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E.g., 07/18/2018
E.g., 07/18/2018
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  • robot catching a cephalopod
  • baby snake preserved in amber
  • Neptune
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  • News

    New ‘Poké Ball’ robot catches deep-sea critters without harming them

    Like a submarine Poké Ball, a new robotic device gently captures and releases deep-sea creatures without a scratch. This critter catcher could be decked out with cameras and other sensors to give scientists an unprecedented view of life in one of Earth’s most mysterious environments. 

    The contraption, designed to be mounted on a remotely operated underwater vehicle, folds into a 12-sided...

    07/18/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Oceans, Technology
  • News in Brief

    This amber nugget from Myanmar holds the first known baby snake fossil

    The first known fossil remains of a baby snake have turned up in a hunk of amber found in Myanmar. The critter, a new species named Xiaophis myanmarensis, met its untimely demise about 99 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, an international team of researchers reports July 18 in Science Advances.

    How do we know it’s a baby?

    First, it’s tiny. The skeleton, which is missing its...

    07/18/2018 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Move over, Hubble. This sharp pic of Neptune was taken from Earth

    A telescope on Earth has snapped pictures of Neptune at least as clear as those from the Hubble Space Telescope. The trick? Taking the twinkle out of stars.

    Released by the European Southern Observatory on July 18, the images come from a new observing system on the Very Large Telescope in Chile. The instrument uses four lasers to cancel out blurring caused by Earth’s atmosphere — the...

    07/18/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy
  • News

    An ancient swimming revolution in the oceans may have never happened

    About 540 million years ago, the oceans were an alien landscape, devoid of swimming, or nektonic, creatures. Some scientists have hypothesized, based on fossil evidence, that swimmers suddenly dominated in the oceans during the Devonian Period, between 419 million and 359 million years ago. But an in-depth study of marine fossils now suggests that this so-called Devonian Nekton Revolution...

    07/17/2018 - 19:05 Paleontology, Oceans
  • News

    Jupiter has 12 more moons than we knew about — and one is bizarre

    Astronomers have found 12 more moons around Jupiter, and one is really weird. While 11 orbit in the same direction as their nearest neighbors, one doesn’t, potentially putting it on a fatal collision course.

    “It’s driving down the highway on the wrong side of the road,” says planetary scientist Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

    Sheppard and...

    07/17/2018 - 10:00 Planetary Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘The Poisoned City’ chronicles Flint’s water crisis

    The Poisoned CityAnna ClarkMetropolitan Books, $30

    America is built on lead. Networks of aging pipes made from the bluish-gray metal bring water into millions of U.S. homes. But when lead, a poison to the nervous system, gets into drinking water — as happened in Flint, Mich. — the heavy metal can cause irreparable harm (SN: 3/19/16, p. 8). In The Poisoned City, journalist Anna Clark...

    07/17/2018 - 07:00 Health, Toxicology, Science & Society
  • News

    Wildfires are making extreme air pollution even worse in the northwest U.S.

    The northwestern United States has become an air pollution hot spot — literally.

    Air quality in states from Nevada to Montana is worse than it was 30 years ago on the days with the most extreme air pollution. Bigger and more frequent wildfires that spew plumes of fine particulate matter into the sky are largely to blame, researchers report July 16 in Proceedings of the National Academy...

    07/16/2018 - 15:19 Pollution, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    Publicity over a memory test Trump took could skew its results

    When President Donald Trump took a mental test as part of his physical in January, the results called attention to far more than his fitness for office. (He passed with a perfect score, according to his physician.) It put a test commonly used to catch early signs of dementia in the spotlight. That publicity could lead to missed diagnoses, researchers warn July 16 in JAMA Neurology.

    ...

    07/16/2018 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Solving problems by computer just got a lot faster

    A new computer program works smarter, not harder, to solve problems faster than its predecessors.

    The algorithm is designed to find the best solution to a given problem among all possible options. Whereas other computer programs winnow down the possibilities one at a time, the new program — presented July 12 at the International Conference on Machine Learning in Stockholm — rules out...

    07/16/2018 - 07:00 Computing, Technology
  • Feature

    The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep

    Neuroscientist Barbara Bendlin studies the brain as Alzheimer’s disease develops. When she goes home, she tries to leave her work in the lab. But one recent research project has crossed into her personal life: She now takes sleep much more seriously.

    Bendlin works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, home to the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, a study of more than 1,500...

    07/15/2018 - 06:00 Biomedicine, Neuroscience, Mental Health