For what is believed to be the first time in its history, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena has suspended a faculty member for gender-based harassment. The researcher, identified as astrophysics professor Christian Ott, has been stripped of his university salary and barred from campus for 1 year. He will need to prove that he has been rehabilitated before he can resume advising students without supervision.
In 2004, researchers discovered evidence that humans inhabited the Arctic 35,000 years ago. Now, the Russian discovery of the best-preserved mammoth found in a century pushes back those dates by another 10,000 years. The find suggests that even at this early stage, humans were traversing the most frigid parts of the globe and had the adaptive ability to migrate almost everywhere.
If you follow physics, you have likely heard the rumor by now: Physicists working with a pair of gigantic detectors have finally discovered gravitational waves, and have only to announce it. It would be a sure-fire Nobel Prize–winning discovery, and the rumor—prompted by Twitter posts by Lawrence Krauss—sounds plausible. But it turns out that the rumor is just that, and Krauss’s information was secondhand at best.
Dog owners often say they “know” that their dog understands what they’re feeling. Now, scientists have the evidence to back this up. Researchers tested 17 adult dogs of various breeds to see whether they could recognize emotional expressions in the faces and voices of humans and other dogs. It’s the first time that a species other than humans has been shown to be capable of interpreting the vocal and facial expressions of an entirely different species of animal.
Supernovae are already some of the brightest events out there—but in recent decades astronomers have seen a rare new class of blasts, sometimes dubbed hypernovae. Now, astronomers have found the most violently explosive supernova so far detected in the history of the universe, outshining the light of our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times.