Letters to the Editor
Suck it up08/09/2017 - 11:31 Animals, Neuroscience, Physics
Tubelip wrasses’ slimy lips help the fish suck up dinner from coral reefs, Helen Thompson reported in “The better to eat you with, my dear” (SN: 7/8/17 & 7/22/17, p. 44).
“How do wrasses ‘suck’ if they have no lungs?” asked reader John Coventry.
Suction-feeding fish let their mouths do all the work, says marine biologist David Bellwood. “In just the same way that we...
Out-of-whack microbes in the vagina can raise HIV risk — and now there’s evidence that the makeup of the penis microbiome matters, too. The greater the number of anaerobic bacteria tucked under the foreskin, the more likely an uncircumcised man is to become infected with the virus, researchers report July 25 in mBio.
“This mirrors what’s been seen in women, but it’s the first study of...
Reviews & Previews
Making ContactSarah ScolesPegasus Books, $27.95
In Carl Sagan’s 1985 sci-fi novel Contact, a radio astronomer battles naysayers and funding setbacks to persist in her audacious plan — scanning the skies for signals from aliens. Sagan had real-life inspiration for his book (and the 1997 movie of the same name): astronomer Jill Tarter, who spearheaded the search for extraterrestrial...
Reviews & Previews
The Oxford Illustrated History of ScienceIwan Rhys Morus, ed.Oxford Univ., $39.95
Books about the history of science, like many other histories, must contend with the realization that others have come before. Their tales have already been told. So such a book is worth reading, or buying, only if it offers something more than the same old stories.
In this case, The Oxford...
News in Brief
A record-breaking quantum satellite has again blown away the competition, achieving two new milestones in long-distance quantum communications through space.
In June, Chinese researchers demonstrated that the satellite Micius could send entangled quantum particles to far-flung locations on Earth, their properties remaining intertwined despite being separated by more than 1,200 kilometers...
When it comes to smelling pretty, petunias are pretty pushy.
Instead of just letting scent compounds waft into the air, the plants use a particular molecule called a transporter protein to help move the compounds along, a new study found. The results, published June 30 in Science, could help researchers genetically engineer many kinds of plants both to attract pollinators and to repel...
Physics fans are a lot like surfers. Both think waves are really fun.
For surfers, it’s all about having a good time. For physicists, it’s about understanding some of nature’s most important physical phenomena. Yet another detection of gravitational waves, announced June 1, further reinvigorates the world’s science fans’ excitement over waves.
Waves have naturally always been a...
The woman in her 70s was in trouble. What started as a broken leg led to an infection in her hip that hung on for two years and several hospital stays. At a Nevada hospital, doctors gave the woman seven different antibiotics, one after the other. The drugs did little to help her. Lab results showed that none of the 14 antibiotics available at the hospital could fight the infection, caused by...
Take a trip to a black hole with Stephen Hawking as a guide, watch glowing bioluminescent earthworms wriggle away from predators and discover the fascinating mathematics of origami — all while cuddled up in front of a laptop. That’s the promise of the online streaming service CuriosityStream, which offers hefty doses of science for viewers who prefer fact-based documentaries over reality TV,...
I’m warning you up front. There’s heartbreak in this issue. In two stories, Science News writers investigate new facets of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die on average each day from opioid overdoses, quadruple the deaths from opioid overdoses in 1999. Today, nearly half of those deaths involve...