Science Digest

In a new study, astronomers show how gas expelled in the merger of two small galaxies can linger across vast distances for billions of years, where it may eventually feed gas to more massive galaxies to make new stars. The Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud pictured above are a pair of dwarf galaxies that were in the process of merging when they fell into the Milky Way. Their gas is expected to replenish half of the gas consumed by our galaxy as it forms new stars. (Photo: S. Brunier/European Southern Observatory)

 

In a new study, astronomers show how gas expelled in the merger of two small galaxies can linger across vast distances for billions of years, where it may eventually feed gas to more massive galaxies to make new stars.
living cell visualized with deuterium-labeled SRS imaging

A team of Columbia researchers show that a widely used chemical tracer, combined with a cutting-edge microscope, can track metabolic changes within the living cells of animals.

A team of Columbia researchers show that a widely used chemical tracer, combined with a cutting-edge microscope, can track metabolic changes within the living cells of animals.

The magma that feeds volcanoes beneath Earth’s surface is a mix of solid particles, liquid melt and gas bubbles. Successfully predicting whether lava from an erupting volcano will ooze out slowly or in a sudden and potentially deadly explosion has long vexed scientists.

EEG experiment led by Andrew Goldman

Skilled improvisers were better than musicians with limited improvisational experience at distinguishing between chords that can be used interchangeably in a piece of music and those that cannot, says a new study led by Andrew Goldman, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University (pictured). 

Skilled improvisers were better than musicians with limited improvisational experience at distinguishing between chords that can be used interchangeably in a piece of music and those that cannot, a new study by Columbia researchers finds. The results suggest that musical improvisation, like so many other skills, improves with practice as the brain learns to categorize musical structures in a new way.

Researchers set out four microphones like this one in the foothills of Alaska's Brooks Range to record songbird calls over five breeding seasons. In a new study, they describe an automated tool for sifting through thousands of hours of recordings to estimate when migratory birds arrive en masse in the Arctic. (Photo credit: Heather Greaves)

In a new study, scientists describe a way to quickly sift through thousands of hours of field recordings to estimate when songbirds arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds. Their research could be applied to any dataset of animal vocalizations to understand how migratory animals are responding to climate change.

Elena Aprile leads the XENON collaboration, which has built the world’s largest and most sensitive device yet to look for evidence of weakly interacting massive dark matter particles, or WIMPs. (Symmetry magazine)

Elena Aprile, a physics professor at Columbia who is leading the world’s most sensitive search yet for dark matter, will receive the American Astronomical Society’s 2019 Berkeley Prize.
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By compressing layers of boron nitride and graphene, researchers were able to enhance the material's band gap, bringing it one step closer to being a viable semiconductor for use in today’s electronic devices.

A Columbia University-led international team of researchers has developed a technique to manipulate the electrical conductivity of graphene with compression, bringing the material one step closer to being a viable semiconductor for use in today’s electronic devices.

National Academy of Sciences logo

Two Columbia professors — a neuroscientist whose work on the visual system could lead to a cure for blindness and a theoretical computer scientist who has helped define the limits of efficient computation — are among the 84 new members elected this week to the National Academy of Sciences. 

Two Columbia professors — a neuroscientist whose work on the visual system could lead to a cure for blindness and a theoretical computer scientist who has helped define the limits of computation — are among the 84 new members elected this week to the National Academy of Sciences.
hydra image with neurons labeled with a green fluorescence indicator

Researchers show how an algorithm for filtering spam can learn to pick out, from hours of video footage, the full behavioral repertoire of tiny, pond-dwelling Hydra. In the above image, hydra's neurons are labeled with a green fluorescence indicator. (Yuste Lab, Columbia University)

Researchers show how an algorithm for filtering spam can learn to pick out, from hours of video footage, the full behavioral repertoire of tiny, pond-dwelling Hydra. By comparing Hydra’s behaviors to the firing of its neurons, the researchers hope to eventually understand how its nervous system, and that of more complex animals, works.
The project combines mapping techniques with Twitter-usage data to gain a real-time understanding of how people occupy public space.

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