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  • How Bizarre

    Loner gas clouds could be a new kind of stellar system

    A pair of dark loners wander a distant cluster of galaxies. The two small gas clouds have been roaming the Virgo cluster, some 55 million light-years away, for at least a billion years. Such small, isolated clouds of gas shouldn’t be able to form stars on their own — and yet they are doing just that.

    Astronomer Michele Bellazzini of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics in...

    03/02/2018 - 11:12 Astronomy
  • Editor's Note

    Building a bright future for science journalism

    As a longtime reader of Science News, I’m delighted to join the staff of this remarkable publication, which has been explaining the complexities of science, medicine and technology for more than 90 years. Science News hasn’t been standing still; people can find our breaking news and in-depth coverage in the flagship magazine as well as on the Science News website, which drew more than...
    02/22/2018 - 10:46 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers weigh in on human gene editing and more

    Mission: Mars

    The possibility that human visitors could carry Earth-based microbes to the Red Planet has roiled the Mars research community, Lisa Grossman reported in “How to keep humans from ruining the search for life on Mars” (SN: 1/20/18, p. 22).

    Reader Bruce Merchant speculated that Mars would need a protective global magnetic field to sustain a life-friendly environment. But...

    02/22/2018 - 10:39 Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Science & Society
  • News

    Scientists find 10 new defense systems used by bacteria

    Since long before it gained fame as a precise gene-editing tool, CRISPR has had another job defending bacteria against viral invaders. And it’s far from alone. Ten sets of bacterial genes have similar, newly discovered defense roles, researchers report online January 25 in Science.

    The discovery “probably more than doubles the number of immune systems known in bacteria,” says Joseph...

    01/25/2018 - 16:16 Genetics, Microbiology
  • News

    Baby macaques are the first primates to be cloned like Dolly the Sheep

    View the video

    Meet Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the first primates cloned by reprogramming adult cells.

    Two decades after Dolly the Sheep was successfully cloned (SN: 3/1/97, p. 132), Chinese researchers have used the same technique — somatic cell nuclear transfer — to clone two healthy baby macaque monkeys. The results, reported January 24 in Cell, could lead to more efficient...

    01/24/2018 - 13:30 Genetics, Animals, Biomedicine
  • 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
  • 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
  • News in Brief

    CRISPR gene editor could spark immune reaction in people

    Immune reactions against proteins commonly used as molecular scissors might make CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing ineffective in people, a new study suggests.

    About 79 percent of 34 blood donors tested had antibodies against the Cas9 protein from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, Stanford University researchers report January 5 at About 65 percent of donors had antibodies against the...

    01/09/2018 - 06:00 Genetics, Immune Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    Here are our favorite science books of 2017

    Have you fallen behind on your reading this year? Or maybe you’ve plowed through your must-reads and are ready for more. Science News has got you covered. Here are the staff’s picks for some of the best science books of 2017. Find detailed reviews from previous issues in the links below or in our Editors pick: Favorite books of 2017.

    Against the GrainJames C. Scott

    Armed with...

    12/17/2017 - 07:00 Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    2017 delivered humility, and proved our potential

    The Top 10 science stories of 2017, selected by Science News staff and presented in this year-end issue, have the potential to make you feel small and certainly humble. Our No. 1 story of the year takes place an unfathomably distant 130 million light-years away, where a neutron star smashup produced, by some estimates, 10 Earth masses worth of gold — wow! That’s enough for many...
    12/13/2017 - 08:46 Science & Society, Astronomy, Genetics