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  • illustration of dinosaur doomsday
  • Greenland shark
  • Rudi Mandl
Your search has returned 49 articles:
  • Editor's Note

    Scientists find amazement in what’s most familiar

    For her 7th birthday, my niece received a very special gift — a compound light microscope with a set of slides. As soon as we got it out of the package, she became a diligent young investigator, studying the leg of a fly, dog cardiac muscle and onion epidermal cells. But it wasn’t the prepared slides that captivated her most. She wanted to investigate more familiar things. We plucked hairs...

    04/19/2017 - 11:50 Particle Physics, Animals
  • Editor's Note

    If there are curious young minds, science will survive

    One evening last month at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., 40 high school seniors dressed in formal wear and nibbling hors d’oeuvres showed off their scientific research to a crowd of more than 500 people. Positioned at their posters, the students enthusiastically described their efforts to improve quadcopter flight control, study implicit bias and gender stereotypes, and...

    04/05/2017 - 10:40 Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Science’s questions rarely have clear, easy answers

    There are few simple answers in science. Even seemingly straightforward questions, when probed by people in search of proof, lead to more questions. Those questions lead to nuances, layers of complexity and, more often than we might expect, conclusions that contradict initial intuition.

    In the 1990s, researchers asking “How do we fight oxygen-hungry cancer cells?” offered an obvious...

    02/22/2017 - 12:47 Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Supernova story continues, just like science journalism

    Some stories are just too good to let go. Ian Shelton first spotted supernova 1987A on the evening of Monday, February 23, 1987. A notice announcing the discovery appeared in the issue of Science News that went to the printer that Wednesday — and articles followed in each of the next three issues, with more than a dozen stories about the stellar explosion over the course of the year. “It’s...

    02/08/2017 - 12:45 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Devastation detectives try to solve dinosaur disappearance

    Below the shimmering turquoise waters of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula lies the scene of a prehistoric mass murder. In a geologic instant, most animal and plant species perished. Drilling through hundreds of meters of rock, investigators have finally reached the footprint left by the accused: Earth’s most notorious space rock impact, Chicxulub. The dinosaur killer.

    Sleuthing scientists are...

    01/25/2017 - 14:30 Earth, Paleontology
  • News

    Study ranks Greenland shark as longest-lived vertebrate

    The latest in birthday science proposes that the vertebrate with the longest life span yet measured is the mysterious Greenland shark.

    Dating based on forms of carbon found in sharks’ eye lenses suggests that a large female Somniosus microcephalus was about 392 years old (give or take 120 years) when she died, says marine biologist Julius Nielsen of University of Copenhagen. Even with...

    08/11/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Context

    The amateur who helped Einstein see the light

    Generally speaking, general relativity is not the sort of physics that offers much fodder for amateurs. Its mathematical intricacies were too much even for Einstein at first. He struggled for years to find the equations that showed how general relativity could describe gravity, finally succeeding in 1915.

    But a couple of decades later, an eccentric amateur noticed a consequence of...

    10/01/2015 - 06:00 History of Science
  • News

    Loss of vision meant energy savings for cavefish

    Eyes and the brain tissue needed for vision demand about 15 percent of the energy budget of a young Mexican fish, researchers have found. This hard-to-discover percentage supports the idea that energy cost-cutting helps explain how cavefish go blind.

    That 15 percent represents a notable energy demand for a 1-gram juvenile Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus) at rest, says fish...

    09/11/2015 - 14:00 Animals, Physiology, Evolution
  • Scicurious

    No matter the language, disease risk is hard to communicate

    At the beginning of June, my travel companion and I were lost somewhere in the bowels of the Seoul subway in South Korea. As we puzzled over a map we could barely read, a kind young woman, a surgical mask covering her nose and mouth, stopped and offered to help us find our way. As she led us to our next train, she looked at me seriously. “You should get one of these,” she said, gesturing to...

    06/29/2015 - 16:56 Science & Society, Health
  • How Bizarre

    Fossil worm adds head to its spiny appearance

    View the video

    Whether it’s upside down or right side up, Hallucigenia sparsa looks like it wriggled right out of a nightmare. And giving the wormlike creepy-crawly a head hasn’t helped.

    An analysis of 508-million-year-old H. sparsa fossils from the Burgess Shale in Canada revealed that the 10- to 50-millimeter-long critter had a small pair of simple eyes set atop a narrow head....

    06/24/2015 - 13:00 Paleontology