September 15, 2018 | Science News

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Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the importance of robotic space missions for scientific research.
By Nancy Shute | September 9, 2018
Magazine issue: Vol. 194, No. 5 , September 15, 2018 , p. 2

Features

Koolau mountain range

Feature

Scientists have only scratched the surface of the plant microbiome, but they already believe it might increase crop yield and save species from extinction.
Parker probe illustration

Feature

Scientists had to get creative in testing the technology for the Parker Solar Probe, using huge mirrors, dust tunnels and even reams of paper.

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SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Editor in Chief Nancy Shute discusses the importance of robotic space missions for scientific research.

Features

Parker probe illustration
Scientists had to get creative in testing the technology for the Parker Solar Probe, using huge mirrors, dust tunnels and even reams of paper.
Koolau mountain range
Scientists have only scratched the surface of the plant microbiome, but they already believe it might increase crop yield and save species from extinction.

News

bioengineered lungs in a bioreactor tank
Pigs implanted with lab-grown lungs recovered from surgery with no breathing problems.
desalination plant in Dubai
Smoothing out a material used in desalination filters could help combat worldwide water shortages.
Two events can happen in different orders at the same time, thanks to quantum physics.
magnesite
Magnesite takes a long time to form in nature. Now, a team has found a way to speed up the making of the mineral, which can store carbon dioxide.
aye-ayes
On Madagascar, a type of lemur called aye-ayes may have a singular evolutionary history.
a photo of a 50,000-year-old bone fragment
DNA analysis of a bone fragment reveals Neandertal movements between Siberia and western Europe.
elephants
Researchers have found another gene that may play a role in explaining elephants’ cancer resistance.
Emiliania huxleyi phytoplankton
Sick phytoplankton shed their calcium carbonate plates more easily than their healthy counterparts, which could play a role in forming clouds.
greater prairie chicken
A review of hundreds of scientific studies finds that the label “promiscuous” is applied to a surprisingly wide range of mating behaviors in animals.
illustration of RNA
The FDA just approved the first drug that works via RNA interference.
a photo of a pregnant stomach with some pills
The rate of opioid use during pregnancy more than quadrupled in 28 U.S. states, prompting physicians to call for increased screening.
hydrogen wall illustration
New Horizons may have seen a hydrogen wall just past the edge of the solar system, where the solar wind meets the stuff of interstellar space.
red fox with a silver coat
Thanks to a newly deciphered genome of red foxes, researchers have pinpointed regions in the animals’ DNA linked to taming them.
Obama and Putin
It’s getting harder to tell fact from fiction — even on camera.

Notebook

cheese found in Egyptian tomb
Solid cheese preserved in an ancient Egyptian tomb may be the world’s oldest.
an axolotl and a green anole
Differences in stem cells in the spinal cord explain the amphibians’ ability.
heart transplant surgery
Surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human-to-human heart transplant in 1967. In 1968, he predicted that patients would survive five years at best. Fortunately, he was wrong.

Reviews & Previews

an illustration of a satellite orbiting the Earth
Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang’s ‘Accessory to War’ grapples with the millennia-old partnership between space science and warfare.

Letters to the Editor

Readers had questions about NASA's Parker Solar Probe, Einstein's general relativity theory and underwater cables used as earthquake sensors.

Science Visualized

illustrations of molecular knots
A new table of knots points the way to twisting molecules in increasingly complex pretzels.