Reviews & Previews
A physicist, a gamer and two editors walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the setup for some joke. After work one night, a few Science News staffers tried out a new board game, Subatomic. This deck-building game combines chemistry and particle physics for an enjoyable — and educational — time.
Subatomic is simple to grasp: Players use quark and photon cards to build protons, neutrons and...
Off a gravel road at the edge of a college campus — next door to the town’s holding pen for stray dogs — is a busy test site for the newest technologies in drinking water treatment.
In the large shed-turned-laboratory, University of Massachusetts Amherst engineer David Reckhow has started a movement. More people want to use his lab to test new water treatment technologies than the...
Screwworm fly upsurge
Screwworms, the first pest to be eliminated on a large scale by the use of the sterile male technique, have shown an alarming increase, according to U.S. and Mexican officials…. The screwworm fly lays its eggs in open wounds on cattle. The maggots live on the flesh of their host, causing damage and death, and economic losses of many millions of dollars. —...
Disinfection of public drinking water is one of the great public health success stories of the 20th century. In 1900, outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, both caused by waterborne bacteria, were common in American cities. In 1908, Jersey City, N.J., became the first U.S. city to routinely disinfect community water. Other cities and towns quickly followed, and by 1920, the typhoid rate...11/21/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society, Health, History of Science
Letters to the Editor
Point, counterpoint11/21/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society, Planetary Science, Astronomy
In “The SN 10: These scientists defy limits to tackle big problems” (SN: 10/13/18, p. 18), Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career scientists who are pushing boundaries to answer pressing questions facing science and society.
Some readers had strong reactions to the profiles.
Charles Eby praised stories about the SN 10 scientists. “Of course I love to...
The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...
China is about to make space history. In December, the country will launch the first spacecraft ever to land on the farside of the moon. Another craft, slated for takeoff in 2019, will be the first to bring lunar rocks back to Earth since 1976.
These two missions — the latest in China’s lunar exploration series named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e — are at the forefront of...
For the first time, researchers have gotten a detailed view of how atoms in a compound called vanadium dioxide move when an ultrafast laser pulse transforms the material from an electrical insulator to a conductor — and it’s nothing like scientists expected.
Rather than switching from one crystal formation to another in a direct, synchronized manner, like choreographed ballerinas, the...
In its younger days, the Milky Way devoured a smaller galaxy, and stars from the hapless victim still roam the skies today to tell the tale, a new study finds.
“This is a major event in the history of the galaxy,” says astronomer Amina Helmi of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “We’re really starting to probe the ancestors of the Milky Way.”
Helmi and her colleagues...
News in Brief
Although now characterized by inhospitable deserts, the Arabian Peninsula was a green hot spot for migrating members of the human genus, Homo, at least 300,000 years ago, scientists say.
Stone tools found among fossils of antelopes, elephants and other animals at Saudi Arabia’s Ti’s al Ghadah site date to between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago, archaeologist Patrick Roberts and his...