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  • News

    Cancer studies get mixed grades on redo tests

    An effort to reproduce findings of five prominent cancer studies has produced a mixed bag of results.

    In a series of papers published January 19 in eLife, researchers from the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology report that none of five prominent cancer studies they sought to duplicate were completely reproducible. Replicators could not confirm any of the findings of one study. In...

    01/18/2017 - 16:42 Science & Society, Cancer
  • 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

    Gun research faces roadblocks and a dearth of data

    Buying a handgun in Connecticut means waiting — lots of waiting. First comes an eight-hour safety course. Then picking up an application at a local police department. Review of the application (which includes a background check and fingerprinting) can take up to eight weeks. If approved, the state issues a temporary permit, which the buyer trades in at state police headquarters for a permanent...

    05/03/2016 - 15:00 Science & Society, Mental Health, Health
  • To Do

    Free virtual fossils for everyone

    At MorphoSource.org, playing with fossils is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. The online database is home to oodles of digital 3-D scans of bones from both extinct and modern-day creatures. Anyone with an Internet connection is free to peruse the images, manipulate and rotate specimens and even download instructions to 3-D print them.

    So far, scientists have contributed images...

    03/07/2016 - 06:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • Feature

    Year in review: Pluto unveiled as a world like no other

    View the video

    Mountains of water ice tower thousands of meters over fields of frozen nitrogen and methane. Glaciers etched with channels hint at heat bubbling up from below. A patchwork of new and old terrains — some laid down in the last 10 million years, some as old as the planet itself — blanket the ground. And what appear to be two ice volcanoes punch through the terrain.

    The...

    12/15/2015 - 07:05 Planetary Science
  • 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
  • News

    Pluto’s smaller moons pose mysteries

    Pluto and Charon might have been the stars of the New Horizons mission, but the dwarf planet’s four smaller moons have some surprises to share as well.

    With images of Kerberos transmitted from the spacecraft on October 20, the Pluto family portrait is complete. The tiny moons Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx are no longer pinpricks of light but textured, misshapen balls of ice that look...

    11/02/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    The wait for more Pluto data is almost over

    Get ready, we’re about to be inundated with postcards from Pluto. On September 5, the New Horizons spacecraft, now more than 62 million kilometers beyond Pluto, will begin a roughly year-long download of all the data it acquired during its brief visit with the dwarf planet in July. Only a few percent of that data was sent to Earth shortly after the encounter.

    It’s about time. Without new...

    09/04/2015 - 17:45 Planetary Science
  • News

    Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view

    LAUREL, Md. — Alan Stern, head of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, had just three words for the team of scientists and engineers assembled with him on July 14: “We did it.”

    At 8:52:37 p.m. Eastern time, a radio antenna near Madrid received the first signal from the spacecraft since it buzzed the dwarf planet. After decades of planning and a 9.5-year journey...

    07/26/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Mission to Pluto: Live coverage

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Astronomy writer Christopher Crockett wrote several updates from mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md., from July 12-15, and reviewed some of the mission's major milestones from the last several months. Check our Mission to Pluto editor’s pick for the latest on New Horizons...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science