Cancer can kill long before malignant tumors take their toll, new research shows. A study involving more than 6 million Swedes reveals that the risk of suicide and cardiovascular death increases immediately after a cancer diagnosis.
Butterfly wings are not just beautiful. They are also sophisticated collectors of solar energy that help butterflies stay warm, and researchers say that their shinglelike structure could provide clues into developing better solar technology. Tongxiang Fan, a materials scientist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and his colleagues used an electron microscope to study the wing structure of two species of black butterflies and reported their findings at the American Chemical Society's meeting in San Diego. (They studied black wings because they absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.) They found that the wings are composed of elongated rectangular scales, arranged a bit like overlapping shingles. The scales also had steep ridges, with small holes on either side leading to a second layer. These features direct light to the second layer, helping the butterfly to capture a lot of heat. Fan said his team is now working to create a commercial product inspired by the wings. NEW YORK TIMES
Findings suggest that humans have been playing with fire for 1.7 million years.
New research has begun to unravel the mystery of why bees are disappearing in alarming numbers worldwide: Some of the pesticides most commonly used by farmers appear to be changing bee behavior in small but fatal ways.
Long before Jeff Bezos became an Internet mogul, he was enthralled by the mysteries of space.
A new report says places from Mumbai to Miami need to prepare for more severe storms, droughts and heat waves.
In James Cameron's fantasy films, like "Avatar" and "The Abyss," the unexplored is splashed in color and fraught with alien danger. But on his dive to the deepest place on Earth, reality proved far different: white, barren and bland.
Researchers have found that coastal mists may carry toxic mercury that can harm ecosystems and human health.
The smallest planet in the solar system keeps serving up big surprises. A team led by geophysicist Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in the journal Science that the team found the planet's surface to be unusually flat when compared with the terrain of the moon or Mars. Messenger mission scans also showed that in the 960-mile-wide Caloris impact basin, the northern part of its floor is higher than the south, with parts standing higher than its rim. This lopsidedness may have resulted from tectonic forces -- and is one of a growing number of clues that Mercury may have been geologically active more recently than previously thought. Other MIT researchers found that the core is even larger than they thought -- encompassing 83 percent of Mercury's radius. (Earth's core is a little more than half of its radius.) Perhaps most oddly of all, there must be a solid layer of iron sulfide lying between Mercury's liquid outer core and its thin mantle. It all helps scientists to better understand what could make potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system. LOS ANGELES TIMES
Japanese officials estimated last year that the March 11 tsunami washed up to 25 million tons of stuff, from cars to bottle caps, into the ocean. Most of it sank just off the Japanese coast, leaving 1 million to 2 million tons to float across the sea.