Science & the Public
For sale: Pristine lake. Price negotiable.
Most U.S. government attempts to quantify the costs and benefits of protecting the country’s bodies of water are likely undervaluing healthy lakes and rivers, researchers argue in a new study. That’s because some clean water benefits get left out of the analyses, sometimes because these benefits are difficult to pin numbers on. As a result, the...
Protecting the anonymity of publicly available genetic data, including DNA donated to research projects, may be impossible.
About 60 percent of people of European descent who search genetic genealogy databases will find a match with a relative who is a third cousin or closer, a new study finds. The result suggests that with a database of about 3 million people, police or anyone else with...
First Man is not a movie about the moon landing.
The Neil Armstrong biopic, opening October 12, follows about eight years of the life of the first man on the moon, and spends about eight minutes depicting the lunar surface. Instead of the triumphant ticker tape parades that characterize many movies about the space race, First Man focuses on the terror, grief and heartache that led to...
Reviews & Previews
The Sawbones BookJustin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroyTeylor Smirl (illustrator)Weldon Owen, $24.99
Humans took a long, weird road to modern medicine. We don’t have everything figured out yet, but at least we’ve learned not to drink the feces of cholera victims and never to plug dental cavities with a lizard’s liver — unlike some of our ancestors.
Gruesome methods like these...
News in Brief
Two U.S. economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, have received the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their efforts to untangle the economics of climate change and technological innovations.
Nordhaus and Romer “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge,” the...
Leon Lederman, a Nobel Prize–winning particle physicist who lifted back the curtain to the subatomic world, died on October 3 at the age of 96.
His work revealed the existence of multiple new elementary particles — with names like the muon neutrino and the bottom quark — showing that the realm of the infinitesimal was more complex than previously thought. The muon neutrino discovery...
People often assume cats enthusiastically kill city rats, but that may be just an urban legend.
Feral cats caught on video were keen to watch rats lurking around a trash collection center in Brooklyn, says behavioral ecologist Michael Parsons. But cats rarely killed, or even chased, the rats. Cats aren’t a good choice for rat-population control, Parsons, a visiting researcher at Fordham...
Scientific disciplines, as we know them, are a fairly recent invention. As late as the 18th century, both amateur and professional scientists let their intellect range unfettered. The great Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci explored architecture, engineering, geology, botany and more. He is credited with inventing the helicopter, a diving suit and painting the Mona Lisa.
At Science News, we focus intently on the “what” of science: what’s new in fields from astronomy to zoology. But we also step back and consider the “who,” “how” and “why” of the scientific endeavor.09/26/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society
In this special issue, we profile 10 young scientists who aren’t afraid to challenge the paradigms of how science is practiced. Rather than stick to one discipline, collaborating across...
Even as the country’s attention is focused on the ongoing opioid epidemic, a new study shows that the United States has had a wide-ranging drug overdose problem for decades, and it’s growing ever worse.
Analyzing nearly 600,000 accidental drug poisoning deaths from 1979 to 2016 shows that the country has seen an exponential rise in these cases, with the number of deaths doubling...