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  • News

    The way hunter-gatherers share food shows how cooperation evolved

    East African Hadza hunter-gatherers are neither generous nor stingy. But the groups they live in are. That pattern highlights a flexible and underappreciated form of cooperation that may have helped humans go from mobile bands to industrialized states, researchers say.

    Some camps share food more than others, but Hadza circulate among all camps rather than clustering in the most...

    09/21/2018 - 13:31 Anthropology, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Kidney stones grow and dissolve much like geological crystals

    It took a close look at crystal formation in Yellowstone’s hot springs to understand stones much closer to home. Growth and dissolution patterns found in rocks there mirror what’s going on with stones in our kidneys, says Bruce Fouke, a geobiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contradicting the medical dogma that kidney stones don’t dissolve.

    Fouke, who usually...

    09/21/2018 - 07:00 Health, Physiology
  • Feature

    Can science build a better burger?

    This isn’t as extreme as if the federal government had decided to regulate time travel. But it’s almost as surprising. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking the first step toward rules for growing nutritious, delicious, juicy meat in labs, not farms.

    The notion of growing, say, just the beef instead of the whole cow has been floating around since at least the 1890s. This sci-fi...

    09/20/2018 - 12:30 Agriculture, Climate, Sustainability, Nutrition
  • News

    Daily low-dose aspirin is not a panacea for the elderly

    A daily dose of aspirin? Not a good idea if you’re a healthy elderly adult.

    A trio of papers based on a large-scale clinical trial finds that the drug doesn’t help to stave off heart attacks, strokes, dementia or physical disability. In fact, those in their golden years who took a low dose of aspirin daily were more likely to suffer serious internal bleeding than those who took a placebo...

    09/19/2018 - 09:30 Health, Clinical Trials
  • News in Brief

    Here’s how many U.S. kids are vaping marijuana

    More than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students — or nearly 1 in 11 — have vaped marijuana, a new study suggests.

    Of those students who reported e-cigarette use in 2016, researchers estimate that nearly 1 in 3 high school students, or roughly 1.7 million, have used pot in the devices. Nearly 1 in 4 middle school students who reported vaping, or 425,000, have done the same, the...

    09/17/2018 - 11:00 Health
  • News in Brief

    Sound waves can make bubbles in levitated drops of liquid

    Save your breath: A new way to make bubbles requires only sound waves.

    Scientists made the bubbles in levitated drops of liquid, held aloft with sound waves. Tweaking the sound waves caused the hovering drop to balloon into a bubble.

    The team formed the bubbles using a variety of liquids, including water. Increasing the intensity of the sound made the liquid first buckle into a...

    09/11/2018 - 11:00 Physics
  • Feature

    How plant microbes could feed the world and save endangered species

    One fine Hawaiian day in 2015, Geoff Zahn and Anthony Amend set off on an eight-hour hike. They climbed a jungle mountain on the island of Oahu, swatting mosquitoes and skirting wallows of wild pigs. The two headed to the site where a patch of critically endangered Phyllostegia kaalaensis had been planted a few months earlier. What they found was dispiriting.

    “All the plants were gone,”...

    09/06/2018 - 11:00 Agriculture, Plants, Microbes
  • News

    As temperatures rise, so do insects’ appetites for corn, rice and wheat

    With temperatures creeping up as the climate warms, those very hungry caterpillars could get even hungrier, and more abundant. Crop losses to pests may grow.

    Insects will be “eating more of our lunch,” says Curtis Deutsch of the University of Washington in Seattle. Based on how heat revs up insect metabolism and reproduction, he and his colleagues estimate that each degree Celsius of...

    08/31/2018 - 12:24 Climate, Agriculture, Animals
  • News

    Beaked whales may frequent a seabed spot marked for mining

    Whales may have made their mark on the seafloor in a part of the Pacific Ocean designated for future deep-sea mining.

    Thousands of grooves found carved into the seabed could be the first evidence that large marine mammals visit this little-explored region, researchers report August 22 in Royal Society Open Science. If deep-diving whales are indeed using the region for foraging or other...

    08/21/2018 - 19:05 Oceans, Earth
  • News

    A fossil mistaken for a bat may shake up lemurs’ evolutionary history

    In one published swoop, an ancient fossil fruit bat has turned into a lemur. If that transformation holds, it suggests that lemur ancestors made two tricky sea crossings from Africa to Madagascar, not one as researchers have often assumed.

    A new fossil analysis finds that the ancient species Propotto leakeyi, which lived in East Africa between 23 million and 16 million years ago, was not...

    08/21/2018 - 11:00 Anthropology, Animals