After a recent flurry of news that fang blennies mix an opioid in their venom, a question lingers: What do they need with fangs anyway? Most eat wimpy stuff that hardly justifies whopper canines.
Not that fang blennies are meek fishes.
“When they bite, they bite savagely,” says Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. “If these little jobbies were 3 meters...
Face-to-face, a human and a chimpanzee are easy to tell apart. The two species share a common primate ancestor, but over millions of years, their characteristics have morphed into easily distinguishable features. Chimps developed prominent brow ridges, flat noses, low-crowned heads and protruding muzzles. Human noses jut from relatively flat faces under high-domed crowns.
In a famous series of experiments conducted in the 1970s, social psychologist Henri Tajfel asked how little it would take to persuade one group of people to discriminate against another. The answer was almost nothing. Having assigned boys to two groups based largely on random criteria, he asked them to play a game. Each boy had to decide how many pennies to give to members of his own group and...
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The footprints of long-gone glaciers and icebergs are now frozen in time in a stunning new collection of images of Earth’s seafloor.
The Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms is a comprehensive, high-resolution atlas of underwater landscapes that have been shaped by glaciers, largely in polar and subpolar regions, and provides a comparative look at how glaciers,...
Mars may have had a far-out birthplace.
Simulating the assembly of the solar system around 4.56 billion years ago, researchers propose that the Red Planet didn’t form in the inner solar system alongside the other terrestrial planets as previously thought. Mars instead may have formed around where the asteroid belt is now and migrated inward to its present-day orbit, the scientists report...
50 Years Ago
Mosquitoes on the way out
By 1973, just nine years after the start of an antimosquito campaign, the Aedes aegypti will be eradicated from the United States. The mosquito, a potential carrier of yellow fever, dengue and hemorrhagic fever, has been the target of a $23 million attack launched in 1964…. The carrier of these viral diseases can still be found in 10 southern states, Hawaii, the...
On April 22, tens of thousands of scientists and science enthusiasts marched for science in Washington, D.C., and in other cities around the globe. Many participants expressed overtly political messages, but, as Science News reported live via Twitter from the National Mall, many marchers also focused on how much they value science. People gathered en masse in part to recognize science as a...
Letters to the Editor
Sugarcoated05/03/2017 - 11:20 Cancer, Technology, Animals
A new wave of potential immune therapies aims to target the network of complex sugars that coat cancer cells, Esther Landhuis reported in “Cancer’s sweet cloak” (SN: 4/1/17, p. 24). Some of these sugars, called sialic acids, help tumors hide from the immune system.
“Are the offending sugars referred to in this article the ones we are eating or are they the result of...
Cholesterol is so important to life that practically every human cell makes it. Cells use the compound to keep their membranes porous and springy, and to produce hormones and other vital substances. The body can make all the cholesterol it needs, but Americans tend to have a surplus, thanks in large part to too little exercise and too much meat, cheese and grease. Fifty years ago, researchers...
Leave it to a researcher who studies icy moons in the outer solar system to come up with an out-there scheme to restore vanishing sea ice in the Arctic.
Ice is a good insulator, says Steven Desch, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. That’s why moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, among others, may be able to maintain liquid oceans beneath their...