Press Release Category: Science

A new device helps frogs regrow working legs after an amputation

The cells of adult frogs seem to remember how to regrow lost legs, and a new chemical kick starter helps them hop to it. Scientists have been seeking ways to spur the body to regrow limbs to help people that have undergone an amputation (SN: 6/12/13). Like adult humans, fully grown frogs have a limited…

50 years ago, researchers thought Americans outgrew marijuana

Marijuana commission finds usage high — Science News, January 29, 1972 Approximately 24 million Americans have used marijuana at least one time. A national survey reports that more than 8 million are still using the drug.… Usage figures are 33 percent higher than the [National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse] had expected, but ……

Stuck inside this winter? Try an at-home citizen science project

For many of us, it’s the height of winter, with harsh weather and the pandemic keeping us inside. If you’re looking for a new way to pass the time, why not help science? Researchers from a range of disciplines rely on the power of crowdsourcing to collect and analyze data. From transcribing weather logs dating…

What the Tonga volcano’s past tells us about what to expect next

On January 15, an underwater volcano in the island nation of Tonga erupted with the explosive force of a nuclear bomb, and it may not be done just yet. The eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific launched a towering, mushroom-shaped cloud of ash and dust at least 20 kilometers into the atmosphere —…

These tiny beetles fly fast thanks to wing bristles and a weird, wide stroke

Featherwing beetles are some of the world’s smallest flying insects. Yet they can rocket along with the speed and agility of much larger insects. Now, scientists have figured out how the beetles do it.  A wide wing stroke combined with lightweight, bristled wings allow the beetles to efficiently propel themselves through the air, researchers report…

Part donkey, part wild ass, the kunga is the oldest known hybrid bred by humans

From mules to ligers, the list of human-made hybrid animals is long. And, it turns out, ancient. Meet the kunga, the earliest known hybrid animal bred by people. The ancient equine from Syro-Mesopotamia existed around 4,500 years ago and was a cross between a donkey and a hemippe, a type of Asiatic wild ass, researchers…

Homo sapiens bones in East Africa are at least 36,000 years older than once thought

Fossils from the oldest known Homo sapiens individual in East Africa are more ancient than previously thought. A partial H. sapiens skull and associated skeletal parts found in 1967 in the Kibish rock formation along Ethiopia’s Omo River date to at least around 233,000 years ago, pushing back the age of the fossils by 36,000…

Here’s what goldfish driving ‘cars’ tell us about navigation

It might seem like a fish needs a car like — well, like a fish needs a bicycle. But a new experiment suggests that fish actually make pretty good drivers. In the experiment, several goldfish learned to drive what is essentially the opposite of a submarine — a tank of water on wheels — to…

Some volcanic hot spots may have a surprisingly shallow heat source

Some of the world’s volcanic hot spots may be fueled by molten material that originates surprisingly close to Earth’s surface. While some of the hottest spots are fueled by plumes of buoyant material welling up from deep within Earth, as expected, molten flows driving activity at the coolest hot spots may result from relatively shallow…

Arctic hunter-gatherers were advanced ironworkers more than 2,000 years ago

Hunter-gatherers who lived more than 2,000 years ago near the top of the world appear to have run ironworking operations as advanced as those of farming societies far to the south. Excavations in what’s now northeastern Sweden uncovered ancient furnaces and fire pits that hunter-gatherers used for metalworking. A mobile lifestyle did not prevent hardy…

These are the most-read Science News stories of 2021

Science News drew over 21 million visitors to our website this year. Here’s a rundown of the most-read news stories and long reads of 2021. Top news stories 1. Space station detectors found the source of weird ‘blue jet’ lightning Instruments on the International Space Station detected the origins of an odd type of lightning…