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E.g., 12/14/2017
E.g., 12/14/2017
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  • Growth Curve

    An abundance of toys can curb kids’ creativity and focus

    The holiday onslaught is upon us. For some families with children, the crush of holiday gifts — while wonderful and thoughtful in many ways — can become nearly unmanageable, cluttering both rooms and minds.

    This year, I’m striving for simplicity as I pick a few key presents for my girls. I will probably fail. But it’s a good goal, and one that has some new science to back it. Toddlers...

    12/14/2017 - 07:00 Child Development, Parenting
  • News

    Fracking linked to low birth weight in Pennsylvania babies

    Living near a fracking site appears to be detrimental to infant health, a study eyeing the gas production practice in Pennsylvania suggests.

    Babies of moms living within one kilometer of a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, site in the state had a 25 percent greater chance of being born underweight than did babies whose moms lived at least three kilometers away, researchers report online...

    12/13/2017 - 17:55 Health, Pollution
  • News in Brief

    Federal maps underestimate flood risk for tens of millions of people, scientists warn

    NEW ORLEANS — National flood maps are underestimating the risk for tens of millions of people in the United States. That’s the conclusion of researchers presenting a new study December 11 at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting.

    The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that about 13 million people live in a “1-in-100-year” floodplain zone, a region that has a 1...

    12/13/2017 - 15:13 Earth, Climate
  • News

    Electric eels provide a zap of inspiration for a new kind of power source

    New power sources bear a shocking resemblance to the electricity-making organs inside electric eels.

    These artificial electric eel organs are made up of water-based polymer mixes called hydrogels. Such soft, flexible battery-like devices, described online October 13 in Nature, could power soft robots or next-gen wearable and implantable tech.

    “It’s a very smart approach” to...

    12/13/2017 - 13:22 Technology, Chemistry, Materials
  • Letters to the Editor

    These are the most-read Science News stories of 2017

    The Science News website attracted millions of visitors in 2017. The lists below name the most-read online stories outside of our Top 10 stories of the year, plus the most popular stories for each of our blogs.

    Top stories

    1. The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly aliveTiny tubes between veins in the shimmery blue wings of morpho dragonflies (shown above) may be respiratory...

    12/13/2017 - 12:00 Science & Society, Astronomy, Animals
  • December 23, 2017

    12/13/2017 - 08:48
  • 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 trillions of...

    12/13/2017 - 08:46 Science & Society, Astronomy, Genetics
  • Year in Review

    Colliding neutron stars, gene editing, human origins and more top stories of 2017

    In science, progress rarely comes in one big shebang. Well, it has now, two years running. The first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, our top story in 2016, launched a long-dreamed-of kind of astronomy capable of “unlocking otherwise unknowable secrets of the cosmos,” as physics writer Emily Conover puts it. 2017’s key event: a never-before-seen neutron star collision that...

    12/13/2017 - 08:32 Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    This year’s neutron star collision unlocks cosmic mysteries

    Thousands of astronomers and physicists. Hundreds of hours of telescope observations. Dozens of scientific papers. Two dead stars uniting into one.

    In 2017, scientists went all in on a never-before-seen astronomical event of astounding proportions: a head-on collision between two neutron stars, the ultradense remnants of exploded stars.

    The smashup sent shivers of gravitational...

    12/13/2017 - 08:31 Astronomy, Physics
  • Year in Review

    CRISPR gene editing moved into new territory in 2017

    Scientists reported selectively altering genes in viable human embryos for the first time this year. For nearly five years, researchers have been wielding the molecular scissors known as CRISPR/Cas9 to make precise changes in animals’ DNA. But its use in human embryos has more profound implications, researchers and ethicists say.

    “We can now literally change our own species,” says...

    12/13/2017 - 08:30 Genetics, Science & Society