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  • The Science Life

    This scientist watches meat rot to decipher the Neandertal diet

    WASHINGTON — Kimberly Foecke has a great relationship with her local butcher.

    Though she buys loads of meat, Foecke is not a chef or the owner of a small zoo. She’s a paleobiologist who studies what Neandertals ate. And that involves, in her words, “experimental putrefaction, which is a fancy way of saying, I rot meat, all day, every day.”

    Scientists know Neandertals ate a lot of...

    01/02/2019 - 06:00 Anthropology, Nutrition
  • Letters to the Editor

    These are the most-read Science News stories of 2018

    More than 11 million people visited the Science News website this year. Check out this recap of the most-read stories of 2018, and the most popular stories published this year on each of our blogs.

    Top 10 stories

    1. Male birth control pill passes a safety testMen who took a prototype once-daily contraceptive pill for about a month saw their testosterone and other reproductive hormones...

    12/28/2018 - 12:03 Astronomy, Animals, Anthropology
  • Year in Review

    What will be the big science stories of 2019? Here are our predictions

    Entire disciplines are devoted to predicting the future. Trained forecasters use data, trends, human behavior and more to predict what lies ahead.

    Exactly no one at Science News is a quantitative forecaster or futurist. But we do hear what scientists are buzzing about at meetings, on social media and while reporting stories. So when we asked our writers to predict the big science stories...

    12/28/2018 - 06:00 Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    Artificial intelligence is mastering a wider variety of jobs than ever before

    In 2018, artificial intelligence took on new tasks, with these smarty-pants algorithms acing everything from disease diagnosis to crater counting.Coming to a clinic near you

    In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the first artificial intelligence that diagnoses health problems at primary care clinics without specialist supervision (SN: 3/31/18, p. 15...

    12/27/2018 - 11:46 Artificial Intelligence
  • 50 years ago, astronauts orbited the moon for the first time

    Apollo 8: Options on the way

    Just two months after the end of the successful first manned Apollo flight ... three astronauts are ready to fly this Saturday to within 70 miles of the lunar surface.... The Apollo 8 plan is for the astronauts to fly as many as 10 orbits around the moon before heading home.  — Science News, December 21, 1968

    Update

    Apollo 8 launched on December 21...

    12/27/2018 - 05:30 Astronomy, Technology, History of Science
  • Year in Review

    2018 was a busy year in space

    Several new space probes got their starts in 2018, while some sang swan songs.

    Hello

    1. TESS is on the lookout for planets

    There’s a new planet hunter in town. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, launched April 18 to search the nearest, brightest stars in the sky for signs of orbiting planets.

    TESS has already spotted at least two new worlds, one of which may...

    12/26/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • Science Stats

    Americans are sleeping less than they were 13 years ago

    Nearly one-third of American adults sleep less than six hours each night, a broad new survey shows.

    Among nearly 400,000 respondents to the annual National Health Interview Survey, 32.9 percent reported this short sleep in 2017 — up from 28.6 percent in 2004 when researchers began noticing a slight drop in sleep time. That’s a 15 percent increase representing “more than 9 million people...

    12/21/2018 - 12:00 Health, Mental Health
  • Year in Review

    These 2018 findings could be big news — if they turn out to be true

    Here’s our short list of discoveries reported in 2018 that could shake up science, if they hold up.

    Not so standard

    Dangling from a helium balloon high above Antarctica, the ANITA detector spied two odd signals that hint at the existence of new subatomic particles. Such extremely energetic particles, if they exist, could upend the standard model, the theory that describes the elementary...

    12/21/2018 - 11:00 Astronomy, Paleontology, Particle Physics
  • Scicurious

    This blog is dead. Long live the blog.

    To blog, or not to blog?

    Young scientists and aspiring writers and communicators ask me this question frequently. If they want to try their hand at science writing, science communication and science journalism, shouldn’t they start a blog? Shouldn’t they start producing content immediately? After all, the best way to learn to write is to write.

    I understand why they think starting...

    12/20/2018 - 13:00
  • Year in Review

    The #MeToo movement shook up workplace policies in science

    Science is catching up to Hollywood in coming to terms with its own #MeToo moment. In the last year or so, several high-profile scientists left their posts after investigations of sexual harassment allegations, including geneticist Francisco Ayala, cancer biologist Inder Verma and astrophysicist Christian Ott. But getting rid of the “bad actors” isn’t enough, according to a report...
    12/20/2018 - 12:14 Science & Society