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E.g., 12/05/2016
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  • News in Brief

    Bird plus goggles equals new insight into flight physics

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    A bird in laser goggles has helped scientists discover a new phenomenon in the physics of flight.

    Swirling vortices appear in the flow of air that follows a bird’s wingbeat. But for slowly flying birds, these vortices were unexpectedly short-lived, researchers from Stanford University report December 6 in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. The results could help scientists...

    12/05/2016 - 18:21 Biophysics
  • News

    First spider superdads discovered

    The first normally solitary spider to win Dad of the Year sets up housekeeping in a web above his offspring and often ends up as their sole defender and single parent.

    Moms handle most parental care known in spiders, says Rafael Rios Moura at the Federal University of Uberlândia in Brazil. But either or both parents care for egg sacs and spiderlings in the small Manogea porracea species...

    12/05/2016 - 09:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Cosmic test confirms quantum weirdness

    The spookiness of quantum mechanics has gone cosmic.

    Physicists have used starlight to perform a “Bell test” to verify the strange nature of quantum mechanics. For decades, such tests have repeatedly confirmed quantum physics’s quirks, but the tests contained loopholes. While the major loopholes have already been closed (SN: 12/26/15, p. 24), a lingering caveat remained, regarding...

    12/05/2016 - 07:00 Quantum Physics
  • Science & the Public

    You’ve probably been tricked by fake news and don’t know it

    If you spent Thanksgiving trying in vain to convince relatives that the Pope didn’t really endorse Donald Trump or that Hillary Clinton didn’t sell weapons to ISIS, fake news has already weaseled its way into your brain.

    Those “stories” and other falsified news outperformed much of the real news on Facebook before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And on Twitter, an analysis by...

    12/04/2016 - 06:00 Psychology, Science & Society
  • The Name Game

    Gaggle of stars get official names

    For centuries, stargazers have known which star was Polaris and which was Sirius, but those designations were by unofficial tradition. The International Astronomical Union, arbiter of naming things in space, has now blessed the monikers of 227 stars in our galaxy. As of November 24, names such as Polaris (the North Star) and Betelgeuse (the bright red star in Orion) are approved.

    Until...

    12/02/2016 - 13:47 Astronomy
  • News

    Stellar vomiting produces dark galaxies, simulations suggest

    Brilliant births and destructive deaths of stars might take a runt of a galaxy and stretch it to become a ghostly behemoth, new computer simulations show. This process could explain the origin of recently discovered dark galaxies, which can be as wide as the Milky Way but host roughly 1 percent as many stars.

    Since 2015, astronomers have found hundreds of these shadowy systems lurking in...

    12/02/2016 - 08:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Gut microbe mix may spark Parkinson’s

    For clues to Parkinson’s brain symptoms, a gut check is in order.

    Intestinal microbes send signals that set off the disease’s characteristic brain inflammation and motor problems in mice, researchers report December 1 in Cell. Doctors might someday be able to treat Parkinson’s by fixing this bacterial imbalance.

    “It’s quite an exciting piece of work,” says John Cryan, a...

    12/01/2016 - 14:48 Neuroscience, Microbiology
  • News

    Despite lack of free electrons, bismuth superconducts

    An oddball superconductor is the first of its kind — and if scientists are lucky, its discovery may lead to others.

    At a frigid temperature 5 ten-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, bismuth becomes a superconductor — a material that conducts electricity without resistance — physicists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, report online December 1 in...

    12/01/2016 - 14:00 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • News

    Enzyme forges carbon-silicon bonds with a little human help

    Carbon and silicon don’t play nice in nature — they link up only in human-made products like paint and pharmaceuticals. But after just three generations of selective breeding, an enzyme can bring the two atoms together, scientists report November 25 in Science. It’s the first time biological tools have bonded carbon to silicon, perhaps opening a way to let living organisms build proteins and...

    12/01/2016 - 07:00 Chemistry, Molecular Evolution
  • News

    Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies

    Our grasp of food allergy science is as jumbled as a can of mixed nuts. While there are tantalizing clues on how food allergies emerge and might be prevented, misconceptions are plentiful and broad conclusions are lacking, concludes a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

    As a result, both the general public and medical community are confused and ill...

    11/30/2016 - 17:19 Immune Science, Science & Society