protection Agency. The claims involved up to $200 million in research funding that federal agencies had awarded the university over roughly a decade.
Emory University has parted ways with two researchers who university officials say received funding from sources in China but did not disclose it. Concerns over possible attempts by China to steal US research have been heightened recently as the NIH conducts investigations into roughly six research facilities.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife has been awarded a $70,000 grant to test virtual fencing, which has several potential benefits over traditional fencing, at a ranch in Montana. Ohio State University and the University of Idaho have potentially expressed research interest in the topic.
Female scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies say they struggled for years to obtain parity with their male counterparts at the renowned California research facility, and that while changes have been made, disparities still exist. In an in-depth report, Salk scientists Kathy Jones and Vicki Lundblad, along with former Salk scientist Beverly Emerson, discuss what drove them to file gender discrimination lawsuits against the institute.
Two of three scientists being investigated by officials at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have resigned and a third is in the process of being terminated amid concerns about foreign countries misusing US-funded research projects nationwide. "These incidents are not unique to MD Anderson and we remind universities to look closely at their organizations to mitigate unscrupulous practices by foreign entities that aim to capitalize on the collaborative nature of the U.S. biomedical enterprise," NIH officials said in a statement.
A memo circulated by the USDA last summer ordered its scientists to label research papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals as "preliminary" in a disclaimer. Former Economic Research Service administrator Susan Offutt says the requirement may run afoul of the USDA's integrity policy, and USDA Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer William Trenkle says a revision of the disclaimer is expected "in the near future."