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Vol. 203 No. 1

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More Stories from the January 14, 2023 issue

  1. an illustration of a DNA helix with hands inserting missing peices on either side
    Genetics

     50 years ago, scientists sequenced a gene for the first time

    Within five decades, scientists went from sequencing a single gene to sequencing the entire human genome.
    By
  2. A photo of six old fashioned golden weight in a line from the smallest weight to the left and the biggest weight on the right, all on a black background
    Math

     The metric system is growing. Here’s what you need to know

    Science News spoke with a metrologist about the metric system’s latest update, which will help scientists interpret exceedingly big and small numbers.

    By
  3. On the left a white dog eating from a food bowl and on the right a smaller brown cat eats from a food bowl
    Animals

     Dry pet food may be more environmentally friendly than wet food

    The environmental cost of wet pet food is higher than dry food, scientists say. That may be because wet food gets most of its calories from animals.
    By
  4. Computer artwork of extinct woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) in a snow-covered field. A bison stands in the distance.
    Paleontology

     Mammoths may have gone extinct much earlier than DNA suggests

    Ancient DNA in sediments may be leading paleontologists astray in attempts to figure out when woolly mammoths and woolly rhinos died out, a new study argues.
    By
  5. a child's partial skull, belonging to Homo naledi, against a black backdrop. The area around the bridge of the nose and eyebrows is brown, while the rest of the skull is mostly white.
    Anthropology

    Homo naledi may have lit fires in underground caves at least 236,000 years ago

    Homo naledi may have joined the group of ancient hominids who built controlled fires, presumably for light or warmth, new finds hint.

    By
  6. Health & Medicine

     Pollution mucks up the lungs’ immune defenses over time

    A study of immune tissue in the lungs reports that particulate matter buildup from air pollution may impair respiratory immunity in older adults.
    By
  7. An illustration of an active black hole with a jet of charged particles shooting out into space, a blazar
    Astronomy

     Here’s why some supermassive black holes blaze so brightly

    NASA’s IPXE X-ray satellite saw a telltale signature of shock waves propagating along a blazar’s high-speed jet, causing it to emit high-energy light.
    By
  8. A photo of a woman drinking from a water bottle on the beach with the sun setting in the background
    Health & Medicine

     How much water should you drink a day? It depends on several factors.

    A study of more than 5,000 people in 23 countries finds that individual water need varies widely depending on physical and environmental factors.
    By
  9. An illustration of a nerve cell with extensions branching out to create connections called synapses.
    Neuroscience

     Adult mouse brains are teeming with ‘silent synapses’

    Nerve cell connections thought to be involved mainly in development could explain how the brain keeps making new memories while holding onto old ones.
    By
  10. An illustration of a Natovenator polydontus sitting on top of a body of water with its feet visible below the water line
    Paleontology

    This dinosaur may have had a body like a duck’s

    Natovenator polydontus may have been adapted for life in the water, challenging the popular idea that all dinos were landlubbers.

    By