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A genetic parasite may have robbed humans and other apes of their tails. Around 25 million years ago, this parasite, a small stretch of repetitive DNA called an Alu element, ended up in a gene important for tail ... [more]
Apart from the northward advance of killer bees in the 1980s, nothing has struck as much fear into the hearts of headline writers as the ascent of artificial intelligence. Ever since the computer Deep Blue defeated ... [more]
A Brazilian flea toad’s head is too tiny to bear its many crowns. Scientists have bestowed the frog — which is native to Brazil but is neither a flea nor a toad — with two titles: The world’s smallest known amphibian ... [more]
The antivenom for a black mamba’s bite could one day work for a slew of other snakes.  Scientists have developed an antibody that shuts down paralyzing toxins in the venom of black mambas, king cobras and dozens of ... [more]
In the mountains of southern Spain, one type of thistle plant seems to have built-in air conditioning. The flowers of the thistle Carlina corymbosa are, on average, about 3 degrees Celsius cooler than the surrounding ... [more]
Consider this sequence of numbers: 5, 7, 9. Can you spot the pattern? Here’s another with the same pattern: 15, 19, 23. One more: 232, 235, 238.   “Three equally spaced things,” says Raghu Meka, a computer scientist at ... [more]
Earth’s oldest, knotted and scarred pine trees are a boon for forest life.  These old mountain pines (Pinus uncinata) offer food and shelter for lichens and insects not just because they’re old, but also because of ... [more]
Cancer drugs by computer — Science News, February 23, 1974 Chemists often need to sort a large number of compounds according to whether or not they possess a given property.… [Researchers] have been working on a ... [more]
Within the dusty cloud left behind by supernova 1987A, the most famous stellar explosion in modern history, astronomers have found compelling evidence for a long-sought neutron star. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope ... [more]
After a nail-biting descent, the United States took one small step back to the surface of the moon. A spindly robotic lander named Odysseus — designed and built by a private U.S. company — touched down near the moon’s ... [more]
Once on the path to eliminating syphilis, the United States has reversed course, with cases of the infectious disease surging. From a low of under 32,000 cases in 2000, the number of people with syphilis has rocketed to ... [more]
Ask physicist Sekazi Mtingwa how he ended up where he is today, and he’ll start with his grandmother’s deeply religious home. Growing up there in Atlanta, young Mtingwa somehow got the idea that he was the second coming of ... [more]
Inside the African clawed frog, intestines grow just like humans’: neatly coiled counterclockwise. Experiments now show how that process can go awry. Interfering with tadpoles’ metabolism leads to a chain of cellular ... [more]
Birding to Change the WorldTrish O’KaneEcco, $29.99 A “spark bird” is the species that inspires someone to start bird-watching. For Trish O’Kane, that bird was the northern cardinal. The backyard regular caught her ... [more]
In January, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook’s parent company Meta, appeared at a congressional hearing to answer questions about how social media potentially harms children. Zuckerberg opened by saying: “The existing body ... [more]
DENVER — A weight-loss drug used to treat obesity and diabetes has shown promise to treat another disorder: opioid addiction.   Early results from a small clinical trial, presented February 17 at the annual meeting of ... [more]
Words matter An ancient grave with a sword, shield and mirror belonged to a woman who about 2,000 years ago may have fought in raids and helped fend off enemy attacks in what’s now southwestern England, Bruce Bower ... [more]
Many if not most of the articles in Science News involve some math, whether as an essential tool in conducting research or a way to solve real-world problems, such as how to calculate a safer crowd size during the ... [more]
One of nuclear fusion’s biggest advances wouldn’t have happened without some impeccable scientific artistry. In December 2022, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California created fusion reactions ... [more]
Ancient viruses have really gotten on our nerves, but in the best of ways. One particular retrovirus — embedded in the DNA of jawed vertebrates — helps turn on production of a protein needed to insulate nerve fibers, ... [more]