Letters to the Editor
Gun debate cross fire06/29/2016 - 12:15 Science & Society, Health
In “Misfires in the gun control debate” (SN: 5/14/16, p. 16), Meghan Rosen reported on the roadblocks researchers face in collecting informative data on gun violence in the United States. Readers responded passionately, expressing many different viewpoints about the story and the controversial topic of gun control.
“I thought Ms. Rosen’s article was well-written,...
Fire was one of our ancient ancestors’ first forays into technology. Controlled burns enabled early hominids to ward off cold, cook and better preserve game. New evidence places fire-making in Europe as early as 800,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought and closer to scientists’ best estimate for hominids’ first use of fire, about 1 million years ago in Africa.
The Science Life
The surveillance video shows a peaceful city streetscape: People walking, cars driving, birds chirping.
“Then, abruptly, there’s the sound of gunfire,” said electrical engineer Robert Maher. “A big bang followed by another bang.”
Witnesses saw two shooters facing off, a few meters apart — one aiming north, the other south. But no one knew who shot first. That’s where Maher comes in...
By age 25, Patrick Schnur had cycled through a series of treatment programs, trying different medications to kick his heroin habit. But the drugs posed problems too: Vivitrol injections were painful and created intense heroin cravings as the drug wore off. Suboxone left him drowsy, depressed and unable to study or go running like he wanted to. Determined to resume the life he had before his...
Sharks have a sixth sense that helps them locate prey in murky ocean waters. They rely on special pores on their heads and snouts, called ampullae of Lorenzini, that can sense electric fields generated when nearby prey move. The pores were first described in 1678, but scientists haven’t been sure how they work. Now, the answer is a bit closer.
The pores, which connect to electrosensing...
Two newly discovered Triceratops relatives sported some peculiar headgear.
Researchers uncovered skull fragments of Machairoceratops cronusi in 77-million-year-old mudstone from the Wahweap Formation in southern Utah. Unlike other horned dinosaurs, the roughly 8-meter-long M. cronusi had two grooved horns with spatula-like tips bowed forward from the back of its neck shield. The grooves...
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Lab GirlHope JahrenKnopf, $26.95
The first, tiny root that emerges from a baby plant can make it or break it.
Anchor to a good patch of ground, and the plant can thrive for decades. Set up someplace else, without enough water or sunshine, and all may be lost.
The odds of a single rootlet mooring itself to just the right spot of soil are more than a million to one, writes...
Bottoms up, from the distant past. Thanks to a new method of analyzing the chemicals in liquids absorbed by clay containers, researchers have uncorked the oldest solid evidence of grape-based wine making in Europe, and possibly the world, at a site in northern Greece.
Chemical markers of red wine were embedded in two pieces of a smashed jar and in an intact jug discovered in 2010 in the...
Fierce combat erupted in February 2016 at the northern Iraqi village of Kudilah. A Western-backed coalition of Arab Sunni tribesmen, Kurds in the Iraqi army and Kurdish government forces advanced on Islamic State fighters who had taken over the dusty outpost.
Islamic State combatants, led by young men wearing explosive vests, fought back. The well-trained warriors scurried through battle...
Lightning seen as cause of puzzling chondrules — Lightning flashes in the huge cloud of primeval dust and gas from which the planets in the solar system condensed may have caused formation of the puzzling objects known as chondrules ... the tiny, rounded granules about the size of poppy seeds found in stony meteorites.... Dry lightning flashes could have been the source of the fast heating...