News in Brief
Experimental anticancer drugs may help protect against liver damage caused by acetaminophen overdoses.
In mice poisoned with the common painkiller, the drugs prevented liver cells from entering a sort of pre-death state known as senescence. The drugs also widened the treatment window: Mice need to get the drug doctors currently use to counteract an overdose within four hours or they will...
Journalists work hard to communicate science to the public, and we use more than words to do it. Visuals are vital tools in our journalistic kit, whether it’s a graphic explaining the relationship between two datasets, as in the bar chart on how people share fake news on social media, or the cover image of a wad of bills that clearly says “money.”07/25/2018 - 07:00 Science & Society, Technology
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Tracking the neutrino
The definite detection of nonterrestrial neutrinos, whether from the sun or from beyond the solar system, will yield a far deeper understanding of stellar interiors and, therefore, of how today’s universe came to be. — Science News, July 20, 1968.Update
In May 1968, researchers reported that a particle detector in South Dakota spotted ghostly subatomic...
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...
Opioids have quickly become a major cause of death among young Americans aged 25 to 34, with one in five deaths in 2016 tied to the drugs, researchers report online June 1 in JAMA Open Network.
That’s a steep rise from 2001, when opioids accounted for 4 percent of all deaths in that age group. The second-most affected age group was 15-24, for whom 12 percent of all deaths in 2016 were...
As opioid-related deaths rise in the United States, so has the role of synthetic opioids — primarily illicit fentanyl, mixed into heroin or made into counterfeit pills (SN Online: 3/29/18). In 2016, synthetics surged past prescription opioids and were involved in 19,413 deaths, compared with 17,087 deaths involving prescription opioids, researchers report May 1 in JAMA. The study is based on...
NEW ORLEANS — Viruses engineered into “nanobots” can find and separate bacteria from food or water.
These viruses, called bacteriophages or just phages, naturally latch onto bacteria to infect them (SN: 7/12/03, p. 26). By tweaking the phages’ DNA and decking them out with magnetic nanoparticles, researchers created a tool that could both corral bacteria and force them to reveal...
AUSTIN, Texas — An analysis of the metals in dozens of Picasso’s bronze sculptures has traced the birthplace of a handful of the works of art to the outskirts of German-occupied Paris during World War II.
This is the first time that the raw materials of Picasso’s sculptures have been scrutinized in detail, conservation scientist Francesca Casadio of the Art Institute of Chicago said...
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Meet Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the first primates cloned by reprogramming adult cells.
Two decades after Dolly the Sheep was successfully cloned (SN: 3/1/97, p. 132), Chinese researchers have used the same technique — somatic cell nuclear transfer — to clone two healthy baby macaque monkeys. The results, reported January 24 in Cell, could lead to more efficient...
Science & the Public
Watch the SN staff sum up 2017
Our Top 10 stories of 2017 cover the science that was earthshaking, field-advancing or otherwise important. But choosing our favorite stories requires some different metrics.
Here are some of our staff’s favorites from 2017, selected for their intrigue, their power, their element of surprise — or because they were just really, really fun.Stories...