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  • News in Brief

    As CO2 increases, rice loses B vitamins and other nutrients

    By the end of this century, rice may not deliver the same B vitamin levels that it does today. Protein and certain minerals will dwindle, too, new data suggest.

    Testing higher carbon dioxide concentrations in experimental rice paddies in China predicts losses in four vitamins — B1, B2, B5 and B9 — an international team reports May 23 in Science Advances. Adding results from similar...

    05/23/2018 - 16:17 Climate, Agriculture
  • Feature

    Consumer DNA testing promises more than it delivers

    In Nevada, 40,000 people are stepping up to the cutting edge of precision medicine. They are getting their DNA deciphered by the testing company Helix. The idea of the Healthy Nevada project is to link genetic and medical data with information about the environment to get a clearer picture of all the factors that influence health. The free tests are going like hot cakes.

    When the Healthy...

    05/22/2018 - 12:00 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Meet the speedsters of the plant world

    Somewhere in the wetlands of South Carolina, a buzzing fly alights on a rosy-pink surface. As the fly explores the strange scenery, it unknowingly brushes a small hair sticking up like a slender sword. Strolling along, the fly accidentally grazes another hair. Suddenly, the pink surface closes in from both sides, snapping shut like a pair of ravenous jaws. The blur of movement lasts only a...

    05/16/2018 - 12:11 Plants, Biophysics, Physics
  • News

    Another hint of Europa’s watery plumes found in 20-year-old Galileo data

    Jupiter’s icy moon Europa may have been spitting into space for at least 20 years. Analyzing old Galileo mission data suggests that the NASA spacecraft flew through a plume of water vapor from the moon during a 1997 flyby, researchers report May 14 in Nature Astronomy.

    “We now have very compelling support for the idea that Europa does possess plumes,” says study coauthor Xianzhe Jia, a...

    05/14/2018 - 11:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Feature

    The recipes for solar system formation are getting a rewrite

    With a mortar and pestle, Christy Till blends together the makings of a distant planet. In her geology lab at Arizona State University in Tempe, Till carefully measures out powdered minerals, tips them into a metal capsule and bakes them in a high-pressure furnace that can reach close to 35,000 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure and 2,000° Celsius.

    In this interplanetary test kitchen,...

    05/11/2018 - 09:00 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

    NASA is stepping up its search for planets outside our solar system. Its next exoplanet hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is due to launch from Cape Canaveral on the evening of April 16.

    Following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of more than 5,000 possible exoplanets since 2009, TESS will continue the galactic census — flagging more planetary...

    04/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • 50 years on, vaccines have eliminated measles from the Americas

    Mexico takes vaccine to hinterland

    The campaign to eradicate measles in Mexico is going into the hinterland areas. Mobile brigades will use live virus vaccine produced in laboratories of the Republic’s Department of Health. Measles kills 10,000 Mexican children a year. — Science News, April 13, 1968

    Update 

    The last measles case to originate in Mexico occurred in 1995. In 2016...

    04/10/2018 - 15:00 Health
  • Feature

    Are we ready for the deadly heat waves of the future?

    Some victims were found at home. An 84-year-old woman who’d spent over half her life in the same Sacramento, Calif., apartment died near her front door, gripping her keys. A World War II veteran succumbed in his bedroom. Many died outside, including a hiker who perished on the Pacific Crest Trail, his water bottles empty.

    The killer? Heat. Hundreds of others lost their lives when a...

    04/03/2018 - 15:00 Health, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    A Chinese space station will fall to Earth this weekend

    China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to fall to Earth sometime between March 31 and April 1. No fooling.

    Most of the 10.4-meter-long station will burn up as it zooms through Earth’s atmosphere. But some parts will survive and reach the ground, according to the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office. No one can be sure where or when those pieces will hit. Even within...

    03/30/2018 - 08:00 Astronomy
  • Feature

    How oral vaccines could save Ethiopian wolves from extinction

    Deep in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, wildlife workers trek up above 9,800 feet to save some of the world’s most rare carnivores, Ethiopian wolves.

    “It’s cold, tough work,” says Eric Bedin, who leads the field monitoring team in its uphill battle.

    In this sparse, sometimes snowy landscape, the lanky and ginger-colored wolves (Canis simensis) reign as the region’s apex predators....

    03/22/2018 - 09:00 Animals, Biomedicine, Conservation