March 5, 2016 | Science News

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March 5, 2016

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Eva Emerson reflects on the detection of gravitational waves as a historic moment for physics.
By Eva Emerson | February 2, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 189, No. 5 , March 5, 2016 , p. 2

Features

Feature

Thanks to two colliding black holes, Einstein's historic prediction of gravitational waves disturbing the fabric of spacetime has finally been realized.
illustration of gravitational waves

Feature

Colliding black holes send ripples through spacetime that can be detected here on Earth. What are these gravitational waves, and how did Advanced LIGO detect them?

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Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Eva Emerson reflects on the detection of gravitational waves as a historic moment for physics.

Features

illustration of gravitational waves
Colliding black holes send ripples through spacetime that can be detected here on Earth. What are these gravitational waves, and how did Advanced LIGO detect them?

News

A preliminary report questions the anti-Alzheimer’s activity of a cancer-fighting drug.
For the first time, a computer has beat a professional human player in the strategy game Go.
CAR-T therapy
Immune therapy made more powerful with memory T cells.
salamander
Experience from lethal Bd fungus outbreak is helping researchers defend North America’s salamander paradise from new Bsal threat.
little girl looking at signs
Deaf kids exposed to sign language from birth performed better on a task that required attention and impulse control.
e-ciggarette
Animal studies and analyses of gene activity point to broad range of potential new health risks from vaping affecting everything from sperm to heart and immunity to mental health.
Neandertal DNA may once have helped humans, but now may contribute to disease.
illustration of two black holes colliding
Gravitational waves, tremors in the cosmic fabric of space and time predicted by Einstein a century ago, have finally been detected, opening a new avenue for exploring the universe.
researchers with deer
The otherwise well-studied white-tailed deer turns out to carry the first malaria parasite discovered in any deer.
Morning people are more likely to have certain variations in their DNA, but less likely to have insomnia or sleep apnea.
rats
Senescent cells promote aging, and removing them makes mice live longer, healthier lives.
soccer players
The brain needs time to recover between head hits, a study in mice suggests.
mice
Researchers bypass the Y chromosome to make male mice.
health tracker
New all-in-one electronic device can detect and analyze your temperature and four chemicals in your sweat.
Egyptian portraits
New analyses shed light on how ancient Egyptian “mummy paintings” were made.
minibrain
A reliable way to make standard-issue minibrains could help scientists study the human brain.
ring of carbon monoxide gas around a star
Gas freezing onto dust grains around a binary star could be setting up a site where comets or even planets might someday form.
Smartphone app MyShake uses motion-sensing accelerometers to detect nearby quakes. The app could provide early warnings of incoming tremors, its creators say.
polar night
Arctic cities are a source of warming in the far north. Unlike midlatitude heat islands, poorly insulated buildings — not the sun — are a primary source.
tetraneutrons
Strong evidence of a tetraneutron, an atomic nucleus with four neutrons but no protons, defies physicists’ theoretical expectations.
Phytoplankton populations in the Indian Ocean fell 30 percent over the last 16 years largely due to global warming, new research suggests.
tablet
Babylonians took a geometric leap to track Jupiter’s movements long before European astronomers did.

Notebook

Eric Minikel and Sonia Vallabh
Diagnosis of a brain-wasting disease drove a married couple into science.
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Named for Johnny Cash, a new species of tarantula makes its home in the shadow of Folsom Prison.
plutonium pellet
On the 75th anniversary of the discovery of plutonium, the radioactive element is still not a major source of fuel for nuclear power plants in the United States.

Reviews & Previews

Mozart
The Prodigy’s Cousin explores the baffling world of child prodigies and people with autism.
Mount St. Helens Erupting
In Eruption, a science writer recounts the societal, economic and geologic forces that contributed to the Mount St. Helens disaster.

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to the January 9, 2016 issue of Science News with thoughts on blue tarantulas, multiparticles, and avalanches.

Science Visualized

cross-section of a mouse brain
The virus AAV-PHP.B proves best at delivering genes to brain cells in mice. Similar viruses may eventually be used for gene therapy in humans.