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E.g., 02/20/2019
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  • News in Brief

    A new 2-D material uses light to quickly and safely purify water

    Using light, a prototype “green” material can purify enough daily drinking water for four people in just one hour. In tests, it killed nearly 100 percent of bacteria in 10 liters of water, researchers report February 7 in Chem.

    This new material, a 2-D sheet of graphitic carbon nitride, is a photocatalyst: It releases electrons when illuminated to create destructive oxygen-based...

    02/12/2019 - 15:30 Technology, Sustainability
  • Feature

    Robots are becoming classroom tutors. But will they make the grade?

    Pondering a tablet screen displaying a town scene, a pre-K student tilts her head to the side and taps her lip thoughtfully.

    “What are we trying to find?” asks the plush, red and blue robot called Tega that’s perched on the desk beside the girl. The bot resembles a teddy bear–sized Furby.

    “We are trying to find lavender-colored stuff,” the girl explains. Lavender is a new...

    02/12/2019 - 06:00 Robotics, Technology, Science & Society
  • News

    Congo’s Ebola outbreak is a testing ground for new treatments

    Amid the second largest Ebola outbreak ever, the hunt for a lifesaving treatment is on. A clinical trial of patients taking place now in Congo is gathering evidence on experimental therapies, to provide a proven option when the deadly virus inevitably emerges again.

    The first multidrug clinical trial of Ebola therapies, which began enrolling patients in November, will compare the...

    02/11/2019 - 15:34 Health
  • The –est

    A rare, ancient case of bone cancer has been found in a turtle ancestor

    A 240-million-year-old case of bone cancer has turned up in a fossil of an extinct ancestor of turtles. Dating to the Triassic Period, the fossil is the oldest known example of this cancer in an amniote, a group that includes mammals, birds and reptiles, researchers report online February 7 in JAMA Oncology. 

    The fossilized left femur from the shell-less stem-turtle Pappochelys rosinae...

    02/11/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Paleontology, Health
  • News

    An Antarctic expedition will search for what lived under the Larsen C ice shelf

    Maybe the fourth time’s the charm. On February 9, an international team of scientists is embarking on yet another mission to hunt for ocean life that may have once dwelled in the shadow of a giant iceberg (SN Online: 10/13/17).  The scientists, led by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, are headed to the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, where a...

    02/08/2019 - 14:59 Climate, Oceans, Earth
  • News

    DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

    Hundreds of years before changing the genetic face of Bronze Age Europeans, herders based in western Asia’s steppe grasslands were already mingling and occasionally mating with nearby farmers in southeastern Europe.

    That surprising finding, published online February 4 in Nature Communications, raises novel questions about a pivotal time when widespread foraging and farming populations...

    02/08/2019 - 06:00 Genetics, Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    In some cases, getting dengue may protect against Zika

    Previous infections with dengue virus may have protected some people in an urban slum in Brazil from getting Zika.

    In a study of more than 1,400 people in the Pau da Lima area of Salvador, those with higher levels of antibodies against a particular dengue virus protein were at lower risk of contracting Zika, researchers report in the Feb. 8 Science. “The higher the antibody, the higher...

    02/07/2019 - 14:00 Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Evolutionarily, grandmas are good for grandkids — up to a point

    Grandmothers are great — generally speaking. But evolutionarily speaking, it’s puzzling why women past their reproductive years live so long.

    Grandma’s age and how close she lives to her grandchildren can affect those children’s survival, suggest two new studies published February 7 in Current Biology.  One found that, among Finnish families in the 1700s–1800s, the survival rate of young...

    02/07/2019 - 11:00 Evolution, Science & Society, Anthropology
  • Growth Curve

    In the third trimester, a pregnant woman’s sense of personal space grows

    Lots of changes come with pregnancy, but perhaps none is as obvious as the ever-growing midsection. Pregnant women’s bodies accommodate their babies in many ways — rib cages stretch, lungs bunch up around the throat and belly buttons pop out — as the fetus takes over every possible centimeter of available real estate.

    Along with that physical expansion comes an interesting mental one:...

    02/07/2019 - 07:00 Pregnancy
  • It's Alive

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    A year when vandals trashed a Joshua tree in a national park during a U.S. government shutdown is a good time to talk about what’s so unusual about these iconic plants.

    The trees’ chubby branches ending in rosettes of pointy green leaves add a touch of Dr. Seuss to the Mojave Desert in the U.S. Southwest. Its two species belong to the same family as agave and, believe it or not,...

    02/06/2019 - 08:00 Plants, Conservation, Science & Society