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  • Feature

    AI can learn real-world skills from playing StarCraft and Minecraft

    Dario Wünsch was feeling confident. The 28-year-old from Leipzig, Germany, was about to become the first professional gamer to take on the artificial intelligence program AlphaStar in the rapid-fire video game StarCraft II. Wünsch had been professionally playing StarCraft II, in which competitors command alien fleets vying for territory, for nearly a decade. No way could he lose this five-...

    05/14/2019 - 12:07 Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Robotics
  • May 11, 2019

    05/11/2019 - 07:30
  • Editor's Note

    Celebrating scientists who ask big questions

    Humans are problem solvers. All day, every day, we ask ourselves questions. Should I wear socks with these shoes? Bring a phone charger? Eat the whole sandwich? Finish that assignment or watch YouTube? And that’s just an average day. When we apply the tools of science to answering big questions, we can do amazing things.

    In this double issue of Science News, we profile scientists...

    05/11/2019 - 07:15 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers were curious about green icebergs, aliens and more

    Going green

    Researchers found iron oxides trapped in a sample of green Antarctic ice. The compounds may explain why typically blue-hued icebergs can sometimes appear green, Jeremy Rehm reported in “Tiny bits of iron may explain why some icebergs are green” (SN: 3/30/19, p. 12).

    “Since icebergs can drift for thousands of miles, and because iron is a limiting nutrient for algae, I...

    05/11/2019 - 07:00 Ecology, Astronomy, Health
  • 50 years ago, scientists tried to transplant part of a human eye

    Transplants: Part of a whole eye —

    After an attempted cornea transplant failed, ophthalmologists in Houston, Tex., tried a more daring experiment to restore the vision of 54-year-old John Madden…. They transplanted an entire eye from a donor who had died of a brain tumor.… [Later, the doctor who did the surgery] announced that only the front part of the donor’s eye had been...

    05/09/2019 - 07:00 Biomedicine
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    05/07/2019 - 15:21
  • Feature

    The search for new geologic sources of lithium could power a clean future

    The future of lithium is electrifying. Cars and trucks powered by lithium batteries rather than fossil fuels are, to many people, the future of transportation. Rechargeable lithium batteries are also crucial for storing energy produced by solar and wind power, clean energy sources that are a beacon of hope for a world worried about the rapidly changing global climate.

    Prospecting for new...

    05/07/2019 - 14:09 Earth, Technology, Sustainability
  • Science Visualized

    These award-winning photographs capture rarely seen wildlife and landscapes

    The winners of the California Academy of Sciences’ annual nature photography competition went to great lengths — and heights and depths — to create unique images of wildlife around the world.  

    These images “convey science to the general public in a way that is compelling and digestible,” says California-based wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas, who chaired the committee of judges that...

    05/03/2019 - 09:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    A dinosaur’s running gait may reveal insights into the history of bird flight

    An early winged dinosaur couldn’t fly, but it could run. Now, with assists from a robotic dino and young ostriches wearing artificial wings, a study suggests that the dinosaur’s running gait caused its wings to flap, in what may have been an evolutionary precursor to flight.

    Caudipteryx was a peacock-sized dinosaur with feathered and winglike forelimbs that lived about 125 million years...

    05/02/2019 - 14:11 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    An AI used art to control monkeys’ brain cells

    New artwork created by artificial intelligence does weird things to the primate brain.

    When shown to macaques, AI-generated images purposefully caused nerve cells in the monkeys’ brains to fire more than pictures of real-world objects. The AI could also design patterns that activated specific neurons while suppressing others, researchers report in the May 3 Science.

    This...

    05/02/2019 - 14:00 Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience