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  • 50 years ago, scientists studied orcas in the wild for the first time

    The astonishing capture [of seven orcas off British Columbia] has made possible the first scientific study of killer whales in their more or less natural environment…. There is little doubt that the animals have a sophisticated language with which they can communicate with each other, but practically nothing is known about the complexity of their speech. — Science News, January 18,...
    01/10/2019 - 08:00 Animals
  • News

    Known as the ‘mother of Hubble,’ astronomer Nancy Roman dies at 93

    Nancy Roman, a groundbreaking astronomer known as the “Mother of Hubble,” died on December 25 at the age of 93.As NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy, Roman oversaw the early planning and development of the Hubble Space Telescope (SN: 10/10/64, p. 231) as well as other space observatories and satellites. “I knew that taking on this responsibility would mean that I could no longer do research, but...

    12/31/2018 - 17:11 Astronomy, Science & Society
  • 50 years ago, astronauts orbited the moon for the first time

    Apollo 8: Options on the way

    Just two months after the end of the successful first manned Apollo flight ... three astronauts are ready to fly this Saturday to within 70 miles of the lunar surface.... The Apollo 8 plan is for the astronauts to fly as many as 10 orbits around the moon before heading home.  — Science News, December 21, 1968

    Update

    Apollo 8 launched on December 21...

    12/27/2018 - 05:30 Astronomy, Technology, History of Science
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    12/18/2018 - 13:25
  • 50 years ago, armadillos hinted that DNA wasn’t destiny

    64 armadillos threaten a theory —

    Armadillos come in fours, quadruplet offspring from a single egg, and are endowed with identical genes. Yet, the quadruplets are often not identical, a fact that calls into question the assumption that genes encased in the nucleus of the cell are the sole determinants of heredity. — Science News, November 30, 1968

    Update

    What comes naturally to...

    12/13/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Genetics
  • Reviews & Previews

    These are our favorite science books of 2018

    From tales about whales to enthralling scientific histories and the memoir of a frustrated astrophysicist, 2018 was a banner year for science books. Here are Science News’ picks for the titles that should be on any science lover’s bookshelf. Find detailed reviews of many of these books in the links below and in our Editor’s Pick: Favorite books of 2018.

    The Truth About AnimalsLucy...

    12/09/2018 - 09:00 Science & Society
  • 50 years ago, screwworm flies inspired a new approach to insect control

    Screwworm fly upsurge 

    Screwworms, the first pest to be eliminated on a large scale by the use of the sterile male technique, have shown an alarming increase, according to U.S. and Mexican officials…. The screwworm fly lays its eggs in open wounds on cattle. The maggots live on the flesh of their host, causing damage and death, and economic losses of many millions of dollars. —...

    11/23/2018 - 07:00 Agriculture, Ecology, History of Science
  • News

    Development near natural areas puts more Californians in the path of wildfires

    In the past week, the Camp Fire has killed at least 56 people and leveled the Northern California town of Paradise. Another wildfire raging through the Los Angeles suburbs, the Woolsey Fire, has already destroyed more than 500 buildings and forced some 250,000 people to evacuate their homes.

    Such disasters are likely to occur more frequently in the coming years, data from recent years...

    11/15/2018 - 14:30 Climate, Science & Society
  • News

    Hints of Oort clouds around other stars may lurk in the universe’s first light

    A thick sphere of icy debris known as the Oort cloud shrouds the solar system. Other star systems may harbor similar icy reservoirs, and those clouds may be visible in the universe’s oldest light, researchers report.

    Astronomer Eric Baxter of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues looked for evidence of such exo-Oort clouds in maps of the cosmic microwave background, the cool...

    11/09/2018 - 06:00 Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Cosmology
  • 50 years ago, atomic testing created otter refugees

    Sea otters restocked in old home

    When the [Atomic Energy Commission] first cast its eye on the island of Amchitka as a possible site for the testing of underground nuclear explosions, howls of anguish went up; the island is part of the Aleutians National Wildlife Refuge, created to preserve the colonies of nesting birds and some 2,500 sea otters that live there…— Science News, ...

    11/07/2018 - 11:30 Animals