May 26, 2018 | Science News

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May 26, 2018View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses how genetic testing might not be reliable enough for people to plan for the future.
By Nancy Shute | May 5, 2018
Magazine issue: Vol. 193, No. 9 , May 26, 2018 , p. 2

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Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses how genetic testing might not be reliable enough for people to plan for the future.

Features

venus flytrap
Researchers have recently uncovered a diverse array of mechanisms that allow plants to move — often faster than the blink of an eye.
Tina Hesman Saey
Chances are your DNA doesn’t contain dark secrets. But there may be lots of variety in results from testing company to company.

News

giant ground sloths, Megatherium
Footprints of humans and giant sloths show a dramatic chase sequence from more than 10,000 years ago.
ancient cow skull
Before performing skull operations on people, ancient surgeons may have rehearsed on cows.
sweet wormwood plant
Using a DNA study and genetic engineering, researchers tripled the amount of an antimalarial compound naturally produced by sweet wormwood plants.
telomerase
The structure of telomerase, described with the greatest detail yet, may give researchers clues to cancer treatments and other telomerase-related illnesses.
an illustration of the Mars lander InSight
The InSight lander is launching to Mars on May 5 and is expected to be in position to sense seismic activity by early 2019.
illustration of variola virus
Concerns about bioterrorism fueled the development of the first treatment for smallpox.
all-sky map of the Milky Way
The Gaia spacecraft’s latest data release brings the number of stars with precisely measured motions up from 2 million to more than 1.3 billion.
Bottlenose dolphins
Rising temperatures are making ocean waters farther north more hospitable for a variety of marine species.
neutron star
Scientists find the first clear evidence of rapid cooling of a neutron star by neutrino emission.
 Ichthyornis dispar skull and illustration
A new fossil of Ichthyornis dispar helped scientists create a 3-D reconstruction of the ancient bird’s skull, shedding light on early bird evolution.
plastic stacked up in landfill
A new kind of polymer is fully recyclable: It breaks down into the exact same molecules that it came from.
rice and wheat farmers
Farming histories have shaped behavior in northern and southern China.
Asteroid hurtling toward Earth
Shooting mineral pellets at a simulated planet suggests an impact wouldn’t have boiled all of an asteroid’s water away.
illustration of experimental set up
Scientists entangled the motions of two jiggling devices that are visible with a magnifying glass or even the naked eye — if you have keen vision.
two species of clearwing moths
Faking that erratic bee flight or no-nonsense wasp zoom might save a moth’s life.
animation of eclipse shadow over north america
The August 2017 solar eclipse launched a wave in the upper atmosphere that was detected from Brazil after the eclipse ended.
Pohang quake damage
A 2017 South Korean earthquake may have been caused by human activities, two new studies suggest.

Notebook

African pouch rat
TB-sniffing rats prove more accurate in detecting infection, especially in children, than the most commonly used diagnostic tool.
laptop computer
Many people misunderstand what private web browsing actually is. Web browsers’ explanations don’t help.
dusky seaside sparrow
Only 17 dusky seaside sparrows remained in 1968. Today, there are none.

Reviews & Previews

illustration of DNA in a test tube
A Science News reporter tried out three consumer genetic testing companies to see what people really learn about their health.

Letters to the Editor

Readers had questions about the latest findings of Jupiter, giant viruses being recognized as a new kingdom of life and tardigrade poop.

Science Visualized

scientist
In some STEM fields, the gender gap won’t disappear for decades or even centuries, a new study suggests.