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  • News

    Monitoring online groups offers insight into ISIS attacks

    Social media supporters of the Islamic State, or ISIS, form online groups that may provide clues crucial to predicting when terrorist attacks will take place, a new analysis finds.

    These virtual communities drive ISIS activity on a Facebook-like site called VKontakte, say physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., and colleagues. VKontakte, a social...

    06/16/2016 - 14:21 Networks, Computing
  • Feature

    Getting creative to cut methane from cows

    View the video

    In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach and a helpful army of...

    11/18/2015 - 16:36 Animals, Microbes, Climate
  • Feature

    Deep network

    Gas bubbles effervesce from a mound of muck on the seafloor in a deep submarine canyon off the west coast of Canada. Microbes beneath the sediment belch the bubbles after feasting on the ancient remains of algae, sea critters and their poop: a primordial stew that’s been simmering since long before humans walked the Earth.

    This gassy oasis attracts an odd collection of critters. Worms...

    10/04/2013 - 15:00 Earth, Technology
  • Feature

    Breaking it Down

    Suppose there was a fourth little pig. This one was a physicist. Unlike his brother the engineer, who built a house out of tried-and-true bricks, the physicist pig chose a building material by doing calculations based on fundamental principles. He settled on a substance made from silicon and oxygen, an abundant material with high bond strength and the aesthetic bonus of transparency. It was...

    01/29/2010 - 14:02
  • News

    Largest known prime number found

    Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Science News online as a Math Trek column September 20.

    Here’s a number to savor: 243,112,609-1.

    Its size is mind-boggling. With nearly 13 million digits, it makes the number of atoms in the known universe seem negligible, a mere 80 digits.

    And its form is tidy and lovely: 2n-1.

    But its true beauty is...

    09/28/2008 - 10:39
  • Math Trek

    Largest known prime number found

    Here’s a number to savor: 243,112,609-1.

    Its size is mind-boggling. With nearly 13 million digits, it makes the number of atoms in the known universe seem negligible, a mere 80 digits.

    And its form is tidy and lovely: 2n-1.

    But its true beauty is far grander: It is a prime number. Indeed, it is the largest prime number ever found.

    The Great Internet...

    09/20/2008 - 11:06 Numbers
  • Food for Thought

    How Advertising Is Becoming Child's Play

    Not long ago, food advertising appeared primarily in newspapers, magazines, and television. Today, though, manufacturers are embracing new media to ever more effectively target their youngest consumers: children. A new study conducted for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes how these companies are feeding their messages to tots.

    The number of Web sites hosting pages for...

    07/27/2006 - 14:57 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Electronic Jetsam

    Twice each day at more than 1,100 sites around the world, scientists simultaneously loft weather balloons to collect data about Earth's atmosphere. During each balloon's ascent, which lasts a couple of hours or so, instruments garner information about air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Meteorologists feed all of these data into their computer...

    01/27/2003 - 13:58 Earth
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year

    12/21/1996 - 00:00