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...
Smell has a reputation as a second-rate human sense. But that assumption stinks once hunter-gatherers enter the picture.
Semaq Beri hunter-gatherers, who live in tropical forests on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, name various odors as easily as they name colors, say psycholinguist Asifa Majid and linguist Nicole Kruspe. Yet Semelai rice farmers, who live in...
Internist Gail Povar has many female patients making their way through menopause, some having a tougher time than others. Several women with similar stories stand out in her mind. Each came to Povar’s Silver Spring, Md., office within a year or two of stopping her period, complaining of frequent hot flashes and poor sleep at night. “They just felt exhausted all the time,” Povar says. “The joy...
In movies, exploring the body up close often involves shrinking to microscopic sizes and taking harrowing rides through the blood. Thanks to a new virtual model, you can journey through a three-dimensional brain. No shrink ray required.
The Society for Neuroscience and other organizations have long sponsored the website BrainFacts.org, which has basic information about how the human...
Dead Sea Scrolls safe
The famous Dead Sea Scrolls, rumored lost or damaged during the June war between Israel and Egypt, are safe, according to Antiquity…. On the eve of the war they were packed up and put safely in a strong room in the basement of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (Rockefeller Museum), according to a reliable authority. — Science News, January 20, 1968Update...
Improvisation may give jazz artists a creative boost not seen among musicians more likely to stick to the score. Jazz musicians’ brains quickly embrace improvisational surprises, new research on the neural roots of creativity shows.
Neuroscientist Emily Przysinda and colleagues at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., measured the creative aptitudes of 12 jazz improvisers, 12...
Year in Review
No story on the Science News website is complete without visuals. And when it comes to videos, those visuals have lives of their own on other platforms. In addition to incorporating videos into some of our articles, we also post videos to the Science News YouTube channel and the Science News magazine Facebook page, where thousands of people watch them each year.
We tackled all manner of...
Viable synthetic DNA
[Scientists] produced in a test tube a totally artificial copy of a type of DNA virus.… The particular type of viral DNA (called Phi X174) the researchers made is an extremely simple molecule of only five or six genes. Their achievement, however, lays the foundation for eventual synthesis of more complex DNAs. — Science News, December 30, 1967...
View the video
Not so long ago, the lives of sea turtles were largely a mystery. From the time that hatchlings left the beaches where they were born to waddle into the ocean until females returned to lay their eggs, no one really knew where the turtles went or what they did.
Then researchers started attaching satellite trackers to young turtles. And that’s when scientists...
It doesn’t matter if it’s a burly rattler or a tiny garter snake. A deadly fungal disease that’s infecting snakes in the eastern and midwestern United States doesn’t appear to discriminate by species, size or habitat, researchers report online December 20 in Science Advances.
The infection, caused by the fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, can cover snakes’ bodies with lesions...