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  • News in Brief

    Math-anxious brains tackle simple problems differently

    SAN FRANCISCO — When faced with simple math problems, people who get jittery about the subject may rely more heavily on certain brain circuitry than math-savvy people do. The different mental approach could help explain why people with math anxiety struggle on more complicated problems, researchers reported March 25 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    While in fMRI...

    03/27/2017 - 17:33 Neuroscience
  • News

    Millions of atoms entangled in record-breaking quantum tests

    In a feat of quantum one-upmanship, two teams of scientists have staked new claims of linking whopping numbers of atoms at the quantum level.

    Researchers from Geneva demonstrated quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms, smashing the previous record of about 3,000 entangled atoms (SN Online: 3/25/2015). Meanwhile, scientists from Canada and the United States used a similar technique to...

    03/27/2017 - 07:00 Quantum Physics
  • Scicurious

    Most Americans like science — and are willing to pay for it

    Americans don’t hate science. Quite the contrary. In fact, 79 percent of Americans think science has made their lives easier, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found. More than 60 percent of people also believe that government funding for science is essential to its success.

    But should the United States spend more money on scientific research than it already does? A layperson’s answer to...

    03/24/2017 - 13:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Deadly New Zealand quake hopscotched across faults

    A seemingly impossible earthquake that rattled New Zealand last November casts doubt on how well seismologists can forecast quakes involving multiple fault lines.

    Retracing the path of the magnitude 7.8 temblor using satellite and seismic data, researchers discovered that the earthquake involved at least 12 major faults and was far more widespread and powerful than predicted by seismic...

    03/23/2017 - 14:38 Earth
  • News

    Dengue fever spreads in a neighborly way

    Dengue is a bit of a homebody. By mapping the spread of the virus across Bangkok, scientists found that infections were most likely to occur within a few minutes’ walk of the home of the first person infected.

    Pinpointing where dengue is likely to be transmitted can better focus efforts to stop the spread of the disease, the researchers report in the March 24 Science.

    “We often...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Random mutations play large role in cancer, study finds

    Researchers have identified new enemies in the war on cancer: ones that are already inside cells and that no one can avoid.

    Random mistakes made as stem cells divide are responsible for about two-thirds of the mutations in cancer cells, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in the March 24 Science. Across all cancer types, environment and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Cancer, Cells, Health
  • News

    Female guppies with bigger brains pick more attractive guys

    When choosing more attractive guys, girl guppies with larger brains have an advantage over their smaller-brained counterparts. But there’s a cost to such brainpower, and that might help explain one of the persistent mysteries of sex appeal, researchers report March 22 in Science Advances.

    One sex often shows a strong preference for some trait in the other, whether it’s a longer fish fin...

    03/22/2017 - 15:54 Animals, Evolution, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question supernova physics

    Supernova surprise

    Astronomers continue to learn a lot from supernova 1987A, which burst onto the scene 30 years ago. Thanks to new detectors that can pick up neutrino signals and even gravitational waves, scientists will be ready when the next nearby star explodes, Emily Conover reported in “Waiting for a supernova” (SN: 2/18/17, p. 24).

    Steve Capps wondered how neutrinos inside an...

    03/22/2017 - 12:10 Particle Physics, Robotics, Condensed Matter
  • Science Visualized

    Colorful pinwheel puts a new spin on mouse pregnancy

    View slideshow of other winners

    This rainbow pinwheel of mouse placentas isn’t just an eye-catching, award-winning image. The differences in color also provide researchers with new clues to how a mother’s immune system may affect her or her baby’s health during pregnancy. The work could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication. 

    ...

    03/22/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Immune Science, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Cancer cells cast a sweet spell on the immune system

    Shrink yourself small enough to swoop over the surface of a human cell, and you might be reminded of Earth’s terrain. Fats, or lipids, stay close to the surface, like grasses and shrubs. Proteins stand above the shrubs, as mighty oaks or palm trees. But before you could distinguish the low-lying lipids from the towering proteins, you’d see something else adorning these molecules — sugars.

    ...
    03/21/2017 - 12:00 Cancer, Immune Science