Stephen Ornes' Articles
- Most scientists think an asteroid helped kill off the dinosaurs. But new calculations suggest that asteroid might have gotten some help from a long series of volcanic eruptions in what is now India.
- Electric eels wield remote control over their prey’s muscle movements. They do this by zapping their nervous system. Experiments suggest the creatures use these paralyzing bursts of energy to hunt, too.
- The energy produced by comets and asteroids that collide with Earth may have been strong enough to start life.
- Adjusting the electric charges in cells helped a transplanted eye reach out to its new host. The eye grew cells, which help transmit signals to other cells.
- Doctors typically use magnetic-resonance imaging, or MRI, to see tissues and organs inside the body. Physicists can harness a similar technology. And they did that to spotlight something even smaller — a single proton. But followup analyses, reported in January 2015, forced a retraction of their original claim.
- Raindrops shouldn't be able fall faster than what is known as their terminal velocity. But no one told the rain. Researchers have found droplets breaking that speed limit.
- From keeping tabs on changing landscapes to protecting animals from poachers, scientists are using drones to push their fields forward.
- In the 1970s, physicist Stephen Hawking suggested that some particles could escape a black hole. An experiment now shows how, using a lab-made black hole ‘made’ from sound.
- Cleaning up toxic waste is a big and expensive problem. Scientists have tinkered with the genes in some plants. Now those greens can take on this dirty work. Still, they're not quite ready for prime time.
- Scientists thought that cave art started in Europe. New analyses now dash that assessment. Stencils in an Indonesian cave are every bit as old as the better-known drawings in caves in France and Spain.