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E.g., 04/22/2018
E.g., 04/22/2018
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  • Science Ticker

    Cicadas on different schedules can hybridize

    Every few years, a buzz fills the air in the southeastern United States as adolescent cicadas crawl out from the soil to molt and make babies. After a childhood spent sipping tree sap underground, some species emerge every 13 years, others every 17 years, rarely overlapping. Yet somehow in this giant cicada orgy, hybridization happens between species that should be out of sync.

    ...

    04/20/2018 - 17:00 Genetics, Animals
  • Science Visualized

    Closing the gender gap in some science fields may take over 100 years

    If you’re a female computer scientist, you may not see an equal number of men and women working in your field in this century — or even the next one. It might take a whopping 280 years for that scientific discipline to bridge the gender gap, researchers report online April 19 in PLOS Biology.

    The study predicts when the gender gap will close in science, technology, engineering, math and...

    04/20/2018 - 13:19 Science & Society
  • News

    Heat waves are roasting reefs, but some corals may be resilient

    It’s no secret that warming ocean waters have devastated many of the world’s coral reefs. For instance, a 2016 marine heat wave killed 30 percent of coral in the Great Barrier Reef, a study published online April 18 in Nature reports. But some coral species may be able to adapt and survive in warmer waters for another century, or even two, a second team reports April 19 in PLOS Genetics. And...

    04/20/2018 - 11:07 Climate, Evolution, Ecosystems
  • The Name Game

    Celebrity names now mark places on Pluto’s moon Charon

    Pluto’s largest moon, long seen as mysterious smudge at the outer reaches of our solar system, was revealed in 2015 closeup images to be pocked with craters, mountains and steep-sided depressions called chasmas. Now, 12 of those topographical features have names.

    Charon’s six most prominent craters were named for fictional explorers, including Dorothy who visited the fantastical land of...

    04/20/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Larger spleens may help ‘sea nomads’ stay underwater longer

    In turquoise waters off the Indonesian coast, evolutionary geneticist Melissa Ilardo watched as the diver, wearing handmade, wooden goggles, spotted a giant clam meters below and darted down to retrieve it.

    The diver was one of the Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known for holding their breath for long periods while spearing fish and gathering other seafood. During a typical day, these “...

    04/19/2018 - 15:04 Physiology, Genetics
  • News

    Rising CO2 levels might not be as good for plants as we thought

    Two major groups of plants have shown a surprising reversal of fortunes in the face of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    During a 20-year field experiment in Minnesota, a widespread group of plants that initially grew faster when fed more CO2  stopped doing so after 12 years, researchers report in the April 20 Science. Meanwhile, the extra CO2 began to stimulate the...

    04/19/2018 - 14:00 Climate, Plants, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Male fruit flies enjoy ejaculation

    Moody red lighting in a lab is helping researchers figure out what fruit flies like best about sex.

    The question has arisen as scientists try to tease out the neurobiological steps in how the brain’s natural reward system can get hijacked in alcoholism, says neuroscientist Galit Shohat-Ophir of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.

    Male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)...

    04/19/2018 - 12:00 Animals, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    A hole in an ancient cow’s skull could have been surgery practice

    Ancient surgeons may have practiced dangerous skull-opening procedures on cows before operating on people.

    A previously excavated cow skull from a roughly 5,400- to 5,000-year-old settlement in France contains a surgically created hole on the right side, a new study finds. No signs of bone healing, which start several days after an injury, appear around the opening. One or more people...

    04/19/2018 - 09:00 Anthropology
  • Science Ticker

    This plastic-gobbling enzyme just got an upgrade

    Just a few tweaks to a bacterial enzyme make it a lean, mean plastic-destroying machine.

    One type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is widely used in polyester clothing and disposable bottles and is notoriously persistent in landfills. In 2016, Japanese scientists identified a new species of bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis, which has a specialized enzyme that can naturally...

    04/19/2018 - 07:00 Microbes, Pollution
  • Science Ticker

    NASA’s TESS spacecraft launches to begin its exoplanet search

    After a two-day delay, the planet-hunting TESS telescope successfully launched into a clear blue sky at Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 6:51 p.m. EDT on April 18.

    TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is headed to an orbit between the Earth and the moon, a journey that will take about two months. In its first two years, the telescope will seek planets orbiting 200,000 nearby, bright...

    04/18/2018 - 19:36 Exoplanets