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  • News

    Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin

    Using gene editing, scientists have hoodwinked tumor cells into turning against their own kind.

    Cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream have something of a homing instinct, able to find and return to the tumor where they originated. To capitalize on that ability, researchers engineered these roving tumor cells to secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells...

    07/11/2018 - 14:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • Growth Curve

    No matter their size, newborn stomachs need frequent filling

    I’m making my way through my third round of breastfeeding a newborn and taking stock of how things are going. Some aspects are definitely easier: My milk came in really quickly (a perk of being a repeat lactator), the fancy breastfeeding baby holds are no longer mysterious to me and I already own all of the weird pillows I need to prop up my tiny baby.  

    But one thing isn’t easier this...

    07/06/2018 - 07:17 Child Development, Parenting, Health
  • News

    Evidence grows that an HPV screen beats a Pap test at preventing cancer

    Evidence continues to grow that screening for human papillomavirus infection bests a Pap test when it comes to catching early signs of cervical cancer.

    In a large clinical trial of Canadian women, pap tests more often missed warning signs of abnormal cell growth in the cervix than did HPV tests, researchers report July 3 in JAMA.  As a result, at the end of a four-year period,...

    07/03/2018 - 11:58 Health, Clinical Trials, Cancer
  • Mystery Solved

    Finally, there’s a way to keep syphilis growing in the lab

    For more than a century, scientists have tried to grow Treponema pallidum, the corkscrew-shaped bacterium that causes syphilis. But the stubborn spirochete has refused to thrive any place outside of a human or rabbit for more than 18 days. That doesn’t give researchers much time to study it.

    “I’ve basically spent my entire career watching these organisms die,” says microbiologist Steven...

    07/02/2018 - 07:00 Health, Microbiology, Microbes
  • News

    Why some mammal species don’t have descended testicles, but most do

    Scientists have long wondered what the earliest mammals’ balls were like. After all, a few species today live with theirs swaddled safely up by the kidneys, like elephants do. Most other mammals drop their testes to the lower abdomen to a spot under the skin — like seals — or into an extra-abdominal sack called the scrotum — like humans. What style came first has been a topic of debate.

    ...

    06/28/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    A tiny version of this physics toy is revealing quantum secrets

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A simple toy is helping scientists understand new details of a mysterious quantum process.

    The rhythmic click-clacking of the metal balls in Newton’s cradle has long entertained physics students. Now, scientists have re-created the toy on an atomic scale, using it to probe how quantum systems reach a balanced state known as thermal equilibrium.

    Leave a mug...

    06/28/2018 - 11:03 Quantum Physics
  • News

    A brain chemical tied to narcolepsy may play a role in opioid addiction

    Using opioids gives some brain cells a call to action.

    Opioid addicts’ brains, examined after death, contain about 50 percent more nerve cells that release a molecule called hypocretin, compared with people who didn’t use the drugs, a new study finds. Giving the opiate morphine to mice also induced similar changes in their brains. But the increase didn’t come from new nerve cells, or...

    06/27/2018 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Health
  • News

    Poliovirus treatment helped patients with deadly brain tumors live longer

    Few treatment options are available to people facing a second battle with a particularly fatal type of brain tumor called glioblastoma. But dosing the tumor with a genetically modified poliovirus — one that doesn’t cause the eponymous, devastating disease — may give these patients more time, a small clinical study suggests.

    Of 61 people with recurring glioblastoma who were treated with...

    06/26/2018 - 17:50 Cancer, Clinical Trials
  • Experiences

    What I actually learned about my family after trying 5 DNA ancestry tests

    Commercials abound for DNA testing services that will help you learn where your ancestors came from or connect you with relatives. I’ve been interested in my family history for a long time. I knew basically where our roots were: the British Isles, Germany and Hungary. But the ads tempted me to dive deeper.

    Previous experience taught me that different genetic testing companies can yield...

    06/13/2018 - 14:41 Ancestry, Genetics
  • Feature

    In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics

    On a warm summer evening, a visitor to 1920s Göttingen, Germany, might have heard the hubbub of a party from an apartment on Friedländer Way. A glimpse through the window would reveal a gathering of scholars. The wine would be flowing and the air buzzing with conversations centered on mathematical problems of the day. The eavesdropper might eventually pick up a woman’s laugh cutting through...

    06/12/2018 - 10:00 Physics