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E.g., 07/27/2016
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  • Editor's Note

    Science finds many tricks for traveling to the past

    Talking about her cover story on what iron-loving elements are telling geologists about the Earth’s deep past, Alexandra Witze likens these rare metals to time travelers. They can tell you, she says, what was happening more than 4.5 billion...

    07/27/2016 - 16:14 Earth, Evolution, Cosmology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder animal flight

    Flightless perks

    Galápagos cormorants are the only cormorant species with wings too small to fly, and broken cellular antennae that transmit garbled developmental messages are probably to blame, Tina Hesman Saey ...

    07/27/2016 - 16:14 Animals, Biophysics, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Rosetta spacecraft has stopped listening for Philae lander

    It’s time for a final farewell to the comet lander Philae.

    The European Space Agency announced that on July 27 it would shut off the equipment that the Rosetta spacecraft uses to listen in on communications from Philae. The lander, which...

    07/27/2016 - 14:30 Planetary Science
  • News

    Distinctions blur between wolf species

    Wolves are having something of an identity crisis. Gray wolves and coyotes might be the only pure wild canine species in North America, a new genetic analysis suggests. Other wolves — like red wolves and eastern wolves — appear to be blends of gray wolf and coyote ancestry instead of their own distinct lineages.

    Red wolves...

    07/27/2016 - 14:00 Evolution, Animals
  • Introducing

    Newly discovered big-headed ants use spines for support

    The newest and thorniest members of a diverse ant family may have extra help holding their heads high.

    Found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion worker ants have spines protruding from their thoraxes. For many ant species, the spiky growths are a defense against birds and other predators. But Eli Sarnat and colleagues suggest...

    07/27/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Ecology, Evolution
  • News

    New scenario proposed for birth of Pacific Plate

    A three-way tectonic tango may have led to the birth of what is now the largest chunk of Earth’s crust.

    By scrutinizing what little geologic evidence remains from 190 million years ago, researchers reconstructed the origins of the Pacific tectonic plate, which now covers a fifth of Earth’s surface. The plate formed during the...

    07/27/2016 - 14:00 Earth
  • News

    The nose knows how to fight staph

    MANCHESTER, England — The human nose harbors not only a deadly enemy — Staphylococcus aureus — but also its natural foe. Scientists have now isolated a compound from that foe that might combat MRSA, the methicillin-resistant strain of S. aureus.

    “We didn’t expect to find this. We were...

    07/27/2016 - 13:23 Microbiology, Health
  • News in Brief

    Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is hot

    View the video

    On Jupiter, the Great Red Spot is the hottest thing going. Temperatures over the ruddy oval, a storm that could engulf Earth, are hundreds of degrees warmer than neighboring parcels of air and higher than anywhere else on the planet, researchers report online July 27 in Nature. ...

    07/27/2016 - 13:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Vaping’s toxic vapors come mainly from e-liquid solvents

    Over the last three years, growing evidence has shown that electronic cigarettes are not the harmless alternative to smoking that many proponents have argued. Now, a new study traces a large share of e-cigs’ toxic gases to a heat-triggered breakdown of the liquids used to create the vapors. And the hotter an e-cig gets — and the more it’s used — the more toxic compounds it emits, the study...

    07/27/2016 - 08:00 Chemistry, Health
  • Feature

    Iron-loving elements tell stories of Earth’s history

    View the slideshow

    Four and a half billion years ago, after Earth’s fiery birth, the infant planet began to radically reshape itself, separating into distinct layers. Metals — mostly iron with a bit of nickel — fell toward the center to form a core. The growing core also vacuumed up other metallic elements, such as platinum, iridium and gold.

    By the time...

    07/27/2016 - 07:00 Earth, Chemistry