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E.g., 11/25/2015
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  • News in Brief

    Taste is all in your head

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    It’s not water into wine, but close enough. By stimulating certain nerve cells in the brains of mice, scientists made plain water taste sweet or bitter. The results show that the brain — not the tongue — is the ultimate tastemaker...

    11/24/2015 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Final chapter published in decades-long Gravity Probe B project

    A grueling but ultimately successful effort to test Einstein’s 100-year-old general theory of relativity has come to a close more than half a century after it began. Twenty-one papers published online November 17 in Classical and Quantum Gravity present a detailed summation of Gravity Probe B, a satellite that in 2011...

    11/24/2015 - 12:30 Physics
  • News

    Gut microbes signal when dinner is done

    Gut bacteria are not polite dinner guests. They fill up fast and tell their host to quit eating, too.

    After only 20 minutes, helpful E. coli populations that live in animal guts produce proteins that can curb how hungry its animal partner is, researchers show November 24 in Cell Metabolism. In mice and rats, the proteins stimulated brain-body responses that led the...

    11/24/2015 - 12:00 Microbes, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Conifer ancestors had a double dose of DNA

    Conifers grew giant genomes thanks to double doses of genetic material.

    Ancient ancestors of today’s pine, cypress and yew trees had extra copies of their entire genome — the set of genetic instructions for an organism, researchers report November 20 in Science Advances.  

    Whole genome duplications are...

    11/24/2015 - 06:30 Plants, Molecular Evolution
  • News

    Don’t flip out: Earth’s magnetic poles aren’t about to switch

    Earth is not heading toward a doomsday reversal of its magnetic field, new research assures.

    The planet’s magnetic field is about 10 percent wimpier today than when physicists began keeping tabs on it in the 1800s. In the geologic past, such weakening preceded geomagnetic reversals —swaps of the north and south magnetic poles. Such reversals temporarily make the planet more vulnerable to...

    11/23/2015 - 15:00 Earth, Physics
  • News

    Mosquitoes engineered to zap ability to carry malaria

    A new genetic engineering technique may quickly inoculate mosquitoes against malaria, helping to end the spread of the disease in humans.

    Using a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, researchers have made a “genetic vaccine” that will continually inject itself into mosquitoes’ DNA. Such a vaccine, known as a gene drive, could spread to nearly every mosquito in a population within a...

    11/23/2015 - 14:47 Genetics
  • Wild Things

    Five species that show why ‘bird brain’ is a stupid phrase

    Call someone a “bird brain” and they are sure to be offended. After all, it’s just another way of calling someone “stupid.” But it’s probably time to retire the insult because scientists are finding more and more evidence that birds can be pretty smart. Consider these five species:


    We may call pigeons “flying rats” for their penchant for hanging out in cities and grabbing...

    11/23/2015 - 14:00 Animals
  • News in Brief

    Phobos to create ring around the Red Planet

    Poor Phobos. The Martian moon is not only cracking under pressure, but will eventually shatter and form a ring around the Red Planet, a new study suggests.

    Phobos has spent its life slowly spiraling toward Mars. As it cozies up to its host planet, gravity stretches the moon, which appears to be fracturing already (...

    11/23/2015 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Thinning ice leads to winter warming in the Arctic

    Even when the Arctic goes dark and cold, thinning ice could keep the North Pole from cooling off.

    The loss of insulating ice between the ocean and atmosphere increases the amount of heat-trapping water vapor and clouds in the Arctic air. That extra moisture keeps air temperatures relatively warm during fall and winter and...

    11/23/2015 - 08:23 Climate, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Roses rigged with electrical circuitry

    Garden-variety roses just got an electrical upgrade.

    Playing off the thirst of plant vascular systems, a team of Swedish researchers cut garden roses (Rosa floribunda) and set them in water containing specially designed organic molecules that can conduct and process electricity. The molecules linked up to form “wires” in the xylem, which pumps water and nutrients up from plant...

    11/20/2015 - 16:22 Plants, Technology