Dinosaurs might live on today as birds, but they hatched like reptiles. Developing dinos stayed in their eggs three to six months before emerging, far longer than previously suspected, researchers report online January 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
With few clues to dinosaurs’ embryonic lives, scientists assumed that young dinosaurs shared modern birds’ swift...
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The Lost City of the Monkey GodDouglas PrestonGrand Central Publishing, $28
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, a rich, powerful city stood in the jungle of what is now eastern Honduras. Then, suddenly, all of the residents vanished, and the abandoned city became a cursed place — anyone who entered risked death.
In a captivating real-life adventure tale, journalist and...
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A new squishy robot could keep hearts from skipping a beat.
A silicone sleeve slipped over pigs’ hearts helped pump blood when the hearts failed, researchers report January 18 in Science Translational Medicine. If the sleeve works in humans, it could potentially keep weak hearts pumping, and buy time for patients waiting for a transplant.
To make the device...
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Zoom in on a soap bubble just before it bursts and brilliant, complex patterns emerge. Shimmery rainbows appear in thicker portions of the soap film, while clusters of dark spots appear in the thinnest regions.
The thickness of the soap film determines the color seen. Light rays that reflect off of the top and bottom of the film combine to amplify particular...
Drug use continued to threaten the health and safety of the American public in 2016, while a hidden menace in drinking water remained a major worry for the people of Flint, Mich.Teen vaping
Vaping has surpassed cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students, according to a report released in 2016 from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Estimates suggest that some 2.39 million U.S....
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Once again, Science News writers and editors have reviewed the stacks of science books published this year to pick their favorites. Most of the books listed here have been reviewed previously in the magazine. Read those reviews at the links below or in our Editor's pick: Favorite books of 2016.
Lab GirlHope Jahren
In this engrossing memoir, a geomicrobiologist hopscotches...
There’s no bow or festive wrap, but I hope that you will consider this issue a gift of sorts. That is how the staff of Science News thinks of it, our year-end recap of the top science stories. In these pages, you’ll find the stories that continued to resonate well after we first covered them and many that we expect will resonate for years to come — all collected in one easy-to-read, extremely...
A “three-parent baby” was born in April, the world’s first reported birth from a controversial technique designed to prevent mitochondrial diseases from passing from mother to child.
“As far as we can tell, the baby is normal and free of disease,” says Andrew R. La Barbera, chief scientific officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “This demonstrates that, in point of...
No paper or digital trails document ancient humans’ journey out of Africa to points around the globe. Fortunately, those intrepid travelers left a DNA trail. Genetic studies released in 2016 put a new molecular spin on humans’ long-ago migrations. These investigations also underscore the long trek ahead for scientists trying to reconstruct Stone Age road trips.
“I’m beginning to suspect...
It was barely more than half a century ago that the Nobel Prize–winning virologist Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet mused about the demise of contagions. “To write about infectious disease,” he wrote in 1962, “is almost to write of something that has passed into history.”
If only. In the past several decades, over 300 infectious pathogens have either newly emerged or emerged in new places,...