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E.g., 09/21/2017
E.g., 09/21/2017
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  • News

    Intense storms provide the first test of powerful new hurricane forecast tools

    This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has already proven to be active and deadly. Powerful hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma and Maria are also providing a testing ground for new tools that scientists hope will save lives by improving forecasts in various ways, from narrowing a storm’s future path to capturing swift changes in the intensity of storm winds.

    Some of the tools that debuted...

    09/21/2017 - 08:07 Earth, Climate
  • News

    This newfound hermit crab finds shelter in corals, not shells

    A new species of hermit crab discovered in the shallow waters of southern Japan has been enjoying the perks of living like a peanut worm. Like the worms, the 7- to 8-millimeter-long hermit crab uses corals as a covering, researchers report September 20 in PLOS ONE.

    Other kinds of hermit crabs live in coral reefs, but typically move in and out of a series of mollusk shells as the crabs...

    09/20/2017 - 14:57 Animals, Ecology
  • News

    By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

    For certain HIV antibodies, having a buddy or two makes a big difference in the fight against the virus.

    Combining the antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, may stop more strains of HIV than any single one can do alone, two new studies suggest. A “triple-threat” antibody molecule can bind to three different spots on the virus, researchers report online September 20 in...

    09/20/2017 - 14:30 Biomedicine, Immune Science
  • News

    In a first, human embryos edited to explore gene function

    For the first time, researchers have disabled a gene in human embryos to learn about its function.

    Using molecular scissors called CRISPR/Cas9, researchers made crippling cuts in the OCT4 gene, Kathy Niakan and colleagues report September 20 in Nature. The edits revealed a surprising role for the gene in the development of the placenta.

    Researchers commonly delete and disable genes...

    09/20/2017 - 13:24 Genetics, Development, Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder mini-spacecraft and Canaanites’ genomes

    Spritely voyage

    Engineers recently launched prototypes of miniature spacecraft. The prototypes, each a single circuit board, include solar panels, radios, thermometers and gyroscopes, Maria Temming reported in “These chip-sized spacecraft are the smallest space probes yet” (SN: 9/2/17, p. 5).

    “Does the gyroscope actually stabilize the chip, or just provide information that can be signaled...

    09/20/2017 - 13:00 Astronomy, Anthropology
  • Editor's Note

    Nature offers inspiration, and occasionally courage

    When Donald Griffin and Robert Galambos first reported that bats use the ricocheting echoes of sound waves to pilot through the environment, some scientists doubted it was possible. The team’s experiments, conducted in the late 1930s at Harvard University and reported in the early 1940s, coincided with World War II and the proliferation of active sonar systems for use on ships and submarines...

    09/20/2017 - 12:47 Technology, Animals, Humans & Society
  • September 30, 2017

    09/20/2017 - 12:46
  • Feature

    Bat brain signals illuminate navigation in the dark

    Ninad Kothari’s workplace looks like something out of a sci-fi film. The graduate student at Johns Hopkins University works in a darkened, red-lit room, where he trains bats to fly through obstacle courses. Shielding within the walls keeps radio and other human-made signals from interfering with transmissions from the tiny electrical signals he’s recording from the bats’ brains as the animals...

    09/20/2017 - 12:30 Animals, Neuroscience
  • Feature

    How bats could help tomato farmers (and the U.S. Navy)

    Bats, with their superb ability to echolocate, are inspiring advanced technologies — from better Navy sonar to gadgets that might deliver packages or help farmers manage crops. And engineers aren’t waiting for neuroscientists to work out every detail of how the bats’ brains manage the task.

    “We think we have enough information to be useful to us, to develop a bio-inspired sensor,” says...

    09/20/2017 - 12:30 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Old barn owls aren’t hard of hearing

    Barn owl ears age well. Unlike other animals, the birds don’t suffer from hearing loss as a hallmark of aging, a new study suggests.

    Beyond people, age-related hearing loss has been documented in mice, gerbils and chinchillas. Those deficits are linked to deterioration of the tiny hair cells that line the sensory layer of the eardrum. But some evidence hints that birds may not suffer...

    09/19/2017 - 19:05 Animals