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E.g., 02/09/2016
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  • News in Brief

    Physicists find signs of four-neutron nucleus

    The suspected discovery of an atomic nucleus with four neutrons but no protons has physicists scratching their heads. If confirmed by further experiments, this “tetraneutron” would be the first example of an uncharged nucleus, something that many theorists say should not exist. “It would be something of a sensation,” says Peter Schuck, a nuclear theorist at the National Center for Scientific...

    02/08/2016 - 17:08 Particle Physics, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    This roach-inspired robot can wiggle through tight spaces

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    A new crevice-crawling robot takes after compressible cockroaches.

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley designed a palm-sized robot inspired by the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Thanks to the roach’s sturdy, segmented shell, a roughly 12 millimeter-tall roach can cruise through spaces only four millimeters...

    02/08/2016 - 15:00 Robotics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Cancer drug’s usefulness against Alzheimer’s disputed

    A preliminary report from scientists at the biotech company Amgen Inc. questions a cancer drug’s ability to fight Alzheimer’s disease. In experiments described February 4 in F1000Research, bexarotene, a drug approved by the FDA to treat lymphoma, didn’t...

    02/08/2016 - 10:00 Neuroscience, Biomedicine, Health
  • News

    Don’t blame winter for that bleak mood

    Winter doesn’t deserve its dour reputation as the season of depression, scientists say.

    Rates of major depression, a psychiatric condition marked by intense sadness, hopelessness, insomnia and a general loss of interest or pleasure, don’t markedly change from one season to another among U.S. adults,...

    02/08/2016 - 07:00 Psychology, Mental Health
  • Television

    ‘Rise of the Robots’ chronicles race to build disaster-relief bots

    At the 2013 trials of DARPA’s robotics competition in Florida, a high-tech robot named Hubo had just about completed a tricky challenge: climbing up a ladder roughly the height of a small elephant.

    Hubo, a 5-foot-tall walking bot, was pitting its skills against a slew of formidable contenders, all in a contest designed to simulate what...

    02/07/2016 - 07:00 Robotics, Technology
  • Culture Beaker

    ‘GMOs’ isn’t a four-letter word, but it is hard to define

    After the decision in November that deemed genetically engineered salmon safe for eating — the first animal to garner such approval — the Food and Drug Administration is now treading regulatory water. On January 29, the FDA issued an...

    02/05/2016 - 16:57 Science & Society, Agriculture, Genetics
  • For Daily Use

    Pill measures gut gas

    Gas concentrations in the gut can reveal secrets about digestive tract health, and may be skewed in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. But sampling gas in breath or stool doesn’t give the most accurate picture of what’s bubbling in the intestines. Australian researchers have designed a swallowable gas-sensing capsule that could someday provide an inside look at the gases in the human...

    02/05/2016 - 15:00 Technology, Health
  • News

    White-tailed deer have their own form of malaria

    The white-tailed deer, maybe the best-studied wild animal in North America, turns out to carry a malaria parasite that science has overlooked for decades.

    The malaria parasite in deer is a completely different species from the ones that cause disease in humans. A report in 1967 based on one deer in Texas had claimed that the parasite existed and a 1980 paper had named it Plasmodium...

    02/05/2016 - 14:18 Animals
  • It's Alive

    Harvester ants are restless, enigmatic architects

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    Florida harvester ants “make a nest that is truly beautiful in its architecture,” says Walter Tschinkel. He has poured molten metal or plaster into the underground nests and dug up the hardened casts to reveal their multilevel shapes. Much about these ant nests, however, defies explanation.

    For reasons still unknown,...

    02/05/2016 - 13:30 Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Mouse study offers clues to brain’s response to concussions

    The brain can bounce back after a single head hit, but multiple hits in quick succession don’t give the brain time to recover, a new study suggests. Although the finding comes from mice, it may help scientists better understand the damage caused by repetitive impacts such as those sustained in football, soccer and other contact sports.

    The results, published in the March issue of the...

    02/05/2016 - 03:05 Neuroscience, Biomedicine, Health