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  • News

    How a variation on Botox could be used to treat pain

    Painkillers crafted with a part of the wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox provide long-term pain relief in mice.

    Researchers added the modified Botox to molecules that target pain-messaging nerve cells. Mice given a single spinal injection of the new drugs showed signs of pain relief for the full duration of the experiments, around three weeks, researchers report online July 18 in Science...

    07/18/2018 - 15:52 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    An ancient swimming revolution in the oceans may have never happened

    About 540 million years ago, the oceans were an alien landscape, devoid of swimming, or nektonic, creatures. Some scientists have hypothesized, based on fossil evidence, that swimmers suddenly dominated in the oceans during the Devonian Period, between 419 million and 359 million years ago. But an in-depth study of marine fossils now suggests that this so-called Devonian Nekton Revolution...

    07/17/2018 - 19:05 Paleontology, Oceans
  • News

    Ötzi loaded up on fatty food before he died

    Ötzi didn’t die hungry.

    Around 5,300 years ago, the Iceman dined on wild meat and grains before meeting his end in the Italian Alps. His last meal was high in fat and optimal for a high-altitude trek, researchers report July 12 in Current Biology.

    Since his mummified remains were discovered in 1991, Ötzi’s life has undergone more scrutiny than many reality TV stars. His cause of...

    07/12/2018 - 12:02 Archaeology, Genetics
  • Reviews & Previews

    Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

    Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of BeesThor HansonBasic Books, $27

    When you hear the word bee, the image that pops to mind is probably a honeybee. Maybe a bumblebee. But for conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of the new book Buzz, the world is abuzz with thousands of kinds of bees, each as beautiful and intriguing as the flowers on which they land.

    Speaking from his “...

    07/08/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Agriculture, Ecology
  • Growth Curve

    No matter their size, newborn stomachs need frequent filling

    I’m making my way through my third round of breastfeeding a newborn and taking stock of how things are going. Some aspects are definitely easier: My milk came in really quickly (a perk of being a repeat lactator), the fancy breastfeeding baby holds are no longer mysterious to me and I already own all of the weird pillows I need to prop up my tiny baby.  

    But one thing isn’t easier this...

    07/06/2018 - 07:17 Child Development, Parenting, Health
  • News

    Nerve cells that help control hunger have been ID’d in mice

    Newly identified nerve cells deep in the brains of mice compel them to eat. Similar cells exist in people, too, and may ultimately represent a new way to target eating disorders and obesity.

    These neurons, described in the July 6 Science, are not the first discovered to control appetite. But because of the mysterious brain region where they are found and the potential relevance to people...

    07/05/2018 - 15:43 Neuroscience
  • Feature

    How to make CAR-T cell therapies for cancer safer and more effective

    This wasn’t 15-year-old Connor McMahon’s first time in the hospital. But the 107° fever he’d been running for three days had his dad frightened. The teen was hallucinating, talking gibberish and spouting curses.

    “I thought he was going to die,” says Connor’s father, Don McMahon, who stayed close as his son received and recovered from an experimental treatment for leukemia. “It was really...

    06/27/2018 - 09:00 Cancer, Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    To combat an expanding universe, aliens could hoard stars

    Survivalists prep for disaster by stocking up on emergency food rations. Aliens, on the other hand, might hoard stars.

    To offset a future cosmic energy shortage caused by the accelerating expansion of the universe, a super-advanced civilization could pluck stars from other galaxies and bring them home, theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper proposes June 13 at arXiv.org.

    It’s a far-...

    06/19/2018 - 14:50 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    The most ancient African baobabs are dying and no one knows why

    The last 13 years have been terrible for ancient African baobab trees.

    Nine of the 13 oldest either lost trunks or died altogether after having lived for longer than a millennium, researchers report June 11 in Nature Plants. But just what the demise means for the iconic species is up for debate.

     “Whilst we are saddened about the death and collapse [of the old trees], current...

    06/18/2018 - 07:00 Plants
  • Science Stats

    Leaf-cutter ants pick up the pace when they sense rain

    In Central America’s rain-drenched forests, leaf-cutting ants collect pieces of leaves on which they grow fungi for food. But the rain can hit hard, especially for a small ant. When leaf-cutting ants sense an incoming shower, they hoof it back to their nests, says a study in the May Insectes Sociaux.

    Researchers from Argentina, Mexico and Peru tested how one species of leaf-cutting ants...

    06/15/2018 - 07:00 Animals