2016 Nobels: Science News fans read it here first

This year’s Nobel Prizes honored scientific achievements that dedicated Science News readers (with good memories) would have found familiar. A dive into our archives revealed some interesting results. The physiology or medicine prize recognized autophagy, the cellular process by which living cells dispose of — or recycle — their biochemical garbage. Molecular biology writer Tina […]

Scientists need to redraw picture of cell’s biggest organelle

Textbook drawings of the cell’s largest organelle might need to be updated based on new images. Super-resolution shots of the endoplasmic reticulum reveal tightly packed tubes where previous pictures showed plain flat sheets, scientists report in the Oct. 28 Science. The finding helps explain how the endoplasmic reticulum, or ER, reshapes itself in response to […]

First known fossilized dinosaur brain unearthed, scientists claim

SALT LAKE CITY — Dinosaur smarts may be a mystery, but their brains, at least, are now more concrete. A chunk of petrified brain tissue discovered in a tidal pool in southern England is the first reported from a dinosaur, researchers claim. The roughly 133-million-year-old fossil preserves the brain’s wrinkled topology, said paleontologist David Norman, […]

Most illegal ivory is less than three years old

Around 90 percent of ivory seized by law enforcement comes from African elephants that died less than three years before seizure, a study of ivory samples finds. The results confirm what many conservationists have suspected: Long-term stockpiles don’t contribute much ivory to illegal trade, and poached ivory quickly ends up in illegal markets. Thure Cerling […]

Whirlpools might have stirred up baby universe’s soup

Complex swirls and vortices can appear in the souplike phase of matter that existed just moments after the Big Bang. Computer simulations show that this substance, called the quark-gluon plasma, can contain “the hottest smoke ring in nature,” says Xin-Nian Wang of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, coauthor of a paper published in the Nov. 4 […]

Old blood carries risks for brain

Harmful factors circulating in old blood may be partly responsible for the mental decline that can come with age, a small study in mice suggests. Irina Conboy of the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues devised a new way to mingle blood in two mice that didn’t involve stitching their bodies together, as in previous […]