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E.g., 11/15/2018
E.g., 11/15/2018
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  • yeast cell
  • cabbage tree emperor moth
  • mammoth, mastodon, and gomphothere
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  • News in Brief

    Mini ‘solar panels’ help yeast shine at churning out drug ingredients

    Bionic microbes outfitted with tiny semiconductor components can generate useful chemicals more efficiently than normal cells.

    Microorganisms like fungi are commonly used in biomanufacturing to convert simple carbon-based molecules, such as sugar, into a wide range of chemical ingredients for pharmaceuticals and other products. But much of a microbe’s carbon intake typically gets used to...

    11/15/2018 - 14:00 Microbes, Chemistry, Technology
  • News

    Sound-absorbent wings and fur help some moths evade bats

    Some moths aren’t so easy for bats to detect.

    The cabbage tree emperor moth has wings with tiny scales that absorb sound waves sent out by bats searching for food. That absorption reduces the echoes that bounce back to bats, allowing Bunaea alcinoe to avoid being so noticeable to the nocturnal predators, researchers report online November 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    11/14/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Feature

    How mammoths competed with other animals and lost

    The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...

    11/13/2018 - 12:30 Ecosystems, Archaeology, Paleontology
  • News

    Climate change may have made the Arctic deadlier for baby shorebirds

    Climate change may be flipping good Arctic neighborhoods into killing fields for baby birds.

    Every year, shorebirds migrate thousands of kilometers from their southern winter refuges to reach Arctic breeding grounds. But what was once a safer region for birds that nest on the ground now has higher risks from predators than nesting in the tropics, says Vojtěch Kubelka, an evolutionary...

    11/13/2018 - 10:45 Animals, Climate
  • 50 years ago, atomic testing created otter refugees

    Sea otters restocked in old home

    When the [Atomic Energy Commission] first cast its eye on the island of Amchitka as a possible site for the testing of underground nuclear explosions, howls of anguish went up; the island is part of the Aleutians National Wildlife Refuge, created to preserve the colonies of nesting birds and some 2,500 sea otters that live there…— Science News, ...

    11/07/2018 - 11:30 Animals
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘End of the Megafauna’ examines why so many giant Ice Age animals went extinct

    End of the MegafaunaRoss D.E. MacPhee and Peter Schouten (illustrator)W.W. Norton & Co., $35

    Today’s land animals are a bunch of runts compared with creatures from the not-too-distant past. Beasts as big as elephants, gorillas and bears were once much more common around the world. Then, seemingly suddenly, hundreds of big species, including the woolly mammoth, the giant ground...

    11/06/2018 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Climate
  • News

    A mash-up of yeast and E. coli shows how mitochondria might have evolved

    Yeast intentionally stuffed with bacteria may teach scientists something about the origins of cells’ powerhouses.

    Cellular power-generating organelles, called mitochondria, are thought to have once been bacteria captured by archaea, single-celled microbes that are one of the earliest forms of life. Now, almost all eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus) contain mitochondria. At first,...

    11/05/2018 - 06:00 Evolution, Cells
  • Feature

    Malaysia is ground zero for the next malaria menace

    Vinita Surukan knew the mosquitoes were trouble. They attacked her in swarms, biting through her clothes as she worked to collect rubber tree sap near her village in Sabah, the northern state of Malaysia. The 30-year-old woman described the situation as nearly unbearable. But she needed the job.

    There were few alternatives in her village surrounded by fragments of forest reserves and...

    11/04/2018 - 07:00 Health, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Neandertal teeth reveal the earliest known signs of lead exposure

    Traces of lead found in the molars of two young Neandertals found in southeast France provide the earliest recorded evidence of lead exposure in hominids.

    Like tiny time capsules, chemical signatures in the 250,000-year-old chompers chronicle specific times — mostly during the winter months — when the two individuals were exposed to the element as children, researchers report online...

    11/02/2018 - 10:56 Anthropology, Evolution, Health
  • News

    Eating less protein may help curb gut bacteria’s growth

    Humans and other animals may have a way to control the growth of gut microbes: Eat less protein.

    That’s because protein contains nitrogen. And, it turns out, the amount of nitrogen in the diet of mice governed the growth of bacteria in the animals’ large intestine, researchers report October 29 in Nature Microbiology. The finding may help researchers learn how to manipulate the types and...

    11/02/2018 - 06:00 Microbiology, Ecology, Physiology