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  • Editor's Note

    Seeing very far away and hitting closer to home

    The big science news of this issue, and so far this year, is the first-ever view of a black hole, announced at 9:07 a.m. April 10 by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, an international effort that linked radio telescopes around the globe to create a planet-sized “camera.” This issue of Science News went to press that very afternoon, and we had a marvelous time making sure the...
    04/23/2019 - 06:30 Astronomy, Physics, Psychology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder Opportunity’s future, animal consciousness and more

    Lost Opportunity

    NASA’s Opportunity rover explored Mars for more than a decade until a dust storm last year led to its demise, Lisa Grossman reported in “After 15 years on Mars, it’s the end of the road for Opportunity” (SN: 3/16/19, p. 7).

    Reddit users had a lot of questions about the rover, nicknamed Oppy. scazon wanted to know why the estimated life spans for Opportunity and...

    04/23/2019 - 06:15 Planetary Science, Neuroscience, Biophysics
  • Feature

    How an obscure sexually transmitted parasite tangos with the immune system

    Frances Mercer runs a fight club.

    In one corner, the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes a widespread sexually transmitted infection that many people have never heard of. In the other corner are neutrophils, the immune system cells best equipped to take down the aggressor.

    Watching the two battle it out, Mercer, an immunoparasitologist at California State Polytechnic...

    04/23/2019 - 06:00 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    When anxiety happens as early as preschool, treatments can help

    When Molly was 10 months old, her parents took her to a Halloween party with other young families. While the other babies explored their surroundings, Molly sat and watched. She’s always been cautious, says Molly’s mom, Rachel. Early on, though, the little girl’s shyness didn’t raise red flags.

    By the time Molly turned 4, however, life was getting harder — for everyone. Even though she...

    04/21/2019 - 06:00 Psychology, Mental Health, Neuroscience, Clinical Trials
  • News

    A genetic scorecard could predict your risk of being obese

    There’s a new way to predict whether a baby will grow into an obese adult.

    Combining the effect of more than 2.1 million genetic variants, researchers have created a genetic predisposition score that they say predicts severe obesity. People with scores in the highest 10 percent weighed, on average, 13 kilograms (about 29 pounds) more than those with the lowest 10 percent of scores, the...

    04/18/2019 - 11:00 Genetics
  • Science Visualized

    Warm, dry winds may be straining Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf

    Turquoise pools of snowmelt on the Antarctic Peninsula, including on the Larsen C ice shelf, have recently been forming months after the continent’s peak summer melt. Bursts of warm, dry wind cascading over mountains that run along the peninsula are largely to blame, researchers report April 11 in Geophysical Research Letters. In this March 2016 satellite image, meltwater on part of Larsen C...

    04/18/2019 - 06:00 Earth, Climate, Oceans
  • News

    Dead pig brains bathed in artificial fluid showed signs of cellular life

    Scientists have restored cellular activity to pig brains hours after the animals’ death — an unprecedented feat. This revival, achieved with a sophisticated system of artificial fluid, took place four hours after the pigs’ demise at a slaughterhouse.

    “This is a huge breakthrough,” says ethicist and legal scholar Nita Farahany of Duke University, who wasn’t involved in the research. “It...

    04/17/2019 - 13:15 Neuroscience, Health
  • News

    Statisticians want to abandon science’s standard measure of ‘significance’

    In science, the success of an experiment is often determined by a measure called “statistical significance.” A result is considered to be “significant” if the difference observed in the experiment between groups (of people, plants, animals and so on) would be very unlikely if no difference actually exists. The common cutoff for “very unlikely” is that you’d see a difference as big or bigger...

    04/17/2019 - 06:00 Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Newly translated Cherokee cave writings reveal sacred messages

    Shortly before being forced out of their homeland in the 1830s, Cherokee people of the southeastern United States left written accounts on cave walls of secretive rituals. Now researchers have translated some of those messages from long ago.

    Cherokee inscriptions in Alabama’s Manitou Cave, now a popular tourist destination, describe religious ceremonies and beliefs using written symbols...

    04/16/2019 - 09:00 Archaeology
  • News

    People with stress disorders like PTSD are at higher risk of heart disease

    People coping with psychological trauma have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a large-scale study finds.  

    Researchers used national health registers to identify 136,637 Swedish patients with no history of cardiovascular disease who were diagnosed with a stress-related disorder — a cluster of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder,...

    04/16/2019 - 07:00 Health, Mental Health