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  • News

    Cancer studies get mixed grades on redo tests

    An effort to reproduce findings of five prominent cancer studies has produced a mixed bag of results.

    In a series of papers published January 19 in eLife, researchers from the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology report that none of five prominent cancer studies they sought to duplicate were completely reproducible. Replicators could not confirm any of the findings of one study. In...

    01/18/2017 - 16:42 Science & Society, Cancer
  • How Bizarre

    Weird wave found in Venus’ wind-whipped atmosphere

    With scorching temperatures and a mind-numbingly slow rotation (one Venus day lasts 243 Earth days), Venus was already a contender for weirdest planet in the solar system. Now add a giant arc-shaped structure to its list of oddities. The mysterious 10,000-kilometer-long structure was so big that it appeared to stretch between the planet’s poles. And it didn’t budge, even as winds in the planet...

    01/17/2017 - 18:11 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Furry Logic’ showcases how animals exploit physics

    Furry LogicMatin Durrani and Liz KalaugherBloomsbury, $27

    Warning: Furry Logic is not, as the title might suggest, a detailed exploration of mammals’ reasoning skills. Instead, it’s a fun, informative chronicle of how myriad animals take advantage of the laws of physics.

    Science writers Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher cite a trove of recent (and often surprising) research findings...

    01/07/2017 - 08:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • How Bizarre

    These acorn worms have a head for swimming

    Certain marine worms spend their larval phase as little more than a tiny, transparent “swimming head.” A new study explores the genes involved in that headfirst approach to life.

    A mud flat in Morro Bay, Calif., is the only known place where this one species of acorn worm, Schizocardium californicum, is found. After digging up the creatures, Paul Gonzalez, an evolutionary developmental...

    01/03/2017 - 10:00 Animals
  • Feature

    What’s ahead for science in 2017?

    View the video

    As science journalists look back on the top stories of the year, scientists push on, asking the next questions and chasing fresh data. What big discoveries might they deliver in 2017? Science News writers reveal what they are watching for — and hoping for — in the year ahead. 

    Bruce BowerBehavioral Sciences

    “I look forward to seeing where the reproducibility debate...

    12/20/2016 - 09:00 Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Genome clues help explain the strange life of seahorses

    A seahorse’s genetic instruction book is giving biologists a few insights into the creature’s odd physical features and rare parenting style.

    Researchers decoded a male tiger tail seahorse’s (Hippocampus comes) genome and compared it to the genomes of other seahorses and ray-finned fishes. The analysis revealed a bevy of missing genes and other genetic elements responsible for enamel and...

    12/14/2016 - 16:30 Animals, Genetics, Evolution
  • Feature

    Year in review: Sea ice loss will shake up ecosystems

    In a better world, it would be the big news of the year just to report that Arctic sea ice shrank to 4.14 million square kilometers this summer, well below the 1981–2010 average of 6.22 million square kilometers (SN Online: 9/19/16). But in this world of changing climate, extreme summer ice loss has become almost expected. More novel in 2016 were glimpses of the complex biological consequences...

    12/14/2016 - 07:37 Climate, Animals, Plants
  • News

    Oyster deaths linked to ‘atmospheric rivers’

    Narrow channels of moisture snaking through the atmosphere can bring storms that wreck beachfront bungalows — and leave oyster beds bare. Several of these channels, called atmospheric rivers (SN: 2/26/11, p. 20), dumped particularly heavy storms on California in early 2011. The resulting freshwater influx probably left part of the San Francisco Bay without enough salt for oysters to survive,...

    12/13/2016 - 19:05 Ecosystems, Climate
  • News

    Losing tropical forest might raise risks of human skin ulcers, deformed bones

    Clearing tropical forests may raise the risk of people being exposed to a gruesome disease called Buruli ulcer, a new study suggests.

    Mycobacterium ulcerans, the bacteria that cause Buruli skin lesions and bone deformities, can thrive in a wide range of wild creatures, especially tiny insects grazing on freshwater algae, says Aaron Morris, now at Imperial College London. Surveying more...

    12/07/2016 - 14:00 Ecology, Biomedicine, Conservation
  • News

    Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies

    Our grasp of food allergy science is as jumbled as a can of mixed nuts. While there are tantalizing clues on how food allergies emerge and might be prevented, misconceptions are plentiful and broad conclusions are lacking, concludes a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

    As a result, both the general public and medical community are confused and ill...

    11/30/2016 - 17:19 Immune Science, Science & Society