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  • News

    The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows

    WASHINGTON – A months-long heat wave that scorched the Tasman Sea beginning in November of 2017 is the latest example of an extreme event that would not have happened without human-caused climate change.

    Climate change also increased the likelihood of 15 other extreme weather events in 2017, from droughts in East Africa and the U.S. northern Plains states to floods in Bangladesh, China...

    12/11/2018 - 10:41 Climate
  • Reviews & Previews

    These are our favorite science books of 2018

    From tales about whales to enthralling scientific histories and the memoir of a frustrated astrophysicist, 2018 was a banner year for science books. Here are Science News’ picks for the titles that should be on any science lover’s bookshelf. Find detailed reviews of many of these books in the links below and in our Editor’s Pick: Favorite books of 2018.

    The Truth About AnimalsLucy...

    12/09/2018 - 09:00 Science & Society
  • Feature

    A gut-brain link for Parkinson’s gets a closer look

    Martha Carlin married the love of her life in 1995. She and John Carlin had dated briefly in college in Kentucky, then lost touch until a chance meeting years later at a Dallas pub. They wed soon after and had two children. John worked as an entrepreneur and stay-at-home dad. In his free time, he ran marathons.

    Almost eight years into their marriage, the pinky finger on John’s right hand...

    12/07/2018 - 09:00 Health, Neuroscience, Microbiology
  • News

    An acid found in soil may make a disease killing deer less infectious

    An acid found in rich humus soil breaks down the misfolded brain proteins — called prions — that cause chronic wasting disease.

    When concentrations of humic acid similar to those found in soils were applied to diseased elk brain tissue, chemical signatures of the infectious prions were nearly erased, researchers report online November 29 in PLOS Pathogens. That suggests that the acid...

    11/30/2018 - 06:00 Toxicology, Animals, Microbiology
  • News

    Here’s how much climate change could cost the U.S.

    The United States is poised to take a powerful economic hit from climate change over the next century. Heat waves, wildfires, extreme weather events and rising sea levels could cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars in lost labor, reduced crop yields, health problems and crumbling infrastructure. 

    A report authored by hundreds of U.S. climate scientists from 13 federal agencies...

    11/28/2018 - 12:29 Climate, Earth
  • Feature

    Beavers are engineering a new Alaskan tundra

    In a broad swath of northwestern Alaska, small groups of recent immigrants are hard at work. Like many residents of this remote area, they’re living off the land. But these industrious foreigners are neither prospecting for gold nor trapping animals for their pelts. In fact, their own luxurious fur was once a hot commodity. Say hello to Castor canadensis, the American beaver.

    Much like...

    11/28/2018 - 09:00 Ecosystems, Ecology, Animals
  • News

    Chinese scientists raise ethical questions with first gene-edited babies

    A Chinese scientist’s surprise announcement on the eve of an international human gene-editing summit that he has already created the world’s first gene-edited babies has led to swift condemnation.

    Jiankui He is expected to discuss his work November 28 in Hong Kong at the second International Summit on Human Genome Editing. But in an interview with the Associated Press, and in a video...

    11/27/2018 - 17:51 Genetics, Science & Society
  • 50 years ago, screwworm flies inspired a new approach to insect control

    Screwworm fly upsurge 

    Screwworms, the first pest to be eliminated on a large scale by the use of the sterile male technique, have shown an alarming increase, according to U.S. and Mexican officials…. The screwworm fly lays its eggs in open wounds on cattle. The maggots live on the flesh of their host, causing damage and death, and economic losses of many millions of dollars. —...

    11/23/2018 - 07:00 Agriculture, Ecology, History of Science
  • News

    A Bronze Age tomb in Israel reveals the earliest known use of vanilla

    DENVER — Three jugs placed as offerings in a roughly 3,600-year-old tomb in Israel have revealed a sweet surprise — evidence of the oldest known use of vanilla.

    Until now, vanilla was thought to have originated in Mexico, perhaps 1,000 years ago or more. But jugs from the Bronze Age site of Megiddo contain remnants of two major chemical compounds in natural vanilla extract, vanillin and...

    11/19/2018 - 12:49 Archaeology
  • News

    Hemp fields offer a late-season pollen source for stressed bees

    VANCOUVER — Fields of hemp might become a late-season pollen bonanza for bees.

    Industrial hemp plants, the no-high varieties of cannabis, are becoming a more familiar sight for American bees as states create pilot programs for legal growing. Neither hemp nor the other strains of the Cannabis sativa species grown for recreational or medicinal uses offer insects any nectar, and all rely on...

    11/19/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Conservation, Agriculture