Pondering a tablet screen displaying a town scene, a pre-K student tilts her head to the side and taps her lip thoughtfully.
“What are we trying to find?” asks the plush, red and blue robot called Tega that’s perched on the desk beside the girl. The bot resembles a teddy bear–sized Furby.
“We are trying to find lavender-colored stuff,” the girl explains. Lavender is a new...
Grandmothers are great — generally speaking. But evolutionarily speaking, it’s puzzling why women past their reproductive years live so long.
Grandma’s age and how close she lives to her grandchildren can affect those children’s survival, suggest two new studies published February 7 in Current Biology. One found that, among Finnish families in the 1700s–1800s, the survival rate of young...
A year when vandals trashed a Joshua tree in a national park during a U.S. government shutdown is a good time to talk about what’s so unusual about these iconic plants.
The trees’ chubby branches ending in rosettes of pointy green leaves add a touch of Dr. Seuss to the Mojave Desert in the U.S. Southwest. Its two species belong to the same family as agave and, believe it or not,...
A popular at-home DNA testing company has announced that it is allowing police to search its database of genetic data just as customers do when looking for family members. But there’s one big difference: Police are trying to track down rape and murder suspects using relatives’ DNA.
Since Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested as the suspected Golden State Killer last April, police have...
Climate change, extreme weather events and debates over climate mitigation strategies dominated the news for much of the last year. Yet climate scientists continually wrestle with how best to talk about these issues: Should discussions of climate change appeal directly to people’s emotions, whether fear or anger or even hope? Or are data-driven discussions the way to go?...
News in Brief
The U.S. agency in charge of funding everything from hurricane research to exploring Mars is back to business now that the longest government shutdown in history has ended. But it isn’t quite business as usual.
The National Science Foundation’s first priority is to ensure scientists already approved for funding receive their promised grants, starting with $220 million in requests...
HONOLULU — Good news for aspiring satirists: Scientific analysis of real and joke headlines has uncovered a hack for writing witty one-liners.
To identify the secret ingredients of satire, researchers compared farcical headlines with nearly identical, but unfunny headlines. The investigation, presented January 31 at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, revealed a strategy for...
Long an underfunded, fringe field of science, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence may be ready to go mainstream.
Astronomer Jason Wright is determined to see that happen. At a meeting in Seattle of the American Astronomical Society in January, Wright convened “a little ragtag group in a tiny room” to plot a course for putting the scientific field, known as SETI, on NASA’s agenda...
We started 2019 at Science News with a bang, providing live coverage of discoveries more than 6.5 billion kilometers from Earth.01/27/2019 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Science & Society
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been heading for the outer reaches of our solar system since it launched in 2006. After surveying Jupiter and Pluto, its next task was to investigate the mysterious space rock 2014 MU69, dubbed Ultima Thule, orbiting in...
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Good to GoChristie AschwandenW.W. Norton & Co., $27.95
A tough workout, a long hike or a day reorganizing the garage can leave a body tired, sore and injured. Some kind of recovery is clearly in order. But relaxing on the couch with Netflix and some chips is so passé.
Instead, a sore athlete might stand naked in a chamber of air chilled to well below –100° Celsius (SN...