April 15, 2017 | Science News

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April 15, 2017View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Acting Editor in Chief Elizabeth Quill discusses the unending search for scientific knowledge.
By Elizabeth Quill | April 4, 2017
Magazine issue: Vol. 191 No. 7 , April 15, 2017 , p. 2

Features

phages

Feature

Before it was a tool, CRISPR was a weapon in the never-ending war between microbes and viruses
the moon

Feature

The moon may have formed from one giant impact or from about 20 small ones.

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Editor's Note

Acting Editor in Chief Elizabeth Quill discusses the unending search for scientific knowledge.

Features

the moon
The moon may have formed from one giant impact or from about 20 small ones.
phages
Before it was a tool, CRISPR was a weapon in the never-ending war between microbes and viruses

News

an itchy mouse
Contagious itching spreads by sight mouse-to-mouse, and scientists have identified brain structures behind the phenomenon.
Photographs taken this week by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft provide a closer view of Saturn’s small moon Pan, which resembles ravioli.
holmium atoms
Scientists read and write data by harnessing the magnetic properties of holmium atoms.
chemicals within a primordial soup
Chemical droplets could split and reproduce in the presence of an energy source, new computer simulations suggest.
comet 67P
Landslides on comet 67P shot plumes of dust into space, but changes like these might not radically alter the landscape of the comet.
human embryo
Gene editing in embryos has started in labs, but isn’t ready for the clinic.
a Silk road caravanserai
Herders’ mountain treks helped mold the Silk Road, an ancient, cross-continental trade network.
guppies
A larger-brained female guppy may pick primo males, but all that mental machinery costs her in other ways.
new dino evolutionary tree
A new analysis rewrites the dinosaur family tree, splitting up long-recognized groups.
Mistakes made while copying DNA account for more mutations in cancer cells than environment or inheritance do.
King snake
King snakes feast on other, larger snakes, perhaps thanks to superior constricting abilities, new research suggests.
The White House
President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 includes some big cuts for science.
Oldest rocks yet
Canadian rocks containing bits from 4.2 billion years ago suggest that full-fledged plate tectonics had a late start.
superfluid helium
Simulations of superfluid helium show it follows the same unusual entropy rule that black holes do.
hydrogen signatures of galaxies
Slower-than-expected velocities of stars in distant galaxies, if confirmed, could reshape astronomers’ ideas of galaxy formation and evolution.
Pluto's hazy horizon
Pluto’s collapsing atmosphere may explain the dwarf planet’s seemingly random ruddy spots.
Brachypodium distachyon
Scientists have identified a genetic switch that helps grasses regulate their carbon dioxide intake.

Notebook

steel bridge
Steel that’s structured like bone resists cracks better that the traditional form of the heavy-duty building material.
bug spray, repellent bracelet and a citronella candle
To avoid mosquito bites, stick with spray-on repellents and skip the bracelets and citronella candles, a new study says.
polka dot frog
A polka dot frog, the first known fluorescent amphibian, may get a visibility boost in twilight and moonlight.
The Sun
Light escaping from the sun could slow the spinning of its surface layers.
sperm
Women have more birth control choices than they did 50 years ago. The same can’t be said for men.

Reviews & Previews

butterflies on display
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago puts seldom-seen specimens on display in a new exhibit to highlight the crucial role of museum objects in scientific research.

Letters to the Editor

Maintaining mental health, protecting ocean critters and more in reader feedback.

Science Visualized

image of nine mouse placentas
Among the winners of the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards is a rainbow of mouse placentas that shows how a mother’s immune system affects placental development.