May 28, 2016 | Science News

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May 28, 2016

Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses new insights into the brain's role in mental illness, sleep, and ancient rituals.
By Eva Emerson | May 5, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 189, No. 11 , May 28, 2016 , p. 2

Features

Sea urchin

Feature

Purple urchins, aka crawling eyeballs, are just one of several bizarre visual systems broadening scientists’ view of what makes an eye.
Bayesian brains

Feature

An 18th century math theory may offer new ways to understand schizophrenia, autism, anxiety and depression.

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Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses new insights into the brain's role in mental illness, sleep, and ancient rituals.

Features

Bayesian brains
An 18th century math theory may offer new ways to understand schizophrenia, autism, anxiety and depression.
Sea urchin
Purple urchins, aka crawling eyeballs, are just one of several bizarre visual systems broadening scientists’ view of what makes an eye.

News

Arabidopsis thaliana
A plant protein has passed lab tests for prionlike powers as molecular memory.
magnified image of cells squeezing through a capillary
Clusters of cancer cells squeeze through thin blood vessels by aligning single file.
bottles of ketamine
Ketamine’s breakdown product, not the drug itself, eases depression, a mouse study suggests.
Dim red star illustration
Three nearby exoplanets might be good spots to go looking for signs of alien life.
Warm surface waters in the eastern Pacific in March 2016
The ongoing El Niño, one of the strongest on record, got a heat boost from a 2014 event that failed due to unfavorable winds.
nerve cells affected by iron levels in the brain
Experiments yield conflicting results about whether vulnerable nerve cells have too much or too little iron.
baby titanosaur
Babies of one species of titanosaur resembled mini-versions of full-grown adults, and probably acted like them, too.
illustration of proton collision
Hints of a potential new particle at the LHC have scientists excited, and theoretical physicists are beginning to converge on explanations.
trepanated skull
Some ancient skull surgeries hinged on ritual, not on medical treatment.
a sleepy mouse
The recipe for sleep and wake may depend on ions.
Geospiza fortis
A beak-size gene helped determine whether Darwin’s finches survived a drought.
resting person
Part of the left hemisphere stands sentry while the rest of the brain and body snooze.
A thermodynamic principle says that deleting information generates heat, and now, scientists say that goes for quantum systems, too.
lead season
Lead contamination in drinking water can be much higher during summer than winter, new research suggests.
dwarf planet Makemake and newly discovered moon
Hubble Space Telescope images from April 2015 show that the dwarf planet Makemake has a tiny moon.
a sleeping Australian dragon
Some lizards may sleep in the same way as mammals and birds, a new brain wave study finds.
brain map
Language isn’t just confined to one region of the brain: The meaning of words spark activity all over the cerebral cortex.

Notebook

bear bone
A rediscovered bear bone puts humans in Ireland at least 12,600 years ago.
illustration of binary star PB 3877
A pair of hyperfast stars hurtling through a remote region of the Milky Way might have been orphaned after a long-ago galactic collision, a new study suggests.
artificial snow on a ski slope
By reordering nearby water molecules, Pseudomonas syringae bacteria can make ice.
Kryptoprin
In 1966, researchers reported the complete chemical structure of human growth hormone. Today synthetic growth hormone is used to treat growth hormone deficiency.
man holding vaping liquid
The vast majority of U.S. states ban sales or distribution of e-cigarette products to minors. Still, it’s no sweat for teens to buy them online.

Reviews & Previews

people throwing a ball on a carousel
Ordinary people wrestle with big questions in science and philosophy in Genius, a new television series hosted by Stephen Hawking.
In "The Seven Pillars of Statistics Wisdom," Stephen Stigler lays out the basic principles of statistics.
Crotalus horridus
America’s Snake looks past timber rattlesnake’s fearsome reputation and delves into the fascinating biology of this iconic serpent.

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to the April 2, 2016, issue of Science News with thoughts on Zika virus, planetary science, microbes in mental health and more.

Science Visualized

visualization of ocean buoy movement
A combined look at 35 years’ worth of ocean buoy movements reveals the currents that feed into ocean garbage patches.