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  • News

    Scared of heights? This new VR therapy could help

    Future therapy patients may spend a lot more time exploring virtual environments than sitting on sofas.

    In a clinical trial of a new virtual reality treatment for fear of heights, participants reported being much less afraid after using the program for just two weeks. Unlike other VR therapies, which required that a real-life therapist guide patients through treatment, the new system...

    07/13/2018 - 10:33 Clinical Trials, Mental Health, 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
  • 50 years ago, neutrinos ghosted scientists

    Tracking the neutrino

    The definite detection of nonterrestrial neutrinos, whether from the sun or from beyond the solar system, will yield a far deeper understanding of stellar interiors and, therefore, of how today’s universe came to be. — Science News, July 20, 1968.

    Update

    In May 1968, researchers reported that a particle detector in South Dakota spotted ghostly subatomic...

    07/12/2018 - 16:47 Particle Physics, Astronomy, Technology
  • News

    The right mix of gut microbes relieves autism symptoms in the long run

    MADISON, Wis. — Giving children with autism a healthier mix of gut bacteria as a way to improve behavioral symptoms continued to work even two years after treatment ended.

    The finding may solidify the connection between tummy troubles and autism, and provide more evidence that the gut microbiome — the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestines — can influence...

    07/12/2018 - 13:00 Microbiology, Neuroscience
  • News

    Ötzi loaded up on fatty food before he died

    Ötzi didn’t die hungry.

    Around 5,300 years ago, the Iceman dined on wild meat and grains before meeting his end in the Italian Alps. His last meal was high in fat and optimal for a high-altitude trek, researchers report July 12 in Current Biology.

    Since his mummified remains were discovered in 1991, Ötzi’s life has undergone more scrutiny than many reality TV stars. His cause of...

    07/12/2018 - 12:02 Archaeology, Genetics
  • News

    A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace

    A zippy little particle has been traced back to its cosmic stomping grounds, a flaring galaxy 4 billion light-years away, for the first time solving a cosmic whodunit.

    Scientists have long puzzled over the sources of high-energy particles from space, which batter the Earth at energies that can outstrip the world’s most advanced particle accelerators. Now, physicists have identified the...

    07/12/2018 - 11:00 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    The ecosystem that controls a galaxy’s future is coming into focus

    There’s more to a galaxy than meets the eye. Galaxies’ bright stars seem to spiral serenely against the dark backdrop of space. But a more careful look reveals a whole lot of mayhem.

    “Galaxies are just like you and me,” Jessica Werk, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in January at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. “They live their lives in a...

    07/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News in Brief

    Texas toolmakers add to the debate over who the first Americans were

    People inhabited what’s now central Texas several thousand years before hunters from North America’s ancient Clovis culture showed up, researchers say.

    Excavations at the Gault site, about 64 kilometers north of Austin, produced a range of stone artifacts that date to between around 16,700 and 21,700 years ago, reports a team led by archaeologist Thomas Williams of Texas State University...

    07/11/2018 - 14:10 Archaeology
  • News

    Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin

    Using gene editing, scientists have hoodwinked tumor cells into turning against their own kind.

    Cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream have something of a homing instinct, able to find and return to the tumor where they originated. To capitalize on that ability, researchers engineered these roving tumor cells to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells...

    07/11/2018 - 14:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • News

    Stone tools put early hominids in China 2.1 million years ago

    Members of the human genus, Homo, left Africa far earlier than thought, reaching what’s now central China by around 2.12 million years ago, a new study finds.

    Some stone tools unearthed at China’s Shangchen site date to roughly 250,000 years before what was previously the oldest Eurasian evidence of Homo, say geologist Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou and his...

    07/11/2018 - 13:33 Archaeology, Human Evolution