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  • Editor's Note

    Resurgence of measles is a tale as old as human history

    Late last year, researchers reported a discovery from a 5,000-year-old mass grave in Sweden: DNA from the bacterium that causes plague. The people in that grave were probably felled by an epidemic that spread via trade routes from southeastern Europe and contributed to sharp population declines across the continent (SN: 1/19/19, p. 12), a precursor to the Black Death that wiped out up...
    05/29/2019 - 15:28 Health, Immune Science, Science & Society
  • Soapbox

    A cognitive neuroscientist warns that the U.S. justice system harms teen brains

    A teenager’s brain does not magically mature into its reasoned, adult form the night before his or her 18th birthday. Instead, aspects of brain development stretch into a person’s 20s — a protracted fine-tuning with serious implications for young people caught in the U.S. justice system, argues cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey of Yale University.

    In the May 22 Neuron, Casey describes...

    05/22/2019 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • Feature

    How the battle against measles varies around the world

    The World Health Organization’s goal was lofty but achievable: eliminate measles from five of the world’s six regions by 2020. But recent outbreaks — even in places where elimination had been achieved — are making that goal a distant dream.

    In the first four months of 2019, 179 countries reported 168,193 cases of measles. That’s almost 117,000 more cases reported during the same period...

    05/21/2019 - 06:00 Science & Society, Immune Science, Health
  • Editor's Note

    Celebrating scientists who ask big questions

    Humans are problem solvers. All day, every day, we ask ourselves questions. Should I wear socks with these shoes? Bring a phone charger? Eat the whole sandwich? Finish that assignment or watch YouTube? And that’s just an average day. When we apply the tools of science to answering big questions, we can do amazing things.

    In this double issue of Science News, we profile scientists...

    05/11/2019 - 07:15 Science & Society
  • Science Stats

    1 million species are under threat. Here are 5 ways we speed up extinctions

    Stories about individual species on the brink of extinction may be all too familiar. But a new tally now reveals the breadth of the conservation crisis: One million of the world’s species are now poised to vanish, some as soon as within the next few decades.

    That number, which amounts to 1 in every 8 animal or plant species on Earth, comes from a sweeping new analysis of about 15,000...

    05/08/2019 - 06:00 Conservation, Climate, Pollution, Science & Society
  • News

    Medical student evaluations appear riddled with racial and gender biases

    Men are “scientific,” women are “lovely” and underrepresented minorites are “pleasant” and “nice.” If those sound like stereotypes, they are. But they’re also words commonly used to evaluate medical students, a study finds.

    Analysis of nearly 88,000 evaluations of third-year medical students written from 2006 to 2015 revealed evidence of implicit bias. White women and underrepresented...

    05/06/2019 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Facebook data show how many people left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

    Hurricane Maria sent Puerto Ricans fleeing from the island to the U.S. mainland, but population surveys to assess the size of that migration would have taken at least a year to complete. A new study suggests, however, that a Facebook tool for advertisers could provide crude, real-time estimates for how many people are moving because of a natural disaster. That could help governments design...

    05/03/2019 - 07:00 Science & Society, Technology, Computing
  • Experiences

    A science-themed escape room gives the brain a workout

    Professor Schrödenberg is missing, and evil agents want to use her quantum computing research for nefarious purposes. Stopping them is up to you, but completing your mission will require solving some mind-bending puzzles —based on science.

    If you are up for the challenge, you can test your wits at LabEscape, a science-themed escape room at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, Ill. Escape...

    04/29/2019 - 12:40 Science & Society, Physics, Quantum Physics
  • Transparency Project

    How we reported on the challenges of using ancestry tests to solve crimes

    This is part of the Transparency Project, which explains how we do science journalism. This article refers to a story published in April 2018, “New genetic sleuthing tools helped track down the Golden State Killer suspect.”

    I was in the midst of writing a series on consumer DNA testing when news broke that police had arrested a suspect in the Golden State Killer case. Investigators had...

    04/26/2019 - 12:24 Science & Society
  • Transparency Project

    How we reported a controversial story about the day the dinosaurs died

    This is part of the Transparency Project, which explains how we do science journalism. This article refers to a story published in April 2019, “New fossils may capture the minutes after the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact.”

    How did you find this story?

    This was an unusual story for us because it was based not only on a research paper published in a scientific journal, which is the type...

    04/26/2019 - 12:24 Science & Society