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  • Feature

    Meet the speedsters of the plant world

    Somewhere in the wetlands of South Carolina, a buzzing fly alights on a rosy-pink surface. As the fly explores the strange scenery, it unknowingly brushes a small hair sticking up like a slender sword. Strolling along, the fly accidentally grazes another hair. Suddenly, the pink surface closes in from both sides, snapping shut like a pair of ravenous jaws. The blur of movement lasts only a...

    05/16/2018 - 12:11 Plants, Biophysics, Physics
  • Feature

    The recipes for solar system formation are getting a rewrite

    With a mortar and pestle, Christy Till blends together the makings of a distant planet. In her geology lab at Arizona State University in Tempe, Till carefully measures out powdered minerals, tips them into a metal capsule and bakes them in a high-pressure furnace that can reach close to 35,000 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure and 2,000° Celsius.

    In this interplanetary test kitchen,...

    05/11/2018 - 09:00 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Gaia delivers a trove of data revealing secrets of the Milky Way

    Astronomers are going gaga over Gaia.

    The April 25 release of data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, which cataloged nearly 1.7 billion stars, has kicked off a scientific spree, with multiple papers published online in the last two weeks at arXiv.org.

    Charting stars in the Milky Way and beyond, Gaia surveys the entire sky. The spacecraft can measure stars’ motions...

    05/09/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • 50 years ago, starving tumors of oxygen proposed as weapon in cancer fight

    Starve the tumor, not the cell

    Animal experiments demonstrate for the first time that transplanted tumors release a chemical into the host’s bloodstream that causes the host to produce blood vessels to supply the tumor.… If such a factor can be identified in human cancers … it might be possible to prevent the vascularization of tumors. Since tumors above a certain small size require...

    05/04/2018 - 11:00 Cancer, Biomedicine, Cells
  • News

    An enzyme involved in cancer and aging gets a close-up

    Like a genetic handyman, an elusive enzyme deep inside certain cells repairs the tips of chromosomes, which fray as cells divide. It’s prized by rapidly dividing cells – like stem cells and tumor cells – and by scientists on the hunt for cancer and other disease therapies.

    Now researchers have the best picture yet of this enzyme, called telomerase. Using cryo-electron microscopy,...

    05/04/2018 - 10:00 Health, Cells, Cancer
  • Feature

    Fighting like an animal doesn’t always mean a duel to the death

    Pick an animal.

    Choose wisely because in this fantasy you’ll transform into the creature and duel against one of your own. If you care about survival, go for the muscular, multispiked stag roaring at a rival. Never, ever pick the wingless male fig wasp. Way too dangerous.

    This advice sounds exactly wrong. But that’s because many stereotypes of animal conflict get the real biology...

    05/03/2018 - 15:05 Animals
  • Editor's Note

    Does our latest issue look fat? If so, that’s a good thing

    Subscribers to Science News may note that this special double issue is a lot heftier than the usual magazine, boasting more than 20 pages of advertisements. That’s up from 13 pages in last spring’s expanded issue.

    Indeed, our ace marketing department sold so many ads that we had to include more articles, which, as anyone in print publishing will tell you, is a very nice problem to...

    05/02/2018 - 07:15 Science & Society
  • Feature

    How a backyard pendulum saw sliced into a Bronze Age mystery

    Nicholas Blackwell and his father went to a hardware store about three years ago seeking parts for a mystery device from the past. They carefully selected wood and other materials to assemble a stonecutting pendulum that, if Blackwell is right, resembles contraptions once used to build majestic Bronze Age palaces.

    With no ancient drawings or blueprints of the tool for guidance, the two...

    05/01/2018 - 07:00 Archaeology
  • Science Visualized

    See (and hear) the stunning diversity of bowhead whales’ songs

    In the pitch-black waters beneath the Arctic ice, bowhead whales get funky. A small population of endangered bowheads belt an unusually varied repertoire of songs, which grows more diverse during mating season.

    Hunted to near extinction in the 1600s, these fire truck–sized mammals now number in the 300s in the frigid waters around the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Underwater audio...

    04/30/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics, Ecology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘The Curious Life of Krill’ is an ode to an underappreciated crustacean

    The Curious Life of Krill Stephen NicolIsland Press, $30

    Stephen Nicol is here to change your mind about krill: They’re not microscopic and they’re far from boring. The biologist is so sick of people misunderstanding his study subjects that he’s even gotten a (slightly botched) krill tattooed on his arm to help enlighten strangers.

    In The Curious Life of Krill, Nicol is taking...

    04/29/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Oceans, Ecosystems