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E.g., 12/18/2017
E.g., 12/18/2017
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  • News

    A new kind of spiral wave embraces disorder

    View the video

    A type of spiraling wave has been busted for disorderly conduct.

    Spiral waves are waves that ripple outward in a swirl. Now scientists from Germany and the United States have created a new type of spiral wave in the lab. The unusual whorl has a jumbled, disordered center rather than an orderly swirl, making it the first “spiral wave chimera,” the researchers report...

    12/18/2017 - 16:49 Physics
  • News

    Our first interstellar visitor may be a camouflaged comet

    An itinerant interstellar asteroid may actually be a comet in disguise.

    Known as ‘Oumuamua, the object was detected in October and is the first visitor from another star spotted touring our solar system (SN: 11/ 25/17, p. 14). Early observations suggested the vagabond was rocky. But after additional analysis, a team of researchers suggests December 18 in Nature Astronomy that the object...

    12/18/2017 - 11:00 Astronomy
  • Reviews & Previews

    Here are our favorite science books of 2017

    Have you fallen behind on your reading this year? Or maybe you’ve plowed through your must-reads and are ready for more. Science News has got you covered. Here are the staff’s picks for some of the best science books of 2017. Find detailed reviews from previous issues in the links below or in our Editors pick: Favorite books of 2017.

    Against the GrainJames C. Scott

    Armed with the...

    12/17/2017 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • The Science Life

    In marine mammals’ battle of the sexes, vaginal folds can make the difference

    The battle of the sexes, at least among certain ocean mammals, may come down to well-placed skin folds, suggests research by Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and colleagues.

    In some species, enhanced male-female genital fit has evolved over time in ways that make mating easier. This is an example of what scientists call...

    12/15/2017 - 12:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Scicurious

    Even brain images can be biased

    An astonishing number of things that scientists know about brains and behavior are based on small groups of highly educated, mostly white people between the ages of 18 and 21. In other words, those conclusions are based on college students.

    College students make a convenient study population when you’re a researcher at a university. It makes for a biased sample, but one that’s still...

    12/15/2017 - 07:00 Neuroscience, Human Development
  • News

    AI has found an 8-planet system like ours in Kepler data

    Our solar system is no longer the sole record-holder for most known planets circling a star.

    An artificial intelligence algorithm sifted through data from the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope and discovered a previously overlooked planet orbiting Kepler 90 — making it the first star besides the sun known to host eight planets. This finding, announced in a NASA teleconference...

    12/14/2017 - 20:10 Exoplanets, Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, Technology
  • News

    These weather events turned extreme thanks to human-driven climate change

    NEW ORLEANS — For the first time, scientists have definitively linked human-caused climate change to extreme weather events.

    A handful of extreme events that occurred in 2016 — including a deadly heat wave that swept across Asia — simply could not have happened due to natural climate variability alone, three new studies find. The studies were part of a special issue of the Bulletin of...

    12/14/2017 - 16:53 Climate, Earth
  • News

    Saturn’s rings are surprisingly young and may be from shredded moons

    NEW ORLEANS — Saturn’s iconic rings are a recent addition. Final data from the Cassini spacecraft, which flew between the planet and the rings this year before plunging into the gas giant’s atmosphere, show the rings are around a few hundred million years old and less massive than previously thought.

    Those findings suggest the rings are probably the remnants of at least one moon, rather...

    12/14/2017 - 15:30 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    U.S. religion is increasingly polarized

    There’s both inspiring and troubling news for holiday worshippers.

    Unlike other historically Christian Western nations, the United States is not losing its religion, say sociologists Landon Schnabel of Indiana University Bloomington and Sean Bock of Harvard University. But America is becoming as polarized religiously as it is politically, the researchers report online November 27 in...

    12/14/2017 - 11:51 Science & Society
  • News

    In a tally of nerve cells in the outer wrinkles of the brain, a dog wins

    If more nerve cells mean more smarts, then dogs beat cats, paws down, a new study on carnivores shows. That harsh reality may shock some friends of felines, but scientists say the real surprises are inside the brains of less popular carnivores. Raccoon brains are packed with nerve cells, for instance, while brown bear brains are sorely lacking.

    By comparing the numbers of nerve cells, or...

    12/14/2017 - 09:00 Neuroscience, Animals