December 10, 2016 | Science News

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December 10, 2016

Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses using cleverness and persistence to uncover scientific truths.
By Eva Emerson | November 30, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 190, No. 12 , December 10, 2016 , p. 2

Features

cat with abacus

Feature

Guppies, dogs, chickens, crows, spiders — lots of animals have number sense without knowing numbers.
dragonfly telescope

Feature

Astronomers are detecting hundreds of galaxies that are almost devoid of stars. There are at least four theories on how they got that way.

Call to Action

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses using cleverness and persistence to uncover scientific truths.

Features

dragonfly telescope
Astronomers are detecting hundreds of galaxies that are almost devoid of stars. There are at least four theories on how they got that way.
cat with abacus
Guppies, dogs, chickens, crows, spiders — lots of animals have number sense without knowing numbers.

News

Some seabirds might be eating plastic because it emits a chemical that smells like food.
A new treatment for Zika relies on human antibodies and can help protect pregnant mice from the virus’s damaging effects.
Most of the ivory seized by law enforcement in the last decade doesn’t come from elephants poached many years ago.
quark-gluon plasma illustration
Vortices appear in the quark-gluon plasma produced in heavy-ion collisions.
illustration of Swift satellite
The brightest fast radio burst has been detected, while another team reveals a previous burst might have carried gamma rays as well as radio waves across space.
mouse nerve cells
Parkinson’s protein can travel from gut to brain, mouse study suggests.
time square
Too much light and noise screws up developing mice’s brains.
sleeping man
Poor sleep, even without apnea, is tied to heart rhythm problems.
climate normal map 2015
The record-setting global temperatures seen in 2015 could be the “new normal” as soon as the 2020s.
MRI of baboon hearts
Moms who eat too little during pregnancy could have babies with heart risks.
red squirrel
Red squirrels in the British Isles can harbor the bacteria that cause leprosy.
Celebrex
A long anticipated trial of the drug Celebrex finds it poses no more risk to the heart than do similar painkillers, but critics cite flaws in the study.
Bose-Einstein condensate
Bose-Einstein condensates display properties of liquid and solid simultaneously.
A prionlike protein may store long-term memories in fruit flies, a new study suggests.
sea ice
Sea ice is shrinking by about three square meters for each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted, new research suggests.
a Japanese macaque
In new experiments of time perception, when pupils were large, monkeys underestimated a second.
heartburn
Drugs used by millions for heartburn linked to increased risk of stroke.
elderly woman
Plaques and tangles riddle the brains of some very old and very healthy people.
weighing in
Yo-yo dieting hurts the heart, even if you’re not overweight.
scared baby
Babies can recognize facial emotions, especially fear, as early as 5 months old.
Audio recordings from the Arctic suggest that narwhals take directional sonar to the extreme.
illustration of vascin
A protein engineered to aggregate gives clues about how clumpy proteins kill brain cells.

Notebook

Mt. St. Helens
Geophysics reveals that deep beneath Mount St. Helens, there’s no source of hot magma, just a wedge of cold serpentinite rock. Where is the missing heat?
illustration of a mud dragon
‘Mud dragon’ fossil discovered in China suggests that dinosaurs’ last days were an active time of evolution.
blue begonia leaf
The iridescent color of some begonias comes from tiny structures that also help the plant convert dim light into energy.
Gasbuggy device
50 years ago, scientists made plans to use nuclear explosions to extract natural gas from underground. In one such experiment, the gas was released but turned out to be radioactive.
E.coli
A strain of E. coli makes competition-killing tiny proteins and soothes inflamed intestines.

Reviews & Previews

Lady computers
In “The Glass Universe,” science writer Dava Sobel shines a light on the women at the Harvard Observatory who mapped the stars.

Letters to the Editor

Neandertal evolution, quantum internet and more in reader feedback.

Science Visualized

animal skeletons
Mammalian plant eaters have bigger torsos than meat eaters, a new analysis confirms, but the same might not have held true for dinosaurs.