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  • Parker probe illustration
  • fake news detector illustration
  • Southern pig-tail macaques
Your search has returned 149 articles:
  • News

    How the Parker probe was built to survive close encounters with the sun

    NASA has a mantra for preparing spacecraft to launch: “Test as you fly.” The idea is to test the entire spacecraft, fully assembled, in the same environment and configuration that it will see in orbit.

    But the Parker Solar Probe, set to launch August 11, is no ordinary spacecraft (SN Online: 7/5/18). And it’s headed to no ordinary environment. Parker will sweep through the sun’s...

    07/31/2018 - 12:35 Astronomy
  • Feature

    People are bad at spotting fake news. Can computer programs do better?

    Scrolling through a news feed often feels like playing Two Truths and a Lie.

    Some falsehoods are easy to spot. Like reports that First Lady Melania Trump wanted an exorcist to cleanse the White House of Obama-era demons, or that an Ohio school principal was arrested for defecating in front of a student assembly. In other cases, fiction blends a little too well with fact. Was CNN really...

    07/26/2018 - 13:30 Science & Society, Technology
  • How Bizarre

    Malaysia’s pig-tail macaques eat rats, head first

    Behavioral ecologist Anna Holzner recalls first seeing a southern pig-tail macaque munching on a headless rat. These monkeys were known to eat fruits, insects and even dirt, but nobody had reported them eating rats. “It was funny,” says Holzner, “and disgusting.”

    This unexpected act occurred dozens of times from March to August 2016 as Holzner, of the University of Leipzig in Germany,...

    07/13/2018 - 07:00 Animals
  • News

    New studies add evidence to a possible link between Alzheimer’s and herpesvirus

    Joel Dudley and his colleagues were searching through datasets for Alzheimer’s disease vulnerabilities to exploit in creating a treatment when they stumbled across a surprising correlation: Many of the brains they looked at had signs of herpesvirus infection. But those from people with Alzheimer’s disease had much higher levels of viral DNA than those from healthy people.

    In particular,...

    06/22/2018 - 06:00 Health, Neuroscience, Genetics
  • Science Stats

    Leaf-cutter ants pick up the pace when they sense rain

    In Central America’s rain-drenched forests, leaf-cutting ants collect pieces of leaves on which they grow fungi for food. But the rain can hit hard, especially for a small ant. When leaf-cutting ants sense an incoming shower, they hoof it back to their nests, says a study in the May Insectes Sociaux.

    Researchers from Argentina, Mexico and Peru tested how one species of leaf-cutting ants...

    06/15/2018 - 07:00 Animals
  • Feature

    In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics

    On a warm summer evening, a visitor to 1920s Göttingen, Germany, might have heard the hubbub of a party from an apartment on Friedländer Way. A glimpse through the window would reveal a gathering of scholars. The wine would be flowing and the air buzzing with conversations centered on mathematical problems of the day. The eavesdropper might eventually pick up a woman’s laugh cutting through...

    06/12/2018 - 10:00 Physics
  • News

    Bees join an exclusive crew of animals that get the concept of zero

    A little brain can be surprisingly good at nothing. Honeybees are the first invertebrates to pass a test of recognizing where zero goes in numerical order, a new study finds.

    Even small children struggle with recognizing “nothing” as being less than one, says cognitive behavioral scientist Scarlett Howard of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. But honeybees trained...

    06/07/2018 - 16:58 Animals, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    New Horizons wakes up to begin Kuiper Belt exploration

    The spacecraft that raced past Pluto is back and ready to explore a whole new world.

    NASA’s New Horizons probe woke up at 10:55 p.m. EDT on June 4 after a nearly six-month slumber, and news of the event reached Earth several hours later. The craft is now getting ready to fly past a small Kuiper Belt object called Ultima Thule (SN Online: 3/14/18).

    New Horizons went into the last of...

    06/05/2018 - 10:51 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Pregnant bonobos get a little delivery help from their friends

    Like humans, African apes called bonobos may treat birth as a social event with a serious purpose.

    In three recorded instances in captivity, female bonobos stood close by and provided protection and support to a bonobo giving birth to a healthy infant. Female bystanders also gestured as if ready to hold an infant before it was born, or actually held one as it was born, scientists report...

    05/24/2018 - 13:26 Animals, Anthropology, Evolution
  • Feature

    Fighting like an animal doesn’t always mean a duel to the death

    Pick an animal.

    Choose wisely because in this fantasy you’ll transform into the creature and duel against one of your own. If you care about survival, go for the muscular, multispiked stag roaring at a rival. Never, ever pick the wingless male fig wasp. Way too dangerous.

    This advice sounds exactly wrong. But that’s because many stereotypes of animal conflict get the real biology...

    05/03/2018 - 15:05 Animals