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  • Editor's Note

    2016 Nobels: Science News fans read it here first

    This year’s Nobel Prizes honored scientific achievements that dedicated Science News readers (with good memories) would have found familiar. A dive into our archives revealed some interesting results.

    The physiology or medicine prize recognized autophagy, the cellular process by which living cells dispose of — or recycle — their biochemical garbage. Molecular biology writer Tina Hesman...

    10/19/2016 - 16:37 Science & Society
  • Feature

    The pressure is on to make metallic hydrogen

    In a few highly specialized laboratories, scientists bombard matter with the world’s most powerful electrical pulses or zap it with sophisticated lasers. Other labs squeeze heavy-duty diamonds together hard enough to crack them.

    All this is in pursuit of a priceless metal. It’s not gold, silver or platinum. The scientists’ quarry is hydrogen in its most elusive of forms.


    08/10/2016 - 09:00 Physics, Materials, Condensed Matter
  • Feature

    Buying time when quakes hit

    At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, an earthquake-detection station on Japan’s northeast coast began rocking back and forth, rattled by a powerful seismic wave racing from deep offshore. Just 5.4 seconds later, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a notice that a magnitude 4.3 quake had begun.

    As the seconds ticked by, however, and more stations picked up the rippling wave, the tremor...

    04/04/2014 - 12:00 Earth
  • Feature

    90th Anniversary Issue: 1970s

    Engineering genes In the 1970s, genetic engineering feats started to come rapid-fire. Scientists were swapping genes between cells (3/20/71, p. 193), making synthetic copies of genes that could function in living creatures (9/1/73, p. 132) and learning to cut and paste genes using chemical scissors called restriction enzymes (3/20/76, p. 188). This quick progress raised hopes of new,...

    03/09/2012 - 12:12 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year 2007

    Tuning In to Science

    In its own way, science is a lot like '60s rock 'n' roll on AM radio. If you're old enough, you remember the slogan: "And the hits just keep on comin'."

    With science, the news just keeps on comin'. Somehow, year after year, science never runs out of hit discoveries. From land-based laboratories to the depths of the oceans to remote realms of the cosmos, intrepid...

    12/18/2007 - 21:49 Humans & Society
  • News

    Nonstick Taints: Fluorochemicals are in us all

    A new federal study strongly suggests that all U.S. residents harbor measurable traces of fluorochemicals, compounds used to impart water- and oil-repelling features to a host of consumer products. Separately, Japanese researchers report that at least one of these pollutants reaches even fetuses.

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, human exposures are of concern. In...

    11/21/2005 - 22:05 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Katrina's Fallout

    Hand over hand, the scuba diving researchers felt their way down the offshore oil rig, blinded by water black with ocean detritus and marsh debris. They tried not to think about the 7-foot alligator patrolling the rig at the water's surface, 15 miles from its swampy home. The scientists soon reached a place on the rig's leg where 18 months earlier they had attached instruments that relayed...

    11/14/2005 - 10:35 Humans & Society
  • News

    Stellar Question: Extrasolar planet or failed star?

    Astronomers have dreamed of photographing a planet orbiting a star outside the solar system. Last week, researchers announced that a tiny dot of light next to a young, sunlike star might be that long-sought image. But the discovery could be sinking under its own weight.

    The body lies near the star GQ Lupi, 450 light-years from Earth. Last year, Ralph Neuhäuser of the University...

    04/06/2005 - 14:18 Astronomy
  • News

    Groovy Pictures: Extracting sound from images of old audio recordings

    Songs and words preserved on antique vinyl records and wax cylinders become more precious with each passing day. They also grow increasingly fragile and are especially vulnerable to damage if played.

    Now, researchers using optical-scanning equipment have made exquisitely detailed maps of the grooves of such recordings. By simulating how a stylus moves along those contours, the...

    05/26/2004 - 10:16 Technology
  • Feature

    News That's Fit to Print—and Preserve

    The daily news has been described as the first draft of history. From the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, newspapers record the myriad events that shape our lives. Preserving old newspapers, many would argue, is tantamount to preserving our heritage. Newsprint companies, however, take the position that yesterday's news is old news, and follow the...

    01/03/2004 - 13:32 Materials