elect Publications

War wrecked an African ecosystem.

Ecologists are trying

to restore it.

Predators and prey roam Gorongosa in Mozambique once again, but there’s still a long way to go

Science News | 5 May 2019


War wrecked an African ecosystem. Ecologists are trying to restore it

Predators and prey roam Gorongosa in Mozambique once again, but there’s still a long way to go. | 5 May 2019

A global survey finds that the Arctic Ocean is a hot spot for viruses

Knowing where viruses are illuminates where carbon may be sinking. | 25 April 2019

Warm, dry winds may be straining Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf

Autumn melting could be a warning sign. | 18 April 2019

NASA’s Twins Study reveals effects of space on Scott Kelly’s health*

A comparison with his twin looks at the impact of long-term spaceflight on the human body. | 11 April 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

Tiny pumpkin toadlets have glowing bony plates on their backs

Researchers suggest the structures may help the deaf frogs communicate. | 3 April 2019

Bacteria can be coaxed into making the toughest kind of spider silk

The engineered stands could help design more sturdy materials. | 2 April 2019

50 years ago, drug abuse was higher among physicians than the public

Excerpt from the April 5, 1969 issue of Science News. | 28 March 2019

Edibles are tied to more severe health issues than smoking marijuana

People who ingest the drug are more likely to have psych or heart problems than those who inhale it. | 25 March 2019

Women have a new weapon against postpartum depression, but it’s costly

The newly approved drug brexanolone simulates a natural steroid to alleviate symptoms. | 22 March 2019

Meet India’s starry dwarf frog — a species with no close relatives

The new frog represents a new species, genus and potentially even a new family. | 18 March 2019

Review: ‘Epic Yellowstone’ captures the thriving ecosystem of the world-famous park

A new documentary series highlights the interactions of predator, prey and environment. | 17 March 2019

How helpful gut microbes send signals that they are friends, not foes

The finding in mice may help explain why a body’s immune system doesn’t kill beneficial bugs. | 7 March 2019

Tiny bits of iron may explain why some icebergs are green

The emerald ice may help shuttle an essential nutrient around marine food webs. | 6 March 2019

Sleeping in on the weekend can’t make up for lost sleep*

Lack of Zs increased weight, late-night munchies and insensitivity to insulin. | 1 March 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

What spiders eating weird stuff tell us about complex Amazon food webs*

Rare views of invertebrates munching on vertebrates include a tarantula and an opossum. | 28 Feb. 2019

*Also read a version of this written for students

The world’s largest bee has been rediscovered after 38 years*

The walnut-sized female bee was found on an island in Indonesia. | 21 Feb. 2019

*A version of this story written for students reeled in more than 50% of site views for the week

A deer-sized T. rex ancestor shows how fast tyrannosaurs became giants*

The newly discovered fossil’s name, Moros intrepidus, means ‘the harbinger of doom’. | 21 Feb. 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

Why some Georgia O’Keeffe paintings have ‘art acne’*

A new imaging technique could help art curators track destructive bumps over time. | 16 Feb. 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

A new 2-D material uses light to quickly and safely purify water*

In tests, it killed 99.9999 percent of the bacteria in contaminated water. | 12 Feb. 2019

*Story topped "science" thread on Reddit

2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, and it’s getting even hotter*

As warmer temperatures mess with global rainfall patterns, the U.S. East saw record rains. | 6 Feb. 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

A space rock collision may explain how this exoplanet was born

Convincing evidence for such collisions outside the solar system is rare.| 4 Feb. 2019

Giant pandas may have only recently switched to eating mostly bamboo

The switch to a bamboo diet occurred some 5,000 years ago, not 2 million years ago as thought. | 31 Jan. 2019

How light-farming chloroplasts morph into defensive warriors

Scientists have identified the protein that summons the cellular energy factories to battle. | 28 Jan. 2019

Young emperor penguins brave icy, winter waters in their first year

The young birds head north to warmer waters before returning to winter in Antarctica. | 23 Jan. 2019

This rediscovered Bolivian frog species survived deadly chytrid fungus*

The species was feared to be extinct, except for one lonely male. | 17 Jan. 2019

*Also read a version of this story written for students

Desalination pours more toxic brine into the ocean than previously thought

The supersalty water is a by-product in producing potable water. | 14 Jan. 2019

Floating seabirds provide a novel way to trace ocean currents

Data from GPS trackers on shearwaters matched those collected by buoys and other tools. | 10 Jan. 2019

Dracula ant’s powerful pincers snap shut at record speed

Fangs are feeble next to the fastest appendages in the animal world. | 12 Dec. 2018

Five years of record warmth intensify Arctic's transformation*

Sea ice is the thinnest it's been at any time in the last 30 years, and wild reindeer and caribou populations continue to decline. | 11 Dec. 2018

*Story picked-up by Scientific American

Epic storm roils a tranquil region of Neptune

Amateur astronomers help to track a disturbance in the icy planet’s atmosphere. | 5 Dec. 2018

Pacific Ocean set to spawn an El Niño this winter

World Meteorological Organization predicts a weak- to moderate-strength event that could bring heavy rains and drought to various parts of the world. | 27 Nov. 2018

Back from the brink: Endangered whales, giraffes and gorillas make gains

Population increases demonstrate the benefits of investing in conservation, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature. | 22 Nov. 2018

Termite mounds dating back millennia can be seen from space

Mounds of excavated dirt number into the millions and tower up to four metres tall. | 19 Nov. 2018

Molecular net fishes sugar from blood

Synthetic tool that binds to glucose could prove useful for people with diabetes. | 15 Nov. 2018

Science candidates prevail in US midterm elections

Trump administration’s controversial science and environment policies could come under extra scrutiny as Democrats gain in Congress. | 6 Nov. 2018

Rogue chemicals threaten positive prognosis for ozone hole

Researchers hunt for the source of a mysterious rise in ozone-depleting chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere. | 2 Nov. 2018

A once-lush country on the verge of total deforestation

The mountains of Haiti could be stripped of trees completely in under two decades. | 30 Oct. 2018

Space crews’ grey matter shrivels during long stays in orbit

Seven months after cosmonauts landed, some brain tissues had recovered but others had not. | 24 Oct. 2018

Dandelion seeds fly using ‘impossible’ method never before seen in nature*

The seeds contain a lot of open space, which seems to be the key to sustaining flight. | 17 Oct. 2018

*One of Nature's top 20 most-read articles for 2018

Why an elephant’s tail is a feeble fly-swatter

Tails serve as effective non-lethal weapons against pests.| 17 Oct. 2018

Russian space agency to investigate Soyuz rocket crash

A Russian cosmonaut and a US astronaut are safe after their rocket, bound for the International Space Station, malfunctioned. | 11 Oct. 2018

Healthy mice from same-sex parents have their own pups

Advance reveals genetic factors that require mammals to reproduce using two sexes. | 11 Oct. 2018

Spacecraft beware: huge spines of ice might guard a glimmering moon

Touchdowns on Jupiter’s moon Europa, which might host life, could be risky.| 8 Oct. 2018

This miniature drug factory fits on a few lab benches

Automated system takes only 80 hours to turn out hundreds of doses of a medical product made by living organisms.| 3 Oct. 2018

How extremely dry skin safeguards African elephants

Imaging reveals mounds under the skin that help to create cooling channels.| 2 Oct. 2018

Syphilis cases in US newborns spike to 20-year high

Nearly 1,000 babies were born with the infection in 2017. | 1 Oct. 2018

Yellowstone grizzly bears back under endangered-species protections

Judge rules that the US government didn’t consider the best available science when it removed the animals from the endangered-species list. | 25 Sep. 2018

World’s first animal was a pancake-shaped prehistoric ocean dweller

Fossils of ancient sea creatures answer a long-standing question about how animals became bigger and more complex. | 20 Sep. 2018

Ice-tracking satellite launches after ten years in the works

NASA mission will measure changes in ice thickness in unprecedented detail. | 15 Sep. 2018

Ten years after the economic crash, R&D funding is better than ever

The funding by businesses dipped after the crash, offset in some regions by rises in government funding.| 13 Sep. 2018

NASA probe will track melting polar ice in unprecedented detail

The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite can measure changes in ice thickness to within half a centimetre. | 10 Sep. 2018

Meagre ranks of anti-flu drugs look set to grow

A compound thwarts the influenza virus by blocking viral replication.| 5 Sep. 2018

Meal of poo makes naked mole rats motherly

Oestrogen in a queen mole rat’s droppings might induce her minions to care for her pups.| 28 Aug. 2018

US government failing to provide recovery plans for some endangered species

US agencies have no official recovery plans for almost one-quarter of the plants and animals protected under the landmark Endangered Species Act. | 24 Aug. 2018

230-million-year-old turtle fossil deepens mystery of reptile's origins

Two-metre-long specimen could help researchers pin down how and when turtles developed traits such as their shell. | 22 Aug. 2018

‘Green revolution’ crops bred to slash fertilizer use

Researchers have identified a molecule that increases plant growth while reducing the need for nitrogen.| 15 Aug. 2018

US Congress leaves science agencies hanging — again

Lawmakers have just 11 working days to complete a 2019 funding plan before their 1 October deadline.| 10 Aug. 2018

Hunger’s toll looks set to grow with tough action on climate change

Carbon taxes and related policies could lead to worse food shortages than climate change alone.| 31 July 2018

Push to weaken US Endangered Species Act runs into roadblocks*

Policymakers have tried, unsuccessfully, to change this law for decades.| 27 July 2018

*Story picked-up by Scientific American

3D image reveals hidden neurons in fruit-fly brain

Researchers hope the data will speed the understanding of how the brain affects behaviour.| 19 July 2018

US national parks have just as much air pollution as major cities

Study finds that the air in areas such as Yosemite National Park isn’t as pristine as it seems.| 18 July 2018

Tropical forest tells a tale of ecological resilience and human tragedy

The sixteenth-century destruction of indigenous people left an imprint on an ecosystem.| 16 July 2018

What makes a man attractive? Hint: Look at his limbs

Strip everything away and one luring—maybe evolutionary—piece remains, a new study finds: how proportional his body is, especially his legs.| 16 May 2018

Whale skulls act like antennas, CT scans reveal

Two researchers determined how baleen whales such as humpbacks hear their low-frequency chatter, and they found some bone-rattling results.| 23 April 2018

This ‘muscular’ mayfly has arms like airplane wings

Their inverted shape means water flowing over the leg pushes the young insect toward the ground | 17 Jan. 2018

Why some bats hunt during the day

Bats that brave the daylight are teaching us about why most of their kin are nocturnal in the first place.| 28 Nov. 2018

California Sea Lions Keep Getting Shot by Fishermen

Despite legal protections for sea lions, fishermen resort to lethal force to keep them from stealing their catch.| 17 Aug. 2018

Why Beetles Fly Like Superman

The insects use their legs to initiate turns, confirming something scientists have long suspected | 16 Nov. 2017

Darwin’s finches fall prey to a blood-sucking parasite

An invasive fly could mean the loss of bird species on the Galápagos Islands. To save them, scientists may introduce another invasive insect.| 18 May 2018

Organs grown to order*

Genetic advances may make it possible to grow transplantable tissues in other species, solving immunity and availability issues, but raising ethical concerns.| 3 March 2018

*Story picked-up by Discover Magazine

An invisible liver disease balloons into view

Fat buildup in the body’s liver can lead to scarring and worse. In step with obesity and diabetes, incidence is on the rise and a race for a cure is on.| 19 Feb. 2018

Lawrence Berkeley scientists find a cool way to save water

Saving water may be as simple as changing the type of roof you have | 4 June 2018

Fingers crossed there won’t be anything to be crabby about this season

With their pots stacked high and boat decks washed, commercial crab fishermen along the Central Coast are prepped for this year's crab season.| 9 Nov. 2017

Human-induced trauma on sea animals a concern

Rising tensions about human-wildlife conflict has put many on edge about human interactions with the sea’s wildlife. And a new study gives good reason.| 8 Dec. 2017

More hepatitis A cases reported in Monterey County

Another case of hepatitis A was reported this week in Monterey County, bringing the total to four times as many as have been reported in previous years| 6 Dec. 2017

Professional bird watchers perch at Point Pinos

The data they collect serves an important purpose in understanding how bird populations are changing, especially on the backdrop of climate change. | 29 Nov. 2017

Dozens of animals adopted from SPCA for Monterey County during Black Friday special

The nonprofit held its annual Black Friday event on Friday when people looking to adopt a pet could do so for the price of their choosing. | 24 Nov. 2017

Blue whale sightings aplenty in Monterey Bay this week*

It’s the first time in 30 years, some say, that such an event has happened, and it may not last for long.| 17 Nov. 2017

*Story picked-up by The Mercury News

Commercial crab season is open, quality of catch still to be determined

Commercial crab fishermen have pulled up their anchors and set out to sea. Now it’s a matter of waiting to see what they’ll bring back.| 15 Nov. 2017

Monterey Comic Con hosts Flash, Thor, Storm Troopers and local business owners

The benefits of a local base are not only that the hallways are filled with local enthusiasts cladded as their favorite heroes, but also local businesses| 10 Nov. 2017

Botswana artists visit, get inspiration at Aquarium

Two worlds collided last week as three San artists from Botswana stood at the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see an underwater world they never knew existed.| 6 Nov. 2017

Moss Landing researchers win grant

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories have won one of 32 grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant Program.| 2 Nov. 2017

First man in Monterey County to receive tiny pacemaker keeps up big fitness routine

Butch Johnson became one of the first people in California to receive a state-of-the-art pacemaker about the size of a large vitamin.| 20 Oct. 2017

Monning: Monterey Hotel Apartments an affordable housing project done right

Local officials took the opportunity to express their pride in creating more affordable housing at a time when that issue is top of mind for many.| 13 Oct. 2017

Water forum: Listening to global answers that might work locally

Researchers, policymakers, innovators, and members of the public gathered to discuss what is likely the most pressing issue for the Central Coast: water.| 6 Oct. 2017

Students spread the anti-bullying message

Students were busy inscribing a tapestry of positive words and phrases on the blacktop in an effort to raise awareness about bullying prevention.| 4 Oct. 2017

Reference: Hope Mars Mission - Launching the Arab World into the Space Race

When the UAE president announced that his country would make a satellite to study Mars' atmosphere, he set an unprecedented goal for the Arab world. | 21 Oct. 2019

Reference: Betta Fish - The Dazzling Siamese Fighting Fish

In Thailand, people call betta fish "pla kat," which means "fighting fish," and it couldn't be a more appropriate name. | 3 Oct. 2018

Reference: The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature

The forces and interactions we experience seem infinite. But they all stem from just four fundamental forces of nature. | 1 Oct. 2019

Reference: Axolotls - The Adorable, Giant Salamanders of Mexico

When the Aztecs settled the Valley of Mexico, they found a large salamander where they built their capital. They called the salamander "axolotl". | 19 Sept. 2019

Reference: Exomoons - Satellites orbiting Planets beyond Our Solar System

Exomoons are moons beyond our solar system and could potentially harbor life, but they're extremely hard to find. | 19 Nov. 2018

Reference: What is the U.S. Space Force?

The United States Space Force addresses growing concerns of foreign threats, but it could cost the country billions of dollars. | 10 Oct. 2018

Reference: ICESat-2 -- Tracking Earth's Ice with Unparalleled Detail

ICESat-2’s innovative technology provides scientists the most detailed view of ice yet while building upon 15 years of constant ice monitoring.   | 13 Sep. 2018

Extreme seasonal changes in Amazon river levels threaten forest conservation by indigenous people

A result of climate change, these extremes are directly impacting local wildlife and the indigenous people who protect the forest, a new study shows.| 4 Dec. 2017

Scientists engineer microbes to form 'memories' of their environment

Microbes like bacteria aren’t conscious enough to form memories, but a group of scientists developed a new way for them to do so at the genetic level.| 22 Dec. 2017

Coastal erosion threatens archaeological sites along Greenland's fjords

Hundreds of archaeology sites lie along the shores of Greenland’s fjords and coasts, but coastal erosion may drop many of them into the ocean| 15 Dec. 2017

Lava-filled blocks on Venus may indicate geological activity

A global view of some well-known features on Venus’s surface may indicate it’s capable of crustal motion, and that motion might even be happening today| 15 Dec. 2017

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