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  • 50 years ago, lambs survived but didn’t thrive inside artificial wombs

    Watching the unborn —

    An artificial womb has been used to keep some 35 fetal lambs alive for up to 55 hours … researchers [still] have to show that a fetus can actually grow, not just survive, in their man-made womb…. Eventually, it might be possible to place extremely premature infants into such a womb … to support them until they can survive on their own. — Science News, July 5,...

    07/18/2019 - 07:00 Biomedicine, Technology
  • News in Brief

    A deadly fungus gives ‘zombie’ ants a case of lockjaw

    Fungus-infected “zombie” ants are known to scale a plant, sink their jaws into a leaf or twig and wait to die while the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungi feast on the insects’ bodies. Eventually, a fungal stalk shoots out of the ant’s head and releases spores that rain down and infect more ants below.

    The carpenter ants’ part in this nightmare may seem dictated by mind control, but the...

    07/17/2019 - 18:00 Animals, Fungi, Ecology
  • News in Brief

    WHO declares a public health emergency over Congo’s Ebola outbreak

    The World Health Organization has declared Congo’s yearlong Ebola virus outbreak a public health emergency, due to a high risk of the disease spreading to neighboring countries.

    The organization said, however, that it does not consider the outbreak a global threat.

    “Our risk assessment remains that the risk of Ebola spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region remains...

    07/17/2019 - 16:42 Health
  • Science Stats

    Planting trees could buy more time to fight climate change than thought

    A whopping new estimate of the power of planting trees could rearrange to-do lists for fighting climate change. 

    Planting trees on 0.9 billion hectares of land could trap about two-thirds the amount of carbon released by human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution, a new study finds. The planet has that much tree-friendly land available for use. Without knocking down...

    07/17/2019 - 09:02 Ecology, Plants, Climate
  • News

    This gene may help worms live longer, but not healthier

    Long life and good health don’t always go hand in hand. 

    A gene that lengthens nematode worms’ lives and is necessary for reproduction also makes the worms more susceptible to infection and stress, researchers report July 17 in Nature Communications. That’s unusual; longevity-promoting genes generally help organisms deal with stress, says Arjumand Ghazi, a geneticist who studies aging at...

    07/17/2019 - 05:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    Scientists still can’t agree on the universe’s expansion rate

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — It’s one of the most talked-about issues in physics: Two measurements of the universe’s expansion rate disagree. Now, a technique that aimed to resolve the mismatch has produced a third estimate that falls between the previous two. So the controversy endures, scientists report in a study accepted in the Astrophysical Journal. 

    One measurement of how fast the...

    07/16/2019 - 14:01 Cosmology, Physics, Astronomy
  • Science Visualized

    Night-shining ‘noctilucent’ clouds have crept south this summer

    High in the sky, sunlit wisps remain aglow even after sundown. This summer, a surprising number of such noctilucent, or “night-shining,” clouds have been spotted in the Northern Hemisphere — and, unusually, as far south as Oklahoma and New Mexico, scientists report.

    These clouds typically float in the mesosphere about 80 kilometers above Earth’s surface, and are visible at high latitudes...

    07/16/2019 - 10:00 Earth, Climate, Planetary Science
  • July 6, 2019

    07/16/2019 - 08:03
  • News

    Gaps in gas disks around stars may not always mark newborn planets

    The photo album of baby planets may be emptier than astronomers thought. 

    New research is prompting debate about the theory that gaps in planet-forming disks around young stars mark spaces where planets are being created in real time. It turns out that the planets that, according to simulations, would grow up in those gaps don’t resemble the full-grown planets observed around more mature...

    07/16/2019 - 08:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • Feature

    Accolades, skepticism and science marked Science News’ coverage of Apollo

    To cover humankind’s first steps on the moon, Science News needed a backup plan.

    “We didn’t know what kind of pictures we’d get, when we would get them, who we would get them from,” says Kendrick Frazier, who joined Science News as a writer just two months before Apollo 11 touched down on lunar soil. So the staff took pictures of their home television screens during the July 20, 1969...

    07/16/2019 - 06:00 Planetary Science, History of Science, Science & Society