November 28, 2015 | Science News

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November 28, 2015

Editor's Note

The nervous system's meandering superhighway has the potential to lead researchers treatments for myriad health conditions.
By Eva Emerson | November 18, 2015
Magazine issue: Vol. 188, No. 11 , November 28, 2015 , p. 2

Features

cows grazing

Feature

Changing feed, giving vaccines and selective breeding may enable scientists to help beef and dairy cattle shake their title as one of society's worst methane producers.
illustration of the vagus nerve

Feature

Researchers are testing ways to stimulate the vagus nerve to treat a slew of ailments.

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Editor's Note

The nervous system's meandering superhighway has the potential to lead researchers treatments for myriad health conditions.

Features

illustration of the vagus nerve
Researchers are testing ways to stimulate the vagus nerve to treat a slew of ailments.
cows grazing
Changing feed, giving vaccines and selective breeding may enable scientists to help beef and dairy cattle shake their title as one of society's worst methane producers.

News

kitten
Researchers have found evidence of an ancient arms race between Felis silvestris catus, the species familiar today as the domestic cat, and feline immuno­deficiency virus.
zircon crystal
New evidence suggests that life on Earth arose before 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million years earlier than previous estimates.
geologists
New rock layer dating in South Africa’s Karoo Basin suggests that extinctions of land species didn’t coincide with the Permian extinction around 252 million years ago.
The first study of how antiprotons interact with each other reveals yet again that particles of antimatter behave just like their ordinary matter counterparts.
microbe
Hole-ridden fossils suggest that vampirelike microbes were among the first predators that targeted eukaryotes.
five moons of Pluto
The four smaller moons of Pluto are finally revealed in images from New Horizons, and might hold some clues to the dwarf planet’s past.
Electronic skin inspired by human fingertips detects texture, pressure, heat and sound.
CRISPR beagles
Gene editing works at low efficiency in dogs.
ape reconstruction
Ancient fossils suggest modern apes descended from a small, gibbonlike creature.
rosetta
The Rosetta spacecraft detected oxygen molecules coming out of comet 67P that might have been buried since the formation of the solar system.
A group of nerve cells in the spinal cord keep mechanical itch in check.
hotel vacancy sign
By mimicking a mathematician’s method for creating vacancies in a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, physicists may have found a way of increasing the amount of data that can be carried via light.
axolotl salamander
Salamanders and ancient amphibians share similar way of regenerating limbs.
virtual maze
Signs of Alzheimer’s can show up in the brain’s compass decades before symptoms strike.
human skeleton at Estonian site
Ancient bacterial DNA provides first clues to Bronze Age plagues in Europe and Asia.
dog with ball snuggles with human
A new study suggests that dogs were first domesticated in Central Asia.
diamonds
Simulating the chemistry, pressures and temperatures in Earth’s interior, scientists have discovered a new way diamonds can form.
moon map
Gravitational tugs on a pair of spacecraft have revealed previously unseen blemishes on the moon’s face.
tuatara
Preserved Victorian specimens reveal budding embryonic penis that disappears before adulthood.
hot dogs
Eating processed meats like bacon, ham and sausage causes cancer, says the World Health Organization.

Notebook

Frigid winter air keeps gives ice caves their perpetual chill, researchers find, warning that airtight seals on some ice caves could cause the frigid formations to melt within decades.
cloud of dust and bacteria
People are surrounded by a personal cloud of bacteria.
curling eel
With feisty prey, an electric eel curls its tail to intensify shocks and exhaust prey.
illustration of cosmic rays showering Earth
Cosmic rays come from all over the universe, including some places we’re not so sure about.
Street after a hurricane
Nearly half of all hurricane and tropical storm fatalities are indirect, yet they typically aren’t included in official storm reports.

Reviews & Previews

whale projected on skyscraper
The new documentary "Racing Extinction" offers hope that people can halt the sixth mass extinction.
Earth's stratosphere
Geoengineering is humankind’s only viable solution to curb climate change impacts, a journalist contends in The Planet Remade.

Letters to the Editor

In the November 28, 2015, issue of Science News, readers discussed humanizing science, frog mating calls, antineurtrinos and Martian dust storms.

Science Visualized

cork and cow cells
A 350-year-old drawing in Robert Hooke’s Micrographia and an award-winning photo demonstrate the evolution of the microscope.