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Your search has returned 679 articles:
  • Feature

    DNA testing can bring families together, but gives mixed answers on ethnicity

    Michael Douglas, a new resident of southern Maryland, credits genetic testing for helping him find his heritage — and a family he knew very little about.

    Douglas, 43, is adopted. He knew his birth mother’s name and had seen a birth certificate stating his birth name: Thomas Michael McCarthy. Over the years, Douglas had tried off and on to find his birth family, mostly by looking for his...

    06/13/2018 - 14:36 Genetics, Ancestry, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    So what do you know about Emmy Noether?

    Emmy Noether may be the most influential mathematician you’ve never heard of.

    In 1918, she solved a puzzle in Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. To do that, she created a mathematical theorem that changed forever how scientists study the universe, one that remains a guiding star for theoretical physics.

    Not only was she a scientific pioneer, Noether was by all...

    06/12/2018 - 07:15 History of Science, Science & Society, Physics
  • News

    Why using genetic genealogy to solve crimes could pose problems

    Police are using a new type of DNA sleuthing, called genetic genealogy. Already the technique has caught murder and rape suspects in California and Washington. While solving the cases has given cause for celebration, the tactics used in catching the alleged culprits have many privacy and civil rights experts worried.

    Closing the Golden State Killer case (SN Online: 4/29/18) and the...

    06/07/2018 - 14:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    Privacy and consumer genetic testing don’t always mix

    For a few hundred dollars and a spit sample, you too could take a journey of genetic self-discovery. You may learn some things, but what are you giving away?

    Today, hundreds of companies offer to analyze your DNA, or parts of it, to let you in on everything from your health risks and ancestry to more dubious traits like intelligence or athletic ability (SN: 5/26/18, p. 20). The direct-to...

    06/05/2018 - 07:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real

    An account of another alleged “sonic attack” has surfaced, this time from a U.S. government employee in China. The employee reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” according to a U.S. Embassy health alert. The episode mirrors reports from American diplomats in Cuba in late 2016, and fuels the debate among scientists about what, if anything, is actually...

    06/01/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience, Physics, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    The power of great editors, their lessons and legacy

    Wouldn’t it be grand to have a test that could predict our risk of dreaded diseases like cancer? Signs of such a future exist, but it’s not here yet, as senior writer Tina Hesman Saey explains in the second of our three-part series on direct-to-consumer genetic testing. The tests available today fall short in delivering what we would actually want to know. The raw data are gibberish...
    05/30/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society, Genetics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers respond to pesticides, Hawking radiation and more

    Pesky pesticides

    Researchers are tracking tiny insects to learn how animals move around the planet, Alexandra Witze reported in “Flying insects tell tales of long-distance migrations” (SN: 4/14/18, p. 22).

    “There are several uncritical references to using pesticides to combat insect pests” in the story, reader Christina Gullion wrote.

    Gullion noted that pesticides can be...

    05/30/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society, Physics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Hurricane Maria killed at least 4,645 people in Puerto Rico, a study estimates

    Hurricane Maria and its chaotic aftermath in Puerto Rico led to at least 4,645 deaths, according to a new estimate based on household surveys. That’s thousands more than the 64 official storm-related deaths counted from death certificates.

    The Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Caribbean territory on September 20, 2017, bringing down trees, houses and the electricity system. From then until...

    05/29/2018 - 17:04 Health, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    The history of heredity makes for a fascinating, and chilling, read

    She Has Her Mother’s LaughCarl ZimmerDutton, $30

    The Elephant Man, novelist Pearl S. Buck and Phoebus, god of the sun, all find their way into science writer Carl Zimmer’s latest book. In She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, Zimmer uses famous moments in history — and Greek mythology — to explain genetics and how researchers have come to understand heredity and try to manipulate it.

    ...

    05/29/2018 - 09:00 Genetics, History of Science, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Fleets of self-driving taxis could be choreographed to cut traffic

    Self-driving taxis that use an algorithm to work together like a well-oiled machine could someday cut down on city traffic.

    Researchers have created a computer program that can continually analyze incoming ride-hailing requests sent from a smartphone app and plot the most efficient course for each car in a self-driving fleet to take (SN Online: 11/21/17). Unlike standard taxis, which...

    05/23/2018 - 13:00 Technology, Science & Society