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E.g., 12/05/2016
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  • Science & the Public

    You’ve probably been tricked by fake news and don’t know it

    If you spent Thanksgiving trying in vain to convince relatives that the Pope didn’t really endorse Donald Trump or that Hillary Clinton didn’t sell weapons to ISIS, fake news has already weaseled its way into your brain.

    Those “stories” and other falsified news outperformed much of the real news on Facebook before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And on Twitter, an analysis by...

    12/04/2016 - 06:00 Psychology, Science & Society
  • News

    Stellar vomiting produces dark galaxies, simulations suggest

    Brilliant births and destructive deaths of stars might take a runt of a galaxy and stretch it to become a ghostly behemoth, new computer simulations show. This process could explain the origin of recently discovered dark galaxies, which can be as wide as the Milky Way but host roughly 1 percent as many stars.

    Since 2015, astronomers have found hundreds of these shadowy systems lurking in...

    12/02/2016 - 08:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Despite lack of free electrons, bismuth superconducts

    An oddball superconductor is the first of its kind — and if scientists are lucky, its discovery may lead to others.

    At a frigid temperature 5 ten-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, bismuth becomes a superconductor — a material that conducts electricity without resistance — physicists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, report online December 1 in...

    12/01/2016 - 14:00 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • News

    Enzyme forges carbon-silicon bonds with a little human help

    Carbon and silicon don’t play nice in nature — they link up only in human-made products like paint and pharmaceuticals. But after just three generations of selective breeding, an enzyme can bring the two atoms together, scientists report November 25 in Science. It’s the first time biological tools have bonded carbon to silicon, perhaps opening a way to let living organisms build proteins and...

    12/01/2016 - 07:00 Chemistry, Molecular Evolution
  • News

    Buff upper arms let Lucy climb trees

    Lucy didn’t let an upright stance ground her. This 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis, hominid evolution’s best-known fossil individual, strong-armed her way up trees, a new study finds.

    Her lower body was built for walking. But exceptional upper-body strength, approaching that of chimpanzees, enabled Lucy to hoist herself into trees or onto tree branches,...

    11/30/2016 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Ice gave Pluto a heavy heart

    Pluto’s heart might carry a heavy burden.

    Weight from massive deposits of frozen nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide, built up billions of years ago, could have carved out the left half of the dwarf planet’s heart-shaped landscape, researchers report online November 30 in Nature.

    The roughly 1,000-kilometer-wide frozen basin dubbed Sputnik Planitia was on display when the New...

    11/30/2016 - 13:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Mitochondria variants battle for cell supremacy

    Some mitochondria naturally have an advantage over others in the battle for cellular domination, a new study shows. The finding could make procedures for producing “three-parent babies” safer.

    Doctors carrying out DNA-swapping techniques to prevent mothers from passing mitochondrial diseases to their children should choose egg donors whose mitochondria can hold their own against other...

    11/30/2016 - 13:00 Cells, Biomedicine
  • Science Visualized

    Plant-eating mammals sport bigger bellies than meat eaters

    These skeletons are spilling their guts about the size of the body cavity that housed these animals’ stomach and intestines.

    Using digital 3-D scans of mounted skeletons, researchers estimated the body cavity volume in 126 species. Of the 76 mammal species, plant eaters had bigger bellies; their relative torso volumes were about 1.5 times as large as those of carnivores, researchers...

    11/30/2016 - 07:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Feature

    Star-starved galaxies fill the cosmos

    Not all galaxies sparkle with stars. Galaxies as wide as the Milky Way but bereft of starlight are scattered throughout our cosmic neighborhood. Unlike Andromeda and other well-known galaxies, these dark beasts have no grand spirals of stars and gas wrapped around a glowing core, nor are they radiant balls of densely packed stars. Instead, researchers find just a wisp of starlight from a...

    11/29/2016 - 11:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • For Daily Use

    Cut leaves in bagged salads help Salmonella grow

    That past-its-prime bag of spinach buried in the back of your fridge should probably hit the compost heap instead of your dinner plate. The watery gunk that accumulates at the bottom of bagged salad mix is the perfect breeding ground for Salmonella bacteria that could make people sick, researchers report November 18 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

    The culprit? The juice that...

    11/28/2016 - 15:00 Microbes