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  • News

    Questions remain about the benefits of taking testosterone

    As a treatment for the ailments of aging, testosterone’s benefits are hit or miss.

    For men with low testosterone, the hormone therapy is helpful for some health problems, but not so much for others, researchers report in five papers published February 21 in JAMA and JAMA Internal Medicine. Testosterone therapy was good for the bones, but didn’t help memory. It remedied anemia and was...

    02/22/2017 - 17:28 Health
  • News

    Seven Earth-sized planets orbit nearby supercool star

    A nearby ultracool star harbors seven Earth-sized planets, three with orbits that potentially put them in a habitable zone. That makes the system, around a star called TRAPPIST-1, a prime target in the search for signs of alien life. Its discovery also hints that many more cousins of Earth may be out there than astronomers thought.

    “It’s rather stunning that the system has so many Earth-...

    02/22/2017 - 13:00 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • Editor's Note

    Science’s questions rarely have clear, easy answers

    There are few simple answers in science. Even seemingly straightforward questions, when probed by people in search of proof, lead to more questions. Those questions lead to nuances, layers of complexity and, more often than we might expect, conclusions that contradict initial intuition.

    In the 1990s, researchers asking “How do we fight oxygen-hungry cancer cells?” offered an obvious...

    02/22/2017 - 12:47 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers amazed by Amasia

    Saved by the Bell

    Physicists used light from stars to perform a cosmic Bell test, which verified that quantum particles were indeed “spooky,” Emily Conover reported in “Quantum effect passes space test” (SN: 1/21/17, p. 12).

    Reader George Mitchell took issue with Conover’s description of entangled photons before they are measured as having multiple polarizations at once. “We don’t know...

    02/22/2017 - 12:43 Quantum Physics, Earth, Technology
  • March 4, 2017

    02/22/2017 - 12:39
  • Feature

    Instead of starving a cancer, researchers go after its defenses

    Like many living things, a cancer cell cannot survive without oxygen. When young and tiny, a malignancy nestles inside a bed of blood vessels that keep it fed. As the mass grows, however, its demand for oxygen outpaces supply. Pockets within the tumor become deprived and send emergency signals for new vessel growth, a process called angiogenesis. In the 1990s, a popular cancer-...

    02/22/2017 - 12:32 Cancer, Cells, Biomedicine
  • Science Stats

    Too many stinkbugs spoil the wine

    How many stressed-out stinkbugs does it take to spoil a batch of wine? More than three per grape cluster, new research says. 

    Stinkbugs are a pest among vintners because of the bugs’ taste for wine grapes and namesake foul smell. When accidentally harvested with the grapes and fermented during the wine-making process, the live insects can release their stink and ruin the wine (SN: 5/5/07...

    02/22/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Agriculture
  • News in Brief

    Howler monkeys may owe their color vision to leaf hue

    BOSTON — A taste for reddish young leaves might have pushed howler monkeys toward full-spectrum color vision. The ability to tell red from green could have helped howlers pick out the more nutritious, younger leaves, researchers reported February 19 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That’s a skill their insect-eating close relatives probably didn...

    02/21/2017 - 17:59 Evolution, Animals
  • News

    Power may have passed via women in ancient Chaco Canyon society

    A maternal dynasty ruled one of the earliest and most mysterious civilizations in the Americas, centered in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, for more than three centuries, researchers say.

    DNA extracted from the bones of individuals buried inside a massive Chaco stone pueblo or great house, along with new radiocarbon dates for interred bones, indicate that royal status ran through a particular...

    02/21/2017 - 17:15 Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Low-status chimps revealed as trendsetters

    Chimps with little social status influence their comrades’ behavior to a surprising extent, a new study suggests.

    In groups of captive chimps, a method for snagging food from a box spread among many individuals who saw a low-ranking female peer demonstrate the technique, say primatologist Stuart Watson of the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, and colleagues. But in other...

    02/21/2017 - 11:00 Anthropology, Animals