Bacteria ganging up on drugs
With the discovery of sulfa drugs and antibiotics came man’s confidence in his ability to control infectious diseases. But now, that confidence is being shaken by once defenseless germs that have learned to outwit man and thrive in the face of his wonder drugs.… One way to cut down on drug resistance transfer is to stop prescribing antibiotics almost...
I’m warning you up front. There’s heartbreak in this issue. In two stories, Science News writers investigate new facets of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die on average each day from opioid overdoses, quadruple the deaths from opioid overdoses in 1999. Today, nearly half of those deaths involve...
Letters to the Editor
Proton puzzler05/31/2017 - 15:45 Particle Physics, Climate, Planetary Science
Uncertainty over the proton’s size, spin and life span could have physicists rethinking standard notions about matter and the universe, Emily Conover reported in “The proton puzzle” (SN: 4/29/17, p. 22).
Readers wondered about the diameter (or size) of the proton, which has three fundamental particles called quarks rattling around inside. “Still scratching my head over how...
The first thing you’ll notice is the noise. Monitors beep steadily, relentlessly, ready to sound a car-alarm blare if a baby is in trouble.
The air has an astringent odor — not clean exactly, but reminiscent of an operating room (there’s one next door). Ceiling lights shine fluorescent white. Half are off, but glare from the monitors throws out extra light. It’s midday on a Friday, but...
The Science Life
When the eyes of her mice looked normal, Xu Wang was certain she had done something wrong. She was blasting the mice with blinding light to study how a specific gene affected the animals’ response to eye injury. All the mice were given the drug tamoxifen. Half were engineered to respond to the drug by disabling the gene — a step that would protect their eyes. The control mice, with all genes...
Last year, Joan Peay slipped on her garage steps and smashed her knee on the welcome mat. Peay, 77, is no stranger to pain. The Tennessee retiree has had 17 surgeries in the last 35 years — knee replacements, hip replacements, back surgery. She even survived a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened her and hundreds of others, and killed 64. This knee injury, though, “hurt like the...
Ancient sea scorpions were hacks.
Some of the marine creatures had a thin, serrated spine on the tip of their tail — and that tail was surprisingly flexible, based on a 430-million-year-old fossil found in Scotland. Slimonia acuminata may have had the range of motion to strike large predators and prey, researchers report online April 18 in American Naturalist.
For centuries, skywatchers have reported seeing and simultaneously hearing meteors whizzing overhead, which doesn’t make sense given that light travels roughly 800,000 times as fast as sound. Now scientists say they have a potential explanation for the paradox.
The sound waves aren’t coming from the meteor itself, atmospheric scientists Michael Kelley of Cornell University and Colin...
Astronomers want you in on the search for the solar system’s ninth planet.
In the online citizen science project Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, space lovers can flip through space images and search for this potential planet as well as other far-off worlds awaiting discovery.
The images, taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite, offer a peek at a vast region of...
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HAT-P 7b is a windy world. Stiff easterlies typically whip through the atmosphere of the distant exoplanet, but sometimes the powerful gales blow in surprisingly varied directions. Now, simulations of the planet’s magnetic field lines, illustrated here as a rainbow of scrawled marks, reveal that HAT-P 7b’s magnetic field influences the winds, even turning some into...