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  • For Daily Use

    Private web browsing doesn’t mean no one is watching

    Take a quiz on web privacy

    Private web browsing isn’t nearly as private as many people think.

    Major web browsers, such as Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, offer a private browsing option, sometimes known as “incognito.” The option allows people to surf the internet through a private window that doesn’t log activity into the browser’s history or influence future autofill...

    04/24/2018 - 15:30 Technology, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    How many scientists do you know in real life?

    The death of physicist Stephen Hawking on March 14 at age 76 sparked a global outpouring of admiration. In our appreciation, Science News physics writer Emily Conover calls him “a black hole whisperer who divined the secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects." He was also among the very few cosmologists (hello, Carl Sagan) to have written an international best seller; Hawking...
    04/05/2018 - 07:53 Science & Society, Physics
  • Science Visualized

    Here are the paths of the next 15 total solar eclipses

    August's total solar eclipse won’t be the last time the moon cloaks the sun’s light. From now to 2040, for example, skywatchers around the globe can witness 15 such events.  

    Their predicted paths aren’t random scribbles. Solar eclipses occur in what’s called a Saros cycle — a period that lasts about 18 years, 11 days and eight hours, and is governed by the moon’s orbit. (Lunar eclipses...

    08/18/2017 - 14:30 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    Read up on solar eclipses before this year’s big event

    In August, the United States will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century. Over the course of an hour and a half, the moon’s narrow shadow will slice across 12 states, from Oregon to South Carolina (SN: 8/20/16, p. 14). As many as 200 million people are expected to travel to spots where they can view the spectacle, in what could become one of the most...

    04/30/2017 - 08:00 Astronomy, History of Science
  • Wild Things

    Big cats hunt livestock when wild prey is scarce

    If farmers don’t want big cats to kill their livestock, they should make sure that the kitties have enough wild prey to eat. Lions, tigers and other big cats tend to hunt cattle, goats and sheep only after their regular prey has fallen below certain thresholds, a new study finds.

    The seven species that make up the big cats — lions, tigers, jaguars, cougars, leopards, snow leopards and...

    11/05/2015 - 12:39 Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    African herbivores share space but not diet

    There’s a good reason why so many people want to go on an African safari — savannas in Kenya and other countries are home to plenty of large, photogenic animals, including elephants, giraffes and lions. Who wouldn’t want to see those creatures up close?

    But there’s something a bit quirky about those savannas. They can be home to 10 or even 25 different species of herbivores that all seem...

    06/03/2015 - 15:00 Animals
  • News

    E-commerce sites personalize search results to maximize profits

    The convenience of comparing airfares at a single travel website while browsing from a smartphone is undeniable. But these modern perks can have a hidden cost: Researchers have uncovered multiple instances of travel and retail websites steering customers toward more expensive prices depending on factors such as whether customers are on a mobile phone, use a particular browser or have purchased...

    10/23/2014 - 12:14 Science & Society, Technology, Computing
  • Feature

    Carbon capture and storage finally approaching debut

    Like every other project, Jänschwalde failed.

    In 2008, it was set to become the world’s largest demonstration of just how cleanly coal could be burned to generate electricity. The revamping of an aging power plant in Germany, Jänschwalde was to become a paragon of a technology that can slash up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel–burning power plants — the single...

    08/22/2014 - 15:11 Pollution, Climate, Sustainability
  • It's Alive

    Look beyond pest species to find beauty in cockroaches

    Yes, the shiny purple-green creature above and the sky-blue one below are cockroaches. But they do not at all want to live in your house.

    Among the world’s more than 4,600 or so roach species, “people have tended to concentrate on just the boring pest species,” says George Beccaloni, curator of cockroaches and their relatives at the Natural History Museum in London. That’s only about 30...

    06/12/2014 - 07:30 Animals, Physiology
  • Gory Details

    Why was Marius, the euthanized giraffe, ever born?

    Marius the giraffe was a surplus animal, from the Copenhagen Zoo’s perspective. His genes were common within the facility’s breeding program, so he could not be allowed to mate with females because of the risk of inbreeding. He died February 9 from a shot to the head with a bolt gun.

    A furor erupted after Marius was killed, necropsied and fed to lions. Whatever you think about the case...

    02/18/2014 - 15:00 Animals