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  • Wild Things

    Secrets of a sailfish attack

    Many of us are familiar with sailfish — relatives of marlin— only from seeing them on the walls of sport fishermen. But watching them underwater, whether in person or on video, shows how beautiful the animals are in their natural habitat (...
    04/23/2014 - 12:30 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Lead levels in ancient Rome’s water were high, but not toxic

    Ancient Romans probably drank tap water with up to 100 times as much lead as that found in the local spring water of the time, thanks to the metal pipes used for the earliest plumbing in the city. The higher levels of lead in the drinking water, however, were probably not excessive enough to be harmful, researchers report April...
    04/21/2014 - 17:53 Pollution, Anthropology
  • Science Ticker

    Surge seen in number of U.S. wildfires

    Guest post by Beth MoleThe number and size of wildfires in the western United States has steadily risen over the last three decades, according to a new report.Between 1984 and 2011, the number of large, uncontrolled burns jumped by seven each year. The area of scorched land also expanded by 355 square...
    04/19/2014 - 18:00 Earth, Ecosystems
  • Letters to the Editor

    Feedback

    Options for treating addictionAddiction is often seen as a chronic disease, but some long-term studies suggest it can be viewed as a temporary coping problem instead. Bruce Bower presented this alternative view in “The addiction paradox” (SN: 3/22/14, p. 16). “A nice job by Bruce Bower, as usual...
    04/19/2014 - 14:00 Climate, Health, Animals
  • News

    Triclosan aids nasal invasions by staph

    Sneezing out antimicrobial snot may sound like a superpower, but it actually could be a handicap.Triclosan, an omnipresent antimicrobial compound found in products ranging from soaps and toothpaste to medical equipment, is already known to show up in people’s urine, serum and breast milk. It seeps in through ingestion or skin exposure. Now, researchers have found that it gets into snot, too. And...
    04/15/2014 - 14:46 Health, Microbes, Toxicology
  • News

    Reef fish act drunk in carbon dioxide–rich ocean waters

    Carbon dioxide can really mess with fishes’ heads. Dissolved in ocean water, the acidic chemical turns timid young reef fish into tipsy little daredevils, researchers report April 13 in Nature Climate Change.The findings are the first to show that carbon dioxide makes fish in the wild act just as crazy as fish dosed with the greenhouse...
    04/14/2014 - 16:17 Climate, Oceans, Animals
  • Wild Things

    The surprising life of a piece of sunken wood

    The ocean is full of unique communities. Hydrothermal vents along deep ocean ridges feed chemosynthetic bacteria, specialized tubeworms and bacteria-farming shrimp. Sharks, worms, mollusks and more feed off dead whales as the carcasses fall to the...
    04/14/2014 - 15:45 Oceans, Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Ocean bacteria may have shut off ancient global warming

    Ocean-dwelling bacteria may have vacuumed up carbon and halted a period of extreme warmth some 56 million years ago, according to a study published April 13 in Nature Geoscience.The finding suggests how Earth might once have rapidly reversed a runaway greenhouse effect. However, rapidity is relative: The bacteria would be far too...
    04/14/2014 - 13:48 Climate, Oceans, Microbes
  • News

    IPCC calls for swift switch to alternative power

    The best scenario for slowing global warming by 2100 requires the world to triple or quadruple by 2050 its use of renewable energy and sources of energy that emit only low amounts of greenhouse gases.The recommendation comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its third and final report of its fifth...
    04/13/2014 - 19:49 Climate
  • Science Ticker

    Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago

    An asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island may have plowed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago, leaving its mark in South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.Hitting the planet at a speed of 20 kilometers per second, the 37- to 58-kilometer-wide space rock could have jolted...
    04/10/2014 - 12:28 Earth