Pondering a tablet screen displaying a town scene, a pre-K student tilts her head to the side and taps her lip thoughtfully.
“What are we trying to find?” asks the plush, red and blue robot called Tega that’s perched on the desk beside the girl. The bot resembles a teddy bear–sized Furby.
“We are trying to find lavender-colored stuff,” the girl explains. Lavender is a new...
The Federal Council for Science and Technology … recommends a 10-year national earthquake research program to find ways to predict when and where quakes will strike and … [how to] defuse and prevent earthquakes, or at least modify them. Basically, the idea is simple: Inject fluid into underground rock, release the strain and produce a gradual series of tiny earthquakes or tremors...01/24/2019 - 07:00 Earth
Year in Review
Entire disciplines are devoted to predicting the future. Trained forecasters use data, trends, human behavior and more to predict what lies ahead.
Exactly no one at Science News is a quantitative forecaster or futurist. But we do hear what scientists are buzzing about at meetings, on social media and while reporting stories. So when we asked our writers to predict the big science stories...
To blog, or not to blog?
Young scientists and aspiring writers and communicators ask me this question frequently. If they want to try their hand at science writing, science communication and science journalism, shouldn’t they start a blog? Shouldn’t they start producing content immediately? After all, the best way to learn to write is to write.
I understand why they think starting...
When most people were thinking about summer vacation, we were contemplating the biggest science stories of 2018.12/17/2018 - 08:00 Science & Society
Yep, it takes more than six months of effort to put together Science News’ annual issue on the Top 10 science stories of the year. 2018 was no different, though we were hit with some exciting twists that had us revisiting our decisions just a week or so before closing the...
The Science Life
Locust: The Opera finds a novel way to doom a soprano: species extinction.
The libretto, written by entomologist Jeff Lockwood of the University of Wyoming in Laramie, features a scientist, a rancher and a dead insect. The scientist tenor agonizes over why the Rocky Mountain locust went extinct at the dawn of the 20th century. He comes up with hypotheses, three of which unravel to music...
To spread misinformation like wildfire, bots will strike a match on social media but then urge people to fan the flames.
Automated Twitter accounts, called bots, helped spread bogus articles during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election by making the content appear popular enough that human users would trust it and share it more widely, researchers report online November 20 in...
News in Brief
A new type of mini drone can pull a lot more than its own weight.
The drone latches onto a surface and uses a cable to reel in objects up to 40 times its mass, researchers report. This feat is a marked improvement over other flying robots, which generally can’t tote objects heavier than about their own weight (SN: 2/7/15, p. 18). The new palm-sized flyer, described October 24 in Science...
Electrons are still almost perfectly round, a new measurement shows. A more squished shape could hint at the presence of never-before-seen subatomic particles, so the result stymies the search for new physics.
The electron gets its shape from the way that positive and negative charges are distributed inside the particle. The best theory for how particles behave, called the standard model...
Reviews & Previews
The Sawbones BookJustin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroyTeylor Smirl (illustrator)Weldon Owen, $24.99
Humans took a long, weird road to modern medicine. We don’t have everything figured out yet, but at least we’ve learned not to drink the feces of cholera victims and never to plug dental cavities with a lizard’s liver — unlike some of our ancestors.
Gruesome methods like these...