Science

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Purdue University News / https://twitter.com/PurdueUnivNews

Purdue University made national headlines this spring when the school’s researchers were the first to map the entire molecular structure of the Zika Virus. But National Institutes of Health leaders visited campus Thursday to say such triumphs may come less frequently unless Congress acts soon to secure funding.

March’s Zika breakthrough came with the help of money from grants funded by the NIH, the agency responsible for federal biomedical and health-related research.

IU Physicist Mark Messier, right, with former Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim / http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news-archive/22202.html

An Indiana University scientist has announced a discovery about the mysterious nature of neutrinos, the subatomic “ghost particle” that has captured the imagination of the physics world.

Neutrinos, the second-most abundant particle in the universe, are everywhere, and yet they stubbornly don’t want to cooperate with many of the forces that hold matter together, which makes conducting research on them difficult.

James Brosher / Indiana University

In the United States, the last two weeks were a little smellier than usual.

More than 5,000 people flocked to a greenhouse at Indiana University last weekend to witness the brief, smelly bloom of the corpse flower, the largest flower in the world. The plant’s flower, when open, emits an odor akin to rancid, rotting flesh.

Psycho Delia / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24557420@N05/

Indianapolis is enlisting its residents to help count bees, butterflies and other bugs as part of a crowdsourcing science initiative. The “City-Wide Pollinator Count” aims to tell scientists more about where the bees are…and aren’t.

Crowdsourcing data has proved a valuable tool for scientists. Initiatives such as the Great World Wide Star Count and Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Backyard Bird Count catalog information scientists would otherwise never be able to access.

Bertram Nudelbach / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nudelbach/

Indiana will witness its first real heat wave of 2016 this week. Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-90s this weekend, and the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through Saturday evening.

The hot conditions are the result of a so-called “heat dome,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Even though the name is simple, the conditions that create a heat dome are a complicated combination of pressure, temperature and air density.

Courtesy H. Kory Cooper

Research from a Purdue anthropology professor has uncovered the first evidence of prehistoric metal trade between Asia and North America.

Anthropology professor and metallurgy expert H. Kory Cooper analyzed two objects uncovered in northern Alaska. The two tiny artifacts—a buckle and a small bead—are made of bronze. That’s important because bronze doesn’t occur in nature--it’s an alloy.

By looking at how such alloys are mixed, anthropologists can pinpoint metals age and where they’re from.

NASA / http://news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2016/05/low-metal-galaxy.shtml

Astronauts traveling at the speed of light would still take 30 years to reach AGC 198691, otherwise known as Leoncino, the "little lion" galaxy. Once arrived, they would find a cluster of stars described by scientists as "pristine," an intergalactic time capsule.

For some reason, the small, faint Leoncino contains the smallest amounts of metals in any galaxy ever discovered, a characteristic Indiana University astronomers say could offer scientists insight into theories about the Big Bang.

The findings appear this month in the Astrophysical Journal.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

It’s a Friday morning at IUPUI, and about 20 middle-school kids are seated in the front of a second-floor classroom. They’re dressed up in their Sunday best—dresses, polos with starched collars—it’s a big day for them. Near the back of the room, parents outnumber the chairs two-to-one; many end up sitting on the floor.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory / http://www-d0.fnal.gov/Run2Physics/WWW/results/final/B/B16A/

Physicists around the world were thrilled last month when news broke about a new type of subatomic particle—the so-called “tetraquark”, an unheard-of arrangement of four different types of quarks.

But last week, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, looked at their own data, and they’ve said they’ve tried and failed to find concurring evidence.

Fermilab / http://news.fnal.gov/2016/02/dzero-discovers-a-new-particle-consistent-with-a-tetraquark

Research by group of scientists led in part by an Indiana University physicist has resulted in a detection of a new kind of subatomic particle—a so-called “tetraquark.”

Quarks are among the teeniest, tiniest building blocks of matter. When quarks combine, they create protons, neutrons and other particles which make up molecules, and so on.

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