DNA might reveal how dogs became man’s best friend.
A new study shows that some of the same genes linked to the behavior of extremely social people can also make dogs friendlier. The result, published July 19 in Science Advances, suggests that dogs’ domestication may be the result of just a few genetic changes rather than hundreds or thousands of them.
“It is great to see initial...
With a final rip, an iceberg roughly the size of Delaware has broken off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Anticipated for weeks, the fracture is one of the largest calving events ever recorded.
On July 12, satellite images confirmed a nearly 5,800-square-kilometer, 1-trillion-metric-ton chunk of ice, equivalent to 12 percent of Larsen C’s total area, split from the ice shelf. “[We] have...
A vaccine against meningitis has an unexpected side effect: It appears to target gonorrhea, too. If confirmed, the results represent the first instance of a vaccine reducing gonorrhea infections.
After receiving a vaccine aimed at a type of meningitis, people were less likely to contract gonorrhea, scientists report online June 10 in the Lancet. That’s a big deal because worldwide each...
Readers often praise Science News for its brevity. It’s undoubtedly one of our defining features, and one of our core values. To deliver the latest news from a wide breadth of scientific subfields, our writing must be clear and concise. Our news gets to the point, with all the fascinating detail but none of the flab. Packing content in has long been the tradition at Science News — no surprise...
Long before humans domesticated other animals, we may have domesticated ourselves.
Over many generations, some scientists propose, humans selected among themselves for tameness. This process resulted in genetic changes, several recent studies suggest, that have shaped people in ways similar to other domesticated species.
Tameness, says evolutionary biologist and primatologist...
An adult insect wing is basically dead.
So what in the world were tiny respiratory channels doing in a wing membrane of a morpho dragonfly?
Rhainer Guillermo Ferreira was so jolted by a scanning electron microscope image showing what looked like skinny, branching tracheal tubes in a morpho wing that he called in another entomologist for a second opinion. Guillermo Ferreira, then at...
More than a million wildebeests migrate each year from Tanzania to Kenya and back again, following the rains and abundant grass that springs up afterward. Their path takes them across the Mara River, and some of the crossings are so dangerous that hundreds or thousands of wildebeests drown as they try to traverse the waterway.
Those animals provide a brief, free buffet for crocodiles and...
Science & the Public
On June 18, 4-year-old Bentley Thomas Koch fatally shot himself in the face. A few weeks earlier, Harmony Warfield, age 7, was shot and killed by her 2-year-old cousin. And teens Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov, both on the eve of graduating from high school, died in a hail of gunfire. Stories like these of kids dying from gunshot wounds are devastating, but, sadly, they aren’t an anomaly....
Earth’s dry regions have more trees than once thought — a hopeful note in the fight against climate change.
An analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery reveals that drylands globally have 40 to 47 percent more tree cover (an extra 467 million hectares) than reported in earlier estimates. An international team of researchers used Google Earth and Collect Earth, a program developed by...
Reviews & Previews
Caesar’s Last BreathSam KeanLittle, Brown and Co., $28
Julius Caesar could have stayed home on March 15, 44 B.C. But mocking the soothsayer who had predicted his death, the emperor rode in his litter to Rome’s Forum. There he met the iron daggers of 60 senators.
As he lay in a pool of blood, he may have gasped a final incrimination to his protégé Brutus: You too, my son? Or maybe...