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E.g., 02/21/2019
E.g., 02/21/2019
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  • News

    A ban on artificial trans fats in NYC restaurants appears to be working

    New Yorkers fond of eating out in the last decade weren’t just saved from doing the dishes. Residents’ blood levels of artificial trans fats, which increase the risk heart disease, dropped following a 2006 citywide policy that banned restaurants from using the fats.

    Researchers analyzed blood samples of adult city residents from before and after the ban, taken as part of a health and...

    02/21/2019 - 16:05 Health
  • News

    The world’s largest bee has been rediscovered after 38 years

    Everything about Wallace’s giant bee is goliath: It reaches an average body length of around 4 centimeters — about the size of a walnut — and has a wingspan of over 7.5 centimeters. Yet despite its eye-popping size, it’s been nearly 40 years since the world’s largest bee (Megachile pluto) was officially sighted in the wild.

    So when Eli Wyman, an entomologist at Princeton University, had...

    02/21/2019 - 14:31 Animals
  • News

    Dueling dates for a huge eruption reignite the debate over dinosaurs’ death

    Which came first: the impact or the eruptions? That question is at the heart of two new studies in the Feb. 22 Science seeking to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in Earth’s geologic history: Whether an asteroid impact or massive volcanism that altered the global climate was mostly to blame for the demise of all nonbird dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

    The dinosaur die-off...

    02/21/2019 - 14:14 Climate, Paleontology
  • News

    A deer-sized T. rex ancestor shows how fast tyrannosaurs became giants

    A new dinosaur shows that even Tyrannosaurus rex had humble beginnings.

    Dubbed Moros intrepidus, or “the harbinger of doom,” the new species is one of the smallest tyrannosaurs yet discovered from the Cretaceous Period. Analyses of the animal’s fossilized leg show that the creature would have stood only 1.2 meters at the hip, and weighed an estimated 78 kilograms — about the size of a...

    02/21/2019 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Why kids may be at risk from vinyl floors and fire-resistant couches

    WASHINGTON — Home decor like furniture and flooring may not be notorious polluters like gas-guzzlers, but these indoor consumer products can also be significant sources of potentially dangerous chemicals.

    Kids who live in homes with all vinyl flooring or living room couches that contain flame retardants have much higher concentrations of chemicals called semivolatile organic compounds in...

    02/21/2019 - 06:00 Chemistry, Health, Pollution
  • Soapbox

    Why a data scientist warns against always trusting AI’s scientific discoveries

    WASHINGTON — We live in a golden age of scientific data, with larger stockpiles of genetic information, medical images and astronomical observations than ever before. Artificial intelligence can pore over these troves to uncover potential new scientific discoveries much quicker than people ever could. But we should not blindly trust AI’s scientific insights, argues data scientist Genevera...

    02/20/2019 - 13:28 Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Neptune’s smallest moon may be a chip off another moon

    Neptune’s smallest moon may be a chunk of a neighboring moon that was knocked off by a comet.

    One of seven moons that orbit closer to Neptune than the planet’s largest moon, Triton, the newly dubbed Hippocamp is just roughly 34 kilometers across, researchers report in the Feb. 21 Nature. The second-largest moon, Proteus, is Hippocamp’s nearest neighbor, orbiting about 12,000 kilometers...

    02/20/2019 - 13:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Visualized

    Physics explains how pollen gets its stunning diversity of shapes

    Pollen grains sport a variety of snazzy shapes, from golf ball–like divots to prickly knobs or swirls that evoke a peppermint candy. But these myriad patterns may all be due to one simple trick of physics, scientists report in the Feb. 7 Cell.

    That trick: phase separation, in which a mixture naturally breaks up into separate parts, like cream floating to the top of milk (SN: 7/21/18, p....

    02/20/2019 - 07:00 Biophysics
  • News

    Mars’ lake may need an underground volcano to exist

    If Mars conceals a lake beneath its south polar ice cap, the planet must also have a hidden chamber of magma to keep the water liquid, a new analysis suggests.

    Signs of a 20-kilometer-wide lake, buried beneath about a kilometer and a half of ice near Mars’ south pole, were first reported in 2018 by a team led by planetary scientist Roberto Orosei (SN: 8/18/18, p. 6). The discovery kicked...

    02/19/2019 - 13:04 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Reviews & Previews

    The quest for quasicrystals is a physics adventure tale

    The Second Kind of ImpossiblePaul J. SteinhardtSimon & Schuster, $27

    When Paul Steinhardt made a discovery that he had been working toward for more than 20 years, he did not cry “Eureka!” On that winter morning in the lab in 2009, he writes, he and a colleague “were dead silent, because no words were necessary.”

    Steinhardt had just found a natural quasicrystal, a solid...

    02/19/2019 - 08:00 Physics