Fans of Jurassic Park may be disappointed (or possibly relieved) to learn that you can’t get ancient DNA from amber. Insects trapped in amber may look perfectly preserved, but their DNA doesn’t hold up well, David Penney of the University of Manchester in England and colleagues report September 11 in PLOS ONE. The team tried, and failed, to extract and sequence DNA from two stingless bees (one...
The most massive volcano on Earth, with a footprint the size of New Mexico, crouches in the dark depths of the western Pacific Ocean. The base of the basaltic mound, Tamu Massif, may rival in area the largest known volcano in the solar system: Mars’ Olympus Mons. In 2010 and 2012, a team led by oceanographer William Sager, then at Texas A&M University, bounced sound waves off the deep-sea...
After much anticipation, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has finally, officially crossed into interstellar space. Or, depending on how you conceive of the solar system, maybe it hasn’t, as Andrew Grant explains in a fold-out map of the sun’s neighborhood on Page 19.
Like Voyager, Science News has just made an exciting transition. This redesigned issue is the notable result, marking a foray into...
Echoes of past encounters with leukemia flow through the veins of people who have never suffered from the disease, a study suggests. The immune systems of cancer-free people may have gathered antileukemia forces by mounting preemptive strikes against cells that were on their way to becoming cancerous. Leukemia patients, on the other hand, carry meager signs of resistance.
A nap can ease the burden of a painful memory. While fast asleep, people learned that a previously scary situation was no longer threatening, scientists report September 22 in Nature Neuroscience.
The results are the latest to show that sleep is a special state in which many sorts of learning can happen. And the particular sort of learning in the new study blunted a fear memory, a goal...
News in Brief
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions should improve air quality and thereby save millions of people’s lives by the end of the century, new simulations find.
Burning fossil fuels emits both climate-warming gases and other air pollutants such as particulate matter. Greenhouse gases also contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, the main component of smog. Because particulate matter...
Letters to the Editor
Driven to distraction09/20/2013 - 14:19 Science & Society, Psychology
Nathan Seppa outlined research on the hazards of distracted driving in “Impactful distraction” (SN: 8/24/13, p. 20).
The story generated a virtual pile-up of reader comments by e-mail, on our website and on social media.George Cowan comments online that the article “should be required reading in every drivers’ ed course.” But a number of readers...
The risks attached to giving birth in the home, even with a midwife present, are greater than in the hospital, an analysis of U.S. birth records suggests. Babies born at home are 10 times more likely to lack a pulse and be unresponsive when they are five minutes old.
Despite the increase, the overall risk of such a dire condition was low regardless of birth location, researchers report...
The following U.S. states report the highest percentages of their workers employed in science and engineering jobs:
1. D.C. (10.7%)
2. Maryland (7.0%)
3. Massachusetts (6.4%)
4. Virginia (6.2%)
5. Colorado (6.1%)
Source: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics 2013
The deadliest storm in the history of the Western Hemisphere, hurricane Flora, was unusual in its slow, wavering pace and the force it maintained over land. Usually hurricanes lose their force when they blow across land…. Then as they move again over open water, they sometimes can regenerate their force. For nearly five days the giant mass of whirlwinds hovered over Cuba, the longest...09/20/2013 - 09:00 Earth