November 12, 2016 | Science News

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November 12, 2016

Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses the future of artificial intelligence.
By Eva Emerson | November 11, 2016
Magazine issue: Vol. 190, No. 10 , November 12, 2016 , p. 2

Features

image of robot hand touching human hand

Feature

Physical intelligence makes robots able to sense of the world around them.
kilogram standards

Feature

New units based on fundamental properties of the universe will make measurements more precise.

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Editor's Note

Editor in chief Eva Emerson discusses the future of artificial intelligence.

Features

kilogram standards
New units based on fundamental properties of the universe will make measurements more precise.
image of robot hand touching human hand
Physical intelligence makes robots able to sense of the world around them.

News

naked mole rat sitting on hot peppers
Naked mole-rats have a protein that interrupts pain signal.
moon Dione
Saturn’s moon Dione might have an underground ocean, like several other moons in the solar system.
crystal structure
A chain of ions creates a crystal that repeats in time instead of in space.
galaxy cluster
As the most popular candidates for dark matter fail to show up in detectors, scientists are broadening the search.
Melanesians may carry genetic evidence of a previously unknown extinct human relative.
Saturn and its rings
Saturn’s rings could be almost as old as the solar system, and the Cassini craft is poised to help find out.
cells and mice
Stem cells grown in ovary-mimicking conditions in a lab dish can make healthy mouse offspring, but technique still needs work.
jumping spider
Sensitive leg hairs may let jumping spiders hear sounds through the air at much greater distances than researchers imagined.
Elephant walking
Pressure plates reveal how African elephants load their feet when they walk, providing clues to pachyderm podiatry problems.
unicellular organism
Unicellular ancestors of animals had molecular tools used by multicellular life.
ancient bird diagram
Oldest avian voice box fossil yet discovered belonged to a ducklike bird that lived during the age of the dinosaurs.
neutrophils
Strep B uses a toxic pigment made of fat to kill immune system cells, spurring preterm labor and dangerous infections, a monkey study shows.
Newport-Inglewood Fault
Small earthquakes detected along the Newport-Inglewood Fault originate from deeper underground than once thought possible.
Vikings in Iceland got a murderous boost from having large extended families.
Jupiter
Jupiter’s colorful bands originate several hundred kilometers beneath the cloud tops, the Juno spacecraft reveals.
Zika virus
Discoveries about how Zika virus slows brain cell development could lead to treatments.
Reflective patches on Pluto could be hints of rare cloud formation on the dwarf planet.
Idunn Mons on Venus
Lava flows might explain a hot spot seen in data from Venus Express spacecraft.
67P
Cracks developing on comet 67P are signs of stress building in the neck of the comet that could lead to its two ends snapping apart.
london underground
A new artificial neural network hooked up to extra memory can learn to solve complex problems.
Hubble image
A new census of the cosmos suggests that there might be 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe, about 10 times as many as previous estimates.
orangutan
In a first, apes show that they understand when others hold false beliefs.

Notebook

Roller coaster
Researchers took a 3-D printed kidney containing tiny stones and urine for a spin on a roller coaster and found their patients’ stories of kidney stones passing on the ride to have merit.
Ceropegia sandersonii
When it comes to attracting pollinators, one flower species catches more flies with honeybees.
Sediment layers
The newly-discovered Salton Trough Fault runs parallel to the southern San Andreas Fault in California, potentially affecting the region’s earthquake risk.
Vaccinating children
Vaccines have come a long way in 50 years.
3-D printed bone scaffolds
New ultraflexible material could be the future of bone repair, but awaits human testing.

Reviews & Previews

solar system
Walter Alvarez’s “A Most Improbable Journey” gives readers a tour of “Big History,” linking human history to unpredictable cosmic, geologic and biological events.

Letters to the Editor

Exoplanet fatigue, runaway fish and more in reader feedback.

Science Visualized

fish face
The tiny face of a 4-day-old zebrafish embryo snags the top spot in microscopy photography contest.