February 20, 2016 | Science News

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February 20, 2016

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief discusses the new marine habitats formed by human pollution and the alarming rise of the Zika virus.
By Eva Emerson | February 10, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 189, No. 4 , February 20, 2016 , p. 2

Features

Uranus and Neptune

Feature

Thirty years ago, Voyager 2 cruised past Uranus and then on to Neptune. Now planetary scientists think it’s time to go back.
floating microbes

Feature

Microbes take up residence on ocean plastics, potentially causing changes in ocean environments.

Call to Action

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief discusses the new marine habitats formed by human pollution and the alarming rise of the Zika virus.

Features

floating microbes
Microbes take up residence on ocean plastics, potentially causing changes in ocean environments.
Uranus and Neptune
Thirty years ago, Voyager 2 cruised past Uranus and then on to Neptune. Now planetary scientists think it’s time to go back.

News

Despite their cold-blooded reputation, tegu lizards boost their body heat while on the prowl for a mate, biologists report online January 22 in Science Advances.
The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis may have lurked in a medieval European reservoir for at least 300 years, researchers from Germany suggest January 13 in PLOS ONE.
coral reef
Earth’s oceans now absorb twice as much heat as they did 18 years ago, with more than a third of that warmth going into the ocean depths.
Orbits diagram
A giant planet in the far outer solar system could explain orbital oddities of bodies in the fringes of the Kuiper belt.
nerve cells
Excessive snipping of nerve cell connections may contribute to schizophrenia.
stock market chart
People's current web surfing patterns predict future stock movements. The discovery could help authorities to stabilize financial markets.
MicroRNAs mold gut microbes into healthier communities for the host.
lab-made amyloid proteins
A new membrane uses sticky amyloid proteins to trap contaminants in water.
boy holding baby with microcephaly
After blazing through Brazil, a mosquito-borne virus called Zika, which may cause birth defects, is now poised to jump to the United States.
forking road graphic
Multiple versions of history may be quantum entangled just like particles, a new experiment suggests.
Philae
Philae’s days are numbered as temperatures on comet 67P drop and attempts to communicate with the lander fail.
Human skeletons unearthed in East Africa show signs of a roughly 10,000-year-old lethal raid.
brain scan
Brain signatures hint at whether a person will resist or succumb to anesthesia.
mammoth bones
Human weapon injuries on mammoth bones show humans were in the Arctic up to 15,000 years earlier than researchers thought.
killer whales
PCBs banned for decades still show up at extremely high concentrations in Europe’s killer whales and other dolphins.
child eating yogurt
Overactive immune cells may prime babies for food allergies.
phytoplankton
Nutrient-poor ocean waters make phytoplankton photosynthesis inefficient
El Niño warming map
Spurred by global warming and a “super El Niño,” 2015 now ranks as the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880.

Notebook

gas-sensing capsule
A gas-sensing ingestible capsule tested in pigs could someday help doctors assess people’s gastrointestinal health.
harvester ants
Florida harvester ants dig complex, curly nests over, then leave and do it again.
raspberry leaf and microbes
Scientists have discovered that a plant compound interferes with bacterial communication.
Soviet stamp
The first spacecraft to safely land on the moon touched down on the lunar surface in 1966.
Scientists may have discovered a dwarf galaxy that triggered a “galaxy quake” when it buzzed by the Milky Way a few hundred million years ago.

Reviews & Previews

Hubo
NOVA’s “Rise of the Robots” lays out the difficulties of making humanoid robots that can help out in disasters.

Letters to the Editor

Readers tussle over the top spot in our top 25, questions about engineered vocal cords, and more in the February 20 Feedback.

Science Visualized

microscope image of plaques in a human artery
Zooming in on hardened arteries shows researchers which plaques pose heart attack risks.