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E.g., 08/23/2017
E.g., 08/23/2017
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  • Feature

    Birth control research is moving beyond the pill

    Mention “the pill,” and only one kind of drug comes to mind. The claim that oral contraceptives have on that simple noun testifies to the pill’s singular effect in the United States. Introduced in 1960, the pill gave women reliable access to birth control for the first time. The opportunity to delay having children opened the door to higher education and professional careers for many women....

    08/22/2017 - 12:30 Health, Human Development
  • News

    Eclipse watchers will go after the biggest solar mystery: Why is the corona so hot?

    A total solar eclipse shines a light on the sun's elusive atmosphere. When the moon blocks the sun, it’s finally possible to see how this diffuse cloud of plasma, called the corona, is magnetically sculpted into beautiful loops. The material there is about a trillionth the density of the solar surface. From its delicate and diaphanous appearance, you might expect the corona to be where the sun...

    08/20/2017 - 06:00 Astronomy, Science & Society, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Giant larvaceans could be ferrying ocean plastic to the seafloor

    View the video

    Everybody poops, but the poop of bloblike filter feeders called giant larvaceans could be laced with microplastics.

    Every day, these gelatinous creatures (Bathochordaeus stygius) build giant disposable mucus mansions to round up zooplankton into their stomachs — sometimes sifting through around 80 liters of seawater per hour. Kakani Katija and her colleagues at the...

    08/16/2017 - 15:23 Animals, Oceans, Pollution
  • Wild Things

    These spiders crossed an ocean to get to Australia

    If you look at a map of the world, it’s easy to think that the vast oceans would be effective barriers to the movement of land animals. And while an elephant can’t swim across the Pacific, it turns out that plenty of plants and animals — and even people — have unintentionally floated across oceans from one continent to another. Now comes evidence that tiny, sedentary trapdoor spiders made such...

    08/15/2017 - 09:00 Animals
  • News

    Climate change is shifting when Europe’s rivers flood

    Across Europe, rivers aren’t flooding when they used to.

    Long-term changes in temperature and precipitation are making some rivers flood days, weeks or even months earlier than they did 50 years ago, and pushing flooding in other areas much later, researchers report August 11 in Science. Those changes could impact people, wildlife and farms near rivers.

    Previous studies have shown...

    08/10/2017 - 14:28 Climate, Earth
  • Feature

    Ticks are here to stay. But scientists are finding ways to outsmart them

    Thanks, Holly Gaff. Soon, anyone straining to tweeze off a mid-back tick can find answers to the obvious question: What if humankind just went after the little bloodsuckers with killer robots?

    Gaff, who calls herself a mathematical eco­epidemiologist, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., is one of the few people collecting real field data on the efficacy of tick-slaying robots....

    08/09/2017 - 11:00 Animals, Science & Society
  • News

    Sacrificed dog remains feed tales of Bronze Age ‘wolf-men’ warriors

    Remains of at least two Late Bronze Age initiation ceremonies, in which teenage boys became warriors by eating dogs and wolves, have turned up in southwestern Russia, two archaeologists say. The controversial finds, which date to between roughly 3,900 and 3,700 years ago, may provide the first archaeological evidence of adolescent male war bands described in ancient texts.

    Select boys of...

    08/07/2017 - 07:00 Anthropology, Archaeology
  • Wild Things

    One creature’s meal is another’s pain in the butt

    Anyone who’s had a sandwich stolen out of their hands by a gull at the beach knows firsthand how bold and aggressive these birds can be in their quest for food. But there are gulls that do far worse than steal your sandwich.

    The absolute worst might be the kelp gulls that pick at the skin and blubber on the backs of Southern right whales off the coast of Argentina. The wounds caused by...

    08/04/2017 - 12:30 Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Light pollution can foil plant-insect hookups, and not just at night

    For flowers, too much light at night could lead to a pollination hangover by day.

    Far from any urban street, researchers erected street lights in remote Swiss meadows to mimic the effects of artificial light pollution. In fields lit during the night, flowers had 62 percent fewer nocturnal visitors than flowers in dark meadows, researchers report August 2 in Nature.

    For one of the...

    08/02/2017 - 16:45 Conservation, Plants, Animals
  • News

    Gene editing of human embryos gets rid of a mutation that causes heart failure

    For the first time in the United States, researchers have used gene editing to repair a mutation in human embryos.

    Molecular scissors known as CRISPR/Cas9 corrected a gene defect that can lead to heart failure. The gene editor fixed the mutation in about 72 percent of tested embryos, researchers report August 2 in Nature. That repair rate is much higher than expected. Work with skin...

    08/02/2017 - 13:00 Genetics, Cells, Science & Society