SITN Flash

Our “Science in the News Flash” is your twice-monthly source for information on recent high profile science issues. Most often, each issue of the SITN Flash features two articles. The SITN Flash also produces occasional special editions, such as a feature on the year of chemistry or the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. These special editions contain multiple articles on a single topic, including current research as well as opinions and interviews of researchers in the field. SITNFlash is a free resource that can help you find easy-to-understand explanations of the science behind the hottest science stories you’ll read in newspapers and see on TV. By joining our email list, you will receive an update each time a new issue of the SITN Flash is released. Or follow us on Twitter @sitnflash


  • A step towards the primordial soup How did life originate? This puzzle has been studied by scientists for hundreds of years. Authors of a new paper in Nature have made significant progress towards solving this enigma by using cyanide as a starting material. While cyanide may be poisonous to us, mixing it with a specific chemical solution and heat seems to…
  • DNA editing in humans: Biologists preach prudence DNARecent advances in genetics have afforded the ability to precisely manipulate every letter of our genetic code.  Several world-renowned biologists, however, have called for a moratorium on using this technology to modify human DNA that can be inherited by future generations.  Adapted from bacterial immune systems, the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been used extensively to modify the…
  • Dark Matter Detected, or False Alarm? Cygnus Loop Nebula. Image courtesy of Skeeze (Pixbay).Although dark matter makes up 80% of all matter in the universe, physicists are still struggling to understand exactly what it is. This perplexity is largely due to the fact that dark matter is invisible and difficult to study directly, but a dwarf galaxy named Reticulum 2 may have just changed the game. Many experts…
  • What large ants tell us about variation in complex human traits Ant feeding on honey [Image: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos  under CC-BY  license]Traits that exist along a continuum, such as height, size, and behavior, vary significantly from person to person. The genetic and environmental interactions that cause these characteristics have long stumped scientists. In a recent study by Alvarado et al., ant larvae were exposed to an environmental factor that regulated adult ant size. The scientists were…
  • From Kansas to Oz: How new glasses could change the way the colorblind see the world Foster_Fig_2_draft_3You probably saw the photo of the dress that caused an uproar on the Internet a few weeks ago (1). You probably also formed a firm opinion about whether the dress was blue and black or white and gold. Some of you may even have worried that you were colorblind when you saw a different…
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Check out our January Special Edition on Stem Cells!