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E.g., 12/11/2017
E.g., 12/11/2017
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  • News in Brief

    Watching this newborn island erode could tell us a lot about Mars

    NEW ORLEANS — Earth’s youngest bit of land is getting a new lease on life. When an erupting volcano birthed an island in the Pacific Ocean in late 2014, scientists thought waves would erode the island away within just a few months. Instead, new data suggest it could stick around for up to 30 years, researchers reported December 11 at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union’s fall...

    12/11/2017 - 17:48 Earth, Oceans, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Saturn’s rings mess with the gas giant’s atmosphere

    NEW ORLEANS — Saturn’s mighty rings cast a long shadow on the gas giant — and not just in visible light.

    Final observations from the Cassini spacecraft show that the rings block the sunlight that charges particles in Saturn’s atmosphere. The rings may even be raining charged water particles onto the planet, researchers report online December 11 in Science and at the fall meeting of the...

    12/11/2017 - 17:38 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Once settled, immigrants play important guard roles in mongoose packs

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    Immigrants, they get the job done — eventually. Among dwarf mongooses, it takes newcomers a bit to settle into a pack. But once these immigrants become established residents, everyone in the pack profits, researchers from the University of Bristol in England report online December 4 in Current Biology.  

    Dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) live in groups of around 10...

    12/11/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Ecology
  • Introducing

    This ancient marsupial lion had an early version of ‘bolt-cutter’ teeth

    A skull and other fossils from northeastern Australia belong to a new species in the extinct family of marsupial lions.

    This newly named species, Wakaleo schouteni, was a predator about the size of a border collie, says vertebrate paleontologist Anna Gillespie of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. At least 18 million years ago (and perhaps as early as 23 million years ago), it...

    12/11/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Paleontology, Evolution
  • News

    Most complete map of Titan reveals connected seas and cookie-cutter lakes

    Liquid methane and ethane flow through a subterranean plumbing system on Titan, which drains lakes and connects seas. That’s one of the first scientific results from the latest, most complete map of the Saturnian moon’s topography.

    Planetary scientist Paul Corlies of Cornell University and colleagues released the map — based on all the data from NASA’s Cassini mission, which ended in...

    12/08/2017 - 12:40 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    When tumors fuse with blood vessels, clumps of breast cancer cells can spread

    PHILADELPHIA — If you want to beat them, join them. Some breast cancer tumors may follow that strategy to spread through the body.

    Breast cancer tumors can fuse with blood vessel cells, allowing clumps of cancer cells to break away from the main tumor and ride the bloodstream to other locations in the body, suggests preliminary research. Cell biologist Vanesa Silvestri of Johns Hopkins...

    12/08/2017 - 11:42 Cancer, Cells
  • News

    Some high-temperature superconductors might not be so odd after all

    A misfit gang of superconducting materials may be losing their outsider status.

    Certain copper-based compounds superconduct, or transmit electricity without resistance, at unusually high temperatures. It was thought that the standard theory of superconductivity, known as Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory, couldn’t explain these oddballs. But new evidence suggests that the standard theory...

    12/08/2017 - 07:00 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • News

    Narwhals react to certain dangers in a really strange way

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    When escaping from humans, narwhals don’t just freeze or flee. They do both.

    These deep-diving marine mammals have similar physiological responses to those of an animal frozen in fear: Their heart rate, breathing and metabolism slow, mimicking a “deer in the headlights” reaction. But narwhals (Monodon monoceros) take this freeze response to extremes. The animals...

    12/07/2017 - 14:41 Animals, Oceans, Physiology
  • News

    AI eavesdrops on dolphins and discovers six unknown click types

    A new computer program has an ear for dolphin chatter.

    The algorithm uncovered six previously unknown types of dolphin echolocation clicks in underwater recordings from the Gulf of Mexico, researchers report online December 7 in PLOS Computational Biology. Identifying which species produce the newly discovered click varieties could help scientists better keep tabs on wild dolphin...

    12/07/2017 - 14:00 Computing, Animals
  • News

    CRISPR/Cas9 can reverse multiple diseases in mice

    A new twist on gene editing makes the CRISPR/Cas9 molecular scissors act as a highlighter for the genetic instruction book. Such highlighting helps turn on specific genes.

    Using the new tool, researchers treated mouse versions of type 1 diabetes, kidney injury and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the team reports December 7 in Cell. The new method may make some types of gene therapy easier...

    12/07/2017 - 12:25 Genetics, Biomedicine