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E.g., 12/12/2017
E.g., 12/12/2017
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  • Introducing

    This new dinosaur species was one odd duck

    It may have walked like a duck and swum like a penguin, but a flipper-limbed creature discovered in what is now Mongolia was no bird. The strange new species is the first known nonavian dinosaur that could both run and swim, researchers say.

    To compensate for a long swanlike neck, probably used for dipping underwater for fish, this dino’s center of mass shifted toward its hips, allowing...

    12/06/2017 - 13:29 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    The most distant quasar ever spotted hails from the universe’s infancy

    The most distant quasar yet spotted sends its light from the universe’s toddler years. The quasar, called J1342+0928, existed when the universe was only 690 million years old, right when the first stars and galaxies were forming.

    Quasars are bright disks of gas and dust swirling around supermassive black holes. The black hole that powers J1342+0928 has a mass equivalent to 800 million...

    12/06/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    Cholera pandemics are fueled by globe-trotting bacterial strains

    Cholera strains behind worldwide outbreaks of the deadly disease over the last five decades are jet-setters rather than homebodies.

    It had been proposed that these cholera epidemics were homegrown, driven by local strains of Vibrio cholerae living in aquatic ecosystems. But DNA fingerprints of the V. cholerae strains behind recent large outbreaks in Africa and Latin America were more...

    11/13/2017 - 07:00 Health
  • Growth Curve

    Staring into a baby’s eyes puts her brain waves and yours in sync

    When you lock eyes with a baby, it’s hard to look away. For one thing, babies are fun to look at. They’re so tiny and cute and interesting. For another, babies love to stare back. I remember my babies staring at me so hard, with their eyebrows raised and unblinking eyes wide open. They would have killed in a staring contest.

    This mutual adoration of staring may be for a good reason. When...

    12/05/2017 - 15:30 Child Development, Parenting
  • Science Visualized

    How freezing a soap bubble turns it into a ‘snow globe’

    View the video

    Frigid air can transform an ordinary soap bubble into a glittery “snow globe.” No shaking required.

    When a bubble is placed in a freezer set to –20° Celsius, delicate ice crystals swirl gracefully across the soapy film, gradually growing larger until the bubble freezes solid. The phenomenon can also be observed when blowing soap bubbles outside in wintry weather....

    12/05/2017 - 15:00 Physics, Materials
  • News

    New setup for image recognition AI lets a program think on its feet

    Artificial intelligence is getting some better perspective. Like a person who can read someone else’s penmanship without studying lots of handwriting samples, next-gen image recognition AI can more easily identify familiar sights in new situations.

    Made from a new type of virtual building block called capsules, these programs may cut down the enormous amount of data needed to train...

    12/04/2017 - 08:00 Computing, Technology
  • News

    In a first, Galileo’s gravity experiment is re-created in space

    Galileo’s most famous experiment has taken a trip to outer space. The result? Einstein was right yet again. The experiment confirms a tenet of Einstein’s theory of gravity with greater precision than ever before.

    According to science lore, Galileo dropped two balls from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to show that they fell at the same rate no matter their composition. Although it seems...

    12/04/2017 - 06:00 Physics
  • News

    New 3-D printed materials harness the power of bacteria

    A new type of 3-D printing ink has a special ingredient: live bacteria.

    Materials made with this “living ink” could help clean up environmental pollution, harvest energy via photosynthesis or help make medical supplies, researchers report online December 1 in Science Advances.

    This study “shows for the first time that 3-D printed bacteria can make useful materials,” says Anne Meyer...

    12/01/2017 - 14:22 Materials, Microbes, Technology
  • News

    We still don’t know where the first interstellar asteroid came from

    ISO: A home for a stray space rock. Astronomers are tracking the motions of stars to figure out which one sent an alien asteroid speeding past Earth in October — but they may never find the rock’s true origins.

    Officially named ‘Oumuamua, the asteroid was spotted by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii on October 18 (SN: 11/25/17, p. 14). Its inbound speed of about 25.5 kilometers per...

    12/01/2017 - 11:38 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Collision illuminates the mysterious makeup of neutron stars

    On astrophysicists’ charts of star stuff, there’s a substance that still merits the label “here be dragons.” That poorly understood material is found inside neutron stars — the collapsed remnants of once-mighty stars — and is now being mapped out, as scientists better characterize the weird matter.

    The detection of two colliding neutron stars, announced in October (SN: 11/11/17, p. 6),...

    12/01/2017 - 07:00 Physics, Astronomy