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  • News

    Drinking sugary beverages in pregnancy linked to kids’ later weight gain

    An expectant mom might want to think twice about quenching her thirst with soda.

    The more sugary beverages a mom drank during mid-pregnancy, the heavier her kids were in elementary school compared with kids whose mothers consumed less of the drinks, a new study finds. At age 8, boys and girls weighed approximately 0.25 kilograms more — about half a pound — with each serving mom added per...

    07/10/2017 - 00:05 Health, Human Development
  • News

    Hermaphrodite wildflower has its own battle of the sexes

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Petals of wildflowers called starry campions may be a pretty little battleground for a sexual skirmish between the plant’s male and female parts.

    As is common in flowers, each Silene stellata bloom forms both male and female sex organs. After measuring petal variation between plants and tracking parenthood of seeds, Juannan Zhou suspected a sexual tug-of-war.

    ...

    07/07/2017 - 08:00 Plants, Evolution
  • Feature

    DNA evidence is rewriting domestication origin stories

    One lab full of rats looks pretty much the same as another. But visiting a lab in Siberia, geneticist Alex Cagan can distinguish rats bred to be tame from those bred to be aggressive as soon as he opens the lab door.

    “It’s a completely different response immediately,” he says. All of the tame rats “come to the front of the cage very inquisitively.” The aggressive rats scurry to the backs...

    07/06/2017 - 12:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Gecko-inspired robot grippers could grab hold of space junk

    View the video

    Get a grip. A new robotic gripping tool based on gecko feet can grab hold of floating objects in microgravity. The grippers could one day help robots move dangerous space junk to safer orbits or climb around the outside of space stations.

    Most strategies for sticking don’t work in space. Chemical adhesives can’t withstand the wide range of temperatures, and suction...

    06/28/2017 - 14:08 Robotics, Astronomy, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Floral curve test shows what’s great for a moth is not so good for a flower

    PORTLAND, ORE. — A great flower shape for a moth trying to get a drink in the dark turns out to be awful from the plant’s point of view.

    Offering hawk moths (Manduca sexta) a range of 3-D printed flowers with different curvatures shows that a moderately curved trumpet shape lets moths sip most efficiently, Foen Peng reported June 24 at the Evolution 2017 meeting. That’s a win for a...

    06/27/2017 - 10:00 Plants, Evolution, Animals
  • Science Visualized

    See the latest stunning views of Jupiter

    Once every 53 days, Jupiter pulls Juno close. Locked in orbit since July 2016, the spacecraft has made five close flybys of the planet so far. More than 1,300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter, but Juno takes only two hours to zip from pole to pole. That mad, north-to-south trek is shown below in a sequence of 14 enhanced-color images taken May 19.

    Each image’s width corresponds to the...

    06/16/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • Wild Things

    Sooty terns’ migration takes the birds into the path of hurricanes

    Hurricane season has officially begun in the North Atlantic, and it’s not just coastal communities that have to worry. A population of sooty terns off the southwest tip of Florida might want to worry, too. Depending on when and where storms hit, the terns could be in for a tough time. Their migratory route overlaps with the general path of hurricanes traveling from the waters off Africa up to...

    06/02/2017 - 10:35 Animals
  • Science & the Public

    Trump’s proposed 2018 budget takes an ax to science research funding

    Tornadoes in the southeast, Earth’s magnetic field and obesity might not seem to have much in common. Well, now they do.

    Under President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, federal research spending into all three areas — and many others — would decline abruptly. The president delivered his budget request to Congress on May 23, presenting the sharpest picture yet of his administration’s...

    05/26/2017 - 17:26 Science & Society
  • Science Stats

    Global access to quality health care has improved in the last two decades

    Health care quality and availability improved globally from 1990 to 2015, but the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened in those 25 years, researchers report online May 18 in the Lancet.

    As an approximate measure of citizens’ access to quality health care, an international team of researchers analyzed mortality rates for 32 diseases and injuries that are typically not fatal...

    05/18/2017 - 18:53 Health
  • News in Brief

    New printer creates color by shaping nanostructures

    Carving nanostructures with a laser creates long-lasting colors.

    Researchers developed the new printing technique as an alternative to ink-based printing, in which colors fade with time. Aside from eternally vibrant art, the technique could lead to new types of color displays or improve security labels, the scientists report in the May 5 Science Advances.

    Anders Kristensen of...

    05/05/2017 - 14:00 Technology, Physics