In some of the world’s least-developed countries, spacing births two years apart, instead of one, can nearly halve infant mortality rates, a study finds. But in more developed nations, increasing the interval between successive childbirths makes little difference to infant deaths, researchers report July 3 in Demography.
“At low levels of development, birth spacing is really important...
To cover humankind’s first steps on the moon, Science News needed a backup plan.
“We didn’t know what kind of pictures we’d get, when we would get them, who we would get them from,” says Kendrick Frazier, who joined Science News as a writer just two months before Apollo 11 touched down on lunar soil. So the staff took pictures of their home television screens during the July 20, 1969...
Look up at the moon and you’ll see roughly the same patterns of light and shadow that Plato saw about 2,500 years ago. But humankind’s understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor has changed considerably since then, and so have the ways that scientists and others have visualized the moon.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, here are a collection of images that...
Reviews & Previews
SlimeRuth KassingerHoughton Mifflin Harcourt, $26
A slew of popular-science books have set out to convince readers that some overlooked, obscure or generally disdained category of thing is actually wildly important, whether it’s salt, garbage or beavers (SN: 8/4/18, p. 28). Slime, all about algae, is one of those books.
If you’re skeptical that algae can sustain such an...
If you’re prone to losing your wallet, keep it filled with cash.
That’s a tip from researchers who “lost” over 17,000 wallets in 40 countries. In all but two countries, the likelihood of a stranger returning a wallet increased if there was money inside. And the more money in the wallet, the higher the rate of return, the researchers report June 20 in Science.
“We were expecting a...
Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy had no problem finding out what ailed his patients. He simply waved a handheld scanner over them, and the tricorder spat out a diagnosis — even if the patient was a Romulan.
Earthbound diagnostics haven’t yet measured up to the extragalactic version, alas. Go to the doctor, and it’s likely to take a variety of tests to come up with a diagnosis. And even then,...
After police used DNA sleuthing techniques to arrest a teenage suspect in Utah accused of assault, a public genealogy website shut off most police access in May, following public outcry. That move by GEDMatch to protect the privacy of its users could backfire, some experts warn, creating more privacy issues, not fewer.
Forensic genetic genealogy — the use of genetic databases by police...
News in Brief
Compared with other global agricultural powerhouses, the United States has lax restrictions on potentially harmful pesticides, a study suggests.
An analysis of agricultural pesticide regulations reveals that the United States widely uses several chemicals that are banned or being phased out in the European Union, Brazil and China — three of the world’s other leading pesticide users....
After five years, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is finally reopening its dinosaur hall on June 8. Visitors may come for fan favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Stegosaurus — and these fossils are gorgeously presented. But the new, permanent exhibition, the “David H. Koch Hall of Fossils — Deep Time,” has a much grander story to tell about the history...
This is the oldest surviving video of a total solar eclipse.
The grainy marvel was taken nearly 120 years ago on May 28, 1900, by a British magician-turned-filmmaker named Nevil Maskelyne, according to a report on May 30 from the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Film Institute in London. The original film fragment, captured on a British Astronomical Association expedition to...