January 9, 2016 | Science News

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January 9, 2016

Editor's Note

The first issue of the new year features stories about what will, editor in chief Eva Emerson predicts, hold on as scientific newsmakers during 2016.
By Eva Emerson | January 1, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 189, No. 1 , January 9, 2016 , p. 2

Features

avalanche on Mt. Everest

Feature

High-tech instruments are helping researchers study how temperature can change the character — and danger — of an avalanche
depressed soldier

Feature

Advances in suicide research and treatment may depend on separating thoughts from acts.

Call to Action

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

The first issue of the new year features stories about what will, editor in chief Eva Emerson predicts, hold on as scientific newsmakers during 2016.

Features

depressed soldier
Advances in suicide research and treatment may depend on separating thoughts from acts.
avalanche on Mt. Everest
High-tech instruments are helping researchers study how temperature can change the character — and danger — of an avalanche

News

person looking at computer
When challenged with a tough visual task, people are less likely to perceive a tone, suggesting that perceptual overload can jump between senses.
Ptyas mucosa fossil
A new X-ray analysis of inner ears is the latest to weigh in on whether modern snakes descended from a burrowing or a swimming reptile.
corner camera setup
A new camera tracks objects hidden around a corner by detecting light echoes, similar to the way bats use sound to find prey.
German cockroaches may rely on gut bacteria to help attract fellow roaches.
bird flock
Cells move in groups similarly to flocks of birds and schools of fish
LHC diagram
The first comprehensive analyses of the recently restarted Large Hadron Collider yields no clear-cut discoveries but at least one intriguing hint of a new particle.
Male, Maldives
The Paris climate talks end with delegates from 195 nations releasing a hard-fought agreement to curb climate change and limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
illustration of Akatsuki spacecraft
The Japanese Space Agency’s Akatsuki spacecraft succeeded at a second attempt at orbiting Venus, five years after an engine failure prevented its intended mission.
Ebola outbreak network map
Ebola’s spread and evolution in Liberia echoes patterns seen in Sierra Leone.
mantle upflow
Gravitational tugs provide an unprecedented peek into the structure of Earth’s mantle and reveal a sudden increase in viscosity roughly 1,000 kilometers below ground.
Kohnen Station, Antarctica
Rising CO2 levels above central Antarctica cause cooling, not warming, new research suggests. The odd effect results from surface temperatures that are colder than the overlying stratosphere.
rubidium atoms
Physicists have measured quantum entanglement between several particles rather than just two.
fruit donuts
Eating the same foods can produce very different reactions in people.
obese person's waist
Constant production of stress hormone spurs fat growth.
tardigrades
When dried, water bears turn into glass.
head and neck cancer cells
Helper cells may give cancer a straight shot to spread through the body.
Occator crater on Ceres
Bright spots on Ceres contain salts from a possible subsurface layer of ice while ammonia-rich minerals hint at building blocks incorporated from the far outer solar system.
marijuana
People who smoke potent pot had signs of damage in a brain communication link.
crystal specks
Q-carbon might be the third form of solid carbon, but some scientists have doubts.

Notebook

illustration of a shrub cell
New cell types discovered in the brains of mice
tarantula
Azure coloring is surprisingly common in the spiders, though they themselves are colorblind.
penguin
Tiny grooves and an oily sheath prevent water droplets from freezing on the feathers of some penguins.
DMSO was promised to cure everything from headache to the common cold. But human testing stopped in 1965.
rice fields
Humans’ global water footprint increases when accounting for water losses from water management practices.

Reviews & Previews

Bacteroidetes
The American Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit rehabilitates bacteria’s bad reputation and introduces visitors to the microbiome.
dinosaurs
In ‘Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs,’ Lisa Randall finds connections between particle physics, cosmology, geology and paleontology.

Letters to the Editor

Readers offer their thoughts on how hominids heard, a biochemical switch for aging, one-way airflow in lungs and more from the October 31 issue.

Science Visualized

ring in sky over Antarctica
Ice crystals in the air bend sunlight into a ring over a research base in eastern Antarctica.