One of the U.S.’s largest infrastructural projects underway is a new bridge slowly rising above the Hudson River near New York City. The design, called a cable-stay, is cheaper and faster to construct than a traditional suspension bridge for medium-length projects (such as those that span rivers). As America’s bridges age, cable-stays will be popping up more frequently.
As people age, memory can become a problem. A creative way to test for Alzheimer’s is now undergoing investigation. The Neurotrack screen tracks eye movements to help diagnose the disease before it damages the brain. Although there remains no cure for Alzheimer’s, researchers hope that testing potential drugs or therapies prior to mental decline will prove to be more successful than previous attempts at finding the most effective treatment in the battle against the debilitating disease.
Ants were long known as the only insects to wage war on other outside their own species. Now bees join the ranks after an Australian team of researchers recorded nearly 50 hostile hive takeovers of unrelated colonies. Warriors dive-bombed one another in dramatic airborne raids. The scientists suspect the bees battle to claim territory.
Like angry bees, satellites can collide mid-air—a problem exacerbated by the fact that communications companies keep the precise locations of their instruments guarded. Advanced cryptography could soon allow satellite owners to avoid accidents without divulging the exact coordinates.
Also in February’s Advances:
- T. rex would have beaten a duck-billed dinosaur in a sprint—but not a marathon.
- The primordial bacteria that became our cells’ mitochondria may have started out as energy parasites.
- The design of a playground shapes how active students are during recess.
- Sugar beets produce hemoglobin, the protein best known for its role in blood.
- Mathematical skill is a predictor of career success, according to a 40-year study that has charted the achievements of 13-year-olds with a head for numbers.
- Chemists verify the existence of a new type of chemical bond.
- In news from around the world: Dutch railways use lasers to zap leaves out of the way, Russia wants part of the Arctic as its own, an exoskeleton goes up for sale in Japan, and more.