Reviews & Previews
How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog)Lee Alan Dugatkinand Lyudmila TrutUniv. of Chicago, $26
In 1959, Lyudmila Trut rode trains through Siberia to visit fox farms. She wasn’t looking for furs. She needed a farm to host an audacious experiment dreamed up by geneticist Dmitry Belyaev: to create a domestic animal as docile as a dog from aggressive, wily silver foxes.
Immune cells in the lungs provide a rapid counterattack to bloodstream infections, a new study in mice finds. This surprising discovery pegs the lungs as a major pillar in the body’s defense during these dangerous infections, the researchers say.
“No one would have guessed the lung would provide such an immediate and strong host defense system,” says Bryan Yipp, an immunologist at the...
A hard look at experimental setups may start to explain dueling predictions on whether ocean acidification will boost, or choke, vital marine nitrogen fixers. So far, the new look trends toward choking.
As people release more and more carbon dioxide into the air, the ocean takes up the gas and edges closer toward acidity. In these shifting waters, marine microbes called Trichodesmium...
News in Brief
Cassini has beamed back stunning images from the spacecraft’s daring dive between Saturn and its rings.
The first closeup pictures of the planet’s atmosphere reveal peculiar threadlike clouds and puffy cumulus ones, plus the giant hurricane first spotted on Saturn in 2008 (SN: 11/8/08, p. 9). Released April 27, the images of Saturn’s cloud tops are a “big step forward” for understanding...
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A lizard’s intricately patterned skin follows rules like those used by a simple type of computer program.
As the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) grows, it transforms from a drab, polka-dotted youngster to an emerald-flecked adult. Its scales first morph from white and brown to green and black. Then, as the animal ages, individual scales flip from black to green, or...
The New World was a surprisingly old destination for humans or our evolutionary relatives, say investigators of a controversial set of bones and stones.
An unidentified Homo species used stone tools to crack apart mastodon bones, teeth and tusks approximately 130,700 years ago at a site near what’s now San Diego. This unsettling claim upending the scientific debate over the settling of...
Premature babies may one day continue developing in an artificial womb, new work with sheep suggests.
A fluid-filled bag that mimics the womb kept premature lambs alive and developing normally for four weeks, researchers report April 25 in Nature Communications. Lambs at a gestational age equivalent to that of a 23- or 24-week-old human fetus had normal lung and brain development after a...
Science & the Public
*/ [View the story "The March for Science, Washington, D.C." on Storify]04/22/2017 - 19:02 Science & Society
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Cassini is bravely going where no spacecraft has gone before — between Saturn and its rings.
The probe, which launched in 1997 and has orbited Saturn since 2004, starts this daring expedition April 22. It will fly through the 2,400-kilometer-wide gap between Saturn and its rings 22 times before plunging into the planet’s atmosphere and burning up on Sept. 15....
50 Years Ago
Drifting theories shake up geology
Continental drift, a theory often considered amusing but rarely important, seems about to become the focus of a revolution in geology. At the least, it has already split the geological community into those who find the evidence for it “formidable” and those who think it is not yet formidable enough to constitute a proof. — Science News, April 29, 1967...