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E.g., 06/22/2018
E.g., 06/22/2018
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  • News

    Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees C helps most species hold their ground

    Limiting global warming this century to just 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures would be a boon to the planet’s biodiversity. This lower warming threshold, compared with warming of 2 degrees C, will preserve much larger swaths of the geographic ranges of tens of thousands of land-based species of plants, vertebrates and insects living on the planet, a new study suggests.

    ...
    05/17/2018 - 14:21 Earth, Climate, Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Ancient Chinese farmers sowed literal seeds of change in Southeast Asia

    People who moved out of southern China cultivated big changes across ancient Southeast Asia, a new analysis of ancient human DNA finds.

    Chinese rice and millet farmers spread south into a region stretching from Vietnam to Myanmar. There, they mated with local hunter-gatherers in two main pulses, first around 4,000 years ago, and again two millennia later, says a team led by Harvard...

    05/17/2018 - 14:14 Anthropology, Genetics, Archaeology
  • News

    Your blood type might make you more likely to get traveler’s diarrhea

    E. coli has a type and it isn’t pretty. The bacterium is more likely to cause severe diarrhea in people with type A blood.

    An illness-causing strain of E. coli secretes a protein that gloms onto the sugar molecules that decorate type A blood cells, but not type B or O cells. These sugar molecules also decorate cells lining the intestines of people with type A blood and appear to provide...

    05/17/2018 - 12:00 Microbiology, Health, Cells
  • News

    Nanoparticles could help rescue malnourished crops

    Synthetic nanoparticles used to fight cancer could also heal sickly plants.

    The particles, called liposomes, are nanosized, spherical pouches that can deliver drugs to specific parts of the body (SN: 12/16/06, p. 398). Now, researchers have filled these tiny care packages with fertilizing nutrients. The new liposomes, described online May 17 in Scientific Reports, soak into plant leaves...

    05/17/2018 - 09:00 Agriculture, Technology
  • 50 years ago, scientists warned of a sparrow’s extinction

    The dwindling dusky

    In the marshes around America’s spaceport, Kennedy Space Center, live the last few specimens of a bird that may be closer to extinction than even the much-mourned whooping crane. While the whooper might make a gradual comeback if protected and left alone, the dusky seaside sparrow is as good as dead unless man steps in to lend an active hand. — Science News, May...

    05/17/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Science & the Public

    No, Kilauea won’t cause mass destruction

    Kilauea isn’t about to become another Krakatoa. So let’s just stop that rumor right there.

    Twitter was awash last weekend in indignant volcanologists responding to a now-corrected Associated Press story that appeared to link the Hawaii volcano to the so-called Ring of Fire, and suggest its eruption could spark others in the ring. That’s just wrong, for a number of reasons.

    The Ring...

    05/16/2018 - 17:02 Earth
  • News

    Green blood in lizards probably evolved four times

    Green blood is weird enough. But now the first genealogical tree tracing green blood in New Guinea’s Prasinohaema lizards is suggesting something even odder.

    These skinks have been lumped into one genus just because of blood color, says biologist Christopher Austin of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Yet they don’t all turn out to be close relatives. Green blood looks as if it...

    05/16/2018 - 14:10 Animals, Evolution, Physiology
  • News

    The inside of a proton endures more pressure than anything else we’ve seen

    Pity the protons: Those little particles are under a lot of pressure. Protons’ innards are squeezed harder than any other substance we have measured, a new study finds.

    “It’s really the highest pressure we have ever seen,” says physicist Volker Burkert, a coauthor of the study, published in the May 17 Nature. Protons break the pressure record set by neutron stars, the incredibly dense...

    05/16/2018 - 13:18 Particle Physics
  • News in Brief

    These stars may have been born only 250 million years after the Big Bang

    A measly 250 million years after the Big Bang, in a galaxy far, far away, what may be some of the first stars in the universe began to twinkle. If today’s 13.8-billion-year-old universe is in middle age, it would have been just starting to crawl when these stars were born.

    Researchers used instruments at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observatory in Chile to observe...

    05/16/2018 - 13:00 Cosmology, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Meet the speedsters of the plant world

    Somewhere in the wetlands of South Carolina, a buzzing fly alights on a rosy-pink surface. As the fly explores the strange scenery, it unknowingly brushes a small hair sticking up like a slender sword. Strolling along, the fly accidentally grazes another hair. Suddenly, the pink surface closes in from both sides, snapping shut like a pair of ravenous jaws. The blur of movement lasts only a...

    05/16/2018 - 12:11 Plants, Biophysics, Physics