1. When someone is blind from birth, what happens in their brain’s visual cortex? Scientists have long thought that this portion of the brain was repurposed, processing the input from a sense other than sight. But technology designed to help blind people “see” using soundscapes tells a different story. Brain scans in blind individuals using this system reveal vision-related brain activity similar to that in sighted people.

    Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

    RELATED LINKS

    Current Biology: Visual Cortex Extrastriate Body-Selective Area Activation in Congenitally Blind People “Seeing” by Using Sounds
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982214001481

    Neuroreport: Functional recruitment of visual cortex for sound encoded object identification in the blind.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19104453

    EyeMusic
    yissum.co.il/technologies/project/10-2009-2261

    Sight Through Sound: The Hebrew University is teaching blind people to see through sound
    youtube.com/watch?v=U_TeRKieD0I

    Seeing with the Ears. Hands and Bionic Eyes: Amir Amedi at TEDxJerusalem
    youtube.com/watch?v=jVBp2nDmg7E

    EyeMusic App: Hearing Colored Shapes
    itunes.apple.com/us/app/eyemusic-hearing-colored-shapes/id805461054?mt=8

    Seeing with Sound
    seeingwithsound.com/

    Artificial Vision
    artificialvision.com/javoice.htm

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  2. Dead men tell no tales, but dead stars have plenty to say. Traces of elements left behind after stars explode can inform astronomers about how the star was ripped apart. NuSTAR, the first telescope capable of detecting high-energy X-ray signatures of radioactive elements in supernova remnants, recently captured a picture of a dying star’s last gasp.

    Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

    RELATED LINKS

    Nature: Asymmetries in core-collapse supernovae from maps of radioactive 44Ti in Cassiopeia A
    nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7488/full/nature12997.html

    NuSTAR: Bringing the High Energy Universe into Focus
    nustar.caltech.edu/

    Chandra X-Ray Observatory: Cassiopeia A
    chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/casa/

    NASA: What Is A Supernova?
    nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/what-is-a-supernova.html#.UynG9a1dXIU

    Supernova Remnants
    imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/supernova_remnants.html

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  3. Invasive fire ants are firmly established in the southeastern United States, defending their territory with venomous stings. But a new invasive species, the tawny crazy ant, appears impervious to fire ants’ toxic attacks. A recent study pinpoints the crazy ants’ defensive strategy, which is furthering their domination over not just fire ants, but other insects.

    Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

    RELATED LINKS

    Science: Chemical Warfare Among Invaders: A Detoxification Interaction Facilitates an Ant Invasion
    sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/02/12/science.1245833.abstract?sid=e0af6891-366f-4566-b960-c5a2b081c335

    Biological Invasions: Imported crazy ant displaces imported fire ant, reduces and homogenizes grassland ant and arthropod assemblages
    dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-013-0463-6

    PLOS ONE: The Importance of Using Multiple Approaches for Identifying Emerging Invasive Species—The Case of the Rasberry Crazy Ant in the United States
    plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0045314

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  4. When modern humans migrated out of Africa between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago, they encountered and bred with Neanderthals, our close relatives living in Europe and Asia. For people of non-African descent, approximately 2 percent of their genome has some Neanderthal DNA. New research is investigating which components of the Neanderthal genome survive today—and what traits they influence.

    Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

    RELATED LINKS

    Nature: The genomic landscape of Neanderthal ancestry in present-day humans
    nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12961.html

    Nature: Modern human genomes reveal our inner Neanderthal
    nature.com/news/modern-human-genomes-reveal-our-inner-neanderthal-1.14615

    Nature: The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains
    nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12886.html

    Science: Resurrecting surviving Neandertal lineages from modern human genomes
    sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/01/28/science.1245938

    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology: A high quality Neandertal genome sequence
    eva.mpg.de/neandertal/index.html

    The Neandertal Genome
    sciencemag.org/site/special/neandertal/feature/index.html

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  5. When a group of astronomy students gathered for a workshop at the University of London Observatory, little did they know they were about to see something extraordinary—a supernova still so young that it hadn’t yet reached peak brightness. Observers around the world quickly trained their telescopes on the exploded star, the closest of its type in more than 40 years.

    Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

    RELATED LINKS

    Estimating the First-Light Time of the Type Ia Supernova 2014J in M82
    arxiv.org/abs/1401.7968

    Supernova in Messier 82 discovered by UCL students
    ucl.ac.uk/maps-faculty/maps-news-publication/maps1405/

    Supernovae 2014J in M82
    rochesterastronomy.org/sn2014/sn2014j.html

    Type 1a Supernovae
    hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/dark_energy/de-type_ia_supernovae.php

    Messier 82
    messier.seds.org/m/m082.html

    Messier 82: Herschel Space Observatory
    herschel.cf.ac.uk/results/messier-82

    APOD: Supernova in M82 Photo Gallery
    asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=32799

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Explore the natural world with Science Bulletins; our documentary Feature Stories, Data Visualizations, and News updates focus on recent discoveries and new technologies in astrophysics, Earth science, biodiversity, and human health and evolution.

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Explore the natural world with Science Bulletins; our documentary Feature Stories, Data Visualizations, and News updates focus on recent discoveries and new technologies in astrophysics, Earth science, biodiversity, and human health and evolution.

Astro Bulletin highlights the scientists, observatories, and technologies that advance our knowledge of the cosmos.

Earth Bulletin reports recent events and discoveries related to Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

Bio Bulletin covers the ever-evolving diversity of life on Earth and our human footprint on the biosphere.

Human Bulletin explores the science of our species, covering fossil and genetic research on human evolution as well as studies on human health and biology.

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