Year in Review
There have been hints for years that playing football might come at a cost. But a study this year dealt one of the hardest hits yet to the sport, detailing the extensive damage in football players’ brains, and not just those who played professionally.
In a large collection of former NFL players’ postmortem brains, nearly every sample showed signs of chronic traumatic...
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if every scientist had a crystal ball? It’s a question that came to me while reading Alexandra Witze’s story “What the Pliocene epoch can teach us about future warming on Earth.” Witze discusses how scientists are studying a warming period some 3 million years ago to try to understand how Earth will handle rising temperatures. The geologic epoch, known as the...11/29/2017 - 15:45 Science & Society, Climate
Letters to the Editor
Culture club11/29/2017 - 15:36 Evolution, Science & Society
The book Rise of the Necrofauna tackles the challenges of using gene-editing tools to bring woolly mammoths and other long-gone species back from the dead. These “de-extincted” creatures would have to contend with a radically changed world that includes new habitats and diseases, Tina Hesman Saey wrote in her review “Resurrecting extinct species raises ethical questions” (SN:...
Science & the Public
A doctor explains to a young couple that he has screened the pair’s in vitro fertilized embryos and selected those that had no major inheritable diseases. The couple had specified they want a son with hazel eyes, dark hair and fair skin. Then the doctor announces that he has also taken the liberty of eliminating the “burden” of genetic propensities for baldness, nearsightedness, alcoholism,...
Once billed as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” actress Hedy Lamarr is often remembered for Golden Age Hollywood hits like Samson and Delilah. But Lamarr was gifted with more than just a face for film; she had a mind for science.
A new documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, spotlights Lamarr’s lesser-known legacy as an inventor. The film explores how the pretty veneer...
Science & the Public
Self-driving vehicles passed a major milestone in November when Waymo’s minivans hit the streets of Phoenix without backup human drivers — reportedly making them the first fleet of fully autonomous cars on public roadways. Over the next few months, people will get a chance to take these streetwise vehicles for a free spin as the company tries to drum up excitement — and a customer base — for...
At the end of my previous Editor’s Note (SN: 11/11/17, p. 2), I wrote about one of the great discoveries of the 1920s. By studying distant nebulae, Edwin Hubble found that our galaxy is not alone in the universe. Instead, it is one of an amazing multitude of “island universes.” When I wrote those words, I had no idea that just a couple of weeks later, I would get to visit the...11/15/2017 - 13:18 Science & Society, History of Science, Astronomy
Letters to the Editor
Wanting more11/15/2017 - 13:17 Science & Society, Robotics, Psychology
For the third year in a row, Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career innovators who are transforming their fields in “The SN 10: Scientists to watch” (SN: 10/14/17, p. 16).
The profiles left some readers inspired, intrigued and wanting to know more about these scientists’ research.
“Really enjoying these portraits, thanks, SN!” online reader Maia commented...
Immanuel Kant was famous for writing critiques.
He earned his status as the premier philosopher of modern times with such works as Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason and Critique of Judgment. It might have been helpful for medical science if he had also written a critique of evidence.
Scientific research supposedly provides reliable evidence for physicians to...
In a big step toward catching up with the rest of the world, the United States cleared the way for using mosquitoes as a commercial pest control for the first time.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved using a strain of male Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) as a biopesticide in the District of Columbia and 20 states, including California and New York. Kentucky-...