Zack Fishman

Zack Fishman

Reporter, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

@ZBFishman

Zack Fishman, based in Chicago, covers Life Sciences and Physical Sciences for The Academic Times. Previously, Zack received his M.S. in journalism at Northwestern University, specializing in health, environment and science reporting, and his B.S. in engineering physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Cars stopped in a traffic jam in Cairo, Egypt. According to new research, Cairo has one of the largest oxygen deficits in the world. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Cars stopped in a traffic jam in Cairo, Egypt. According to new research, Cairo has one of the largest oxygen deficits in the world. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) All of the world's cities with more than 1 million people are consuming much more oxygen than they produce — hundreds or thousands times more in some cases — and may soon be at risk of exposing their inhabitants to harmful low-oxygen levels in very calm weather, according to new scientific modeling.

Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila "The Eagle." (Shutterstock)
Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila "The Eagle." (Shutterstock) The nearby blue-white star Altair is surrounded by an ultraviolet-emitting layer known as a chromosphere, according to first-of-their-kind radio-wave observations. The feature, unusual for large and hot stars such as Altair, is likely generated because the star rotates more than 100 times faster than the sun does.

The superconducting circuit used by Lancaster University scientists. The gap between the gates is only 100 nanometers, roughly the length of a virus. (Lancaster University)
The superconducting circuit used by Lancaster University scientists. The gap between the gates is only 100 nanometers, roughly the length of a virus. (Lancaster University) A team of U.K. researchers has become the second group to declare that a potentially revolutionary behavior of superconducting materials found in earlier research was simply a case of leaking electrons, but the discoverers of the phenomenon insist the new research fails to explain away their findings.

The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant, all that remains of a tremendous stellar explosion. Observers in China and Japan recorded the supernova nearly 1,000 years ago, in 1054. (NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll/Arizona State University)
The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant, all that remains of a tremendous stellar explosion. Observers in China and Japan recorded the supernova nearly 1,000 years ago, in 1054. (NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll/Arizona State University) Dusts of heavy metals fall to Earth's surface as the solar system drifts through pockets of the material, which were produced by supernovas more than 10 million years ago. An analysis of those metals suggest that other extreme celestial events also produced heavy elements, possibly changing the story of the solar system's origins.

A plastic barrel carrying blue mussels and smooth gooseneck barnacles washed ashore at the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway. (Lech Kotwicki)
A plastic barrel carrying blue mussels and smooth gooseneck barnacles washed ashore at the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway. (Lech Kotwicki) Blue mussels were recently found in the Arctic Circle for the first time in a millennium, and a new analysis of field observations and genetic samples suggests that at least some of them arrived so far north by riding barrels and other plastic through the ocean.

Quantum computing just took yet another leap forward. (Unsplash/Ben Wicks)
Quantum computing just took yet another leap forward. (Unsplash/Ben Wicks) A team of physicists has extended the time that light in the form of photons can be stored and retrieved from one minute to one hour, creating a technological leap that will likely contribute to the development of highly encrypted quantum communication.

In this artistic representation, the quantum entanglement of two mechanical resonators is represented by the twisting of two tuning forks, so that they cannot be separated from one another. The fully separated shadows, showing no sign of entanglement, represent the information usually available to physicists during experiments. (Jack Bertram/NIST)
In this artistic representation, the quantum entanglement of two mechanical resonators is represented by the twisting of two tuning forks, so that they cannot be separated from one another. The fully separated shadows, showing no sign of entanglement, represent the information usually available to physicists during experiments. (Jack Bertram/NIST) Two groups of researchers have independently quantum-entangled tiny drum-like structures — a feat difficult to achieve on objects larger than subatomic particles — and performed unprecedented measurements. One group also sidestepped a fundamental quantum limit on measurement uncertainty.

A blood test for cancer DNA? The new test might revolutionize cancer detection. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
A blood test for cancer DNA? The new test might revolutionize cancer detection. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) An experimental test successfully detected cancerous mutations in tumor cells by analyzing their DNA that is free-floating in blood, employing a strip test that displays results within 10 minutes.

The bonobo Muhdeblu, pictured here with her newly born offspring in 2014, had her DNA sequenced in a recent genome study. (Claudia Philipp/Wuppertal Zoo)
The bonobo Muhdeblu, pictured here with her newly born offspring in 2014, had her DNA sequenced in a recent genome study. (Claudia Philipp/Wuppertal Zoo) A large collaboration of scientists has sequenced and identified more than 98% of the genes in a bonobo, one of humans' closest evolutionary cousins, revealing surprising speed and complexity in the evolution of genes within the great-ape family and marking a significant improvement from earlier sequencing.

Making cement more efficiently could lead to reductions in greenhouse gases, and using fewer of these familiar vehicles is part of the plan. (Pixabay/Oknesanofa)
Making cement more efficiently could lead to reductions in greenhouse gases, and using fewer of these familiar vehicles is part of the plan. (Pixabay/Oknesanofa) With more energy-efficient methods for production and use, Brazil's cement industry can more than halve its carbon dioxide emissions in the next 30 years while saving nearly $700 million, according to a new analysis — and the reductions could be much deeper, when accounting for cement products' absorption of carbon dioxide from the air.

An image of the atmosphere from the International Space Station. The colors roughly align with different layers of the atmosphere — the orange troposphere, the white stratosphere and the blue mesosphere. (Chris Hadfield)
An image of the atmosphere from the International Space Station. The colors roughly align with different layers of the atmosphere — the orange troposphere, the white stratosphere and the blue mesosphere. (Chris Hadfield) Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are cooling and shrinking the stratosphere and mesosphere, a phenomenon observed for the first time in a new analysis of satellite data.

Mayall II, also known as Andromeda's Cluster, is a globular cluster located on the outskirts of the Andromeda Galaxy and is believed by some to be the remnants of a cannibalized dwarf galaxy. (Michael Rich, Kenneth Mighell, and James D. Neill (Columbia University), and Wendy Freedman (Carnegie Observatories), and NASA)
Mayall II, also known as Andromeda's Cluster, is a globular cluster located on the outskirts of the Andromeda Galaxy and is believed by some to be the remnants of a cannibalized dwarf galaxy. (Michael Rich, Kenneth Mighell, and James D. Neill (Columbia University), and Wendy Freedman (Carnegie Observatories), and NASA) Newly discovered stars, tugged away from the Andromeda Galaxy's largest globular cluster by tidal forces, lend credence to the theory that the cluster was once a dwarf galaxy that is being digested by its much larger neighbor.