December 8, 2018 | Science News

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December 8, 2018View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the potential role of the gut microbiome in Parkinson's disease and one reporter's connection to the story.
By Nancy Shute | December 5, 2018
Magazine issue: Vol. 194, No. 11 , December 8, 2018 , p. 2

Features

John Carlin and his wife Martha

Feature

Early evidence suggests that Parkinson’s may be a gut disease that affects the brain.
beaver swimming

Feature

Climate change has enabled the recent expansion of beavers into northwestern Alaska, a trend that could have major ecological consequences for the region in the coming decades.

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Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the potential role of the gut microbiome in Parkinson's disease and one reporter's connection to the story.

Features

John Carlin and his wife Martha
Early evidence suggests that Parkinson’s may be a gut disease that affects the brain.
beaver swimming
Climate change has enabled the recent expansion of beavers into northwestern Alaska, a trend that could have major ecological consequences for the region in the coming decades.

Notebook

Nine-banded armadillo
Nine-banded armadillos have identical quadruplets. But the youngsters aren’t identical enough, and scientists 50 years ago could not figure out why.
bread-crust bubble ash samples
Scientists have identified a new type of volcanic ash made up of millimeter-long spheres with a crackled surface.
soprano Cristin Colvin performing
When an entomologist decides to write a libretto, you get an operatic elegy to locusts.
a dust satellite
Almost 60 years after a Polish astronomer spotted clouds of dust orbiting Earth near the moon, astronomers have detected those clouds again.

News

illustration of asteroid heading for Earth
The discovery of a vast crater in Greenland suggests that a 1-kilometer-wide asteroid hit the Earth between 2.6 million and 11,700 years ago.
Le Grand K
In May 2019, the system of measurement will be upgraded to rely on fundamental constants.
cave painting of red animal in Borneo
Rock art may have spread from Borneo across Southeast Asia starting 40,000 years ago or more.
fish oil
People with, or at high risk of, cardiovascular disease lowered their chances of having a heart attack or stroke with a drug containing an omega-3 fatty acid.
bottle of vitamin D
Vitamin D supplements won’t cut your risk of heart attack or stroke, according to highly anticipated study results.
spoonbill sandpipers
What were once relatively safe havens in the Arctic are now feasting sites for predators of baby birds.
cabbage tree emperor moth
Tiny ultrathin scales on some moth wings absorb sound waves sent out by bats on the hunt.
person alone a bedroom
Social isolation shrinks nerve cells in the brains of mice, a new study shows.
sleepless woman
Pulling an all-nighter induced anxiety in healthy people, a recent study finds.
cannabis plant
A marijuana-like drug given to male rats during adolescence changed the structure of their brains.
cosmic microwave
Sifting through the universe’s early light could reveal planetary graveyards orbiting other stars.
skulls and bone fragments from Lagoa Santa, Brazil
Genetic studies of ancient remains are filling in the picture of who the earliest Americans were and how they spread through the Americas long ago.
mitochondria
An engineered partnership between yeast and E. coli suggests one way mitochondria may have evolved.
cartwheel videoframes
A new computer system that lets animated characters learn acrobatic skills from videos could be a cheaper alternative to traditional motion capture.
Neandertal teeth
Chemical analyses of teeth from young Neandertals show that lead exposure in hominids goes back some 250,000 years.
illustration of cosmic rays
Counting tiny particles that can zip straight through the Earth reveals what the planet is like on the inside.
hammock relaxing
This daily cycle of calorie burning is one of the many body processes that follow a biological clock.

Reviews & Previews

flu death in 1918
One-hundred years after the Spanish flu, ‘Pandemic 1918’ and ‘Influenza’ provide a new look at the global outbreak.

Letters to the Editor

Readers had questions about a Neptune-sized moon, nuclear pasta and the search for extraterrestrial life.

Science Visualized

Dione
Icy moon Dione has long, thin, bright lines at its equator that run surprisingly parallel to each other for tens to hundreds of kilometers.