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E.g., 10/16/2017
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  • Reviews & Previews

    New physics books don’t censor the math behind reality

    Many books about science are meant to be pleasure reading. Such books attempt to convey the wonder and fascination and excitement of science, and ideally some of the substance as well. After all, good popular science writing is not only engaging and entertaining, but also informative. But even very informative popular books are not designed to be fully educational about the science in...

    10/16/2017 - 15:00 Physics, Numbers
  • News

    How to make the cosmic web give up the matter it’s hiding

    Evidence is piling up that much of the universe’s missing matter is lurking along the strands of a vast cosmic web.

    A pair of papers report some of the best signs yet of hot gas in the spaces between galaxy clusters, possibly enough to represent the half of all ordinary matter previously unaccounted for. Previous studies have hinted at this missing matter, but a new search technique is...

    10/11/2017 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    Gut fungi might be linked to obesity and inflammatory bowel disorders

    Fungi may affect gut health in unexpected ways, new research suggests.

    High-fat diets may alter relationships between bacteria and fungi in mice’s intestines, contributing to obesity, researchers report October 11 in mSphere. In independent work, researchers report that a fungus teams up with two types of bacteria to fuel gut inflammation in people with Crohn’s disease. That work was...

    10/16/2017 - 14:00 Microbiology, Health
  • News

    To understand the origins of pain, ask a flatworm

    Hydrogen peroxide, a molecule produced by cells under duress, may be a common danger signal, helping to alert animals to potential harm and send them scurrying. New details from planarian flatworms of how this process works may deepen scientists’ understanding of how people detect pain, and may ultimately point to better ways to curb it.

    “Being able to get a big-picture view of how these...

    10/16/2017 - 12:46 Animals, Neuroscience, Genetics
  • News

    Neutron star collision showers the universe with a wealth of discoveries

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    WASHINGTON — Two ultradense cores of dead stars have produced a long-awaited cosmic collision, showering scientists with riches.

    The event was the first direct sighting of a smashup of neutron stars, which are formed when aging stars explode and leave behind a neutron-rich remnant. In the wake of the collision, the churning residue forged gold, silver, platinum and a...

    10/16/2017 - 10:00 Astronomy
  • News

    When the Larsen C ice shelf broke, it exposed a hidden world

    Teams of scientists are gearing up to race to the Antarctic Peninsula to find out what happens in the immediate aftermath of a massive ice calving event. In July, a Delaware-sized iceberg broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf (SN: 8/5/17, p. 6). Now, several research groups aim to assess the stability of the remaining ice shelf, map the region’s seafloor and study a newly exposed...

    10/13/2017 - 13:33 Earth, Climate
  • The Science Life

    Surgeon aims to diagnose deformities of extinct saber-toothed cats

    Robert Klapper has examined scores of damaged and diseased human knees, hips and shoulders. But a visit to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum introduced the orthopedic surgeon to the suffering of an extinct cat — and a scientific mystery. In 2000, Klapper took a break from his patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to visit the nearby tar pits, where myriad mammals and other...

    10/13/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Context

    An American astronomical evangelist coined the phrase ‘island universe’

    No other science engages human curiosity like astronomy. From antiquity onward, attempts to comprehend the architecture of the cosmos have commanded a substantial fraction of humankind’s mental budget for intellectual endeavor. Only in the last century, though, have astronomers grasped the structure of the cosmos accurately. Just a hundred years ago, a great debate raged about the fuzzy...

    10/13/2017 - 07:00 History of Science
  • News

    A potential drug found in a sea creature can now be made efficiently in the lab

    A seaweed-like marine invertebrate contains a molecule that has piqued interest as a drug but is in short supply: Collecting 14 tons of the critters, a type of bryozoan, yields just 18 grams of the potential medicine. Now, an efficient lab recipe might make bryostatin 1 easier to get.

    Making more of the molecule could help scientists figure out whether the drug — which has shown mixed...

    10/12/2017 - 17:47 Chemistry, Biomedicine, Clinical Trials
  • Science Ticker

    Measured distance within the Milky Way gives clues to what our galaxy looks like

    For the first time, astronomers have directly measured the distance to a spot clear across the galaxy. The established but challenging technique promises a new way to map the structure of the Milky Way.

    This technique, called parallax, has measured distances to stars since the 1830s. But because of galactic dust in the way, it has been difficult to use parallax on stars on the opposite...

    10/12/2017 - 14:45 Astronomy