Science: This Week's News

Summaries of this week's top stories, from Science Magazine

Latest articles

[Special Issue News] Frontiers in Cancer Therapy: When less is more

For decades, cancer treatments have been given to patients continually at the maximum dose that can be tolerated. But a few labs are challenging that dogma. They are motivated by theoretical models of cancer growth and evidence from animal studies suggesting that briefly stopping or cutting back a drug dose can help keep the cancer cells from becoming...

[Special Issue News] Prediction: The pulse of the people

Could online data enhance polling as a forecasting tool, or even replace it? Polling, whether done by phone or door-to-door, is labor intensive and expensive. And response rates have fallen to single digits, leaving pollsters to rely on a thin and biased sample. By contrast, analyzing tweets, for instance, allows researchers to track the political opinions...

[Special Issue News] Breakthrough of the Year: Scorecard for 2016

How prescient were Science's editors and writers when they picked three areas to watch in 2016, as part of the 2015 Breakthrough of the Year package? On gravitational waves, they were spot on: The detection of the infinitesimal ripples in spacetime became Science's 2016 Breakthrough of the Year. The prediction that we may finally know where dogs came...

[Special Issue News] Breakthrough of the Year: Areas to watch in 2017

Science picked four areas likely to attract attention in 2017. The ability to keep human embryos developing in the lab for almost 2 weeks—achieved for the first time this year—should provide new insights into very early human development, and generate debate on whether ethical limits on studying embryos in culture should be extended. Candidate Zika...

[Special Issue News] Breakthrough of the Year: Breakdowns of the year

Scientists caught in political crossfires and the failure of a blood-testing technology to live up to commercial hype achieved the dubious distinction of Science's 2016 breakdowns of the year. In Turkey, a crackdown following a failed coup attempt on 15 July resulted in the arrest or firing of tens of thousands of public employees suspected of supporting...

[Special Issue News] Circadian Physiology: The scientific night shift

Working nights is unavoidable, or at least commonplace, in certain scientific fields. If you want to study bat behavior or stellar nebulae or sleep physiology, you may have to become half-nocturnal yourself, and scientists who sign up for the night shift encounter problems that just don't arise during the day. They tumble down embankments in the pitch...

[Special Issue News] Plant Translational Biology: When is a GM plant not a GM plant?

The recently developed genome-editing methods, from zinc finger nucleases to transcription activatorlike effector nucleases (TALENs) to CRISPR, are shaking up the debate over how to regulate genetically modified (GM) crops. Canada, for example, has stuck to its rule that a plant should be regulated as GM if a novel trait has been introduced to it, regardless...

[Special Issue News] Plant Translational Biology: The new harvest

Translational plant science yields sustainable oils, pharmaceuticals, and proteins Authors: Pamela J. Hines, John Travis

[Special Issue News] Plant Translational Biology: The plant engineer

As a child, Dan Voytas developed a green thumb and business savvy running his own seedling business. Now, marrying his academic research with a company, he's poised to reshape 21st century agriculture. Over the past 20 years, he has pioneered new ways of precisely editing a crop's DNA to give it new traits or delete undesirable ones. It's an approach...

[Special Issue News] Plant Translational Biology: The nitrogen fix

A handful of biologists is working to endow major crops with the ability to "fix" nitrogen from the air into a biochemically usable form, a talent that is currently limited to certain microbes—and is essential to life. Fixed nitrogen is a key ingredient in important biomolecules, including amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. And, for now,...

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