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E.g., 04/27/2017
E.g., 04/27/2017
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  • News in Brief

    Cassini’s ring dive offers first close-up of Saturn’s cloud tops

    Cassini has beamed back stunning images from the spacecraft’s daring dive between Saturn and its rings.

    The first closeup pictures of the planet’s atmosphere reveal peculiar threadlike clouds and puffy cumulus ones, plus the giant hurricane first spotted on Saturn in 2008 (SN: 11/8/08, p. 9). Released April 27, the images of Saturn’s cloud tops are a “big step forward” for understanding...

    04/27/2017 - 17:49 Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Venomous fish have evolved many ways to inflict pain

    Biologist Leo Smith held an unusual job while an undergraduate student in San Diego. Twice a year, he tagged along on a chartered boat with elderly passengers. The group needed him to identify two particular species of rockfish, the chilipepper rockfish and the California shortspine thornyhead. Once he’d found the red-orange creatures, the passengers would stab themselves in the arms with the...

    04/19/2017 - 11:30 Animals, Evolution
  • Feature

    There’s still a lot we don’t know about the proton

    Nuclear physicist Evangeline Downie hadn’t planned to study one of the thorniest puzzles of the proton.

    But when opportunity knocked, Downie couldn’t say no. “It’s the proton,” she exclaims. The mysteries that still swirl around this jewel of the subatomic realm were too tantalizing to resist. The plentiful particles make up much of the visible matter in the universe. “We’re made of them...

    04/18/2017 - 08:00 Physics, Particle Physics, Quantum Physics
  • The Science Life

    Early dinosaur relative sported odd mix of bird, crocodile-like traits

    While researching fossils in a museum in 2007, Sterling Nesbitt noticed one partial skeleton that was hard to place. Though the reptile — at the time, unofficially called Teleocrater rhadinus — was thought to be a dinosaur relative, it was an oddball. At about 2 meters long, it was larger than other close relatives, walked on four feet instead of two, and had an unusually long neck and tail....

    04/17/2017 - 14:22 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • Mystery Solved

    Hawk moths convert nectar into antioxidants

    Hawk moths have a sweet solution to muscle damage.

    Manduca sexta moths dine solely on nectar, but the sugary liquid does more than fuel their bodies. The insects convert some of the sugars into antioxidants that protect the moths’ hardworking muscles, researchers report in the Feb. 17 Science.

    When animals expend a lot of energy, like hawk moths do as they rapidly beat their wings...

    04/17/2017 - 07:00 Ecology, Microbiology
  • Television

    The drama of Albert Einstein’s life unfolds in the new series Genius

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    Albert Einstein was a master of physics, but his talent in personal relationships was decidedly underdeveloped. A new 10-episode series, Genius, airing on the National Geographic Channel, focuses on the facets of Einstein’s life where he was anything but a virtuoso.

    Genius is a dramatization, not a documentary. The series reveals the human side of the famously brainy...

    04/16/2017 - 08:00 Physics, History of Science
  • Science Visualized

    Cells’ stunning complexity on display in a new online portal

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    Computers don’t have eyes, but they could revolutionize the way scientists visualize cells.

    Researchers at the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle have devised 3-D representations of cells, compiled by computers learning where thousands of real cells tuck their component parts.

    Most drawings of cells in textbooks come from human interpretations gleaned by...

    04/12/2017 - 07:00 Cells
  • News

    Scientists seek early signs of autism

    Soon after systems biologist Juergen Hahn published a paper describing a way to predict whether a child has autism from a blood sample, the notes from parents began arriving. “I have a bunch of parents writing me now who want to test their kids,” says Hahn, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “I can’t do that.”

    That’s because despite their promise, his group’s results,...

    04/10/2017 - 07:00 Human Development, Neuroscience
  • News

    Genetic risk of getting second cancer tallied for pediatric survivors

    WASHINGTON — A second cancer later in life is common for childhood cancer survivors, and scientists now have a sense of the role genes play when this happens. A project that mined the genetic data of a group of survivors finds that 11.5 percent carry mutations that increase the risk of a subsequent cancer.

    “We’ve always known that among survivors, a certain population will experience...

    04/07/2017 - 13:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • News

    Common virus may be celiac disease culprit

    A common and usually harmless virus may trigger celiac disease. Infection with the suspected culprit, a reovirus, could cause the immune system to react to gluten as if it was a dangerous pathogen instead of a harmless food protein, an international team of researchers reports April 7 in Science.

    In a study in mice, the researchers found that the reovirus, T1L, tricks the immune system...

    04/06/2017 - 14:03 Health, Immune Science