March 2, 2019 | Science News

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March 2, 2019View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the search for the island of stability and the future of the periodic table.
By Nancy Shute | February 26, 2019
Magazine issue: Vol. 195, No. 4 , March 2, 2019 , p. 2

Features

GSI Helmholtz Center

Feature

The hunt for the next elements on the periodic table might turn up superheavy atoms that flaunt the rules of chemistry.
shingles illustration

Feature

Varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles, may instigate several other problems.

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Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the search for the island of stability and the future of the periodic table.

Features

GSI Helmholtz Center
The hunt for the next elements on the periodic table might turn up superheavy atoms that flaunt the rules of chemistry.
shingles illustration
Varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles, may instigate several other problems.

News

a photo of the Stange ice shelf
Scientists debate a controversial hypothesis that suggests that massive crumbling ice cliffs could speed up future sea level rise.
a microscopic image showing differences in immune structure in tonsils between kids with and without repeat strep throat infections
Kids with recurrent strep throat appear to have a defective immune response to the bacteria that cause the infections, a study finds.
fractals
Fractals show up in cauliflower, seashells and now — lasers.
delivery bot
AI systems struggle to know what they don’t know. Now scientists have created a way to help autonomous machines recognize their blind spots.
fruit fly brain
A bacteria-fighting protein also lulls fruit flies to sleep, suggesting links between sleep and the immune system.
Titan
Saturn’s moon Titan might get some of its hazy atmosphere by baking organic molecules in a warm core.
illustration of laser hitting man's ear
Communication in noisy environments or dangerous situations could one day rely on lasers.
panda bear
Giant pandas may have switched to an exclusive bamboo diet some 5,000 years ago, not 2 million years ago as previously thought.
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is learning how to take things not so literally.
bone points and animal teeth
Mysterious ancient hominids called Denisovans and their Neandertal cousins periodically occupied the same cave starting around 200,000 years ago.
Earth's magnetic field
Earth’s inner core began to solidify sometime after 565 million years ago — just in time to prevent the collapse of the planet’s magnetic field, a study finds.
person snoozing in a hammock
People sleep better when their beds are gently rocked, a small study finds.
Swallowable medical devices
High-tech pills equipped with medicinal needles could administer painless shots inside the body.
black soldier fly larva
When gorging together, fly larvae create a living fountain that whooshes slowpokes up and away.

Notebook

Saturn
Clues in Saturn’s rings divulge the planet’s rotation rate: 10 hours, 33 minutes, 38 seconds.
Chinese food
In the 1960s, people blamed monosodium glutamate in Chinese food for making them sick, but the claim hasn't stood up to time or science.
joshua tree
Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.
javelin throw
A sporting event with replica weapons suggests that Neandertals’ spears may have been made for throwing, not just stabbing.
ancient marine reptile
An ancient oddball marine reptile had teeny-tiny eyes, suggesting it probably used senses other than sight to catch food.

Reviews & Previews

Chimps screaming
In ‘Mama’s Last Hug,’ Frans de Waal argues that emotions occur throughout the animal world.
quasicrystal pattern
In ‘The Second Kind of Impossible,’ physicist Paul Steinhardt recounts his journey to find quasicrystals in nature.

Letters to the Editor

Readers had questions about mitochondrial DNA, Neandertal diets, deep ocean corals and more.

Science Visualized

uranium on the periodic table
Most elements on the periodic table have at least one stable form. But some don’t. Here’s how long those unstable members endure.