August 8, 2015 | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

August 8, 2015

Editor's Note

Just as genetic analyses are revealing details of life’s long history, the New Horizons probe is bringing the fuzzy surface of Pluto into focus.
By Eva Emerson | July 29, 2015
Magazine issue: Vol. 188, No. 3 , August 8, 2015 , p. 2

Features

choanoflagellates, panda, mushroom

Feature

Biology’s tree of life has morphed from the familiar classroom version emphasizing kingdoms into a complex depiction of supergroups, in which animals are aligned with a slew of single-celled cousins.
brain neworks

Feature

As more people survive serious brain injury, researchers are using EEG and fMRI to learn who is aware inside an unresponsive body.

Call to Action

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Just as genetic analyses are revealing details of life’s long history, the New Horizons probe is bringing the fuzzy surface of Pluto into focus.

Features

brain neworks
As more people survive serious brain injury, researchers are using EEG and fMRI to learn who is aware inside an unresponsive body.
choanoflagellates, panda, mushroom
Biology’s tree of life has morphed from the familiar classroom version emphasizing kingdoms into a complex depiction of supergroups, in which animals are aligned with a slew of single-celled cousins.

News

Scream
The acoustical properties of screams make them hard to ignore, a new study suggests.
Yersinia pestis bacteria
Two genetic changes allowed plague bacteria to cause deadly lung infections and pandemic disease.
Wooly mammoths
An altered temperature sensor helped mammoths adapt to the cold.
surface of Pluto
The New Horizons flyby reveals varied terrain and evidence of active geology on Pluto.
Newly discovered “speed cells” clock rats’ swiftness.
A recent supernova shines with the light of 600 billion suns.
sugar data
A new study reveals how a sugary meal can lead to slumber.
pentaquark
Two particles discovered at the Large Hadron Collider are composed of five quarks, not two or three like nearly every other known quark-based particle.
Comb jellies
Soft and filmy today, comb jellies might once have had rigid skeletons.
Climate change is shrinking bumblebee habitat as southern territories heat up and bumblebees hold their lines in the north.
greenland
Small variations in the sun’s activity cause big changes in Greenland’s temperatures decades later by altering ocean currents, new research suggests.
Aging
Getting old happens faster for some, and the reason may be in the blood.
New measurements bolster the case that hydrogen sulfide is superconducting at about 200 kelvins, roughly 40 kelvins higher than any other known material.
E. coli illustrated
The collective motion of swimming bacteria can virtually eliminate a water-based solution’s resistance to flow.
monkey brain
An ancient monkey’s tiny brain developed folds, raising questions about primate evolution.

Notebook

Hallucigenia sparsa, illustrated
Hallucigenia sparsa gives hints to how some animals ended up with teeth in their guts and platelike pieces around their mouths.
 juvenile seahorses
Rice-grain-sized youngsters can’t yet get a grasp with their tails.
concrete
Naturally occurring, concretelike rock allows the ground around Italy’s Campi Flegrei caldera to bulge without bursting.
The surface of Venus
Fifty years ago, Mariner 4 revealed that the Red Planet was peppered with craters. Now we know pockmarks are common on many other planets and moons, too.
kids hospitalized for gastroenteritis and for rotavirus infection
Rotavirus vaccination cuts childhood intestinal infection hospitalizations in half.

Reviews & Previews

Cornell ornithology lab’s computer identification of common North American avian species needs your photos.
Leo Kanner
Science writer Steve Silberman considers autism in the modern era of neurodiversity - a movement to respect neurological differences as natural human variation - framing the relatively progressive autistic experience of today against the the conditions oppressed past.
Giganotosaurus
Paleontologist Donald Prothero takes readers through the evolution of life on Earth from the earliest oozes of goo to our recent relative Lucy.

Letters to the Editor

A reader shares a story about Stephen Jay Gould, while others discuss how to protect the brain from radiation in space and whether 2014 was the hottest year on record.

Science Visualized

The skeletons of diatoms, algae that produce oxygen but also form toxic blooms, can create beautiful microscopic designs.