Search Content | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

Search Content

E.g., 06/22/2019
E.g., 06/22/2019
Your search has returned 28 images:
  • bundle of animal-hair cords
  • casts of Homo naledi’s brain
  • Macaque monkeys
Your search has returned 38 articles:
  • Reviews & Previews

    How English became science’s lingua franca

    Scientific BabelMichael D. GordinUniv. of Chicago, $30

    When the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev discovered the “periodic law” that he illustrated with a table of the elements, he published his finding first in Russian and then in a German translation. Shortly thereafter, though, the German chemist Lothar Meyer claimed to be first to perceive the periodicity in the properties of...

    07/13/2015 - 13:45 Science & Society, History of Science, Language
  • Culture Beaker

    Unbiased computer confirms media bias

    Hillary Clinton’s announcement last weekend that she is officially running for president set pundits spinning on both sides of the aisle. Released via a video on Clinton’s campaign website, the announcement featured only 92 words from the candidate, which were variously quoted by media outlets of all stripes. Consider this excerpt from The National Review, an outlet that self-identifies as...

    04/17/2015 - 10:00 Science & Society, Computing, Language
  • Scicurious

    There's more to acing interviews than holding the vocal fry

    Human vocal chords can produce an astonishing array of sounds: shrill and fearful, low and sultry, light and breathy, loud and firm. The slabs of muscle in our throat make the commanding sound of a powerful bass and a baby’s delightful, gurgling laugh. There are voices that must be taken seriously, voices that play and voices that seduce.

    And then there’s vocal fry.

    Bringing to...

    06/09/2014 - 16:38 Language, Psychology
  • Science Ticker

    Zebra finches can detect variations in human speech

    When humans vary the pitch or rhythm of their speech, the changes usually add information to what is being said. Humans, however, aren’t the only ones that can hear these variations in sound — zebra finches can perceive them as well, a new study shows. The results, which appear May 28 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggest that being able to detect subtle variations in speech is...

    05/28/2014 - 08:39 Animals, Language, Evolution
  • News

    Babies learn some early words by touch

    Awash in streams of adult chatter, babies fish out and recognize some of their first words thanks to well-timed touches from their caregivers, a new study suggests.

    An experimenter’s synchronized taps on an elbow or knee enabled 4-month-olds to notice nonsense words embedded in spoken strings of syllables, say psycholinguist Amanda Seidl of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and...

    04/28/2014 - 15:15 Psychology, Language
  • News

    Word-streaming tech may spell trouble for readers

    In the brave new digital world of reading, words flash by one at a time on the tiny screens of smart watches and phones. This portable, pageless story doesn’t end well for people keen on understanding what they’ve read, say psychologist Elizabeth Schotter of the University of California, San Diego and her colleagues.

    Rereading words salvages understanding of initially confusing passages...

    04/24/2014 - 17:13 Psychology, Language
  • Feature

    Year in Review: Language learning starts before birth


    Parents are usually careful to watch their language around young children. Maybe parents-to-be ought to watch what they say, too. Not only do babies slurp up language skills in the first few years of life, but new research also suggests that this precocious language learning starts in the...

    12/23/2013 - 10:00 Human Development, Language
  • News

    Little Red Riding Hood gets an evolutionary makeover

    Back off, Big Bad Wolf. The Ravenous Data Cruncher has cornered “Little Red Riding Hood,” brandishing a statistical exposé of the fictional girl’s hazy past.

    In computer analyses that track the evolution of 58 documented folktales, anthropologist Jamshid Tehrani of Durham University in England finds that related versions of “Little Red Riding Hood” spread from a European origin over at...

    11/22/2013 - 13:47 Anthropology, Language
  • News

    Babies perk up to sounds of ancient hazards

    Babies have an ear for primeval dangers, a new study suggests. By age 9 months, infants pay special attention to sounds that have signaled threats to children’s safety and survival throughout human evolution, say psychologist Nicole Erlich of the University of Queensland, Australia, and her colleagues. Those sounds include a snake hissing, adults’ angry voices, a crackling fire, thunder claps...

    09/09/2013 - 11:27 Language
  • Feature

    The Tune Wreckers

    Strange things happen when bad singers perform in public.

    Comedienne Roseanne Barr was widely vilified in 1990 after she screeched the national anthem at a major league baseball game. College student William Hung earned worldwide fame and a recording contract in 2004 with a tuneless version of Ricky Martin’s hit song “She Bangs” on American...

    09/05/2013 - 13:55 Language