August 6, 2016 | Science News

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August 6, 2016

Editor's Note

Our editor in chief discusses what science can tell us about the past.
By Eva Emerson | July 27, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 190, No. 3 , August 6, 2016 , p. 2

Features

iron

Feature

By studying geochemical footprints of rare elements, researchers get a glimpse of the planet’s evolution.
illustration of SPIDER scope

Feature

Researchers hope new approach to interferometry and photonics will replace standard telescopes and long-range cameras where room is scarce.

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Editor's Note

Our editor in chief discusses what science can tell us about the past.

Features

illustration of SPIDER scope
Researchers hope new approach to interferometry and photonics will replace standard telescopes and long-range cameras where room is scarce.
iron
By studying geochemical footprints of rare elements, researchers get a glimpse of the planet’s evolution.

News

Trinity nuclear test
Measuring the relative abundance of various elements in debris left over from nuclear bomb tests can reveal the energy released in the initial blast, researchers report.
spiral galaxy UGC 9391
A puzzling mismatch is plaguing two methods for measuring how fast the universe is expanding.
Junk DNA diagrams
Some “junk DNA” may be necessary to keep genes active.
Galaxy CR7
A galaxy in the early universe might harbor the first known “direct collapse” black hole, one that forms when a cloud of gas collapses under its own weight without forming stars.
Iranian archaeology site
The Fertile Crescent was a diverse place. Multiple cultures were involved in the dawn of farming.
Zika virus in Latin America
Zika virus is burning through the population of Latin America; the epidemic will probably be over within two years, and won’t strike again for at least 10 years or more, a new analysis suggests.
Eunotosaurus africanus illustration
Fossil evidence suggests that turtles’ ancestors started to form precursors to today’s shells to help them dig, not to protect themselves.
Martian moons
Mars' moons might be the only two left of a larger family of satellites that helped them form in the wake of an asteroid collision.
Streptococcus gordonii
A common and usually harmless species of mouth bacteria can help harmful bacteria become more powerful by providing oxygen.
T-cell cycles
The gut’s microbial population influences how mice fare after a stroke, suggesting that poop pills might one day prove therapeutic following brain injury.
robotic stingray
Layers of silicone, gold and genetically engineered rat heart cells make up the body of a new stingray robot that can swim in response to light.
mice
Mitochondrial DNA donation could have unexpected long-term health consequences for “three-parent babies.”
Homo naledi skulls
South African fossil species lived more recently than first thought, study suggests.
person falling through tunnel
Scientists study how friction affects a hypothetical jump through the center of the Earth.
Jupiter and its moons
Jupiter and three of its moons take center stage in the first snapshot taken by the Juno spacecraft since arriving at the planet on July 4.
Shells with a tube counterintuitively sealed at the end have hidden ways to let Asian snails snorkel while sealed in their shells.
Large Hadron Collider LHCb
Scientists with the Large Hadron Collider’s LHCb experiment report three new particles and confirm a fourth.
phytoplankton
In a four-year experiment, the shell-building activities of a phytoplankton species underwent surprising ups and downs.
mudskipper
A robot and a land-walking fish show how a tail might have made a huge difference for early vertebrates conquering the slippery slopes of terrestrial life.

Notebook

Submerged stoneworklike formations near the Greek island of Zakynthos were built by methane-munching microbes, not ancient Greeks.
nursery web spiders
If a date goes bad for a nursery web spider, a romantic gift can serve as a shield.
pufferfish
Scientists have long recognized that we might overfish the oceans. Despite quotas, some species are paying the price of human appetite.
head on collision
The U.S. tops the list of 19 high-income countries for deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

Reviews & Previews

Starship Enterprise
New museum exhibits highlight air and space travel, DARPA technologies and pterosaurs.
sunrise
Metaculus.com asks people to make predictions about the likelihood of future events.
Cow killer ant
In Venomous and The Sting of the Wild, researchers delve into the world of venomous creatures and the scientists who study them.

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to the June 11, 2016, issue of Science News with questions on cormorants, butterflies, virus-sensing genes and more.

Science Visualized

snake eating embryos
High-speed video of red-eyed tree frog embryos reveals the secrets to their getaway plans.