Hydroelectric dams take a toll on endangered big cats, study shows

Big cats are among the most widespread top predators on Earth. Lions stalk zebra in the African savanna, tigers ambush antelope in the forests of Asia and jaguars hunt deer in the jungles of South America. They play an important role in ecosystems by regulating the numbers of these herbivores, in turn, reducing the deterioration …

A small telescope beyond Saturn could solve mysteries of the universe better than giant telescopes near Earth

Dozens of space-based telescopes operate near-Earth and provide incredible images of the universe. But imagine a telescope far away in the outer solar system, 10 or even 100 times farther from the Sun than Earth. The ability to look back at our solar system or peer into the darkness of the distant cosmos would make …

Dune: Could humans survive on Arrakis, the desert planet?

Dune, the epic series of sci-fi books by Frank Herbert, now turned into a movie of the same name, is set in the far future on the desert planet of Arrakis. Herbert outlined a richly-detailed world that, at first glance, seems so real we could imagine ourselves within it. Alex Farnsworth, University of Bristol; Michael …

Why Earth and Venus followed different paths

Earth is the only planet we know contains life. Is our planet special? Scientists over the years have mulled over what factors are essential for, or beneficial to, life. The answers will help us identify other potentially inhabited planets elsewhere in the galaxy. Antony Burnham, Australian National University and Hugh O’Neill, Australian National University

A meteor strike wiped out an ancient city 3,600 years ago

As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space rock was speeding toward them at about 38,000 mph (61,000 kph). Christopher R. Moore, University of South Carolina

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report: Here’s what you need to know

Earth has warmed 1.09℃ since pre-industrial times and many changes such as the sea-level rise and glacier melt are now virtually irreversible, according to the most sobering report yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report also found escape from human-caused climate change is no longer possible. Climate change is now affecting …

Stardust is raining down on Earth

It is all around us. Every day in our lives we are in contact with it. In fact, we are made from it: ancient stardust. All the atoms around us have witnessed the most violent explosions in the universe. Their journeys through space are the longest, roughest and loneliest voyages imaginable. Dominik Koll, Australian National …

Here’s how scientists make plant-based foods taste and look more like meat

In 2019, Burger King Sweden released a plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper, and the reaction was underwhelming. So, the company challenged its customers to taste the difference. Burger King Sweden created a menu item where customers would have a 50-50 chance of getting a meat burger or a plant-based one. To find out, they had …