LA Times Science

 
LA Times Science News
February 17th
The team behind NASA’s Juno spacecraft has made a key change to its operating plan. For the remainder of its primary planned mission, the satellite will continue to circle Jupiter in its long 53-day orbits instead of transitioning to shorter 14-day…
February 16th
It sure doesn’t pay to underestimate Ceres: NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has spotted signs of organic molecules on the frigid dwarf planet. The findings, published this week in the journal Science, may shed light on the prevalence of pre-life …
February 15th
The scientists who first harnessed the powerful gene-editing technology known as CRISPR suffered a major defeat Wednesday in their long-running quest to control the rights to their invention. UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her European c…
February 15th
Industrial pollution has reached even the most remote corners of Earth: the deepest part of the sea. Scientists have discovered “extraordinary levels” of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the Mariana and Kermadec trenches,…
February 14th
Scientists should be allowed to alter a person’s DNA in ways that will be passed on to future generations, but only to prevent serious and strongly heritable diseases, according to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the Nat…
February 14th
El Niño may not have brought much rain to Southern California, but it did take its toll on the Golden State’s beaches. A new study of the waves, water levels and coastal changes at 29 beaches across California, Oregon and Washington has…
February 11th
The student’s email arrived early on Jan. 28. It was addressed to Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The undergraduate didn’t want to bother him, she wrote, but she was stuck overseas and …
February 10th
Climate change and overfishing off Africa’s southern tip have set a “trap” for endangered African penguins leaving their nests. The young penguins swim thousands of miles from where they hatched, following biological signposts…
February 9th
One day, gardeners might not just hear the buzz of bees among their flowers, but the whirr of robots, too. Scientists in Japan say they’ve managed to turn an unassuming drone into a remote-controlled pollinator by attaching horsehairs coated w…
February 9th
Like many scientists, Aaron Parsons doesn’t have a history of political engagement. Instead of focusing on earthly concerns, the UC Berkeley radio astronomer spent most of his time scanning the outer reaches of the cosmos, searching for the ea…
February 9th
Soak up these rainy days, Southern California. They are not going to last forever.  Summer will be here before you know it, and if recent trends continue, it will probably be a hot one. Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record. Here in Los…
February 8th
Talk about escaping by the skin of your teeth! Scientists have discovered a new type of gecko — an evasive little lizard who can escape predators’ grip not just by dropping its tail, but by shedding the scales on its skin. The new species Gec…
February 6th
If the United States and its fellow Paris Agreement signatories are to meet global climate targets, they’re going to have to make serious commitments that attack the problem on multiple fronts, including reducing coal use, raising renewable energy,…
February 3rd
Frogs and amphibians can nab a fly with remarkable speed — but the real secret of their bug-catching prowess is in the saliva. Sticky frog saliva is a non-Newtonian fluid. That means it can behave as both a liquid and a solid. This u…
February 2nd
Are you sick of going to bed late and waking up tired? Then grab your hiking boots and a tent. A new study suggests that a couple days of camping in the great outdoors can reset your circadian clock and help you get more sleep. The circadian clock i…
February 2nd
After an electoral season that blurred the line between fact and fantasy, a team of UCLA researchers is offering new evidence to support a controversial proposition: that when it comes to telling the difference between truth and fiction, not all pot…
February 2nd
Dinosaur paleontology has long been the domain of bones and teeth – but now soft tissues could be changing the game. Scientists say they have discovered collagen preserved in a 195-million-year-old rib from a long-necked Lufengosaurus. The protein …
January 31st
With environmental regulations expected to come under heavy fire from the Trump administration, new research offers powerful evidence of a link between air pollution and dementia risk. For older women, breathing air that is heavily polluted by vehicle ex…
January 31st
A tiny wrinkled sack with a big mouth and no anus may well be the earliest-known of humans’ forebears. Meet Saccorhytus coronarius, a 540-million-year-old critter the size of a grain of sand, whose fossil remains were discovered in China. Scientist…
January 28th
The ponderosa pine had taken root decades before the Revolutionary War, making a stately stand on this western Sierra Nevada slope for some 300 years, Nate Stephenson figures.  Then came the beetle blitzkrieg. Now the tree is a dab in the …
January 28th
A swarm of seafaring robots unleashed by researchers at UC San Diego has discovered how plankton might get together to have sex: by harnessing the motion of the ocean. The robots, described in the journal Nature Communications, shed fresh light on the my…
January 27th
An abruptly postponed conference on climate change and its effects on human health is going to take place after all — thanks to Al Gore. But there’s a caveat: The conference’s original sponsor — the Centers for Disease C…
January 27th
In a bid to make organs for patients in need of transplants, scientists have created embryos that were hybrids of humans and pigs and grown them until they were on the verge of developing the body parts that might …
January 27th
Not all forests are created equal. The massive green swaths of Peru’s Andean and Amazonian forests host a more diverse array of life than previously thought — much of which has been hidden beyond the visible…
January 26th
Why do so few women end up in physics, mathematics and other fields traditionally associated with “brilliance”? Part of the answer may lie in what happens to girls by the time they’re out of kindergarten. A new study finds that 6-year-o…