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  • 50 years ago, scientists took baby steps toward selecting sex

    Toward preselected sex

    Robert Edwards and Richard Gardner of Cambridge University … say they have been able to remove rabbit embryos … then reimplant only the blastocysts destined to develop into the chosen sex. The implications are obvious and enormous. If this procedure could be extended easily to man there might, for instance, be imbalances, even fads, in the selection by parents...

    07/20/2018 - 13:49 Genetics, Technology, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Texas toolmakers add to the debate over who the first Americans were

    People inhabited what’s now central Texas several thousand years before hunters from North America’s ancient Clovis culture showed up, researchers say.

    Excavations at the Gault site, about 64 kilometers north of Austin, produced a range of stone artifacts that date to between around 16,700 and 21,700 years ago, reports a team led by archaeologist Thomas Williams of Texas State University...

    07/11/2018 - 14:10 Archaeology
  • News

    Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin

    Using gene editing, scientists have hoodwinked tumor cells into turning against their own kind.

    Cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream have something of a homing instinct, able to find and return to the tumor where they originated. To capitalize on that ability, researchers engineered these roving tumor cells to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells...

    07/11/2018 - 14:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • News

    Stone tools put early hominids in China 2.1 million years ago

    Members of the human genus, Homo, left Africa far earlier than thought, reaching what’s now central China by around 2.12 million years ago, a new study finds.

    Some stone tools unearthed at China’s Shangchen site date to roughly 250,000 years before what was previously the oldest Eurasian evidence of Homo, say geologist Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou and his...

    07/11/2018 - 13:33 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • Science Visualized

    See this star nursery shine in a stunning new infrared image

    New tech is revealing how young stars have an outsized influence on their environment. In this image from the Very Large Telescope in Chile, hundreds of newborn stars sculpt and illuminate gas and dust in their stellar nursery.

    Released July 11 by the European Southern Observatory, the image shows star cluster RCW 38, which is located about 5,500 light-years from Earth toward the...

    07/11/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy
  • The Science Life

    Surprise! This shark looks like a male on the outside, but it’s made babies

    It’s easy to tell a male from a female shark. Flip it over. If it has a pair of claspers — finger-like extensions jutting from the end of the pelvic fins — it is male; no claspers means female. Like a penis, claspers deliver sperm inside the female.

    That was marine biologist Alissa Barnes’ understanding until she dissected seven bigeye houndsharks (Iago omanesis) with claspers and found...

    07/10/2018 - 10:00 Animals
  • Science Visualized

    How a particle accelerator helped recover tarnished 19th century images

    With the aid of a particle accelerator, scientists are bringing back ghosts from the past, revealing portraits hidden underneath the tarnished surface of two roughly 150-year-old silver photographic plates.

    Researchers used an accelerator called a synchrotron to produce strong, but nondamaging beams of X-rays to scan the damaged photographs, called daguerreotypes, and map their chemical...

    07/09/2018 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
  • Reviews & Previews

    Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

    Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of BeesThor HansonBasic Books, $27

    When you hear the word bee, the image that pops to mind is probably a honeybee. Maybe a bumblebee. But for conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of the new book Buzz, the world is abuzz with thousands of kinds of bees, each as beautiful and intriguing as the flowers on which they land.

    Speaking from his “...

    07/08/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Agriculture, Ecology
  • News

    Designer diamonds could one day help build a quantum internet

    A new kind of artificial diamond is a cut above the rest for quantum memory.

    Unlike other synthetic diamonds, which could either store quantum information for a long time or transmit it clearly, the new diamond can do both. This designer crystal, described in the July 6 Science, could be a key building block in a quantum internet. Such a futuristic communications network would allow...

    07/06/2018 - 11:43 Materials, Quantum Physics, Technology
  • Growth Curve

    No matter their size, newborn stomachs need frequent filling

    I’m making my way through my third round of breastfeeding a newborn and taking stock of how things are going. Some aspects are definitely easier: My milk came in really quickly (a perk of being a repeat lactator), the fancy breastfeeding baby holds are no longer mysterious to me and I already own all of the weird pillows I need to prop up my tiny baby.  

    But one thing isn’t easier this...

    07/06/2018 - 07:17 Child Development, Parenting, Health