Earth

The sky gets a new reference frame. On 30 August the International Astronomical Union adopted the International Celestial Reference Frame 3 (ICRF-3) during their general assembly in Vienna, Austria. As of 1 January 2019 this reference frame has global validity. It serves for example for the orientation of GPS systems as well as the navigation of space probes.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- What if a single musical note could mean the difference between life and death?

A new sensor based on a 3,000 year old African musical instrument can be used to identify substances, including a poisonous chemical sometimes mistakenly added to medicines. The mbira sensor, which can be constructed from off-the-shelf or discarded materials, could offer pharmacists and consumers in the developing world inexpensive protection from counterfeit and adulterated drugs.

What are researchers doing? The sixth mass extinction continues and is even accelerating, but conservation scientists, it is claimed, have no solutions to offer. Even more worrying, the researchers would be so pessimistic that the warnings they give could be counterproductive. But is this really the case? Two CNRS researchers* have addressed this question. They examined the 12,971 research articles published during the last 15 years in the main scientific journals dedicated to conservation.

A single non-photosynthetic plant specimen preserved in a Japanese natural history museum has been identified as a new species. However, it is highly possible that this species is already extinct. These findings were published on September 13 in Phytotaxa.

This plant was discovered in Kobe, Japan, in 1992, and preserved with its identity unknown. No new specimens were found in follow-up surveys between 1993 and 1999, and the plant's original habitat was destroyed by land development in 1999.

Venoms produced by snails, snakes, scorpions and spiders contain numerous bioactive compounds that could lead to therapeutic drugs or insect-specific pesticides. Yet little is known about venoms produced by insects, in part because each bug contains such a tiny amount. Researchers recently responded to this challenge by conducting one of the first intensive studies of ant venom. They have now published their findings in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.

Social Security can be enhanced to provide Americans greater protections against financial risk, according to proposals found in a new supplemental issue of the journal Public Policy & Aging Report from The Gerontological Society of America. The innovations suggested would improve Social Security's adequacy in response to three important trends in the U.S.: increased longevity; more workers with low lifetime earnings; and the increased number of adults who spend working years providing unpaid family caregiving or pursuing educational enhancement.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - What if roadkill piled beside the road and never decomposed? What if massive fish kills washed up on beaches and remained for eternity?

First off, it would be disgusting. Second, the Earth might run out of the key elements these organisms contain.

Typhoon Mangkhut had already strengthened into a Super Typhoon when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite grabbed a visible image of the storm in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Sept. 11. It is forecast to intensify even more.

Fortunately, Mangkhut has moved away from the Marianas Islands and is moving over open ocean so there are no watches or warnings in effect.

Continuity Between Patient and Prescribing Physician Reduces Risky Opioid Prescriptions

Your genes can determine how your heart rate and blood pressure respond to exercise - and may act as an early warning of future problems with your heart or blood vessels - according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.