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E.g., 09/21/2017
E.g., 09/21/2017
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  • brown bat
  • electric eel zap
  • illustration of brain flexibility
Your search has returned 540 articles:
  • Feature

    Bat brain signals illuminate navigation in the dark

    Ninad Kothari’s workplace looks like something out of a sci-fi film. The graduate student at Johns Hopkins University works in a darkened, red-lit room, where he trains bats to fly through obstacle courses. Shielding within the walls keeps radio and other human-made signals from interfering with transmissions from the tiny electrical signals he’s recording from the bats’ brains as the animals...

    09/20/2017 - 12:30 Animals, Neuroscience
  • News

    A researcher reveals the shocking truth about electric eels

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    Kenneth Catania knows just how much it hurts to be zapped by an electric eel. For the first time, the biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville has measured the strength of a defensive electrical attack on a real-life potential predator — himself.

    Catania placed his arm in a tank with a 40-centimeter-long electric eel (relatively small as eels go) and...

    09/14/2017 - 14:14 Animals, Neuroscience
  • Editor's Note

    Learning is a ubiquitous, mysterious phenomenon

    I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to learning. There’s nothing quite like the thrill that comes with finding out something new.

    It’s no surprise I ended up this way. My parents were public school teachers. They instilled in me the belief that education not only opens up new opportunities but also is enjoyable in itself. My parents regularly took my siblings and me to museums, encouraged us to...

    09/06/2017 - 13:15 Science & Society, Neuroscience
  • Feature

    Learning takes brain acrobatics

    Peer inside the brain of someone learning. You might be lucky enough to spy a synapse pop into existence. That physical bridge between two nerve cells seals new knowledge into the brain. As new information arrives, synapses form and strengthen, while others weaken, making way for new connections.

    You might see more subtle changes, too, like fluctuations in the levels of signaling...

    09/05/2017 - 11:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    How an itch hitches a ride to the brain

    Scientists have traced the sensation of itch to a place you can’t scratch.

    The discomfort of a mosquito bite or an allergic reaction activates itch-sensitive nerve cells in the spinal cord. Those neurons talk to a structure near the base of the brain called the parabrachial nucleus, researchers report in the Aug. 18 Science. It’s a region that’s known to receive information about other...

    08/17/2017 - 14:14 Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers fascinated by critters’ strange biology

    Suck it up

    Tubelip wrasses’ slimy lips help the fish suck up dinner from coral reefs, Helen Thompson reported in “The better to eat you with, my dear” (SN: 7/8/17 & 7/22/17, p. 44).

    “How do wrasses ‘suck’ if they have no lungs?” asked reader John Coventry. 

    Suction-feeding fish let their mouths do all the work, says marine biologist David Bellwood. “In just the same way that we...

    08/09/2017 - 11:31 Animals, Neuroscience, Physics
  • News

    Mice with a mutation linked to autism affect their littermates’ behavior

    The company mice keep can change their behavior. In some ways, genetically normal littermates behave like mice that carry an autism-related mutation, despite not having the mutation themselves, scientists report.  

    The results, published July 31 in eNeuro, suggest that the social environment influences behavior in complex and important ways, says neuroscientist Alice Luo Clayton of the...

    07/31/2017 - 13:00 Neuroscience, Genetics, Mental Health
  • News

    Most football players who donated their brains to science had traumatic injury

    A majority of football players whose brains were donated for research suffered a degenerative brain disease during their lives, according to the largest sample of players ever studied. The finding provides more evidence that the repetitive injuries to the brain sustained while playing American football are associated with the disease, researchers say.

    Of 202 deceased former football...

    07/25/2017 - 16:28 Mental Health, Neuroscience
  • Context

    There’s a long way to go in understanding the brain

    Scientists pour a lot of brainpower into understanding how their experimental equipment works.

    You don’t want to be fooled into thinking you’ve made a great discovery because of some quirk in the apparatus you didn’t know about. Just the other day, a new paper published online suggested that the instruments used to detect gravitational waves exhibited such a quirk, tricking scientists...

    07/25/2017 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Ravens pass tests of planning ahead in unnatural tasks

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    Ravens have passed what may be their toughest tests yet of powers that, at least on a good day, let people and other apes plan ahead.

    Lab-dwelling common ravens (Corvus corax) in Sweden at least matched the performance of nonhuman apes and young children in peculiar tests of advanced planning ability. The birds faced such challenges as selecting a rock useless at the...

    07/13/2017 - 14:20 Animals, Neuroscience, Evolution