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E.g., 10/19/2017
E.g., 10/19/2017
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  • News

    Doubling up on ‘junk DNA’ helps make us human

    ORLANDO — Doubling up on some DNA may have helped make humans human — including giving us uniquely human diseases.

    DNA that doesn’t produce proteins may be especially important for creating differences between humans and other primates, biochemist Paulina Carmona-Mora reported October 18 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

    Carmona-Mora and colleagues in...

    10/19/2017 - 18:18 Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Laws to protect athletes’ brains do reduce concussions — eventually

    To guard against the dangers of concussions, by 2014, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had enacted laws to protect young athletes. More than 2½ years after these laws went on the books, repeat concussions began to decline among high school athletes, researchers report online October 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

    Researchers reviewed concussion data from 2005 to...

    10/19/2017 - 17:11 Health, Mental Health
  • News

    The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever

    A new version of the H7N9 avian influenza virus might be able to cause widespread infection and should be closely monitored, scientists say, although it currently doesn’t spread easily between people.

    Researchers isolated the virus from a fatal human case and tested it and two genetically modified versions in ferrets, which are susceptible to both human and bird flu viruses. The tested...

    10/19/2017 - 14:33 Immune Science, Health
  • 50 years ago, engineers tried catching commercial planes in nets

    Net to halt runaway airliners

    A gigantic emergency arresting gear system, capable of stopping the largest four-engined jet aircraft without discomfort to passengers, is being developed for the French Ministry of Transportation. The system consists of a nylon net … which engages the aircraft for the full width of its wingspan. Net and airplane are brought to a slow stop by energy...

    10/19/2017 - 07:00 Technology
  • News

    The physics of mosquito takeoffs shows why you don’t feel a thing

    View the video

    Discovering an itchy welt is often a sign you have been duped by one of Earth’s sneakiest creatures — the mosquito.

    Scientists have puzzled over how the insects, often laden with two or three times their weight in blood, manage to flee undetected. At least one species of mosquito — Anopheles coluzzii — does so by relying more on lift from its wings than push from its...

    10/18/2017 - 18:00 Biophysics, Animals
  • News

    Animal study reveals how a fever early in pregnancy can cause birth defects

    Certain birth defects of the face and heart can occur when babies’ mothers have a fever during the first trimester of pregnancy, a crucial time in an embryo’s development. Now scientists have figured out the molecular players that make it so.  

    In an experiment with chicken embryos, a temporary rise in incubation temperature — meant to mimic feverlike conditions — was enough to produce...

    10/18/2017 - 14:00 Health, Human Development
  • News

    The newest AlphaGo mastered the game with no human input

    AlphaGo just leveled up.

    The latest version of the computer program, dubbed AlphaGo Zero, is the first to master Go, a notoriously complex Chinese board game, without human guidance. Its predecessor — dubbed AlphaGo Lee when it became the first computer program with artificial intelligence, or AI, to defeat a human world champion Go player (SN Online: 3/15/16) — had to study millions of...

    10/18/2017 - 13:00 Computing, Technology
  • October 28, 2017

    10/18/2017 - 12:47
  • Editor's Note

    Conspiring with engineers helps make science great

    From what I can tell, there’s a fair amount of friendly rivalry between folks who call themselves “scientists” and those who call themselves “engineers.” Bill Nye, educated as a mechanical engineer, had to defend himself as the “Science Guy” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this year: “It’s physics, for four years, it’s physics,” he said. Dean of the Boston University College of...

    10/18/2017 - 12:30 Science & Society, Physics, Technology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question photons colliding, black sea snakes and more

    Brain boost

    It’s possible that therapies such as external brain stimulation and neurofeedback, as well as some drugs, may one day boost brain flexibility. A new line of research suggests flexibility is important for learning, Laura Sanders reported in “Learning takes brain acrobatics” (SN: 9/16/17, p. 22).

    Online reader Glenn wondered if drugs for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s...

    10/18/2017 - 12:15 Particle Physics, Animals, Neuroscience