The new Laureate Awards announced by the Irish Research Council will distribute $36.6 million to 36 scientists in frontier research. "Frontier research is key to understanding the world around us and developing the bedrock of knowledge necessary for social, technological and environmental progress," said John Halligan, Irish minister of state for training, skills, innovation and research and development.
The US Department of Education would receive a $3.9 billion funding increase under a proposed spending bill released Wednesday. Congress rejected Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' call for more funding for school-choice programs.
Several high-school students in Washington state visited the construction site of a hotel to learn more about careers in the building trades. Students learned about the various workers involved in such a project -- from field engineers to plumbers and carpenters.
More students are taking advantage of Washington state's Running Start program, which allows high-school students to earn college and high-school credits simultaneously. At Central Washington University, the number of high-schoolers enrolled in the dual-credit program has doubled over the past four years.
Rising sea levels in the Pacific Ocean are eroding the coasts of Easter Island, threatening ancient moai statues that represent the island's history and drive the island's tourism-based economy. Archaeologists fear that rising waves could erase clues that could give insight into the reasons the civilization collapsed.
Scientists have been learning a lot about Saturn thanks to the Cassini probe's final orbits around the planet. Among the things learned since the orbiter took its fatal dive six months ago are how deep the planet's clouds reach down into the atmosphere, that the ring closest to the planet is being eroded by rain and that organic materials could offer clues about the rings' colors.
Early humans were likely able to see a red dwarf known as Scholz's star as it passed within 1 light-year of the sun about 70,000 years ago, according to findings published online in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. The star would have looked like an indistinct reddish glow to the early modern humans and Neanderthals that populated Earth at the time.
A robotic fish developed by MIT computer scientists to help learn more about ocean creatures is described in Science Robotics. The robot, called SoFi, looks and moves much like a real fish, is economical to build, can almost swim by itself and is propelled by a hydraulic actuator that moves the tail fin like that of an actual fish, helping it move stealthily and blend in with ocean life.
A study published in PLOS ONE found that offspring of young male black-browed albatrosses have shorter telomeres and inferior physical attributes compared with offspring of middle-aged birds. The findings appear to conflict with a recent study of zebra finches, which found an association between older parental age and shortened telomeres as well as shorter life spans in offspring.
The brains of Alzheimer's disease patients produce tau proteins at a faster rate than do the brains of healthy people, a study published in Neuron suggests. "Our results showing that tau production is increased suggest that we might want to target tau production therapeutically," said Chihiro Sato, a co-author of the study.