October 31, 2015 | Science News

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October 31, 2015

Editor's Note

How much of science is inspiration versus perspiration?
By Eva Emerson | October 21, 2015
Magazine issue: Vol. 188, No. 9 , October 31, 2015 , p. 2

Features

alligator with a  bird on its head

Feature

Finding birdlike air patterns in lungs of crocodilians and in more distantly related lizards raises the possibility that one-way airflow evolved far earlier than birds themselves did.
jawbreakers

Feature

As scientists cook up ways to improve palatability and even make foods healthier, some are considering the potential health risks of tiny additives.

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Editor's Note

How much of science is inspiration versus perspiration?

Features

jawbreakers
As scientists cook up ways to improve palatability and even make foods healthier, some are considering the potential health risks of tiny additives.
alligator with a  bird on its head
Finding birdlike air patterns in lungs of crocodilians and in more distantly related lizards raises the possibility that one-way airflow evolved far earlier than birds themselves did.

News

phone food app
People eat for most of their waking hours, which may affect sleep and weight.
Paranthropus robustus skull
Two ancient hominid species may have heard high-frequency sounds especially well.
Salt deposits
Salt deposits on Mars hint at contemporary seasonal water flows on the Red Planet.
sperm and egg
With the identification of a new sperm protein that helps sperm penetrate eggs, researchers may be closer to developing birth control pills for men.
brain image
Adolescent brains are still changing, a malleability that renders them particularly sensitive to the outside world.
dna repair enzyme
The Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine ran the gamut this year, honoring both fundamental science discoveries and research with real-world impacts.
mirror image of the number 5
A new phase-conjugation mirror sends light waves back where they came from, allowing physicists to reconstruct images even if the original light was severely scrambled.
Brain mosaic artwork
Every nerve cell may hold different DNA, a new study suggests.
Deccan Traps with map
Increased volcanic eruptions coincided much more closely with an asteroid impact and the extinction of the dinosaurs than previously believed, a new study suggests.
Tammar Wallaby
Artificial lighting is driving wild tammar wallabies to breed out of sync with peak season for food
Merino sheep
Scientists have developed equations to describe the motion of a herd of sheep.
puppies and kittens chart
An 83-year-old math problem concerning sequences of 1s and –1s has been solved.
Cyanoform, a chemical sought for more than a century and written into textbooks, is one of the strongest organic acids.
Scientists have found that the protein GATA4 helps control cellular senescence, and may be a target for treating aging-related diseases.
Bronze age skeleton
Bone analysis finds widespread mummy making in ancient England and Scotland.
Rosetta’s comet 67P probably started out as two smaller comets.

Notebook

oldest skull
Human decapitation goes back more than 9,000 years in the Americas.
comet circles
The Rosetta spacecraft caught five circular depressions quickly spreading across a region of comet 67P.
duckbilled dino
New species of duck-billed dinosaur discovered in the Alaskan permafrost.
feeding orange bat
Some bats stick out their tongues and throbs carry nectar to their mouths.
cyanobacteria
In 1965, early photosynthetic plant fossils were discovered. The date of earliest oxygen-producing life forms has since been pushed much earlier.

Reviews & Previews

researcher
Breakthrough series gives a closer look at scientists at work.
Sriracha hot sauce
The American Chemical Society breaks down complex reactions of everyday life in zippy online video clips.
Egyptian papyrus
From ak to wid, a new book makes etymology fun.
Marlin
In A Naturalist Goes Fishing, a marine biologist takes readers on a round-the-world fishing expedition

Letters to the Editor

Readers discuss pentaquark sightings, delightful diatoms and whether an ancient four-legged fossil was actually a snake.

Science Visualized

humpback whales
Whale biologists are monitoring the health of whales using drones that snap photos and then swoop in to sample spray.