After police used DNA sleuthing techniques to arrest a teenage suspect in Utah accused of assault, a public genealogy website shut off most police access in May, following public outcry. That move by GEDMatch to protect the privacy of its users could backfire, some experts warn, creating more privacy issues, not fewer.
Forensic genetic genealogy — the use of genetic databases by police...
News in Brief
Compared with other global agricultural powerhouses, the United States has lax restrictions on potentially harmful pesticides, a study suggests.
An analysis of agricultural pesticide regulations reveals that the United States widely uses several chemicals that are banned or being phased out in the European Union, Brazil and China — three of the world’s other leading pesticide users....
After five years, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is finally reopening its dinosaur hall on June 8. Visitors may come for fan favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Stegosaurus — and these fossils are gorgeously presented. But the new, permanent exhibition, the “David H. Koch Hall of Fossils — Deep Time,” has a much grander story to tell about the history...
This is the oldest surviving video of a total solar eclipse.
The grainy marvel was taken nearly 120 years ago on May 28, 1900, by a British magician-turned-filmmaker named Nevil Maskelyne, according to a report on May 30 from the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Film Institute in London. The original film fragment, captured on a British Astronomical Association expedition to...
Late last year, researchers reported a discovery from a 5,000-year-old mass grave in Sweden: DNA from the bacterium that causes plague. The people in that grave were probably felled by an epidemic that spread via trade routes from southeastern Europe and contributed to sharp population declines across the continent (SN: 1/19/19, p. 12), a precursor to the Black Death that wiped out up...05/29/2019 - 15:28 Health, Immune Science, Science & Society
A teenager’s brain does not magically mature into its reasoned, adult form the night before his or her 18th birthday. Instead, aspects of brain development stretch into a person’s 20s — a protracted fine-tuning with serious implications for young people caught in the U.S. justice system, argues cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey of Yale University.
In the May 22 Neuron, Casey describes...
The World Health Organization’s goal was lofty but achievable: eliminate measles from five of the world’s six regions by 2020. But recent outbreaks — even in places where elimination had been achieved — are making that goal a distant dream.
In the first four months of 2019, 179 countries reported 168,193 cases of measles. That’s almost 117,000 more cases reported during the same period...
Humans are problem solvers. All day, every day, we ask ourselves questions. Should I wear socks with these shoes? Bring a phone charger? Eat the whole sandwich? Finish that assignment or watch YouTube? And that’s just an average day. When we apply the tools of science to answering big questions, we can do amazing things.05/11/2019 - 07:15 Science & Society
In this double issue of Science News, we profile scientists...
Stories about individual species on the brink of extinction may be all too familiar. But a new tally now reveals the breadth of the conservation crisis: One million of the world’s species are now poised to vanish, some as soon as within the next few decades.
That number, which amounts to 1 in every 8 animal or plant species on Earth, comes from a sweeping new analysis of about 15,000...
Men are “scientific,” women are “lovely” and underrepresented minorites are “pleasant” and “nice.” If those sound like stereotypes, they are. But they’re also words commonly used to evaluate medical students, a study finds.
Analysis of nearly 88,000 evaluations of third-year medical students written from 2006 to 2015 revealed evidence of implicit bias. White women and underrepresented...