Reviews & Previews
CitiesMonica L. SmithViking, $30
Ancient Rome’s Monte Testaccio and modern Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market reveal a lot about the nature of cities. Monte Testaccio is a hill made of broken pottery in the middle of Rome. Around 2,000 years ago, people tossed empty wine and olive oil vessels onto what was then a garbage heap. Tokyo’s vast seafood emporium, also known as Toyosu Market,...
The Chugach people of southern Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula have picked berries for generations. Tart blueberries and sweet, raspberry-like salmonberries — an Alaska favorite — are baked into pies and boiled into jams. But in the summer of 2009, the bushes stayed brown and the berries never came.
For three more years, harvests failed. “It hit the communities very hard,” says Nathan Lojewski...
These are wondrous times for space exploration. Just when you think exploring the cosmos couldn’t possibly get more fun, another discovery delivers a new “oh wow” moment.04/07/2019 - 07:15 Science & Society, Astronomy, Planetary Science
Consider the asteroid Bennu. It’s an unprepossessing space rock that drew scientists’ curiosity because it is among the most pristine objects in our solar system, and it might provide clues to the origins of life....
Letters to the Editor
Life after shingles04/07/2019 - 07:00 Health, Anthropology, Earth
In “With its burning grip, shingles can do lasting damage” (SN: 3/2/19, p. 22), Aimee Cunningham described the experience of Nora Fox, a woman whose bout with shingles nearly 15 years ago left her with a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. Fox hadn’t found any reliable treatments, Cunningham reported.
Fox praised Science News for our portrayal of...
DNA is the glamour molecule of the genetics world. Its instructions are credited with defining appearance, personality and health. And the proteins that result from DNA’s directives get credit for doing most of the work in our cells. RNA, if mentioned at all, is considered a mere messenger, a go-between — easy to ignore. Until now.
RNAs, composed of strings of genetic letters called...
Unusual virus is valuable tool —04/05/2019 - 06:00 Microbiology
Viruses, which cannot reproduce on their own, infect cells and usurp their genetic machinery for use in making new viruses.... But just how viruses use the cell machinery is unknown.… Some answers may come from work with an unusual virus, called M13, that has a particularly compatible relationship with ... [E. coli] bacteria. — Science News, April 5...
Reviews & Previews
The Perfect PredatorSteffanie Strathdee and Thomas PattersonHachette Books, $28
Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, Thomas Patterson, went to Egypt in 2015 expecting to come home with some photos and souvenirs. Instead, Patterson was hit with his own version of the 10 plagues.
At first, doctors in Egypt thought Patterson had pancreatitis. But his health...
Since people in the United States began dying in the fentanyl-related drug overdose epidemic, whites have been hit the hardest. But new data released March 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that African-Americans and Hispanics are catching up.
Non-Hispanic whites still experience the majority of deaths involving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. But among African-...
With great fanfare, a new antidepressant entered the U.S. market in March, the first fundamentally new medicine for depression in decades. Based on the anesthetic ketamine, the drug — called Spravato — is intended to help people with severe depression quickly, taking effect within hours or days instead of the weeks that typical antidepressants take. But for all the hubbub, big questions have...
News in Brief
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — The asteroid Ryugu is a chip off the old block. Planetary scientists on the Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft team have narrowed down the near-Earth asteroid’s parent body to one of two larger, more distant asteroids: Polana and Eulalia.
“Based on links to those specific asteroids, we can talk about the longer history of Ryugu,” said planetary scientist Seiji Sugita of...