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E.g., 01/22/2018
E.g., 01/22/2018
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  • Television

    ‘First Face of America’ explores how humans reached the New World

    A teenage girl climbed into an underground cave around 13,000 years ago. Edging through the ink-dark chamber, she accidentally plunged to her death at the bottom of a deep pit.

    Rising seas eventually inundated the cave, located on Central America’s Yucatán Peninsula. But that didn’t stop scuba divers from finding and retrieving much of the girl’s skeleton in 2007.

    “First Face of...

    01/22/2018 - 07:00 Anthropology, Archaeology, Ancestry
  • 50 years ago, IUDs were deemed safe and effective

    IUDs: approval of a renaissance

    In 1929, the German scientist Ernst Grafenberg inserted silver rings into the uteri of 2,000 women, and reported a pregnancy rate of only 1.6 percent. Despite this history, the use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, was not generally accepted.… A report made public last week by the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Obstetrics and Gynecology concludes that...

    01/19/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • News

    The mystery of vanishing honeybees is still not definitively solved

    It was one of the flashiest mysteries in the news about a decade ago — honeybee workers were vanishing fast for no clear reason. To this day, that puzzle has never been entirely solved, researchers acknowledge.

    And maybe it never will be. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, as the sudden mass honeybee losses were called, has faded in recent years as mysteriously as it began. It’s possible...

    01/17/2018 - 13:42 Animals, Agriculture, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Spaceships could use blinking dead stars to chart their way

    OXON HILL, Md. — Future spacecraft could navigate by the light of dead stars.

    Using only the timing of radiation bursts from pulsating stellar corpses, an experiment on the International Space Station was able to pinpoint its location in space in a first-ever demonstration. The technique operates like a stellar version of GPS, researchers with the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and...

    01/12/2018 - 17:15 Astronomy
  • News

    Trio of dead stars upholds a key part of Einstein’s theory of gravity

    OXON HILL, Md. — Observations of a trio of dead stars have confirmed that a foundation of Einstein’s gravitational theory holds even for ultradense objects with strong gravitational fields.

    The complex orbital dance of the three former stars conforms to a rule known as the strong equivalence principle, researchers reported January 10 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society....

    01/12/2018 - 16:19 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Not all strep infections are alike and it may have nothing to do with you

    One person infected with strep bacteria might get a painful sore throat; another might face a life-threatening blood infection. Now, scientists are trying to pin down why.

    Variation between individuals’ immune systems may not be entirely to blame. Instead, extra genes picked up by some pathogens can cause different strains to have wildly different effects on the immune system, even in...

    01/11/2018 - 14:40 Health, Genetics, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Protein helps old blood age the brains of young mice

    Old blood can prematurely age the brains of young mice, and scientists may now be closer to understanding how. A protein located in the cells that form a barrier between the brain and blood could be partly to blame, experiments on mice suggest.  

    If something similar happens in humans, scientists say, methods for countering the protein may hold promise for treating age-related brain...

    01/11/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Fast radio bursts may be from a neutron star orbiting a black hole

    OXON HILL, Md. — Fast radio bursts could come from a turbulent home. At least one source of these bright, brief blasts of radio energy may be a young neutron star assisted by a nearby massive black hole, new research suggests.

    “The biggest mystery around fast radio bursts is how such powerful and short-duration bursts are emitted,” says astronomer Daniele Michilli of the University of...

    01/10/2018 - 13:42 Astronomy
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers wrangle with definition of ‘species’

    Species shmecies

    In “Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art” (SN: 11/11/17, p. 22), Susan Milius asked scientists to define “species.” Schoolbooks may define the concept as a group of organisms that create fertile offspring when mating with each other but not when mating with outsiders. But for researchers specializing in the topic, a single definition is hard to come by.

    “It seems to me...

    01/10/2018 - 12:37 Evolution, Technology, Astronomy
  • Editor's Note

    We’ll be watching the skies, plus a lot more, this year

    If this issue is any clue, 2018 may be the Year of Space. Our pages are packed with a surprising wealth of content for astronomy lovers, and anyone who dreams of otherworldly encounters.

    In our cover story, astronomy writer Lisa Grossman reports on the race to Mars. SpaceX announced last year that it plans to get people to the Red Planet by 2024, but the battle over what humans’...

    01/10/2018 - 12:32 Science & Society, Astronomy, Climate