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E.g., 06/25/2017
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  • Reviews & Previews

    Every breath you take contains a molecule of history

    Caesar’s Last BreathSam KeanLittle, Brown and Co., $28

    Julius Caesar could have stayed home on March 15, 44 B.C. But mocking the soothsayer who had predicted his death, the emperor rode in his litter to Rome’s Forum. There he met the iron daggers of 60 senators.

    As he lay in a pool of blood, he may have gasped a final incrimination to his protégé Brutus: You too, my son? Or maybe...

    06/25/2017 - 07:00 Chemistry, Earth, History of Science
  • News

    New material could filter water contaminants that others miss

    A new material can pull a toxic, hard-to-degrade industrial chemical from drinking water more effectively than current methods.

    Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, hangs around in the environment for years and might cause health problems for people and animals. A new polymer material traps PFOA molecules, making them easy to filter out of water, researchers report in the June 14 Journal of...

    06/20/2017 - 16:23 Toxicology, Pollution
  • News

    Magma stored under volcanoes is mostly solid

    Most of a volcano’s magma probably isn’t the oozing, red-hot molten goo often imagined.

    Analyses of zircon crystals, spewed from a volcanic eruption in New Zealand, show that the crystals spent the vast majority of their time underground in solid, not liquid, magma, researchers report in the June 16 Science. The results suggest the magma melted shortly before the volcano erupted.

    ...

    06/15/2017 - 14:03 Earth
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question climate’s freshwater effects

    Water woes

    A recent survey of lakes around the globe found that from 1985 to 2009, most warmed while only several cooled, Alexandra Witze reported in “In hot water” (SN: 5/13/17, p. 18). Rising temperatures have consequences for every part of a lake’s food web, from algae to walleye to freshwater seals.

    “This article indicates that no pattern could be found to predict which lakes would...

    06/14/2017 - 10:47 Climate, Genetics
  • News

    Climate change might help pests resist corn’s genetic weapon

    Climate change might be great news for pests looking to munch on genetically modified crops, researchers propose.

    In particular, researchers analyzed 21 years of data from Maryland cornfields and suggest that rising temperatures might help corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) develop resistance faster to a widespread genetically built-in crop protection.

    Some commercial varieties of...

    06/08/2017 - 14:23 Climate, Agriculture, Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is within days of completely cracking

    The rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf continues to rip. Researchers from Project MIDAS, which tracks the effects of a warming climate on the ice shelf, report that the crack grew 17 kilometers between May 25 and May 31.

    The crack has now turned toward the water and is within 13 kilometers of the edge of the shelf. Within days, the crack could reach the edge. When that happens, one...

    06/01/2017 - 18:26 Earth, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    U.S. will withdraw from climate pact, Trump announces

    President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord.

    In signing the 2015 Paris agreement, the United States, along with 194 other countries, pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. But Trump — who has called climate change a “hoax” despite scientific evidence to the contrary — promised during his campaign...

    06/01/2017 - 17:58 Climate, Pollution, Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers puzzled by proton's properties

    Proton puzzler

    Uncertainty over the proton’s size, spin and life span could have physicists rethinking standard notions about matter and the universe, Emily Conover reported in “The proton puzzle” (SN: 4/29/17, p. 22).

    Readers wondered about the diameter (or size) of the proton, which has three fundamental particles called quarks rattling around inside. “Still scratching my head over how...

    05/31/2017 - 15:45 Particle Physics, Climate, Planetary Science
  • News

    Deep heat may have spawned one of the world’s deadliest tsunamis

    Chemical transformations in minerals deep beneath the seafloor could explain why Indonesia’s 2004 mega-earthquake was unexpectedly destructive, researchers report in the May 26 Science. 

    The magnitude 9.2 quake and the tsunami that it triggered killed more than 250,000 people, flattened villages, and swept homes out to sea across Southeast Asia. It was one of the deadliest tsunamis in...

    05/25/2017 - 14:00 Earth, Oceans
  • News

    When it’s hot, plants become a surprisingly large source of air pollution

    Planting trees is often touted as a strategy to make cities greener, cleaner and healthier. But during heat waves, city trees actually boost air pollution levels. When temperatures rise, as much as 60 percent of ground-level ozone is created with the help of chemicals emitted by urban shrubbery, researchers report May 17 in Environmental Science & Technology.

    While the findings seem...

    05/17/2017 - 17:33 Pollution