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  • News

    Gene editing of human embryos yields early results

    Scientists have long sought a strategy for curing genetic diseases, but — with just a few notable exceptions — have succeeded only in their dreams. Now, though, researchers in China and Texas have taken a step toward making the fantasies a reality for all inherited diseases.

    Using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, the researchers have successfully edited disease-causing...

    03/29/2017 - 11:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • For Daily Use

    Spray-on mosquito repellents are more effective than other devices

    Mosquitoes are more than an itchy nuisance. They can carry serious diseases, including Zika, West Nile, yellow fever and chikungunya. Now after testing 11 types of mosquito repellents, researchers say they’ve identified the products most effective at warding off the bloodsuckers.

    Spray-on repellents with DEET or a refined tree extract called oil of lemon eucalyptus are most likely to...

    03/28/2017 - 13:00 Health
  • Scicurious

    Most Americans like science — and are willing to pay for it

    Americans don’t hate science. Quite the contrary. In fact, 79 percent of Americans think science has made their lives easier, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found. More than 60 percent of people also believe that government funding for science is essential to its success.

    But should the United States spend more money on scientific research than it already does? A layperson’s answer to...

    03/24/2017 - 13:00 Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Lab tests aren’t the answer for every science question

    In the second half of the 17th century, the chemist and polymath Robert Boyle and philosopher Thomas Hobbes engaged in a divisive debate centered on a temperamental, mechanical contraption known as an air pump. In a series of famous experiments, Boyle used the air pump, which has been called “the cyclotron of its age,” to test basic scientific principles such as the relationship between a gas’...

    03/22/2017 - 12:15 Neuroscience, History of Science, Science & Society
  • Science Visualized

    Colorful pinwheel puts a new spin on mouse pregnancy

    View slideshow of other winners

    This rainbow pinwheel of mouse placentas isn’t just an eye-catching, award-winning image. The differences in color also provide researchers with new clues to how a mother’s immune system may affect her or her baby’s health during pregnancy. The work could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication. 

    ...

    03/22/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Immune Science, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Close pass by sun didn’t radically alter comet 67P’s landscape

    At least one of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dusty outbursts was the result of a landslide. But such changes to the surface of the comet haven’t radically altered its appearance, suggesting it has had roughly the same look for decades — or longer.

    Images from the Rosetta spacecraft taken before its demise show what happened to the comet as it passed close to the sun in 2015. Cliffs...

    03/21/2017 - 10:30 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    To understand rivers, let physics be your guide

    Where the River FlowsSean W. FlemingPrinceton Univ.$26.95

    Spend an hour wandering along a river and you may wonder why the water rushing by chose this particular path over any other. While many nature writers might offer philosophical musings on the subject, Where the River Flows author Sean Fleming has physics on his side.

    Physics isn’t the lens through which most people think...

    03/19/2017 - 08:00 Physics, Earth
  • News

    White House budget plan would slash science

    Huge cuts could be in store for federal science spending if President Donald Trump’s vision for fiscal year 2018 becomes reality.

    Although details are skimpy, Trump’s $1.15 trillion budget proposal, released March 16, would make national security the top priority. The budget blueprint calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending for 2018, offset by an equally big reduction in...

    03/16/2017 - 17:52 Science & Society
  • News

    Distant galaxies lack dark matter, study suggests

    Very distant galaxies have surprisingly little dark matter, the invisible stuff thought to make up the bulk of matter in the universe, new observations suggest.

    Stars in the outer regions of some far-off galaxies move more slowly than stars closer to the center, indicating a lack of dark matter, astronomer Reinhard Genzel and colleagues report online March 15 in Nature. If confirmed, the...

    03/15/2017 - 14:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers dispute starfishes' water-swirling abilities

    Doomsday preppers

    Dinosaurs and other creatures were largely wiped out 66 million years ago from an asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions or maybe a mix of the two, Thomas Sumner reported in “Devastation detectives” (SN: 2/4/17, p. 16), in the Science News special report “Dino Doomsday.”

    Online reader Mike van Horn wondered if the timing of the v­olcanic eruptions, which happened for h­...

    03/08/2017 - 12:22 Animals, Evolution, Biophysics