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  • News in Brief

    The first rovers to explore an asteroid just sent photos home

    The first rovers to explore the surface of an asteroid have landed. After touching down September 21, the vehicles took pictures of asteroid Ryugu and at least one hopped around.

    Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which arrived at the near-Earth asteroid on June 27 after a journey of more than three years, released the MINERVA-II1 container from a height of about 60 meters (SN Online: 6/27/18...

    09/24/2018 - 18:30 Planetary Science
  • News

    High-tech ‘skins’ turn everyday objects into robots

    A new type of soft robot gets its power from the skin it’s in.

    Robotic skin that bends, stretches and contracts can wrap around inanimate objects like stuffed animals, foam tubes or balloons to create flexible, lightweight robots. Removable, reusable sheets of this artificial skin, described online September 19 in Science Robotics, could also be used to build grippers or wearable devices...

    09/19/2018 - 14:00 Materials, Robotics, Technology
  • Growth Curve

    Marijuana use among pregnant women is rising, and so are concerns

    I’m relatively new to Oregon, but one of the ways I know I’m starting to settle in is my ability to recognize marijuana shops. Some are easy. But others, with names like The Agrestic and Mr. Nice Guy, are a little trickier to identify for someone who hasn’t spent much time in a state that has legalized marijuana.

    A growing number of states have legalized both medical and recreational...

    09/11/2018 - 07:00 Pregnancy, Child Development, Health
  • News

    Huge ‘word gap’ holding back low-income children may not exist after all

    A scientific takedown of a famous finding known as the 30-million-word gap may upend popular notions of how kids learn vocabulary.

    Research conducted more than 20 years ago concluded that by age 4, poor children hear an average of 30 million fewer words than their well-off peers. Since then, many researchers have accepted the reported word gap as a driver of later reading and writing...

    09/04/2018 - 05:30 Psychology, Language
  • News

    The United States and Brazil top the list of nations with the most gun deaths

    Gun deaths occur worldwide, but a new survey reveals the hot spots for those that occur outside of war zones.

    In 2016, firearm-related homicides, suicides and accidental deaths were highly concentrated. For example, just six countries — the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala — accounted for about half of the estimated number of gun deaths unrelated to armed...

    08/28/2018 - 15:30 Health, Science & Society
  • Feature

    A freshwater, saltwater tug-of-war is eating away at the Everglades

    The boardwalk at Pa-hay-okee Overlook is a brief, winding path into a dreamworld in Everglades National Park. Beyond the wooden slats, an expanse of gently waving saw grass stretches to the horizon, where it meets an iron-gray sky. Hardwood tree islands — patches of higher, drier ground called hammocks — rise up from the prairie like surfacing swimmers. The rhythmic singing of cricket frogs is...

    08/20/2018 - 09:00 Ecosystems, Earth
  • Feature

    As waters rise, coastal megacities like Mumbai face catastrophe

    Each year when the monsoon rain sheets down and the tides swell over coastal Mumbai, Saif shutters his soda shop on Juhu Beach and takes shelter up in the rafters. Still, the water invades through the roof and over the concrete floors, sometimes reaching as high as the freezers full of ice cream.

    For 36-year-old Saif, the coastal megacity’s chronic flooding is stressful. “What would...

    08/15/2018 - 09:30 Climate, Oceans, Sustainability
  • Editor's Note

    The trouble with water, be it too much or too little

    A year ago, while news reports focused on the inundation of Houston by Hurricane Harvey, much of the Indian city of Mumbai was also underwater. Both coastal cities, more than 14,000 kilometers apart, had been swamped by extreme rainfall. Deputy news editor Katy Daigle, who had reported from India for seven years for the Associated Press before joining Science News, knew that flooding...
    08/09/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society, Climate, Earth
  • Scicurious

    For popularity on Twitter, partisanship pays

    When it comes to politics, people on one side of the aisle often love to accuse everyone on the other of living in an echo chamber. Liberals hear only what they want to hear, while conservatives read only the news they agree with. (Of course, all those making the accusations are not in bubbles themselves. Oh no, of course not.)

    A study published earlier this year suggests that those...

    08/07/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • Feature

    People are bad at spotting fake news. Can computer programs do better?

    Scrolling through a news feed often feels like playing Two Truths and a Lie.

    Some falsehoods are easy to spot. Like reports that First Lady Melania Trump wanted an exorcist to cleanse the White House of Obama-era demons, or that an Ohio school principal was arrested for defecating in front of a student assembly. In other cases, fiction blends a little too well with fact. Was CNN really...

    07/26/2018 - 13:30 Science & Society, Technology