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  • Editor's Note

    Science’s questions rarely have clear, easy answers

    There are few simple answers in science. Even seemingly straightforward questions, when probed by people in search of proof, lead to more questions. Those questions lead to nuances, layers of complexity and, more often than we might expect, conclusions that contradict initial intuition.

    In the 1990s, researchers asking “How do we fight oxygen-hungry cancer cells?” offered an obvious...

    02/22/2017 - 12:47 Science & Society
  • News

    Human gene editing therapies are OK in certain cases, panel advises

    Human gene editing to prevent genetic diseases from being passed to future generations may be permissible under certain conditions, a panel of experts says.

    Altering DNA in germline cells — embryos, eggs, and sperm, or cells that give rise to them — may be used to cure genetic diseases for future generations, provided it is done only to correct disease or disability, not to enhance...

    02/14/2017 - 16:38 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Scicurious

    Analysis finds gender bias in peer-reviewer picks

    Gender bias works in subtle ways, even in the scientific process. The latest illustration of that: Scientists recommend women less often than men as reviewers for scientific papers, a new analysis shows. That seemingly minor oversight is yet another missed opportunity for women that might end up having an impact on hiring, promotions and more.  

    Peer review is one of the bricks in the...

    02/03/2017 - 12:30 Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    Trump administration clampdowns on research agencies worry scientists

    Just days into the Trump administration, alarm bells are ringing in the scientific community amid confusing and whiplashing reports of gag orders and funding freezes at the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

    Various on-again, off-again directives range from putting a hold on tweeting (mostly still on) to banning the sharing of...

    01/26/2017 - 16:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Mouse cells grown in rats cure diabetes in mice

    Growing human organs in other animals is a small step closer to reality.

    Injecting human stem cells into pig and cattle embryos created embryos that incorporate a small number of human cells, scientists report January 26 in Cell. The ultimate goal of the controversial research is to use hybrid, or chimeric, animals to produce human organs for transplant.

    Farm animals incubating...

    01/26/2017 - 12:00 Cells, Biomedicine, Science & Society
  • Science Stats

    Humans’ stuff vastly outweighs humans

    Have you ever felt weighed down by your material possessions? The boundless variety of stuff that humans manufacture — tractors, buildings, ballpoint pens, Hello Kitty backpacks — has serious heft: 30 trillion metric tons, a new study estimates. That’s about 50 kilograms for every square meter of Earth’s surface.

    The human-made “technosphere,” all the manufactured goods around today,...

    01/24/2017 - 13:00 Pollution, Science & Society
  • News

    Cancer studies get mixed grades on redo tests

    An effort to reproduce findings of five prominent cancer studies has produced a mixed bag of results.

    In a series of papers published January 19 in eLife, researchers from the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology report that none of five prominent cancer studies they sought to duplicate were completely reproducible. Replicators could not confirm any of the findings of one study. In...

    01/18/2017 - 16:42 Science & Society, Cancer
  • News

    Promise and perils of marijuana deserve more scientific scrutiny

    Marijuana’s medical promise deserves closer, better-funded scientific scrutiny, a new state-of-the-science report concludes.

    The report, released January 12 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington, D.C., calls for expanding research on potential medical applications of cannabis and its products, including marijuana and chemical components called...

    01/12/2017 - 15:02 Health, Mental Health, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Mapping the future of continents and batteries

    The Earth is always moving beneath our feet. What seems permanent, still and solid is in fact constantly creeping. It’s easy to forget that as we race through our busy days, measuring time with digital clocks rather than the achingly slow beat of rock.

    In "Evidence falls into place for once and future supercontinents", contributing correspondent Alexandra Witze explores the long-term...

    01/11/2017 - 12:18 Earth, Technology, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Time Travel’ tours a fascinating fiction

    Time TravelJames GleickPantheon, $26.95

    It’s kind of daring to write a science book about something that — you must remind your readers — doesn’t exist. That’s James Gleick’s task in Time Travel, an engaging and entertaining look at science that will always remain fiction.

    It’s lucidly written, a breeze to read and erudite in assessing a vast range of literary and popular media...

    01/08/2017 - 08:00 Physics, Science & Society