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  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Good to Go’ tackles the real science of sports recovery

    Good to GoChristie AschwandenW.W. Norton & Co., $27.95

    A tough workout, a long hike or a day reorganizing the garage can leave a body tired, sore and injured. Some kind of recovery is clearly in order. But relaxing on the couch with Netflix and some chips is so passé.

    Instead, a sore athlete might stand naked in a chamber of air chilled to well below –100° Celsius (SN...

    01/22/2019 - 08:00 Health, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    Our fascination with robots goes all the way back to antiquity

    Gods and RobotsAdrienne MayorPrinceton Univ., $29.95

    Artificial intelligence and robotics are hot scientific fields today. But even in the brave new world of AI, there’s nothing new under the sun, writes classics and science history scholar Adrienne Mayor in Gods and Robots.

    In a breezy and thought-provoking account, Mayor describes how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese...

    01/20/2019 - 08:00 Archaeology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Beyond Weird’ and ‘What Is Real?’ try to make sense of quantum weirdness

    Quantum physics has earned a reputation as a realm of science beyond human comprehension. It describes a microworld of perplexing, paradoxical phenomena. Its equations imply a multiplicity of possible realities; an observation seems to select one of those possibilities for accessibility to human perception. The rest either disappear, remain hidden or weren’t really there to begin...

    01/06/2019 - 08:00 Quantum Physics, History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    These are our favorite science books of 2018

    From tales about whales to enthralling scientific histories and the memoir of a frustrated astrophysicist, 2018 was a banner year for science books. Here are Science News’ picks for the titles that should be on any science lover’s bookshelf. Find detailed reviews of many of these books in the links below and in our Editor’s Pick: Favorite books of 2018.

    The Truth About AnimalsLucy...

    12/09/2018 - 09:00 Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    Two new books explore the science and history of the 1918 flu pandemic

    The U.S.S. Leviathan set sail from Hoboken, N.J., on September 29, 1918, carrying roughly 10,000 troops and 2,000 crewmen. The ship, bound for the battlefields in France, had been at sea less than 24 hours when the first passengers fell ill. By the end of the day, 700 people had developed signs of the flu.

    The medical staff tried to separate the sick from the healthy, but that soon...

    12/07/2018 - 07:00 Health, History of Science, Microbiology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘End of the Megafauna’ examines why so many giant Ice Age animals went extinct

    End of the MegafaunaRoss D.E. MacPhee and Peter Schouten (illustrator)W.W. Norton & Co., $35

    Today’s land animals are a bunch of runts compared with creatures from the not-too-distant past. Beasts as big as elephants, gorillas and bears were once much more common around the world. Then, seemingly suddenly, hundreds of big species, including the woolly mammoth, the giant ground...

    11/06/2018 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Climate
  • Reviews & Previews

    If you want to believe your home’s bug free, don’t read this book

    Never Home AloneRob DunnBasic Books, $28

    As I write this in my basement office, a sticky trap lies beneath my desk catching whatever insects wander by. Its current haul is pretty typical: a cricket, a spider and some small flies. But as Rob Dunn writes in his intriguing new book, Never Home Alone, I’m missing a lot if I think that’s all that lurks beneath my slippers.

    Dunn has...

    10/30/2018 - 11:08 Animals, Ecology, Microbiology, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘18 Miles’ is full of interesting tales about Earth’s atmosphere

    18 MilesChristopher DewdneyECW Press, $17.95

    How thick is Earth’s atmosphere? Sorry, that’s a bit of a trick question: Our planet’s air simply gets thinner with altitude, fading away to nothingness somewhere far above the height at which the lowest satellites orbit. It’s a fact, though, that 99 percent of Earth’s air lies below an altitude of 18 miles. Naturalist Christopher...

    10/28/2018 - 08:00 Climate, Earth, History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    Explore the history of blood from vampires to the ‘Menstrual Man’

    Nine PintsRose GeorgeMetropolitan Books, $30

    The title of journalist Rose George’s new book, Nine Pints, quantifies how much blood George has flowing through her body. Her supply takes a temporary dip in the book’s opening chapter, when she donates about a pint (a story that continues on to recap the amazing accomplishment that is blood banking). This act of generosity is an...

    10/16/2018 - 09:00 Physiology, Health, History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Sawbones’ invites readers to laugh at the bizarre history of medicine

    The Sawbones BookJustin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroyTeylor Smirl (illustrator)Weldon Owen, $24.99

    Humans took a long, weird road to modern medicine. We don’t have everything figured out yet, but at least we’ve learned not to drink the feces of cholera victims and never to plug dental cavities with a lizard’s liver — unlike some of our ancestors.

    Gruesome methods like these...

    10/09/2018 - 07:00 Health, History of Science, Science & Society