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Your search has returned 653 articles:
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question supernova physics

    Supernova surprise

    Astronomers continue to learn a lot from supernova 1987A, which burst onto the scene 30 years ago. Thanks to new detectors that can pick up neutrino signals and even gravitational waves, scientists will be ready when the next nearby star explodes, Emily Conover reported in “Waiting for a supernova” (SN: 2/18/17, p. 24).

    Steve Capps wondered how neutrinos inside an...

    03/22/2017 - 12:10 Particle Physics, Robotics, Condensed Matter
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers dispute starfishes' water-swirling abilities

    Doomsday preppers

    Dinosaurs and other creatures were largely wiped out 66 million years ago from an asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions or maybe a mix of the two, Thomas Sumner reported in “Devastation detectives” (SN: 2/4/17, p. 16), in the Science News special report “Dino Doomsday.”

    Online reader Mike van Horn wondered if the timing of the v­olcanic eruptions, which happened for h­...

    03/08/2017 - 12:22 Animals, Evolution, Biophysics
  • Science & the Public

    Data-driven crime prediction fails to erase human bias

    Big data is everywhere these days and police departments are no exception. As law enforcement agencies are tasked with doing more with less, many are using predictive policing tools. These tools feed various data into algorithms to flag people likely to be involved with future crimes or to predict where crimes will occur.

    In the years since Time magazine named predictive policing as one...

    03/08/2017 - 10:00 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
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers respond to antibiotics, carbon bonds and more

    Power struggle

    Ninety percent of people who believe that they are allergic to penicillin are not, Emily DeMarco reported in “Most penicillin allergies are off base” (SN: 12/24/16 & 1/7/17, p. 5). A recent study found that testing for penicillin allergies reduced by 34 percent the use of vancomycin, described in the story as “a powerful, last-resort antibiotic.”

    Reader Robin Colgrove...

    02/08/2017 - 12:42 Health, Chemistry
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers weigh in on mathematical animals and more

    Critter calculations

    Savvy for judging quantities is turning up across the animal kingdom — even among spiders and other invertebrates, Susan Milius reported in “Animal math” (SN: 12/10/16, p. 22).

    Some astute readers pointed out that designing experiments to test animals’ quantitative skills takes great ingenuity, but sometimes human bias may skew the results.

    “Articles on animal...

    01/25/2017 - 15:05 Animals, Astronomy, Evolution
  • News

    In debate over origin of fairy circles, both sides might be right

    Ecologists still don’t believe in fairies. But it may take magic to resolve a long-running debate over what causes the oddly regular spots of bare soil called fairy circles. A new approach now suggests combining the two main hypotheses.

    Fairy circles, each among about six close neighbors, sprinkle arid grasslands in southern Africa and Australia “like a polka dot dress,” says ecologist...

    01/19/2017 - 07:00 Ecology, Plants, Animals
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers weigh in on dinos, dark matter and more

    Prehistoric tweet

    Researchers uncovered the fossilized voice box, called a syrinx, of an ancient bird that lived 68 million to 66 million years ago. The bird may have sounded like a honking duck, Meghan Rosen reported in “Ancient avian voice box unearthed” (SN: 11/12/16, p. 7).

    Online reader David Spector wondered if researchers could 3-D print the syrinx to replicate the ancient bird’s...

    01/11/2017 - 12:15 Paleontology, Particle Physics, Health
  • News

    Force-detecting protein senses when lungs fill with air

    Scientists investigating what keeps lungs from overinflating can quit holding their breath.

    Experiments in mice have identified a protein that senses when the lungs are full of air. This protein helps regulate breathing in adult mice and gets breathing going in newborn mice, researchers report online December 21 in Nature.

    If the protein plays a similar role in people — and a few...

    12/21/2016 - 13:01 Biophysics, Genetics, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers contemplate corals and more

    Corals in crisis

    Algae that provide nutrients to corals turn toxic and lead the corals to “bleach” and sometimes die when ocean temperatures spike. Researchers are seeding damaged reefs with baby corals and breeding heat-tolerant corals to help these imperiled marine animals, Amy McDermott reported in “Rebuilding reefs” (SN: 10/29/16, p. 18).

    Ronald Swager wondered if researchers could...

    12/14/2016 - 06:00 Oceans, Genetics, Archaeology