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Your search has returned 631 articles:
  • News

    New ‘Poké Ball’ robot catches deep-sea critters without harming them

    Like a submarine Poké Ball, a new robotic device gently captures and releases deep-sea creatures without a scratch. This critter catcher could be decked out with cameras and other sensors to give scientists an unprecedented view of life in one of Earth’s most mysterious environments. 

    The contraption, designed to be mounted on a remotely operated underwater vehicle, folds into a 12-sided...

    07/18/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Oceans, Technology
  • Feature

    The ecosystem that controls a galaxy’s future is coming into focus

    There’s more to a galaxy than meets the eye. Galaxies’ bright stars seem to spiral serenely against the dark backdrop of space. But a more careful look reveals a whole lot of mayhem.

    “Galaxies are just like you and me,” Jessica Werk, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in January at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. “They live their lives in a...

    07/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Feature

    DNA testing can bring families together, but gives mixed answers on ethnicity

    Michael Douglas, a new resident of southern Maryland, credits genetic testing for helping him find his heritage — and a family he knew very little about.

    Douglas, 43, is adopted. He knew his birth mother’s name and had seen a birth certificate stating his birth name: Thomas Michael McCarthy. Over the years, Douglas had tried off and on to find his birth family, mostly by looking for his...

    06/13/2018 - 14:36 Genetics, Ancestry, Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    Privacy and consumer genetic testing don’t always mix

    For a few hundred dollars and a spit sample, you too could take a journey of genetic self-discovery. You may learn some things, but what are you giving away?

    Today, hundreds of companies offer to analyze your DNA, or parts of it, to let you in on everything from your health risks and ancestry to more dubious traits like intelligence or athletic ability (SN: 5/26/18, p. 20). The direct-to...

    06/05/2018 - 07:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers respond to pesticides, Hawking radiation and more

    Pesky pesticides

    Researchers are tracking tiny insects to learn how animals move around the planet, Alexandra Witze reported in “Flying insects tell tales of long-distance migrations” (SN: 4/14/18, p. 22).

    “There are several uncritical references to using pesticides to combat insect pests” in the story, reader Christina Gullion wrote.

    Gullion noted that pesticides can be...

    05/30/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society, Physics, Animals
  • Feature

    Consumer DNA testing promises more than it delivers

    In Nevada, 40,000 people are stepping up to the cutting edge of precision medicine. They are getting their DNA deciphered by the testing company Helix. The idea of the Healthy Nevada project is to link genetic and medical data with information about the environment to get a clearer picture of all the factors that influence health. The free tests are going like hot cakes.

    When the Healthy...

    05/22/2018 - 12:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Scicurious

    To regulate fecal transplants, FDA has to first answer a serious question: What is poop?

    When severe, chronic diarrhea strikes, sometimes the only cure is … more feces. It might seem bizarre, but a transplant of healthy human stool and its bacterial ecosystem can mean freedom from a painful, life-threatening illness.  

    The transplants — called fecal microbiota transplants, or FMTs — are becoming more and more popular. So popular that the stool bank OpenBiome has supplied...

    05/18/2018 - 10:00 Health
  • Feature

    Fighting like an animal doesn’t always mean a duel to the death

    Pick an animal.

    Choose wisely because in this fantasy you’ll transform into the creature and duel against one of your own. If you care about survival, go for the muscular, multispiked stag roaring at a rival. Never, ever pick the wingless male fig wasp. Way too dangerous.

    This advice sounds exactly wrong. But that’s because many stereotypes of animal conflict get the real biology...

    05/03/2018 - 15:05 Animals
  • Editor's Note

    How many scientists do you know in real life?

    The death of physicist Stephen Hawking on March 14 at age 76 sparked a global outpouring of admiration. In our appreciation, Science News physics writer Emily Conover calls him “a black hole whisperer who divined the secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects." He was also among the very few cosmologists (hello, Carl Sagan) to have written an international best seller; Hawking...
    04/05/2018 - 07:53 Science & Society, Physics
  • News

    The quest to identify the nature of the neutrino’s alter ego is heating up

    Galaxies, stars, planets and life, all are formed from one essential substance: matter.

    But the abundance of matter is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of physics. The Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, spawned equal amounts of matter and its bizarro twin, antimatter. Matter and antimatter partners annihilate when they meet, so an even stephen universe would have ended up full of...

    02/26/2018 - 07:00 Particle Physics