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E.g., 01/16/2018
E.g., 01/16/2018
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  • News

    DNA solves the mystery of how these mummies were related

    A pair of ancient Egyptian mummies, known for more than a century as the Two Brothers, were actually half brothers, a new study of their DNA finds.

    These two, high-ranking men shared a mother, but had different fathers, say archaeogeneticist Konstantina Drosou of the University of Manchester in England and her colleagues. That muted family tie came to light thanks to the successful...

    01/16/2018 - 07:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • News

    Tiny scales in ancient lagoon may be the first fossil evidence of the moth-butterfly line

    Newly described little scaly bits could push back the fossil record of the moth-and-butterfly branch on the tree of life by some 70 million years. That raises the question of whether the drinking-straw mouthparts evolved long before the flower nectar many drink today.

    The microscopic ridged scales date from roughly 200 million years ago, around the time of one of Earth’s less famous mass...

    01/15/2018 - 07:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Spaceships could use blinking dead stars to chart their way

    OXON HILL, Md. — Future spacecraft could navigate by the light of dead stars.

    Using only the timing of radiation bursts from pulsating stellar corpses, an experiment on the International Space Station was able to pinpoint its location in space in a first-ever demonstration. The technique operates like a stellar version of GPS, researchers with the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and...

    01/12/2018 - 17:15 Astronomy
  • News

    Trio of dead stars upholds a key part of Einstein’s theory of gravity

    OXON HILL, Md. — Observations of a trio of dead stars have confirmed that a foundation of Einstein’s gravitational theory holds even for ultradense objects with strong gravitational fields.

    The complex orbital dance of the three former stars conforms to a rule known as the strong equivalence principle, researchers reported January 10 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society....

    01/12/2018 - 16:19 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Pollution is endangering the future of astronomy

    OXON HILL, Md. — Even as technological advances allow astronomers to peer more deeply into the cosmos than ever before, new technologies also have the potential to create blinding pollution.

    Three sources of pollution — space debris, radio interference and light pollution — already are particularly worrisome. And the situation is getting worse. In the next two decades, as many as 20,000...

    01/12/2018 - 13:27 Astronomy, Pollution, Technology
  • Science Ticker

    See a 360-degree visualization of the center of the Milky Way

    View the video

    OXON HILL, Md. — Ever wonder what it would be like to sit at the center of the Milky Way and watch the galaxy swirl by? A video debuted in a January 10 news conference at the American Astronomical Society Meeting provides a glimpse.

    The 360-degree-simulation, made with data from several telescopes, including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern...

    01/12/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy
  • Introducing

    18 new species of pelican spiders discovered

    Despite their name, pelican spiders aren’t massive, fish-eating monstrosities. In fact, the shy spiders in the family Archaeidae are as long as a grain of rice and are a threat only to other spiders.

    Discovering a new species of these tiny Madagascar spiders is tough, but Hannah Wood has done just that — 18 times over.

    Wood, an arachnologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of...

    01/11/2018 - 18:15 Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Rising CO2 in lakes could keep water fleas from raising their spiky defenses

    Rising carbon dioxide levels could leave some tiny lake dwellers defenseless. Like the oceans, some lakes are experiencing increasing levels of the greenhouse gas, a new study shows. And too much CO2 in the water may leave water fleas, an important part of many lake food webs, too sleepy to fend off predators.

    Detailed observations of lake chemistry over long periods of time are rare....

    01/11/2018 - 16:29 Climate, Ecology
  • News

    Not all strep infections are alike and it may have nothing to do with you

    One person infected with strep bacteria might get a painful sore throat; another might face a life-threatening blood infection. Now, scientists are trying to pin down why.

    Variation between individuals’ immune systems may not be entirely to blame. Instead, extra genes picked up by some pathogens can cause different strains to have wildly different effects on the immune system, even in...

    01/11/2018 - 14:40 Health, Genetics, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Shallow ice sheets discovered on Mars could aid future astronauts

    Martian ice has a thin skin. The newly discovered exposure of ice on steep banks suggests that the Red Planet’s ice sheets are buried by just a meter or two of soil, researchers report in Science January 12.

    “What’s new and exciting here is that these ice sheets start quite shallowly,” says planetary scientist Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Ariz. That could be...

    01/11/2018 - 14:00 Planetary Science