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E.g., 01/19/2017
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  • 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
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder hominid hookups and more

    Nuts about Neandertals

    Recent genetic analyses of populations around the world showed that a wave of ancient humans left Africa about 50,000 to 72,000 years ago. All non-Africans alive today originated from this single wave, Tina Hesman Saey reported in “One Africa exodus populated globe” (SN: 10/15/16, p. 6).

    “If the Neandertals were already present when Homo sapiens arrived on the scene...

    11/30/2016 - 14:30 Anthropology, Quantum Physics, Astronomy
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers respond to the SN 10, and awards for Science News

    Science’s human side

    In “The SN 10: Scientists to Watch” (SN: 10/1/16, p. 16), Science News recognized 10 up-and-coming scientists across a range of scientific fields who will be answering big questions in the decades to come.

    Barry Maletzky thought that highlighting 10 young scientists may have been unfair and detrimental to other researchers. “By drawing attention to just 10, I wonder...

    11/16/2016 - 11:07 Science & Society, Technology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers unimpressed by Earth's newest neighbor

    Buzzkill

    Astronomers confirmed the existence of an exoplanet, Proxima b, only 4.2 light-years from Earth, Christopher Crockett reported in “Planet orbits sun’s nearest neighbor” (SN: 9/17/16, p. 6).

    Some readers thought there was too much excitement over the new potentially habitable planet.

    Christina Gullion believes keeping Earth habitable in the face of a changing climate is more...

    11/02/2016 - 17:27 Exoplanets, Ecology, Astronomy
  • News

    Training for parents may lessen some autism symptoms in kids

    Training parents to better communicate with their children with autism spectrum disorder may lead to long-lasting improvements in certain symptoms, scientists report online in the Oct. 25 Lancet.

    The results are “very encouraging,” because they show long-term benefits for a relatively low-intensity treatment — one that’s delivered by parents, says clinical psychologist Geraldine Dawson,...

    10/25/2016 - 18:30 Health, Psychology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question the biology of alcoholism and more

    Gene and tonic

    Lab rats bred to drink a lot or hardly at all have revealed 930 genes linked to a preference for alcohol, a recent study shows. Tina Hesman Saey reported the findings in “Rats offer DNA clues to a­lcoholism” (SN: 9/3/16, p. 8).

    John M. Wozniak Jr. wondered if the drinking rats were truly alcoholic, or if they gained nutritional or energy b­enefits from the alcohol.

    ...

    10/19/2016 - 16:36 Genetics, Health
  • Letters to the Editor

    A metallic odyssey, what's causing sunspots and more reader feedback

    Metallic odyssey

    Scientists are getting closer to turning hydrogen into a solid metal, Emily Conover reported in “Chasing a devious metal” (SN: 8/20/16, p. 18).

    “If, as some scientists think, [metallic hydrogen] formed under intense pressure remains solid at room temperature, why don’t we find any on our planet?” asked Michael Brostek. “If formed in a star that subsequently explodes,...

    10/05/2016 - 13:30 Physics, Materials, Oceans, Astronomy
  • Feature

    Jeremy Freeman seeks to simplify complex brain science

    Jeremy Freeman, 30NeuroscientistHoward Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus

    Jeremy Freeman loves clean, simple lines. To see his bent toward aesthetic minimalism, you need look no further than his spare, calm website that slowly shifts colors.

    In the past, this fixation with style has occasionally veered toward the extreme. In graduate school at New York University, “...

    09/21/2016 - 11:05 Neuroscience, Cells, Computing