News in Brief
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Helper cells in the brain just got tagged with a new job — forming traumatic memories.
When rats experience trauma, cells in the hippocampus — an area important for learning — produce signals for inflammation, helping to create a potent memory. But most of those signals aren’t coming from the nerve cells, researchers reported November 15 at the Society for Neuroscience...
Letters to the Editor
Wanting more11/15/2017 - 13:17 Science & Society, Robotics, Psychology
For the third year in a row, Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career innovators who are transforming their fields in “The SN 10: Scientists to watch” (SN: 10/14/17, p. 16).
The profiles left some readers inspired, intrigued and wanting to know more about these scientists’ research.
“Really enjoying these portraits, thanks, SN!” online reader Maia commented on...
Nomadic herders living on western Asia’s hilly grasslands made a couple of big moves east and west around 5,000 years ago. These were not typical, back-and-forth treks from one seasonal grazing spot to another. These people blazed new trails.
A technological revolution had transformed travel for ancient herders around that time. Of course they couldn’t make online hotel reservations....
Cholera strains behind worldwide outbreaks of the deadly disease over the last five decades are jet-setters rather than homebodies.
It had been proposed that these cholera epidemics were homegrown, driven by local strains of Vibrio cholerae living in aquatic ecosystems. But DNA fingerprints of the V. cholerae strains behind recent large outbreaks in Africa and Latin America were more...
In a last-ditch effort to save a dying 7-year-old boy, scientists have used stem cells and gene therapy to replace about 80 percent of his skin.
This procedure’s success demonstrates that the combination therapy may be effective against some rare genetic skin disorders. The study also sheds light on how the skin replenishes itself, researchers report November 8 in Nature.
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Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, journalist Fiona Bruce and Barack Obama all walk into a sheep pen. No, this isn’t the beginning of a baaa-d joke.
By training sheep using pictures of these celebrities, researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered that the animals are able to recognize familiar faces from 2-D images. Given a choice, the sheep picked the...
At the beginning of 2017, parents and pediatricians got new peanut guidelines that, for most kids, are very pro-peanut. My colleague and fellow mom Meghan Rosen wrote about the recommendations, issued from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
This “let them eat nuts” advice is based in part on a large and unusually clear dataset from a study that looked at babies at...
Alligators don’t just stick to freshwater and the prey they find there. These crafty reptiles can live quite easily, at least for a bit, in salty waters and find plenty to eat — including crabs, sea turtles and even sharks.
“They should change the textbooks,” says James Nifong, an ecologist with the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Kansas State University in...
Finding the chemical basis for the close association between the Attine ants, inhabiting an area extending from Argentina to the southern United States, and the fungus they culture is the aim of research … by Prof. Michael M. Martin of the University of Michigan. Although many animals feed on fungi, the culturing of fungus by the Attine ants is the only known example of...
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A plasma cocoon lets growing stars keep their X-rays to themselves. Laboratory experiments that mimic maturing stars show that streams of plasma splash off a star’s surface, forming a varnish that keeps certain kinds of radiation inside.
That coating could explain a puzzling mismatch between X-ray and ultraviolet observations of growing stars, report physicist Julien...