January 21, 2017 | Science News

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January 21, 2017View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses how science provides new perspectives on the past and the future.
By Eva Emerson | January 1, 2017
Magazine issue: Vol. 191, No. 1 , January 21, 2017 , p. 2

Features

illustration of Amasia

Feature

Shifting landmasses have repeatedly reshaped Earth’s surface. Researchers piecing together the past are now picturing a new supercontinent, due in 250 million years.
better batteries

Feature

Next-generation batteries must hold more energy for longer periods at low cost. Several contenders may achieve some of these elusive goals.

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 how science provides new perspectives on the past and the future.

Features

better batteries
Next-generation batteries must hold more energy for longer periods at low cost. Several contenders may achieve some of these elusive goals.
illustration of Amasia
Shifting landmasses have repeatedly reshaped Earth’s surface. Researchers piecing together the past are now picturing a new supercontinent, due in 250 million years.

News

chromosome
Extra chromosome copies may protect against, not cause, cancer.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has approved the proposed names for the four elements added to the periodic table in December 2015.
NOAA Barrow Research Station
Rapid Arctic warming has increased emissions of carbon dioxide, but not methane, from northern Alaska tundra.
phagocytosis
Human cells eat silicon nanowires in a process called phagocytosis. Nanowire-infused cells could be a step towards biological electronic devices.
A. afarensis footprints
Tracks discovered in Tanzania appear to have belonged to the tallest known Australopithecus afarensis individual, but stature estimates can be tricky.
hydrogen on ceres
Water ice sits just beneath the surface and within some permanently shadowed craters of the dwarf planet Ceres.
aging mice
Proteins that reprogram adult cells to an embryonic-like state can rejuvenate prematurely aging mice.
cooling crust
The thinning of newly formed oceanic crust suggests that Earth’s mantle is cooling much faster than previously thought.
The chemicals trigger drawstring-like structures that help close wounds.
Anastasis
A newly discovered process can pull cells back from the brink of death.
gulf drilling
Pioneering microbes colonized the waters above the Chicxulub crater within hundreds of years following the impact, new research shows.
woman wearing virtual reality headset
New research confirms anecdotal reports that virtual reality headsets can cause motion sickness, and may affect women more than men.
HIP 2876
Physicists used starlight to perform a cosmic Bell test.
ALPHA-2 experiment
Antihydrogen atoms behave similarly to normal hydrogen atoms.
Mount Sharp on Mars
The Curiosity rover has found the first signs of boron on Mars, which could hint at past habitable groundwater.
Disrupting a key Zika enzyme shows preliminary promise.
Cell biologists are learning more about how the Zika virus disrupts brain cells to cause microcephaly.
Nigardsbreen glacier
The decades-long melting of glaciers is categorical evidence of climate change, a new study affirms.
Zika infection graph
More than 400 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Colombia this year, months after Zika virus infections peaked in the country.
quasicrystal
A new quasicrystal found inside a Russian meteorite is the first ever found in nature before being synthesized in the lab.
amyloid-beta comparison
Flickers of light induce brain waves that wash amyloid-beta out of the brain, mouse study suggests.
Jumping robot
Leaping robot can bounce from floor to wall, parkour-style, and, like a bush baby, uses a “super-crouch” to get extra oomph out of jumps.

Notebook

Egyptian pot burial
In ancient Egypt, using pots for burial containers was a symbolic choice, not a last resort, archaeologists say.
Lava tube
Lava tubes inside the moon could remain structurally sound up to 5 kilometers across and offer prime real estate for lunar colonists.
California pitcher plant
The carnivorous California pitcher plant ensnares its dinner using a medley of techniques.
Janus
Fifty years ago, astronomers knew of 10 moons orbiting Saturn. Since then they’ve catalogued a diverse set of 62 satellites, with the help of the Cassini spacecraft.
illustration of newly officially named stars
The names of 227 stars have been formally recognized by the International Astronomical Union.
About 6 percent of U.S. women infected with Zika virus have infants or fetuses with birth defects, according to preliminary CDC results. For women infected in the first trimester, the number is even higher: nearly 11 percent.

Reviews & Previews

NASA image from "Hidden Figures"
"Hidden Figures" tells the untold story of the "human computers" who were essential to the launch of the U.S. space program.
Peacock
"Furry Logic" explores how animals rely on the laws of physics in pursuit of food, sex and survival.
Timey wimey
James Gleick’s entertaining book Time Travel focuses more on fantasy than real science.

Letters to the Editor

Ancient bird calls, the search for dark matter and more in reader feedback.

Science Visualized

soap bubble film
Merging dark spots are indicators that a bubble is about to burst.