Letters to the Editor
Species shmecies01/10/2018 - 12:37 Evolution, Technology, Astronomy
In “Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art” (SN: 11/11/17, p. 22), Susan Milius asked scientists to define “species.” Schoolbooks may define the concept as a group of organisms that create fertile offspring when mating with each other but not when mating with outsiders. But for researchers specializing in the topic, a single definition is hard to come by.
“It seems to me...
If this issue is any clue, 2018 may be the Year of Space. Our pages are packed with a surprising wealth of content for astronomy lovers, and anyone who dreams of otherworldly encounters.01/10/2018 - 12:32 Science & Society, Astronomy, Climate
In our cover story, astronomy writer Lisa Grossman reports on the race to Mars. SpaceX announced last year that it plans to get people to the Red Planet by 2024, but the battle over what humans’...
T he Okarian rover was in trouble. The yellow Humvee was making slow progress across a frigid, otherworldly landscape when planetary scientist Pascal Lee felt the rover tilt backward. Out the windshield, Lee, director of NASA’s Haughton Mars Project, saw only sky. The rear treads had broken through a crack in the sea ice and were sinking into the cold water.
True, there are signs of...
Internist Gail Povar has many female patients making their way through menopause, some having a tougher time than others. Several women with similar stories stand out in her mind. Each came to Povar’s Silver Spring, Md., office within a year or two of stopping her period, complaining of frequent hot flashes and poor sleep at night. “They just felt exhausted all the time,”...
In movies, exploring the body up close often involves shrinking to microscopic sizes and taking harrowing rides through the blood. Thanks to a new virtual model, you can journey through a three-dimensional brain. No shrink ray required.
The Society for Neuroscience and other organizations have long sponsored the website BrainFacts.org, which has basic information about how the human...
Dead Sea Scrolls safe
The famous Dead Sea Scrolls, rumored lost or damaged during the June war between Israel and Egypt, are safe, according to Antiquity…. On the eve of the war they were packed up and put safely in a strong room in the basement of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (Rockefeller Museum), according to a reliable authority. — Science News, January 20, 1968Update...
Year in Review
No story on the Science News website is complete without visuals. And when it comes to videos, those visuals have lives of their own on other platforms. In addition to incorporating videos into some of our articles, we also post videos to the Science News YouTube channel and the Science News magazine Facebook page, where thousands of people watch them each year.
We tackled all manner of...
Viable synthetic DNA
[Scientists] produced in a test tube a totally artificial copy of a type of DNA virus.… The particular type of viral DNA (called Phi X174) the researchers made is an extremely simple molecule of only five or six genes. Their achievement, however, lays the foundation for eventual synthesis of more complex DNAs. — Science News, December 30, 1967Update
Year in Review
2017 revealed some surprising biology of organisms large and small, from quick-dozing elephants to sex-changing lizards and carbon-dumping sea creatures.Switch it up
Toasty temperatures trump genetics when it comes to the sex of a bearded dragon lizard. Now researchers have found how RNA editing helps turn overheated male embryos into females (SN Online: 6/14/17).Homegrown...