September 19, 2015 | Science News

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September 19, 2015

Editor's Note

In explaining the Earth’s magnetic field paradox, scientists may discover a new question with an even more interesting answer.
By Eva Emerson | September 9, 2015
Magazine issue: Vol. 188, No. 6 , September 19, 2015 , p. 2

Features

chimps in trees

Feature

Several chimp behaviors have researchers wondering if apes are a good model for early hominid life.
computer simulation of Earth's magnetic field

Feature

The history of the planet’s all-important magnetic field has scientists ramping up simulations and lab experiments to resolve a baffling paradox.

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Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

In explaining the Earth’s magnetic field paradox, scientists may discover a new question with an even more interesting answer.

Features

computer simulation of Earth's magnetic field
The history of the planet’s all-important magnetic field has scientists ramping up simulations and lab experiments to resolve a baffling paradox.
chimps in trees
Several chimp behaviors have researchers wondering if apes are a good model for early hominid life.

News

photo illustration of satellite galaxies
The dozens of satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way make excellent laboratories for studying dark matter.
ancient lava
Precision dating confirms that Siberian volcanic eruptions could have triggered the Permian extinction.
A new experiment provides the most robust proof that quantum mechanics doesn’t follow the rules we take for granted in everyday life.
computer
By exploiting the quirks of quantum mechanics, physicists consistently determined what a quantum computer would have done without actually running the computer.
helicopter
Ten years following Hurricane Katrina’s formation, the storm’s devastating legacy in New Orleans and beyond continues to drive storm forecast improvements.
male camper sleeping
Nerve cells that make sense of visual input keep chugging away during REM sleep, suggesting that these cells may help a sleeper “see” dreams.
People have become a unique predator, hunting mostly adults of other species.
flasks
Extinction in a bottle was a random catastrophe, not survival of the fittest.
E-cigarette use is linked to later tobacco use in teens.
Massacre main
Bones suggest Central Europe’s first farmers had an extremely violent streak.
California two-spot octopus
Scientists have sequenced the octopus genome, revealing molecular similarities to mammals.
An experiment with unprecedented precision finds that protons and antiprotons have the same ratio of charge to mass, which is consistent with theories but disappoints many physicists.
A plastic disk does what sophisticated computers cannot: solve the cocktail party problem.
By tweaking a single gene, scientists have turned average mice into supersmart daredevils.
Researchers have discovered a “genetic switch” that determines whether people will burn extra calories or save them as fat.
Hummingbird tongues work as elastic micropumps instead of simple thin tubes, researchers say in latest round of a scientific debate.

Notebook

Aurora
While a strong magnetic shield protects Earth from the sun’s occasional outbursts, the solar system’s other rocky planets are mostly defenseless.
Octopus
The larger Pacific striped octopus does sex, motherhood and shrimp pranks like nobody else.
Y dwarf illustration
Two stars once thought to be the coldest known are actually scorching compared with some truly frigid brown dwarfs.
parched corn
Reducing carbon emissions could save U.S. agriculture industry billions of dollars annually by curtailing droughts.
Scientists created a “vomiting device” to study how norovirus spreads through the air.

Reviews & Previews

Green Bank Telescope
Visitors to the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia get a close-up with the world’s largest movable land object.
junk food
Researcher Tim Spector skewers conventional thinking about weight loss in ‘The Diet Myth’
pythagoras
In ‘A Beautiful Question,’ Frank Wilczek explores links between math and art

Letters to the Editor

This week in reader feedback: Immortality and tracing ancient humans.

Science Visualized

computer simulated tornado
First computer simulation of a long-lived EF5 tornado may reveal why some twisters stick around.