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  • Editor's Note

    Building a bright future for science journalism

    As a longtime reader of Science News, I’m delighted to join the staff of this remarkable publication, which has been explaining the complexities of science, medicine and technology for more than 90 years. Science News hasn’t been standing still; people can find our breaking news and in-depth coverage in the flagship magazine as well as on the Science News website, which drew more than...
    02/22/2018 - 10:46 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers weigh in on human gene editing and more

    Mission: Mars

    The possibility that human visitors could carry Earth-based microbes to the Red Planet has roiled the Mars research community, Lisa Grossman reported in “How to keep humans from ruining the search for life on Mars” (SN: 1/20/18, p. 22).

    Reader Bruce Merchant speculated that Mars would need a protective global magnetic field to sustain a life-friendly environment. But...

    02/22/2018 - 10:39 Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Science & Society
  • March 3, 2018

    02/22/2018 - 10:35
  • 50 years ago, early organ transplants brought triumph and tragedy

    Kidneys lead the field

    While the drama of human heart transplants has grasped the public interest, kidney transplants are ahead in the field…. Although only three little girls are now surviving liver transplants, the liver is a promising field for replacement…. The donor, of course, must be dead; no one can live without his liver. — Science News, March 2, 1968

    Update

    Kidney...

    02/22/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • Feature

    New fossils are redefining what makes a dinosaur

    “There’s a very faint dimple here,” Sterling Nesbitt says, holding up a palm-sized fossil to the light. The fossil, a pelvic bone, belonged to a creature called Teleocrater rhadinus. The slender, 2-meter-long reptile ran on all fours and lived 245 million years ago, about 10 million to 15 million years before scientists think dinosaurs first appeared.

    Nesbitt, a paleontologist at...

    02/21/2018 - 16:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    An amateur astronomer caught a supernova explosion on camera

    An amateur astronomer caught a supernova on camera during the explosion’s earliest moments, giving physicists a glimpse of a long-sought phase of stellar death.

    Víctor Buso spotted the supernova from his rooftop observatory in Rosario, Argentina, on September 20, 2016, when he aimed his telescope straight overhead at spiral galaxy NGC 613 to test a new camera. To avoid letting in too...

    02/21/2018 - 13:00 Astronomy
  • Growth Curve

    A new study eases fears of a link between autism and prenatal ultrasounds

    Ultrasounds during pregnancy can be lots of fun, offering peeks at the baby-to-be. But ultrasounds aren’t just a way to get Facebook fodder. They are medical procedures that involve sound waves, technology that could, in theory, affect a growing fetus.

    With that concern in mind, some researchers have wondered if the rising rates of autism diagnoses could have anything to do with the...

    02/21/2018 - 07:00 Pregnancy, Health
  • News in Brief

    A fake organ mimics what happens in the blink of an eye

    AUSTIN, Texas — A new artificial organ gives a new meaning to the phrase “making eyes.”

    For the first time, researchers used human cells to build a model of the surface of the eye that’s equipped with a fake eyelid that mimics blinking. This synthetic eye could be used to study and test treatments for eye diseases, researchers reported February 16 in a news conference at the annual...

    02/20/2018 - 17:15 Biophysics, Technology, Cells
  • Feature

    How to build a human brain

    In a white lab coat and blue latex gloves, Neda Vishlaghi peers through a light microscope at six milky-white blobs. Each is about the size of a couscous grain, bathed in the pale orange broth of a petri dish. With tweezers in one hand and surgical scissors in the other, she deftly snips one tiny clump in half.

    When growing human brains, sometimes you need to do some pruning.

    The...

    02/20/2018 - 15:30 Human Development
  • Science & the Public

    Are computers better than people at predicting who will commit another crime?

    In courtrooms around the United States, computer programs give testimony that helps decide who gets locked up and who walks free.

    These algorithms are criminal recidivism predictors, which use personal information about defendants — like family and employment history — to assess that person’s likelihood of committing future crimes. Judges factor those risk ratings into verdicts on...

    02/20/2018 - 09:00 Computing, Science & Society