BOSTON — A decades-long debate over who once occupied a settlement located near the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found has taken a chaste turn.
Analyses of 33 newly excavated skeletons of people buried at the West Bank site, Qumran, supports a view that the community consisted of a religious sect of celibate men. Anthropologist Yossi Nagar of the Israel Antiquities Authority in...
News in Brief
MINNEAPOLIS — To destroy plastic, caterpillars go with their gut bacteria.
Caterpillars that nibble through polyethylene plastic cultivate a diverse community of digestive bacteria that process the plastic, researchers reported November 13 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America. Dousing old plastic in a similar mix of bacteria might...
Sickness makes some corals lose their glow.
Disease reduces a coral’s overall fluorescence even before any sign of the infection is visible to the naked eye, a new study finds. An imaging technique that illuminates the change could help with efforts to better monitor coral health, researchers report November 6 in Scientific Reports.
Many corals naturally produce fluorescent...
Very subtle control of artificial limbs by means of a tiny electronic device may become possible.… [The] electronic device … [is] designed to be injected into a muscle through a thick hypodermic needle. A tiny package strapped to the outside of the limb will beam radio waves at the device, which will return them, modified by the electric current produced in the muscle. — ...
News in Brief
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Helper cells in the brain just got tagged with a new job — forming traumatic memories.
When rats experience trauma, cells in the hippocampus — an area important for learning — produce signals for inflammation, helping to create a potent memory. But most of those signals aren’t coming from the nerve cells, researchers reported November 15 at the Society for Neuroscience...
Letters to the Editor
Wanting more11/15/2017 - 13:17 Science & Society, Robotics, Psychology
For the third year in a row, Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career innovators who are transforming their fields in “The SN 10: Scientists to watch” (SN: 10/14/17, p. 16).
The profiles left some readers inspired, intrigued and wanting to know more about these scientists’ research.
“Really enjoying these portraits, thanks, SN!” online reader Maia commented on...
Imagine you’re a red-footed booby napping on a not-quite-high-enough branch of a tree. It’s nighttime on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and you can’t see much of what’s around you. Then, out of the darkness comes a monster. Its claw grabs you, breaking bones and dragging you to the ground. You don’t realize it yet, but you’re doomed. The creature breaks more of your bones. You...
WASHINGTON, D.C. — If it takes you a while to recover from a few lost hours of sleep, be grateful you aren’t an orb weaver.
Three orb-weaving spiders — Allocyclosa bifurca, Cyclosa turbinata and Gasteracantha cancriformis — may have the shortest natural circadian rhythms discovered in an animal thus far, researchers reported November 12 at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting...
If the universe were a soup, it would be more of a chunky minestrone than a silky-smooth tomato bisque.
Sprinkled with matter that clumps together due to the insatiable pull of gravity, the universe is a network of dense galaxy clusters and filaments — the hearty beans and vegetables of the cosmic stew. Meanwhile, relatively desolate pockets of the cosmos, known as voids, make up a thin...
Astronomers have spotted a spiral galaxy more ancient than any seen before.
The galaxy, called A1689B11, emitted its light 11 billion years ago, just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers had previously reported a spiral galaxy that dates to 10.7 billion years ago.
Astronomer Tiantian Yuan at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia and colleagues...