Latest Science headlines

The latest science news from The Boston Globe

Frozen treats, other supplies rocketing toward space station

NASA’s commercial shipper, Orbital ATK, launched the cargo ship just after sunrise from Wallops Island.

Frozen treats, other supplies rocketing toward space station

A stash of frozen treats and other supplies rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday, this time from Virginia’s cold eastern shore.


Supply run to space station delayed by stray plane

They’ll try to launch the unmanned rocket again on Sunday.

Apollo 12 astronaut Richard Gordon, who circled moon, dies

Richard Gordon undertook what became a harrowing and abortive spacewalk in a 1966 NASA mission.

Tiny, icy world on the edge of our solar system needs a new name

The name “2014 MU69” doesn’t really roll off the end of the tongue, so NASA is asking for suggestions as the New Horizons spacecraft closes in it.

Global warming taking a toll on people’s health

The poor and elderly are most threatened by worsening climate change, but there remains ‘‘glimmers of progress.’’

Winters arriving later than ever

Over a century, the year’s first freeze has been arriving further and further into the calendar.

Spacewalking astronaut copes with frayed tether, bad jetpack

Both jetpacks and safety ties are crucial for saving a flyaway astronaut.

Spacewalking astronauts replace blurry camera on robot arm

Spacewalking astronauts provided some necessary focus to the International Space Station’s robot arm on Friday.

It’s hard for flowers to show blue, but some have a trick the bees like

Some flowers have found a nifty way to get the garden buzzing.

An asteroid will pass ‘pretty close’ to Earth overnight

The small asteroid was on track to pass within 27,200 miles of Antarctica early Thursday, around 1:40 a.m. Eastern time.

Spacewalkers install new hand on station’s robot arm

Spacewalking astronauts gave the International Space Station’s big robot arm a new hand Thursday.

Not so sweet: 75 percent of honey samples had key pesticide

When researchers collected honey samples from around the world, they found that three-quarters of them had a common type of pesticide suspected of playing a role in the decline of bees. Even honey from the island paradise of Tahiti had the chemical.

Scientists observe 4th black hole collision using US, European detectors

Scientists detected gravitational waves that indicate two black holes have collided for the fourth time in the past two years.

Feeling old? DNA supports an early evolution of our species

A study of DNA from African fossils is providing new evidence that our species is a lot older than scientists had shown.

Sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific on tsunami debris

Nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States.

Maurice Bluestein, 76; modernized the windchill index

Dr. Bluestein and Randall Osczevski, a Canadian scientist, set out in 2001 to perfect the measure and make it more reliable.

NASA’s asteroid chaser swings by Earth en route to space rock

Osiris-Rex, which needed Earth’s gravity as a slingshot to put it on a path toward Bennu, passed within about 11,000 miles of the home planet Friday.

Graphic: What’s the best way to nap?

Lately napping has garnered new respect, thanks to solid scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health.

NASA’s Cassini burns up over Saturn, ending 20-year trek

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in the skies above Saturn early Friday in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn nears fiery finale

Cassini was on course to plunge through Saturn’s atmosphere and vaporize like a meteor.

Scientists: Ash tree species pushed to brink of extinction

Five prominent species of ash tree in the eastern U.S. have been driven to the brink of extinction from years of lethal attack by a beetle, a scientific group says.

Researchers find hint of a link between flu vaccine and miscarriage

It’s the first study to identify a potential link between miscarriage and the flu vaccine and the first to assess the effect of repeat influenza vaccination and risk of miscarriage.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to plunge into Saturn nearly 20 years after launch

It has fulfilled its mission goals and then some. It has sent back stunning images and troves of scientific data. And it’s old, as space hardware goes.

Winds, fire, floods and quakes: A nutty run of nature

With four big hurricanes, a powerful earthquake and wildfires, it seems that nature recently has just gone nuts.

Caribbean damage from Irma varied widely. Here’s how it affected each island

As those in Florida and Georgia prepare for Hurricane Irma, many islands have already found themselves blasted by the destructive storm.

Andrew was a monster; Irma could blow it out of the water

For an entire generation in South Florida, Hurricane Andrew was the monster storm that reshaped a region. Irma is likely to blow that out of the water.

Space superwoman returns to Earth with records galore

Astronaut Peggy Whitson has logged a space flight time record unmatched by any American.

Rare-colored lobsters keep turning up. Is something fishy going on?

Is it just a healthy dose of lobster lottery luck? Or is something weird going on with those astronomical odds?

Space superwoman returning to Earth with records galore

The world’s most experienced spacewoman is due back on Earth this weekend following 9 ½ months at the International Space Station.

Houston drainage grid massive but mostly obsolete

The Depression-era design is no match for the stresses brought by explosive development and ever-wetter storms.

Watch Bonnie Tyler performing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ during the solar eclipse

On Monday, some cruise passengers watched the solar eclipse as Bonnie Tyler sang her hit 1980s power ballad.

NASA launches last of its longtime tracking satellites

The satellite will be a vital link to astronauts in orbit as well as to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Sperm Count in Western Men Has Dropped Over 50 Percent Since 1973, Paper Finds

The sperm count of men in Western countries has been declining precipitously with no signs of “leveling off,” according to new research, bolstering a school of thought that male health in the modern world is at risk, possibly threatening fertility.

‘Women computers’ often couldn’t use Harvard’s telescope. They changed astronomy anyway

One woman, after being abandoned while pregnant by her husband, got a job as a maid and ended up discovering the Horsehead Nebula.

Your Instagram posts may hold clues to your mental health

Instagram users with a history of depression seem to present the world differently from their peers, according to a study.

Scientists create the first mutant ants

On Thursday, two independent research teams described their work deleting ant genes.

What’s a total solar eclipse, and why is this one so unusual?

What makes the Aug. 21 eclipse so special is that it will cut diagonally across the entire United States.

Using CRISPR, scientists edit genome of viable human embryos

It was a step that some of the nation’s leading scientists have long warned against and that has never before been accomplished.

World’s plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there’s enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than two miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft buzzing Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

The spacecraft flies directly above the monster storm Monday night, passing 5,600 miles above the cloud tops — which is close by space standards.

Advocates see a chance to raise Mass. alcohol tax

As lawmakers debate marijuana taxes, public health advocates say the state also needs to consider higher taxes on alcohol.

MIT study finds poorer kids benefit more from summer reading programs

Kids from poorer families benefited more, partially because they tend to have fewer reading resources during the summer months.

NASA telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life

After four years of searching, the Kepler telescope has detected 49 planets in the Goldilocks zone.

Study shows Earth’s lethal heat worsens

One in three people now experience 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels.

William J.L. Sladen, 96, expert on penguin libidos

Dr. Sladen’s work on migratory birds of North America was the basis of the 1996 movie “Fly Away Home.”

Brightest galaxies may contain clues about the formation of stars, researchers say

The galaxies were spotted by the Hubble telescope using a rare space phenomenon.


George Church gets creative with his narcolepsy

The celebrated Harvard biologist says his condition has contributed to some of his best ideas.

Meet NASA’s 12 new astronauts — selected from 18,300 applicants

An assistant MIT professor, a Navy lieutenant completing his residency at MGH, and a research engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution all made the cut.

SpaceX recovers launch booster for recycled supply ship

The company launched its first recycled cargo ship to the International Space Station on Saturday.