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News in Brief
DENVER — A dotted pattern pecked into stone at a remote Eurasian rock-shelter represents a Bronze Age game that was thought to have existed at that time only in Mesopotamia, Egypt and other Near Eastern regions.
The game is known as 58 holes, or Hounds and Jackals. Archaeologist Walter Crist of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City described his surprising discovery of...
The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...
China is about to make space history. In December, the country will launch the first spacecraft ever to land on the farside of the moon. Another craft, slated for takeoff in 2019, will be the first to bring lunar rocks back to Earth since 1976.
These two missions — the latest in China’s lunar exploration series named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e — are at the forefront of...
Sea otters restocked in old home
When the [Atomic Energy Commission] first cast its eye on the island of Amchitka as a possible site for the testing of underground nuclear explosions, howls of anguish went up; the island is part of the Aleutians National Wildlife Refuge, created to preserve the colonies of nesting birds and some 2,500 sea otters that live there…— Science News, ...
Reviews & Previews
End of the MegafaunaRoss D.E. MacPhee and Peter Schouten (illustrator)W.W. Norton & Co., $35
Today’s land animals are a bunch of runts compared with creatures from the not-too-distant past. Beasts as big as elephants, gorillas and bears were once much more common around the world. Then, seemingly suddenly, hundreds of big species, including the woolly mammoth, the giant ground...
Vinita Surukan knew the mosquitoes were trouble. They attacked her in swarms, biting through her clothes as she worked to collect rubber tree sap near her village in Sabah, the northern state of Malaysia. The 30-year-old woman described the situation as nearly unbearable. But she needed the job.
There were few alternatives in her village surrounded by fragments of forest reserves and...
In any given year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, more than 40 million people, have to contend with a mental illness. Getting treatment is often a struggle; fewer than half of those affected get any sort of care, which can be especially hard to find in rural and underserved communities.11/04/2018 - 06:15 Science & Society, Technology, Neuroscience
Virtual reality may seem like the least likely technology to address the lack of mental health...
Letters to the Editor
Hot stuff11/04/2018 - 06:00 Materials, Health, Physics
A new material that converts sunlight into heat could someday melt ice off airplane wings, wind turbines and rooftops, Maria Temming reported in “A new material harnesses light to deice surfaces” (SN: 9/29/18, p. 17).
“What happens when the object (such as an airplane wing) to which the material has been applied is subjected to the sun on a hot summer day?” asked online...