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  • Editor's Note

    Does our latest issue look fat? If so, that’s a good thing

    Subscribers to Science News may note that this special double issue is a lot heftier than the usual magazine, boasting more than 20 pages of advertisements. That’s up from 13 pages in last spring’s expanded issue.

    Indeed, our ace marketing department sold so many ads that we had to include more articles, which, as anyone in print publishing will tell you, is a very nice problem to...

    05/02/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers puzzled by particle physics and a papal decree

    Particle particulars

    Physicists are ramping up their search for neutrinoless double beta decay, which could help explain why there is more matter in the universe than antimatter, Emily Conover reported in “The quest to identify the nature of the neutrino’s alter ego is heating up” (SN: 3/17/18, p. 14).

    Reader F L Stiles wondered how this decay could explain a surplus of matter. “It...

    05/02/2018 - 07:00 Particle Physics, Genetics
  • Feature

    How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery

    Nicholas Blackwell and his father went to a hardware store about three years ago seeking parts for a mystery device from the past. They carefully selected wood and other materials to assemble a stonecutting pendulum that, if Blackwell is right, resembles contraptions once used to build majestic Bronze Age palaces.

    With no ancient drawings or blueprints of the tool for guidance, the two...

    05/01/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology
  • Science Visualized

    See (and hear) the stunning diversity of bowhead whales’ songs

    In the pitch-black waters beneath the Arctic ice, bowhead whales get funky. A small population of endangered bowheads belt an unusually varied repertoire of songs, which grows more diverse during mating season.

    Hunted to near extinction in the 1600s, these fire truck–sized mammals now number in the 300s in the frigid waters around the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Underwater audio...

    04/30/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics, Ecology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘The Curious Life of Krill’ is an ode to an underappreciated crustacean

    The Curious Life of Krill Stephen NicolIsland Press, $30

    Stephen Nicol is here to change your mind about krill: They’re not microscopic and they’re far from boring. The biologist is so sick of people misunderstanding his study subjects that he’s even gotten a (slightly botched) krill tattooed on his arm to help enlighten strangers.

    In The Curious Life of Krill, Nicol is taking...

    04/29/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Oceans, Ecosystems
  • News

    Spooky quantum entanglement goes big in new experiments

    Quantum entanglement has left the realm of the utterly minuscule, and crossed over to the just plain small. Two teams of researchers report that they have generated ethereal quantum linkages, or entanglement, between pairs of jiggling objects visible with a magnifying glass or even the naked eye — if you have keen vision.

    Physicist Mika Sillanpää and colleagues entangled the motion of...

    04/25/2018 - 13:00 Quantum Physics
  • News

    Heat waves are roasting reefs, but some corals may be resilient

    It’s no secret that warming ocean waters have devastated many of the world’s coral reefs. For instance, a 2016 marine heat wave killed 30 percent of coral in the Great Barrier Reef, a study published online April 18 in Nature reports. But some coral species may be able to adapt and survive in warmer waters for another century, or even two, a second team reports April 19 in PLOS Genetics. And...

    04/20/2018 - 11:07 Climate, Evolution, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Larger spleens may help ‘sea nomads’ stay underwater longer

    In turquoise waters off the Indonesian coast, evolutionary geneticist Melissa Ilardo watched as the diver, wearing handmade, wooden goggles, spotted a giant clam meters below and darted down to retrieve it.

    The diver was one of the Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known for holding their breath for long periods while spearing fish and gathering other seafood. During a typical day, these “...

    04/19/2018 - 15:04 Physiology, Genetics
  • News

    Rising CO2 levels might not be as good for plants as we thought

    Two major groups of plants have shown a surprising reversal of fortunes in the face of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    During a 20-year field experiment in Minnesota, a widespread group of plants that initially grew faster when fed more CO2  stopped doing so after 12 years, researchers report in the April 20 Science. Meanwhile, the extra CO2 began to stimulate the...

    04/19/2018 - 14:00 Climate, Plants, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Male fruit flies enjoy ejaculation

    Moody red lighting in a lab is helping researchers figure out what fruit flies like best about sex.

    The question has arisen as scientists try to tease out the neurobiological steps in how the brain’s natural reward system can get hijacked in alcoholism, says neuroscientist Galit Shohat-Ophir of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.

    Male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)...

    04/19/2018 - 12:00 Animals, Neuroscience