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  • Reviews & Previews

    Here are our favorite science books of 2017

    Have you fallen behind on your reading this year? Or maybe you’ve plowed through your must-reads and are ready for more. Science News has got you covered. Here are the staff’s picks for some of the best science books of 2017. Find detailed reviews from previous issues in the links below or in our Editors pick: Favorite books of 2017.

    Against the GrainJames C. Scott

    Armed with the...

    12/17/2017 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • The Science Life

    In marine mammals’ battle of the sexes, vaginal folds can make the difference

    The battle of the sexes, at least among certain ocean mammals, may come down to well-placed skin folds, suggests research by Patrica Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and colleagues.

    In some species, enhanced male-female genital fit has evolved over time in ways that make mating easier. This is an example of what scientists call congruent...

    12/15/2017 - 12:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    These weather events turned extreme thanks to human-driven climate change

    NEW ORLEANS — For the first time, scientists have definitively linked human-caused climate change to extreme weather events.

    A handful of extreme events that occurred in 2016 — including a deadly heat wave that swept across Asia — simply could not have happened due to natural climate variability alone, three new studies find. The studies were part of a special issue of the Bulletin of...

    12/14/2017 - 16:53 Climate, Earth
  • Letters to the Editor

    These are the most-read Science News stories of 2017

    The Science News website attracted millions of visitors in 2017. The lists below name the most-read online stories outside of our Top 10 stories of the year, plus the most popular stories for each of our blogs.

    Top stories

    1. The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly aliveTiny tubes between veins in the shimmery blue wings of morpho dragonflies (shown above) may be respiratory...

    12/13/2017 - 12:00 Science & Society, Astronomy, Animals
  • December 23, 2017

    12/13/2017 - 08:48
  • Editor's Note

    2017 delivered humility, and proved our potential

    The Top 10 science stories of 2017, selected by Science News staff and presented in this year-end issue, have the potential to make you feel small and certainly humble. Our No. 1 story of the year takes place an unfathomably distant 130 million light-years away, where a neutron star smashup produced, by some estimates, 10 Earth masses worth of gold — wow! That’s enough for many trillions of...

    12/13/2017 - 08:46 Science & Society, Astronomy, Genetics
  • Year in Review

    Colliding neutron stars, gene editing, human origins and more top stories of 2017

    In science, progress rarely comes in one big shebang. Well, it has now, two years running. The first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, our top story in 2016, launched a long-dreamed-of kind of astronomy capable of “unlocking otherwise unknowable secrets of the cosmos,” as physics writer Emily Conover puts it. 2017’s key event: a never-before-seen neutron star collision that...

    12/13/2017 - 08:32 Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries

    Thousands of astronomers and physicists. Hundreds of hours of telescope observations. Dozens of scientific papers. Two dead stars uniting into one.

    In 2017, scientists went all in on a never-before-seen astronomical event of astounding proportions: a head-on collision between two neutron stars, the ultradense remnants of exploded stars.

    The smashup sent shivers of gravitational...

    12/13/2017 - 08:31 Astronomy, Physics
  • Year in Review

    CRISPR gene editing moved into new territory in 2017

    Scientists reported selectively altering genes in viable human embryos for the first time this year. For nearly five years, researchers have been wielding the molecular scissors known as CRISPR/Cas9 to make precise changes in animals’ DNA. But its use in human embryos has more profound implications, researchers and ethicists say.

    “We can now literally change our own species,” says...

    12/13/2017 - 08:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    The Larsen C ice shelf break has sparked groundbreaking research

    In 2015, glaciologist Daniela Jansen reported that a large rift was rapidly growing across one of the Antarctic Peninsula’s ice shelves, known as Larsen C. When the shelf broke, she and colleagues predicted, it would be the largest calving event in decades.

    It was. In July, a Delaware-sized iceberg split off from Larsen C  (SN: 8/5/17, p. 6). And researchers knew practically the moment...

    12/13/2017 - 08:30 Climate, Ecosystems, Oceans