Letters to the Editor
The visual systems of sea urchins, mantis shrimp and other creatures are broadening scientists’ understanding of what qualifies as an eye, Susan Milius reported in “Strange visions” (...
To understand human longevity, look to the animal world, says James Carey, a biodemography specialist at the University of California, Davis. Studying other species, from insects to elephants, “provides important information for why we age and why we live as long as we do,” Carey says.
By looking at how long other organisms can live, Carey and other researchers have found some guiding...
Reviews & Previews
Cracking the Aging Code
Josh Mitteldorf and Dorian Sagan
Flatiron Books, $26.95
A new book on aging starts with what sounds like a promise: “It is a common...
For the last four decades, Koko, the world’s most famous gorilla, has lived in a trailer in Silicon Valley, the subject of the longest-running project on ape sign language. With a reported vocabulary of hundreds of signs, Koko has appeared to express feelings almost anyone can relate to — a love of...
50 Years Ago
'Hearing' electrically — A deaf person has been able to “hear” as a result of direct electrical excitation of auditory nerve fibers. But what he can hear may not make much sense…. Although speech-modulated stimuli were not understood,...
More clues about where to search for a possible ninth planet lurking in the fringes of our solar system are emerging from the Kuiper belt, the icy debris field beyond Neptune. And new calculations suggest that the putative planet might be brighter — and a bit easier to find — than once thought.
Evidence for the existence of Planet Nine is scant, based on apparent alignments among the...
News in Brief
Jupiter has a new visitor. After traveling 2.8 billion kilometers across space, NASA’s Juno probe — a mission to investigate Jupiter’s deep interior (SN: 6/25/16, p. 16) — arrived at the giant planet July 4.
Juno’s scientific instruments were switched off on June 29 before the probe slid into its first...
News in Brief
A gaping wound in Earth's atmosphere is definitively healing. Since 2000, the average size of the Antarctic ozone hole in September has shrunk by about 4.5 million square kilometers, an area larger than India, researchers report online June 30 in Science. While the hole won’t close completely until at least...
The Science Life
The surveillance video shows a peaceful city streetscape: People walking, cars driving, birds chirping.
“Then, abruptly, there’s the sound of gunfire,” said electrical engineer Robert Maher. “A big bang followed by another bang.”
Witnesses saw two shooters facing off, a few meters apart — one aiming north, the other south. But no one knew who shot first. That’s where Maher comes in...