Science News

Science newspaper is a magazine specializing in Science topics.

Articles from Vol. 181, No. 11, June 2

Antarctic Ice Shelf Threatened by Warming: Collapse Could Trigger Major Melting and Sea Level Rise
A massive slab of floating ice that juts from Antarctica's west coast could be in hot water soon. Warm ocean currents threaten to sneak up from below and torpedo the ice in coming decades, researchers report in the May 10 Nature. The degradation...
Aquatic Microbes Have Bony Insides: Lake-Dwellers Build Stony Lumps in Their One-Celled Bodies
Scientists have discovered skeletons in the bacterial closet. A never-before-seen species of cyanobacteria loads its cells with little bonelike lumps that may act as ballast, helping anchor the beastie to surfaces in the Mexican lake where it lives....
Birds Forage with Fractal-Like Flight: Mathematical Pattern Seen in Albatross Hunting Behavior
Flight plans reminiscent of fractals could help hungry birds find food. Albatross sometimes hunt by following a mathematical pattern that repeats itself at smaller and smaller scales, researchers report in the May 8 Proceedings of the National Academy...
Bugs Join Forces against Pesticide: Gut Bacteria Allow Insects to Survive Exposure to Chemical
Insects and microbes have teamed up against a pesticide commonly sprayed on crops. In lab tests, swallowing a bellyful of certain bacteria protected bugs from the toxic chemical. This detoxifying diet is the first example of a symbiotic relationship...
Comb Jelly Starts Reproduction Early: Marine Species Thrives despite Never Reaching Adulthood
Comb jellies living in the central Baltic Sea are a bunch of babies. In this part of the world, members of the species Mertensia ovum don't appear to reach adulthood but instead sustain the population by reproducing while still larvae, researchers...
Cricket Sings Highs and Lows: Insect Uses Segmented Wings for Range of Pitches
Unique wings allow one type of male tree cricket to hum a different sort of tune--one that encompasses a wide range of pitches. The discovery could mean that these males are saying a lot more than previously thought, and that potential mates might...
Designer Flu: How Scientists Made a Killer Virus Airborne-And Who Should Know
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Last summer, scientists performed an experiment that could have been ripped from the script of a Hollywood thriller. Sealed off in high-tech laboratories in the Netherlands and Wisconsin, researchers transformed one of the...
Earth's Beating Lasted Longer: Bombardment Persisted over 2 Billion Years, Analysis Finds
It's no secret that the early Earth took a beating from above, but now it seems the planet sustained a longer bombardment than initially thought. Scientists thought this pummeling--a spike of violent impacts during a period known as the Late Heavy...
Enzyme Shot May Top Acupuncture: Mouse Study Finds Injection Provides Days of Pain Relief
A new treatment mimics the pain-blocking mechanism of acupuncture and offers longer-lasting relief, at least in mice. Injecting an enzyme called PAP into an acupuncture point behind the knees of mice relieved pain caused by inflammation for up to...
Greenland Ice Flow Stop-and-Go: Motion Suggests Worst-Case Sea Level Predictions Unlikely
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Time-lapse snapshots showing Greenland's glaciers racing toward the sea in recent years have turned up some good news and some bad news. As the island's glaciers disintegrate over coming decades, they won't raise the world's...
It's Not Easy, or Wise, to Suppress Nature's Secrets
In recent weeks, the world has learned details about how scientists have modified the notorious bird flu virus, H5N1, into forms that can be transmitted via the air rather than only by direct contact. Some people, even some scientists, are aghast....
Odd Protein May Spur Alzheimer's: Unusual Amyloid-Beta Sows Destruction in Mouse Brains
Scientists have caught tiny amounts of a strangely shaped protein--a relative of a well-known suspect in Alzheimer's disease--spreading destruction throughout the brains of mice. If a similar process happens in the human brain, it could help explain...
Plate Tectonics Got a Bumpy Start: Crustal Motions May Have Started Sporadically on Early Earth
Plate tectonics might have gotten a fitful start on the early Earth. Two researchers propose that plate tectonics started and stopped over and over billions of years ago, before running continuously. The work, published in the May Geology, could...
Storm Front: Hurricane Experts Push to Improve Intensity Forecasts
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Anyone waiting for Hurricane Irene on North Carolina's coast last August might have been a little disappointed. As the storm barreled toward the Outer Banks, parka-clad TV meteorologists lined the beaches in anticipation....
The Neutrino Messengers
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 1844 Samuel Morse sent a telegram from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore using pulses of electrons to encode "What hath God wrought." Now that message has gotten a reply, courtesy of physicist Kevin McFarland and a team of...