September 5, 2015 | Science News

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September 5, 2015

Editor's Note

Going from theory to practice is always rife with problems, be it shifting from the sequence of DNA’s letters to observing its dynamic machinations or from an identity marker in the lab to a piece of courtroom evidence.
By Eva Emerson | August 26, 2015
Magazine issue: Vol. 188, No. 5 , September 5, 2015 , p. 2

Features

photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee

Feature

Forensic investigators are moving past old-school sleuthing to analyze microbes and odors that tell a more complete story, while pursuing ways to enhance traditional tools as well.
illustration of DNA coiled in a sphere

Feature

Scientists are mapping and modeling the 4-D human genome to get beyond its linear structure.

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Help us keep you informed.

Editor's Note

Going from theory to practice is always rife with problems, be it shifting from the sequence of DNA’s letters to observing its dynamic machinations or from an identity marker in the lab to a piece of courtroom evidence.

Features

illustration of DNA coiled in a sphere
Scientists are mapping and modeling the 4-D human genome to get beyond its linear structure.
photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee
Forensic investigators are moving past old-school sleuthing to analyze microbes and odors that tell a more complete story, while pursuing ways to enhance traditional tools as well.

News

salamanders
Three zones of North America at high risk if the salamander-killing fungus disease Bsal invades.
fish oil pills
Three months of omega-3 fatty acids protects against psychosis for years, a small study suggests.
Map of human genetic diversity
A new genetic diversity map marks where humans have gained and lost DNA.
Dharahara Tower before and after the 2015 Nepal Quake
The seismic rumblings of the April 25 Nepal earthquake were mostly in low frequencies that are more likely to collapse large structures, new research suggests.
Just a few chemicals can transform skin cells from Alzheimer’s patients and healthy people into nerve cells.
Ocean
Understanding the origin of Earth’s water is hard enough, and it’s made harder by not knowing where all that water is hiding.
Mini moon trajectory map
Mini moons may buzz around Earth, and they make great targets for space missions.
China’s Taklamakan Desert
Irrigation water may wash significant amounts of carbon into groundwater systems beneath Earth’s deserts, researchers propose.
A three-kilometer transmission of light above the Vienna skyline demonstrates that scientists can use the twistiness of light to encode delicate quantum information.
Small amounts of the compound found in red wine and grapes prove protective against colon cancer in mice fed a high-fat diet.
The units of the metric system are on track for a 2018 makeover.
Rocky planets around faint red stars have a hard time getting water, but they’re still probably the most common habitable locales in the Milky Way, new computer simulations suggest.
copper and manganese
Exposure to buckyballs bestows ironlike magnetic properties onto the normally nonmagnetic metals copper and manganese.
illustration of different weight loss surgeries
Weight loss surgery changes microbes for good.
chili peppers
Spicy food in the diet seems to contribute to longevity, a study of thousands of people in a Chinese registry finds.
Ceres
Clusters of craters on Ceres and smooth landscapes hint at an unusual past for the dwarf planet.
ebola vaccine
In Guinea trial, zero cases of Ebola occurred in people potentially exposed who received immediate shots of a new experimental vaccine.
Ants with caterpillar
Caterpillars ooze droplets that lure ants away from colony duties to instead lick and defend their drug source, new lab tests suggest.

Notebook

ancient sperm
Ancient worm sperm preserved in 50-million-year-old cocoons from Antarctica set age record.
yellow-skinned frog
Two Brazilian frogs jab foes with venoms more deadly than pit vipers'.
vending machine
Ubiquitous today, vending machines that accepted bills were once considered exciting technological achievements.
panda
Giant pandas burn far less energy than similarly sized land mammals.
blazar
Astronomers take a close look at a blazar, a galaxy whose central black hole emits gamma rays and other high-energy material toward Earth.

Reviews & Previews

whooper swans in flight
In Gods of the Morning, a naturalist chronicles how birds and other wildlife withstand the changing seasons in the Scottish Highlands
dino book
A new children’s book offers gorgeous illustrations and information for everyone about ancient carnivores.

Letters to the Editor

Readers debate faith's role in evolution, compare politicians to spiders and more.

Science Visualized

long-tongued fly
Long-tongued flies can dabble in shallow blossoms or reach into flowers with roomier nectar tubes.