February 6, 2016 | Science News

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February 6, 2016

Editor's Note

Our Editor in Chief discusses the potential hazards of broad generalizations, specifically when it comes to genetically modified foods and abundant energy.
By Eva Emerson | January 1, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 189, No. 3 , February 6, 2016 , p. 2

Features

salmon

Feature

Genetically modified foods have been studied extensively and are abundant on supermarket shelves, but they haven’t managed to end world hunger yet.
General Fusion Reactor

Feature

Private-sector firms are creating nuclear fusion machines that may beat governments to the punch.

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Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Our Editor in Chief discusses the potential hazards of broad generalizations, specifically when it comes to genetically modified foods and abundant energy.

Features

General Fusion Reactor
Private-sector firms are creating nuclear fusion machines that may beat governments to the punch.
salmon
Genetically modified foods have been studied extensively and are abundant on supermarket shelves, but they haven’t managed to end world hunger yet.

News

Rhampholeon spinosus
A tiny chameleon from South Africa sets an acceleration and power record for amniotes.
The four newest elements on the periodic table gain official recognition and will be getting new names soon.
hydrogen squeezing experiment
A new phase of hydrogen could represent the stepping stone for transforming element 1 into a metal.
galaxy and gas fountains
A cosmic pump powered by a supermassive black hole is recycling gas through a galaxy.
walrus
The debate over extreme diversity of male genitalia needs to rethink the female side. And the landscape.
stone artifacts
Hominids reached an island not far from hobbits’ home by around 200,000 years ago.
red giant
A new catalog of the ages of our galaxy’s stars confirms that the Milky Way grew from the inside out.
pain in arm
Searing pain can burn memories into the brain.
Roman toilets in Libya
Roman sanitation measures did little to dent parasite numbers, a study finds.
map of costa rica
A major earthquake in Costa Rica revealed faraway areas where fluids have weakened rock and boosted the risk of a major earthquake, new research suggests.
Enterococcus bacteria
New calculations show human cells about equal bacteria in the body.
stomach tissue
Ötzi the Iceman was infected with a virulent strain of H. pylori. A new study is the first to piece together an ancient genome of these bacteria.
mouse embryo
For lack of gene regulator, the human big toe appeared.
black hole and galaxies
Two belches from a supermassive black hole are drifting away from another galaxy.
microbial cells in quartz
Bubbles formed on ancient shorelines offer scientists a new place to look for traces of early life.
Fragile X mutation
A drug designed to treat fragile X syndrome has proven ineffective in clinical trials.
star explosion simulation
A 12-billion-year-old gas cloud, rich in hydrogen and helium but nothing else, may house the remains of the universe’s first stars.
black hole
Stephen Hawking and colleagues have finally provided more information about how black holes might preserve information.
Hercules Cluster
Globular star clusters might be safe, stable homes for long-lived advanced civilizations.
Saber-toothed salmon teeth may not have been positioned like fangs at all.

Notebook

mu ares exoplanets
Arion, Galileo and Poltergeist are just three winners of a contest to name planets and suns in 20 solar systems.
face mites
Demodex folliculorum mites, which live on human skin, have probably evolved with their hosts over time.
Christmas tree worms
Christmas tree worms and other fan worms have improvised some of the oddest eyes.
plesiosaur
Computer simulations of plesiosaur swimming motion may resolve long-standing debate on how the marine reptile got around.
quarks and gluons
Decades of research have shed a little light on quarks, the mysterious building blocks of atoms.

Reviews & Previews

heart of world
A scientific journey to the center of the Earth includes just as much excitement and mystery as Jules Verne’s classic novel, a new book demonstrates.
cosmic web
A new book chronicles the quest over the last century to understand how the universe is pieced together and how it came to be this way.

Letters to the Editor

Readers discuss the effects of gene-drive engineered mosquitoes and muse on their science bucket list.

Science Visualized

oil droplet shapes
Scientists can turn oil droplets into an array of crystalline shapes by manipulating the chemistry and temperature of the droplets’ surroundings.