Because of a source error, an item in Wednesday's Sigma Xi SmartBrief misidentified a part of a fish being sampled for longevity. The otolith is a structure of the inner ear. SmartBrief regrets the error.
Solar Impulse, the first solar-powered plane that can fly day and night, completed its two-month, cross-country journey Saturday, landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The 10-year, $112 million project aimed at increasing support for clean energy technology and included international research and engineering partners, such as Belgian chemical group Solvay and Swiss escalator manufacturer Schindler.
The comprehensive immigration reform plan approved by the Senate last month includes a provision that would allow thousands of foreign scientists and engineers to stay in the U.S. permanently, ending the country-based cap and offering an unlimited pool of green cards to science, technology, engineering or mathematics-degree holders who studied at U.S. universities.
NASA is working to repair failed orientation wheels on the Kepler telescope in an effort to remobilize its exoplanet hunting mission. The $600 million telescope has discovered 134 confirmed planets during its mission and more than 3,000 candidates waiting to be observed by scientists, who estimate that at least 90% of the planet candidates are indeed planets. If attempts to repair Kepler's wheels are unsuccessful, NASA may task the spacecraft with a scanning mission.
Astronomers have identified a group of ultrashort radio bursts that may have come from an unknown source outside the Milky Way Galaxy, research suggests. The astronomers believe the radio bursts originated from a magnetar -- a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field -- but are unsure of its location. Further study may reveal the number of baryons, which are protons and neutrons, between galaxies.
A marine science project called OpenCTD is working to raise $10,000 through a crowdsourcing website to produce design plans for the low-cost construction of a conductivity, temperature and depth instrument. Marine scientists believe the open-source approach may pique the interest of a new generation of marine explorers to collect basic data and information about the ocean.