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  • News in Brief

    Palace remains in Mexico point to ancient rise of centralized power

    Remnants of a royal palace in southern Mexico, dating to between around 2,300 and 2,100 years ago, come from what must have been one of the Americas’ earliest large, centralized governments,  researchers say.

    Excavations completed in 2014 at El Palenque uncovered a palace with separate areas where a ruler conducted affairs of state and lived with his family, say archaeologists Elsa...

    03/27/2017 - 15:10 Archaeology
  • News

    Millions of atoms entangled in record-breaking quantum tests

    In a feat of quantum one-upmanship, two teams of scientists have staked new claims of linking whopping numbers of atoms at the quantum level.

    Researchers from Geneva demonstrated quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms, smashing the previous record of about 3,000 entangled atoms (SN Online: 3/25/2015). Meanwhile, scientists from Canada and the United States used a similar technique to...

    03/27/2017 - 07:00 Quantum Physics
  • Scicurious

    Most Americans like science — and are willing to pay for it

    Americans don’t hate science. Quite the contrary. In fact, 79 percent of Americans think science has made their lives easier, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found. More than 60 percent of people also believe that government funding for science is essential to its success.

    But should the United States spend more money on scientific research than it already does? A layperson’s answer to...

    03/24/2017 - 13:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Ancient Romans may have been cozier with Huns than they let on

    Nomadic warriors and herders known as the Huns are described in historical accounts as having instigated the fifth century fall of the Roman Empire under Attila’s leadership. But the invaders weren’t always so fierce. Sometimes they shared rather than fought with the Romans, new evidence suggests.

    Huns and farmers living around the Roman Empire’s eastern border, where the Danube River...

    03/24/2017 - 11:38 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • News

    Deadly New Zealand quake hopscotched across faults

    A seemingly impossible earthquake that rattled New Zealand last November casts doubt on how well seismologists can forecast quakes involving multiple fault lines.

    Retracing the path of the magnitude 7.8 temblor using satellite and seismic data, researchers discovered that the earthquake involved at least 12 major faults and was far more widespread and powerful than predicted by seismic...

    03/23/2017 - 14:38 Earth
  • News

    Dengue fever spreads in a neighborly way

    Dengue is a bit of a homebody. By mapping the spread of the virus across Bangkok, scientists found that infections were most likely to occur within a few minutes’ walk of the home of the first person infected.

    Pinpointing where dengue is likely to be transmitted can better focus efforts to stop the spread of the disease, the researchers report in the March 24 Science.

    “We often...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Random mutations play large role in cancer, study finds

    Researchers have identified new enemies in the war on cancer: ones that are already inside cells and that no one can avoid.

    Random mistakes made as stem cells divide are responsible for about two-thirds of the mutations in cancer cells, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in the March 24 Science. Across all cancer types, environment and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Cancer, Cells, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Arctic sea ice hits record wintertime low

    Arctic sea ice has hit a record low for the third year in a row. It’s the paltriest maximum extent seen since recordkeeping began in 1979, scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced March 22.

    Total sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean peaked on March 7, satellite observations show, reaching a total area of 14.42 million square kilometers. That’s around 100,000...

    03/23/2017 - 12:31 Climate, Oceans
  • Soapbox

    It’s time to redefine what qualifies as a planet, scientists propose

    Pluto is a planet. It always has been, and it always will be, says Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Now he just has to convince the world of that.

    For centuries, the word planet meant “wanderer” and included the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Eventually the moon and sun were dropped from the definition, but Pluto was included, after its...

    03/23/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • 50 Years Ago

    In 1967, LSD was briefly labeled a breaker of chromosomes

    LSD may damage chromosomes

    Two New York researchers have found the hallucinogenic drug will markedly increase the rate of abnormal change in chromosomes. [Scientists] tested LSD on cell cultures from the blood of two healthy individuals … [and] also found similar abnormal changes in the blood of a schizophrenic patient who had been treated with [LSD]. The cell cultures showed a two-fold...

    03/23/2017 - 07:00 Genetics, Neuroscience