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  • News in Brief

    FDA has approved the first ketamine-based antidepressant

    Doctors have a new weapon in the fight against particularly pernicious depression: a drug based on the powerful anesthetic ketamine.

    The drug — called Spravato and developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — was approved on March 5 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for severely depressed people who haven’t responded to two courses of other treatments. The first...

    03/06/2019 - 16:02 Health, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Hominids may have hunted rabbits as far back as 400,000 years ago

    In Europe, Stone Age hominids began adding small, fast animals to their menus much earlier than previously thought, scientists say.

    Now-extinct members of the human genus, Homo, hunted rabbits and, to a lesser extent, hares in southern France and probably other Mediterranean parts of Europe by around 400,000 years ago, researchers report online March 6 in Science Advances. Hunters also...

    03/06/2019 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • March 2, 2019

    03/06/2019 - 11:47
  • News in Brief

    Tiny bits of iron may explain why some icebergs are green

    Scientists may have finally figured out why some icebergs are green. Iron oxides could create the emerald hue.

    Icebergs often appear mostly white because light bounces off air bubbles trapped inside the ice. But pure ice — ice without air bubbles that often forms on a berg’s underside — appears blue because it absorbs longer light wavelengths (warm colors like red and orange) and...

    03/06/2019 - 11:00 Oceans, Chemistry, Ecology
  • News in Brief

    The first planet Kepler spotted has finally been confirmed 10 years later

    A decade after being found, the first exoplanet candidate spotted by the Kepler space telescope has been confirmed as a real world.

    The planet orbits a star initially dubbed KOI 4, for Kepler Object of Interest 4 (KOIs 1 through 3 were known before Kepler launched in March 2009). When the planet passed in front of the star, it blocked a bit of starlight from reaching Kepler in Earth’s...

    03/05/2019 - 15:13 Exoplanets
  • News

    A second HIV patient has gone into remission after a stem cell transplant

    For only the second time in recorded medical history, a man’s HIV infection has gone into remission.

    The patient — positive for the virus that causes AIDS since 2003 — had received a blood stem cell transplant in 2016 as treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. The blood stem cells came from a donor with a mutation that makes cells resistant to an HIV infection...

    03/05/2019 - 11:37 Health
  • The –est

    A 2,000-year-old tattoo tool is the oldest in western North America

    While taking an inventory of stored artifacts excavated in Utah in 1972, archaeologist Andrew Gillreath-Brown thought he recognized one: a tattooing tool. That previously overlooked find dates to nearly 2,000 years ago, making it the oldest known tattoo implement from western North America.

    Until now, several similar tattoo implements from the U.S. Southwest dated to no more than around...

    03/04/2019 - 16:00 Archaeology
  • News

    Hidden ancient neutrinos may shape the patterns of galaxies

    Shadowy messengers from the Big Bang have seemingly left their mark on ring-shaped patterns imprinted on the sky.

    Subatomic particles called neutrinos, released just one second after the universe’s birth 13.8 billion years ago, continually stream through the universe and are exceedingly hard to spot. But circular patterns of galaxies scattered across the sky reveal signs of the shy...

    03/04/2019 - 11:00 Cosmology, Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    Bears that eat ‘junk food’ may hibernate less and age faster

    Mama bears may need to raise their snouts and join the chorus protesting junk food.

    The more sugary, highly processed foods that 30 female black bears scrounged from humans, the less time the bears were likely to spend hibernating, researchers found. In turn, bears that hibernated less tended to score worse on a test for aging at the cellular level, wildlife ecologist Rebecca Kirby and...

    03/04/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Physiology, Cells
  • News

    Eating a lot of fiber could improve some cancer treatments

    What you eat can affect how well immune therapies work against cancer. High-fiber diets may change gut microbes and make these therapies more effective, but taking probiotics could do the opposite.

    Researchers looked at people with melanoma skin cancer who were getting a kind of immune therapy called PD-1 blockade or checkpoint inhibition (SN: 10/27/18, p. 16). Those who ate a high-fiber...

    03/01/2019 - 12:32 Microbiology, Cancer, Immune Science