Test your smarts on the rise of skeletons and raising the dead

first_img Bird poop. Every year, migratory seabirds paint Arctic rocks with their guano—or poop—as they nestle in for the summer. And that high volume of ammonia-rich poop, it turns out, has a slight cooling effect on the atmosphere. Ammonia emissions unleash summertime bursts of particles that go on to form the nuclei of clouds. These low-lying clouds reflect incoming sunlight and ultimately have a cooling effect on the region. But don’t expect the nations of the world to be investing in backed-up birds anytime soon: The clouds counteract only a fraction of the warming from carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis. Plants get hurt by too much sun just like humans, and to protect themselves, they convert some of the light hitting them into heat. That slows photosynthesis, which takes a while to rev back up. Now, scientists have found a faster way of turning over the photosynthesis engine. In genetically engineered tobacco plants, the method has increased biomass by up to 20%. That could be very good news for a planet with a population of 7.5 billion and counting. An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. Clone humans Enter for a chance to win. We’ll select a new winner each week. Ceres November 21, 2016 How did you score on the quiz? Challenge your friends to a science news duel! Question Poor weather conditions Raise the dead Australia You Official rules for the News from Science weekly quiz sweepstakes LOADING Every Monday, The Science Quiz tests your knowledge of the week’s biggest science news stories. No matter how much you know, you’re still likely to learn something–give it a try! Average Killed the dinosaurs. Armageddon it was not, at least for human film critics. But for the dinosaurs, it meant the end some 66 million years ago. Now, scientists have for the first time drilled deep into the impact left behind by the asteroid. Their discovery—rocks from deep in the crust placed out of order on top of sedimentary rocks—supports something known as the “dynamic collapse theory” of formation for the crater rings. It may also explain how similar craters scattered throughout the solar system came to be. Florida Clone cows Hyperactive mitochondria Exploding pulsars Which celestial body may soon join Europa and Enceladus in the “underground ocean club?” New planets forming Pluto. Hundreds of images from this summer’s New Horizons mission showed a large, ice-filled, heart-shaped basin on the surface of everyone’s favorite dwarf planet. It turns out that Pluto has a heavy heart. After an asteroid hit its surface billions of years ago, the resulting basin filled with nitrogen ice, creating an extra weight that tilted the dwarf planet by nearly 60°, a new study suggests. But the icy glacial pocket might be only part of the story. Another new study says that a massive underground ocean may have also helped shift Pluto’s center of gravity. Win a FREE digital subscription to Science! Just submit the required contact information to enter. The Science Quiz They’re wearing the color black. What might be one cause of fast radio bursts, hard-to-detect flashes in outer space that carry immense amounts of energy? A shift in ocean chemistry Skele-gro potion Tatooine They want to travel to a remote destination. The results of a massive study of taxi drivers in Beijing show avoiding certain passengers based on their destination is profitable. Researchers used GPS records shared by more than 12,000 taxi drivers in Beijing, who agreed to provide route data for 2 months in 2012. It turns out that trips to remote places, no matter how long the drive, pay less over the course of the day because the drivers waste time getting back to dense areas. Click to enter Uptake of electrolytes Scientists last week reported on a drilling expedition into the Chicxulub impact crater, left behind by the asteroid that did this: 0 Raise the dead. Sort of. The Indian Council of Medical Research axed a study to bring brain-dead individuals back to a minimally conscious state, in which they would be able to perform tasks like moving their eyes to track objects. There is little evidence that this could work, and scientists and physicians have raised concerns about the ethics of the trial. But leaders of the ReAnima project say the study will go on: If necessary, they will pursue their trial outside India. Soil composition Chernobyl. In April 1986, an explosion and fire destroyed the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 4 reactor, spreading radioactive contamination from Ukraine across a wide swath of Europe. Engineers are finally putting the finishing touches on the New Safe Confinement, an arch-shaped structure that will fully encapsulate the reactor and contain any lingering radioactive materials. How did animals get their skeletons? New research shows this landmass shifts back and forth by millimeters each year: Freeze time This famous site got a new confinement arch—a giant shield to contain hazardous material—just last week: Water transport to leaves Killed the dinosaurs Hawaii Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit Fukushima reactor Australia. A large-scale movement of water between the Southern and Northern hemispheres triggers seasonal undulations—it slowly shifts 1 millimeter to the northwest and dips down 2 to 3 millimeters on its northwestern side. When winter comes, it shuffles back by the same amount, while its southeastern coast does the downward dipping. The newly discovered motions could help track seasonal shifts in the world’s water, as well as what such shifts do to our planet’s center of mass. Top Ranker They want to travel to a remote destination. They look too “angry.” Ice T Scientists announced last week that this unexpected item might help cool the Arctic: Time’s Up! The Washington, D.C., swamp Japan Enter the information below to enter the sweepstakes:Your information has been submitted.An error occurred submitting the email. Please try again later.This email has already been entered.The email submitted is not a valid email.Incomplete form. Please fill out all fields. 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I would like to receive emails about products and services offered by AAAS advertisers.PRIVACY I have read and accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.Submit Pluto Tilted Earth 90° Gave Roger Ebert indigestion Three Mile Island Score Posh alien discos Start Quiz The faster you answer, the higher you score! Challenge your friends and sign up for your chance to win a free digital subscription to Science. The Indian Council of Medical Research this month derailed a controversial experiment that would attempt to do this: A milk-rich diet Colliding neutron stars. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) occur without warning, so seeing one is an extremely rare event. That’s why astronomers in Australia were so excited when they witnessed the brightest flash ever recorded. Because it was so bright, the scientists could observe how the signal was altered by the intergalactic medium through which it traveled, much as starlight’s passage through Earth’s atmosphere makes stars twinkle. Based on how the signal dispersed and distorted, the team confirmed that the signal had been traveling for at least a billion years—meaning its source was at least a billion light-years away. Photosynthesis ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org) November 21, 2016 The Science Quiz Take the quiz to enter for a chance to win a FREE digital subscription to Science! Learn More Colliding neutron stars Scientists have significantly increased crop yield by tweaking what? Broke up Pangea Chernobyl 0 / 10 A shift in ocean chemistry. Animals with skeletons did not exist before about 550 million years ago. Then, scientists have proposed, atmospheric oxygen levels rose and the chemistry of the oceans changed in such a way that animals could harness the minerals required to build hard structural parts. A new analysis of ancient rock layers in Siberia provides support for this idea, showing that the oceans became rich in skeletal building blocks around the same time the first fossils of animals with skeletons start to appear. A new study has found that some taxi drivers consistently avoid certain passengers for this reason: Bird poop Black holes Air conditioners Mars Share your scorelast_img read more