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19,846 articles from ScienceNOW


MONDAY 28. NOVEMBER 2022


Weather can affect baby names. A couple uncommon ones might be about to blow up

Some parents name their babies after celebrities, others, for revered ancestors. But enjoyable weather can influence a parent’s choice as well, an analysis of hundreds of millions of baby names in the United States has shown. Names such as April and Autumn show up more in states where those times of year are most beautiful, the new study concludes. The new study persuades Ruth...

Europe pledges to launch Mars rover delayed by war

After repeated delays and the loss of its Russian-built rockets, Europe’s ExoMars rover is go for launch again, in 2028, government ministers agreed last week. The rover was due to set off for the Red Planet in September on a Russian Proton rocket and land on a Russian-built craft, until the European Space Agency (ESA) cut ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. At a budget...

Second death linked to potential antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

A 65-year-old woman who was receiving a promising experimental treatment to slow the cognitive decline caused by her early Alzheimer’s disease recently died from a massive brain hemorrhage that some researchers link to the drug. The clinical trial death, described in an unpublished case report Science has obtained, is the second thought to be associated with the...


THURSDAY 24. NOVEMBER 2022


A parasite makes wolves more likely to become pack leaders

Toxoplasma gondii is sometimes called the “mind control” parasite: It can infect the brains of animals and mess with their behavior in ways that may kill the host but help ensure the parasite’s spread. But now, researchers have found that infected wolves may actually benefit from those mind-altering tricks. A Toxoplasma infection, they found, makes wolves...


WEDNESDAY 23. NOVEMBER 2022


CRISPR is so popular even viruses may use it

The celebrated gene-editing tool CRISPR started out as a bacterial defense against invading viruses. But it turns out the intended targets have stolen CRISPR for their own arsenals. A new study reveals that thousands of the bacteria-attacking viruses known as bacteriophages (phages, for short) contain the CRISPR system’s genetic sequences, suggesting they may deploy them against rival...

Indictment of monkey importers could disrupt U.S. drug and vaccine research

The indictment of several members of an alleged international monkey smuggling ring is sending ripples through the U.S. biomedical community. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged two Cambodian wildlife officials and several members of a Hong Kong-based primate supply company with illegally exporting hundreds—and potentially more than 2000— cynomolgus...


TUESDAY 22. NOVEMBER 2022


AI learns the art of Diplomacy

Diplomacy, many a statesperson has argued, is an art: one that requires not just strategy, but also intuition, persuasion, and even subterfuge—human skills that have long been off-limits to even the most powerful artificial intelligence (AI) approaches. Now, an AI algorithm from the company Meta has shown it can beat many humans in the board game Diplomacy, which requires both strategic...

Reforestation means more than just planting trees

The world is set to get a lot greener over the next 10 years. The United Nations has designated 2021–30 the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and many countries, with help from donors, have launched ambitious programs to restore forests in places where they were chopped down or degraded. At the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt last week, the European Union and 26 nations...

News at a glance: Science moonshot, UC student strike, and an x-ray boost

LUNAR SCIENCE Science probes head for Moon orbit After years of delay, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocketed toward the Moon last week, and data indicate its scientific payloads are working as planned. The rocket is the agency’s most powerful since the Apollo-era Saturn V, and the launch marks the first orbital flight on a NASA rocket since...


MONDAY 21. NOVEMBER 2022


CRISPR’s ‘ancestry problem’ misses cancer targets in those of African descent

The 10-year-old gene-editing tool known as CRISPR is indispensable for engineering plants, tailoring lab animals, and probing basic biology. But there’s a caveat when it is used to tweak human genes: Unlike lab mice, which are usually inbred and genetically identical, people’s genomes differ individually and by ancestry. These ancestry differences mean CRISPR doesn’t always...

Sacrificed monkey suggests peaceful ties between ancient Mesoamerican powers

With its hands and feet bound, a spider monkey went to its grave around 300 C.E., buried alive among sumptuous grave goods in the great city of Teotihuacan in central Mexico. A recent study of its bones suggests the animal may have been a diplomatic gift from the Maya, who lived far to the east, offering a peek at geopolitics in Mesoamerica a century before the two great powers clashed....

International body likely to protect many shark and ray species

In a decision conservation groups called historic, an intergovernmental organization has taken a significant step toward regulating the trade of nearly 100 species of sharks and rays , most of which are imperiled from overfishing. A committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) last week voted to oversee exports of...

NASA’s drifting climate satellites could find new life as wildfire and storm watchers

Since NASA’s Terra satellite launched in 1999, it has seen a world utterly transformed. Surface temperatures have risen half a degree. Sea levels have climbed 80 millimeters higher. Plants have expanded across an area as big as the Amazon rainforest. Through it all, Terra and two other satellites—Aqua, launched in 2002, and Aura, in 2004—served as the foremost sentinels of a...


SATURDAY 19. NOVEMBER 2022


NASA reaffirms decision to keep James Webb’s name on space telescope

NASA said today a search of government archives supports its decision to keep the name of its former administrator, James Webb, on its flagship space telescope. Many astronomers had urged NASA to rename the telescope following accusations that Webb participated in discrimination and firing of LGBTQ+ staff from the U.S. federal workforce in the 1950s and ’60s. In an...


FRIDAY 18. NOVEMBER 2022


Competition between respiratory viruses may hold off a ‘tripledemic’ this winter

Triple threat. Tripledemic. A viral perfect storm. These frightening phrases have dominated recent headlines as some health officials, clinicians, and scientists forecast that SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could surge at the same time in Northern Hemisphere locales that have relaxed masking, social distancing, and other COVID-19 precautions. But a...


THURSDAY 17. NOVEMBER 2022


Groundbreaking CRISPR treatment for blindness only works for subset of patients

After some early but cautious optimism, a company is shelving its pioneering gene-editing treatment for a rare inherited blindness disorder. Editas Medicine announced today the trial trying to use the gene editor CRISPR to treat Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10) led to “clinically meaningful” vision improvements in only three of 14 patients. In the study,...

Finnish astronomers acquitted in defamation case related to protesting harassment

Speaking out against harassment is in the public interest and should be encouraged rather than punished, a Finnish court declared today. That message was part of a ruling dismissing criminal charges against two astronomers who had protested the hiring of a U.S. scientist found to have committed gender-based harassment in a previous academic job. “I hope this case will set a...


WEDNESDAY 16. NOVEMBER 2022


Bacteria in tumors may promote cancer

Our bodies harbor countless microbes—and so do our tumors, it turns out. Over the past 5 years, researchers have shown cancer tissue contains entire communities of bacteria and fungi. Now, it appears some of the bacteria may be cancer’s accomplices. In a paper in Nature this week, a team led by Susan Bullman of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center reports that in oral and...


TUESDAY 15. NOVEMBER 2022


Leprosy spurs growth in armadillo livers, offering clues to organ regeneration

Armadillos stash a secret under their shells—their liver grows dramatically when they are infected with the bacterium that causes leprosy in people. This oddity, revealed in a new study, may provide clues about how the body controls liver regeneration and how to jump-start the process in people. The finding is “very cool,” says hepatologist Alejandro Soto-Gutiérrez of the...