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E.g., 04/22/2018
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  • News

    Rising CO2 levels might not be as good for plants as we thought

    Two major groups of plants have shown a surprising reversal of fortunes in the face of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    During a 20-year field experiment in Minnesota, a widespread group of plants that initially grew faster when fed more CO2  stopped doing so after 12 years, researchers report in the April 20 Science. Meanwhile, the extra CO2 began to stimulate the...

    04/19/2018 - 14:00 Climate, Plants, Ecosystems
  • News

    Masses of shrimp and krill may play a huge role in mixing oceans

    When it comes to tiny ocean swimmers, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Ocean turbulence stirred up by multitudes of creatures such as krill can be powerful enough to extend hundreds of meters down into the deep, a new study suggests.

    Brine shrimp moving vertically in two different laboratory tanks created small eddies that aggregated into a jet roughly the size of the...

    04/18/2018 - 13:20 Oceans, Ecology
  • News

    These seals haven’t lost their land ancestors’ hunting ways

    Some seals still eat like landlubbers.

    Just like lions, tigers and bears, certain kinds of seals have claws that help the animals grasp prey and tear it apart. X-rays show that the bones in these seals’ forelimbs look like those found in the earliest seals, a new study finds.

    Ancestors of these ancient seals transitioned from land to sea at some point, preserving clawed limbs...

    04/17/2018 - 19:09 Animals, Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    Sheets of tiny bubbles could bring a sense of touch to virtual reality

    PHOENIX — High-tech attire that would give users the sensation of being pushed, pinched or poked could someday make virtual realities feel as real as they look.

    Today’s VR systems rely heavily on goggle-generated visual displays to transport users to simulated worlds. But superthin, shape-shifting sheets worn as sleeves or built into other garments could provide gamers with tactile...

    04/06/2018 - 15:55 Technology
  • Feature

    Flying insects tell tales of long-distance migrations

    Every autumn, a quiet mountain pass in the Swiss Alps turns into an insect superhighway. For a couple of months, the air thickens as millions of migrating flies, moths and butterflies make their way through a narrow opening in the mountains. For Myles Menz, it’s a front-row seat to one of the greatest movements in the animal kingdom.

    Menz, an ecologist at the University of Bern in...

    04/05/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Ecology
  • The Science Life

    Humpback whale bumps have marine biologists stumped

    Off the Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii, Christine Gabriele spots whale 875. The familiar propeller scar on its left side and the shape of its dorsal fin are like a telltale fingerprint. Gabriele, a marine biologist with the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium, confirms the whale’s identity against her extensive photo catalog. Both Gabriele and this male humpback have migrated to this...

    03/26/2018 - 13:56 Animals, Pollution, Oceans
  • News

    How obesity makes it harder to taste

    As mice plumped up on a high-fat diet, some of their taste buds vanished. This disappearing act could explain why some people with obesity seem to have a weakened sense of taste, which may compel them to eat more.

    Compared with siblings that were fed normal mouse chow, mice given high-fat meals lost about 25 percent of their taste buds over eight weeks. Buds went missing because mature...

    03/20/2018 - 14:00 Health, Nutrition
  • Television

    Will Smith narrates ‘One Strange Rock,’ but astronauts are the real stars

    View the trailer

    “The strangest place in the whole universe might just be right here.” So says actor Will Smith, narrating the opening moments of a new documentary series about the wonderful unlikeliness of our own planet, Earth.

    One Strange Rock, premiering March 26 on the National Geographic Channel, is itself a peculiar and unlikely creation. Executive produced by Academy Award–...

    03/18/2018 - 07:00 Earth, Astronomy, Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    What we can and can’t say about Arctic warming and U.S. winters

    It certainly feels like the northeastern United States is getting snowier.

    In the first two weeks of March, three winter storms slammed into the northeast corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Over the last decade, a flurry of extreme winter storms has struck the region, giving birth to clever portmanteau names such as Snowpocalypse (2009), Snowmageddon (2010) and Snowzilla (2016...

    03/16/2018 - 09:00 Science & Society, Climate
  • News

    Astronomers can’t figure out why some black holes got so big so fast

    The existence of supermassive black holes in the early universe has never made much sense to astronomers. Sightings since 2006 have shown that gargantuan monsters with masses of at least a billion suns were already in place when the universe was less than a billion years old – far too early for them to have formed by conventional means.

    One or two of these old massive objects could be...

    03/16/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy