February 16, 2019 | Science News

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February 16, 2019View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the history of neuroscience and new techniques scientists are using to influence the brain.
By Nancy Shute | February 10, 2019
Magazine issue: Vol. 195, No. 3 , February 16, 2019 , p. 2

Features

neural activity

Feature

Researchers are using electric jolts to correct the faulty brain activity that sparks depression.
robot illustrations

Feature

Educational robots show promise for helping kids in the classroom or at home, but researchers are still figuring out how these bots should behave.

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Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the history of neuroscience and new techniques scientists are using to influence the brain.

Features

neural activity
Researchers are using electric jolts to correct the faulty brain activity that sparks depression.
robot illustrations
Educational robots show promise for helping kids in the classroom or at home, but researchers are still figuring out how these bots should behave.

News

tau neurons
In people and mice deprived of sleep, researchers found an increase in tau, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease, in the fluid bathing the brain.
tetrapod robot
Using fossils, computer simulations and a life-size walking robot, researchers re-created how an early tetrapod may have made tracks.
canine bones
Jordanian finds point to pooch-aided hunting of small prey around 11,500 years ago, offering new clues into dog domestication in the Middle East.
reconstructed images
Thanks to a new photo-analyzing computer program, a photographer’s line of sight no longer has to be a straight shot.
KAGRA experiment
Buried deep underground, Japan’s KAGRA detector relies on components cooled to just 20 degrees above absolute zero.
swamp sparrow
A biologist backs off an idea he studied for years that the mastery of birdsong is a sign of bird smarts.
brain illustration
A study in mice finds that the cerebellum helps control social behavior, a result that has implications for autism and schizophrenia.
Emperor penguins
Young emperor penguins learn survival skills on their own, including how to navigate Antarctica’s icy winter ocean.
drilling into Lake Mercer
Researchers were surprised to find vestiges of what appear to be tiny animals in mud from Antarctica’s ice-covered Lake Mercer.
pile of pills
Benzodiazepines, widely used but addictive drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia, are contributing to a growing number of overdose deaths.
Future Circular Collider illustration
Proposed new accelerators could solve mysteries of the Higgs boson.
students taking tests
Wealthier students outperform their less advantaged peers in math and science. Decreasing test anxiety may help even the playing field.
Sehuencas water frog
Scientists recently rediscovered a frog species in Bolivia that hasn’t been seen in 10 years — and it could be used to better understand a frog-killing fungus.
person looking at a phone with drug paraphernalia
A smartphone app called Second Chance could help save opioid users who shoot up alone.
Macrotermes termites
Novel use of poisoned toilet paper rolls and teabags led to discovery that termites help tropical forests resist droughts.

Notebook

Prosecco vineyard
The soil in Northern Italy’s prosecco vineyards is washing away.
peregrine falcon
In 1969, peregrine falcons were at risk of extinction. But a ban on the pesticide DDT and new captive breeding programs allowed the raptors to recover.

Reviews & Previews

James Balog
Photographer James Balog puts a human face on the impacts of climate change in the documentary The Human Element.

Letters to the Editor

Readers had comments and questions about defining artificial intelligence, the New Horizons space mission and more.

Science Visualized

honeybee with a Varroa destructor mite
Inventing decoy bee larvae prompts a back-to-basics rethink of a mite ominously named Varroa destructor.