Vampire Bats May Coordinate With “Friends” Over a Bite To Eat

Vampire Bats

Study tracks foraging behavior of 50 bats in the wild.  Vampire bats that form bonds in captivity and continue those “friendships” in the wild also hunt together, meeting up over a meal after independent departures from the roost, according to a new study. Researchers attached tiny “backpack” computers to 50 vampire bats – some that had previously … Read more

What’s the Next Chapter in Afghanistan?

U.S. Soldier Speaks to Afghan National Army Soldiers

A U.S. Soldier speaks to a group of Afghan National Army Soldiers. A panel of foreign-policy experts surveys the uncertainties facing the country as it returns to Taliban rule. After nearly 20 years, the U.S. has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan, and the Taliban has regained control over the country. In light of those developments, … Read more

A New Approach for Recycling Plastics

String of Pearls

Each human being uses, on average, 30 kg of plastic per year. Given that global life expectancy currently stands at approximately 70 years, each person will discard some two metric tons of plastic in his or her lifetime. Multiply that by the number people on earth – which is growing constantly – and the total … Read more

Researchers Translate Insect Defense Chemicals Into Eerie Sounds – Listen Now

Researchers Translate Insect Defense Chemicals Into Eerie Sounds – Listen Now

Sawfly larvae protect themselves by secreting cocktails of unpleasant, volatile chemicals intended to repel predators, particularly ants. Researchers can assess the effectiveness of these defenses by staging meetups, so-called bioassays, between prey and predator. But entomologist Jean-Luc Boevé and informatics engineer Rudi Giot have taken a different approach, translating the secretions’ chemical composition into sounds, … Read more

The Next Generation of Nanobionic Light-Emitting Plants

Engineers Create Plants That Glow

Using specialized nanoparticles embedded in plant leaves, MIT engineers have created a novel light-emitting plant that can be charged by an LED. In this image, the green parts are the nanoparticles that have been aggregated on the surface of spongy mesophyll tissue within the plant leaves. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers Using nanoparticles that store … Read more

Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder

Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder

This illustration depicts Mars Helicopter Ingenuity during a test flight on Mars. Ingenuity was taken to the Red Planet strapped to the belly of the Perseverance rover (seen in the background). Ingenuity, a technology experiment, was the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet in 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech In the months since we … Read more

2021 Arctic Summer Sea Ice Is 12th-Lowest on Record

2021 Arctic Summer Sea Ice Is 12th-Lowest on Record

A still image visualizing Arctic sea ice on September 16, 2021, when the ice appeared to reach its yearly minimum extent. On this date, the extent of the ice was 4.72 million square miles (1.82 million square kilometers). Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual minimum … Read more

The Future of NASA [Video]

The Future of NASA [Video]

By NASA September 23, 2021 NASA’s future will continue to be a story of human exploration, science, engineering, and technology. Working together, we define the future, achieve the impossible and discover the unknown. With our Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to … Read more

Scientists Build Embryo-Like Structures From Human Stem Cells

Mimics Morphology of Human Embryo

Structure generated entirely from human stem cells that closely mimics morphology of human embryo. Credit: Sozen, Jorgensen, and Zernicka-Goetz Research on human embryos is vital to understanding the earliest stages of human development. Currently, this research is conducted on surplus embryos willingly donated by individuals who have undergone in vitro fertilization. Nevertheless, this research is … Read more

Synthetic Hydrogel Mimics Lobster Underbelly’s Stretch and Strength

Notched Nanofibrous Hydrogel

An MIT team has fabricated a hydrogel-based material that mimics the structure of the lobster’s underbelly, the toughest known hydrogel found in nature. The membrane’s structure could provide a blueprint for robust artificial tissues. A lobster’s underbelly is lined with a thin, translucent membrane that is both stretchy and surprisingly tough. This marine under-armor, as … Read more