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  • Context

    Murray Gell-Mann’s ‘totalitarian principle’ is the modern version of Plato’s plenitude

    Science, like baseball, has a lot of unwritten rules.

    Every baseball player knows that you don’t flip your bat after hitting a home run, you never steal a base when you have a big lead, and you cover your mouth with your glove when having a conference on the mound. None of those regulations are codified in the official rules — it’s just how pros play the game.

    In science, the...

    08/18/2019 - 08:00 History of Science
  • News

    Alzheimer’s targets brain cells that help people stay awake

    Alzheimer’s disease destroys command centers in the brain that keep people awake. That finding could explain why the disease often brings daytime drowsiness.

    Sleep problems can precede dementias, including Alzheimer’s, sometimes by decades. But the new result, described online August 12 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, suggests that disordered sleeping isn’t just an early harbinger of...

    08/16/2019 - 11:30 Health, Biomedicine, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    A new FDA-approved drug takes aim at a deadly form of tuberculosis

    An especially dangerous type of tuberculosis may have met its match.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced August 14 that it has approved the antibiotic pretomanid to help tackle what’s called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. This form of the disease is resistant to at least four of the main TB drugs, and treatment often fails: Only around 34 percent of infected...

    08/16/2019 - 06:00 Health, Biomedicine
  • News in Brief

    LIGO and Virgo probably spotted the first black hole swallowing up a neutron star

    Shudders in the cosmos have revealed what’s likely the sad end of a neutron star — getting swallowed by a black hole.

    If confirmed, it would be the first solid detection of this source of gravitational waves, revealing a type of cataclysm never before spotted. Researchers from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories reported the candidate event, which was detected August 14,...

    08/15/2019 - 18:06 Astronomy, Physics
  • Transparency Project

    We’re closing down our comment section

    We value our readers’ input at Science News. Truly. Whether it’s enthusiasm, praise, criticism or a probing question, your feedback helps us understand what resonates, what doesn’t, and where we need to do better.

    As we share the latest news in science with our growing audience online, we have offered many avenues for readers to share feedback. Increasingly we realize that the public...

    08/15/2019 - 16:56
  • News

    Chemists have created and imaged a new form of carbon

    An elusive wreath of carbon has made its long-awaited debut.

    Scientists created a molecule called cyclocarbon and imaged its structure, describing the ring of 18 carbon atoms online August 15 in Science. The work unveils a new face of one of chemistry’s most celebrated elements.

    “It’s not every day that you make a new form of carbon,” says chemist Rik Tykwinski of the University of...

    08/15/2019 - 14:53 Chemistry, Physics
  • News

    Fluid in superdeep diamonds may be from some of Earth's oldest unchanged material

    A surprisingly hardy reservoir of rock left over from just after Earth’s formation still lurks deep inside the planet, according to a new analysis of superdeep diamonds.

    Fluid trapped inside these diamonds, forged hundreds of kilometers underground in Earth’s mantle, bears the chemical signatures of rock that has remained relatively undisturbed for billions of years. This holdout of...

    08/15/2019 - 14:00 Earth, Chemistry
  • News

    New cloaking devices could hide objects from water waves and currents

    Invisibility cloaks are making a splash. Or rather, preventing splashes, perhaps.

    Although the science fiction idea of an invisibility cloak is a Harry Potter–style device that makes objects invisible to the eye, physicists have branched out. In addition to hiding objects from light waves under certain conditions (SN: 7/15/06, p. 42), researchers have made cloaking devices that can mask...

    08/15/2019 - 08:00 Physics
  • News

    The first chlamydia vaccine has passed a major test

    The first vaccine against chlamydia has passed its first test in humans.

    About three dozen healthy women were randomly assigned one of two versions of a chlamydia vaccine or a placebo treatment in a clinical trial. Both vaccine versions were shown to be safe, and both produced an immune response not seen in the placebo group, researchers report online August 12 in the Lancet Infectious...

    08/15/2019 - 06:00 Health, Biomedicine
  • News in Brief

    Astronomers just quintupled the number of known repeating fast radio bursts

    Astronomers have found eight new fast radio bursts that repeatedly flash on and off.

    That haul brings the total of known repeating fast radio bursts, or FRBs, to 10, compared with the 60 or so nonrepeating FRBs that have been spotted, researchers report August 9 at arXiv.org. Studying the cryptic bursts could reveal what phenomena cause these brief, brilliant flares of radio waves from...

    08/14/2019 - 15:10 Astronomy