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  • Feature

    People are bad at spotting fake news. Can computer programs do better?

    Scrolling through a news feed often feels like playing Two Truths and a Lie.

    Some falsehoods are easy to spot. Like reports that First Lady Melania Trump wanted an exorcist to cleanse the White House of Obama-era demons, or that an Ohio school principal was arrested for defecating in front of a student assembly. In other cases, fiction blends a little too well with fact. Was CNN really...

    07/26/2018 - 13:30 Science & Society, Technology
  • News in Brief

    A new quasiparticle lurks in semiconductors

    There’s a new clique among quantum particles in a semiconductor. 

    Electrons and positively charged holes in the material’s atomic lattice band together to create a tight-knit posse dubbed a collexon, researchers report July 26 in Communications Physics. This new class of quasiparticle — a quantum clan that acts like a single subatomic particle — could help researchers better understand...

    07/26/2018 - 09:00 Particle Physics
  • News

    A star orbiting a black hole shows Einstein got gravity right — again

    A single star, careening around the monster black hole in the center of the Milky Way, has provided astronomers with new proof that Albert Einstein was right about gravity.

    More than 100 years ago, Einstein’s general theory of relativity revealed that gravity is the result of matter curving the fabric of spacetime (SN: 10/17/15, p. 16). Now, in a paper published July 26 in Astronomy...

    07/26/2018 - 08:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Here’s why wounds heal faster in the mouth than in other skin

    Mouth wounds heal faster than injuries to other parts of the skin, and now scientists are learning how the mouth performs its speedy repairs.

    Some master regulators of gene activity work overtime in the mouth to heal wounds without scarring, researchers report July 25 in Science Translational Medicine. Those regulators — proteins known as SOX2, PITX1, PITX2 and PAX9 — are active in skin...

    07/25/2018 - 14:00 Genetics, Cells, Immune Science
  • News

    Mars (probably) has a lake of liquid water

    A Mars orbiter has detected a wide lake of liquid water hidden below the planet’s southern ice sheets. There have been much-debated hints of tiny, ephemeral amounts of water on Mars before. But if confirmed, this lake marks the first discovery of a long-lasting cache of the liquid.

    “This is potentially a really big deal,” says planetary scientist Briony Horgan of Purdue University in...

    07/25/2018 - 10:00 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News

    Lowering blood pressure may help the brain

    Keeping a tight lid on blood pressure isn’t just good for the heart. It may also help the brain. 

    People given intensive drug treatment for high blood pressure were less likely to develop an early form of memory loss, according to preliminary results from a major clinical trial. This approach reduced the rate of early memory loss, called mild cognitive impairment, by around 19 percent,...

    07/25/2018 - 09:00 Health, Clinical Trials, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers share their experiences with DNA ancestry tests

    Hacking it

    Fleets of autonomous taxis coordinated by an algorithm could curb traffic congestion and vehicle pollution, Maria Temming reported in “Fleets of self-driving taxis could be choreographed to cut traffic” (SN: 6/23/18, p. 5).

    “And what happens when the system gets hacked?” asked online reader RME76048. “Sounds like a primo target for an ambitious hacker.”

    A control...

    07/25/2018 - 07:15 Technology, Physics, Genetics
  • Editor's Note

    What does fake news look like to you?

    Journalists work hard to communicate science to the public, and we use more than words to do it. Visuals are vital tools in our journalistic kit, whether it’s a graphic explaining the relationship between two datasets, as in the bar chart on how people share fake news on social media, or the cover image of a wad of bills that clearly says “money.”

    I find the conversations we have...

    07/25/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society, Technology
  • News in Brief

    What leech gut bacteria can tell us about drug resistance

    Antibiotic resistance in leeches really sucks.

    A bacterium found in leeches’ guts needs exposure to only 0.01 micrograms per milliliter of ciprofloxacin to become resistant to that drug, scientists report July 24 in mBio. That’s about 400 times less than the amount of antibiotics thought to trigger drug resistance in this species of bacteria, says study coauthor Joerg Graf, a biologist...

    07/24/2018 - 16:35 Health
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    07/24/2018 - 14:03