It was one of the flashiest mysteries in the news about a decade ago — honeybee workers were vanishing fast for no clear reason. To this day, that puzzle has never been entirely solved, researchers acknowledge.
And maybe it never will be. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, as the sudden mass honeybee losses were called, has faded in recent years as mysteriously as it began. It’s possible...
Year in Review
No story on the Science News website is complete without visuals. And when it comes to videos, those visuals have lives of their own on other platforms. In addition to incorporating videos into some of our articles, we also post videos to the Science News YouTube channel and the Science News magazine Facebook page, where thousands of people watch them each year.
We tackled all manner of...
Science & the Public
Watch the SN staff sum up 2017
Our Top 10 stories of 2017 cover the science that was earthshaking, field-advancing or otherwise important. But choosing our favorite stories requires some different metrics.
Here are some of our staff’s favorites from 2017, selected for their intrigue, their power, their element of surprise — or because they were just really, really fun.Stories...
Year in Review
2017 revealed some surprising biology of organisms large and small, from quick-dozing elephants to sex-changing lizards and carbon-dumping sea creatures.Switch it up
Toasty temperatures trump genetics when it comes to the sex of a bearded dragon lizard. Now researchers have found how RNA editing helps turn overheated male embryos into females (SN Online: 6/14/17).Homegrown...
View the video
Not so long ago, the lives of sea turtles were largely a mystery. From the time that hatchlings left the beaches where they were born to waddle into the ocean until females returned to lay their eggs, no one really knew where the turtles went or what they did.
Then researchers started attaching satellite trackers to young turtles. And that’s when scientists...
It doesn’t matter if it’s a burly rattler or a tiny garter snake. A deadly fungal disease that’s infecting snakes in the eastern and midwestern United States doesn’t appear to discriminate by species, size or habitat, researchers report online December 20 in Science Advances.
The infection, caused by the fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, can cover snakes’ bodies with lesions...
The hardy souls who manage to push shorts season into December might feel some kinship with the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.
The critter hibernates all winter, but even when awake, it’s less sensitive to cold than its nonhibernating relatives, a new study finds. That cold tolerance is linked to changes in a specific cold-sensing protein in the sensory nerve cells of the ground...
Reviews & Previews
Have you fallen behind on your reading this year? Or maybe you’ve plowed through your must-reads and are ready for more. Science News has got you covered. Here are the staff’s picks for some of the best science books of 2017. Find detailed reviews from previous issues in the links below or in our Editors pick: Favorite books of 2017.
Against the GrainJames C. Scott
New power sources bear a shocking resemblance to the electricity-making organs inside electric eels.
These artificial electric eel organs are made up of water-based polymer mixes called hydrogels. Such soft, flexible battery-like devices, described online December 13 in Nature, could power soft robots or next-gen wearable and implantable tech.
“It’s a very smart approach” to...
Letters to the Editor
The Science News website attracted millions of visitors in 2017. The lists below name the most-read online stories outside of our Top 10 stories of the year, plus the most popular stories for each of our blogs.Top stories
1. The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly aliveTiny tubes between veins in the shimmery blue wings of morpho dragonflies (shown above) may be respiratory...