A well-polished mirror reflects the world faithfully back to the viewer’s eyes. But break that mirror into billions of nanosized chunks and each tiny silver sliver would not reflect the world with such fidelity. Instead of bouncing back to the viewer, the light would be sucked into the surface of the nanochunk like a genie into a bottle.
When it hits the surface of a scrap of metal, light can set off a wave in the free electrons hanging out on the metal’s surface. This wave carries the light along like a surfer riding on an electron sea. The light-and-electron hybrid is called a surfac... (p. 26)
The brain shows slightly different, but overlapping patterns when processing digits and dots of the same value.
Found in: Body & Brain and Humans
Fossils of new species suggest peculiar features weren’t limited to the biggest dinosaurs (p. 12)
Found in: Life and Paleontology
On the outside, people’s right and left sides look pretty much the same. On the inside, though, such superficial symmetry gives way to an imbalanced array of organs: The heart, spleen and stomach sit on the left side of the body, while the liver and pancreas take up the right. Even organs that at first glance appear as perfect mirror images of each other, such as the kidneys, lungs and testicles, turn out to have telltale left-right differences.
Figuring out how a body with such internal asymmetry develops from an egg (and later an embryo) with near-perfect symmetry has long stymied deve... (p. 26)
A rare species of coral algae exploded in population when ocean temperatures increased, a new study shows.
Found in: Environment and Life
Under ultraviolet light, rings around the brown spots in aging bananas may signal the transition from ripe to rotten, researchers say.
Found in: Chemistry and Molecules
Man-made music inspired by tamarin calls seems to alter the primates’ emotions, a new study suggests. (p. 10)
Found in: Behavior, Life, Psychology and Zoology
Scientists find new genes for antibiotic resistance in common bacteria in the human gut. (p. 13)
Found in: Humans, Molecules and Science & Society
High levels of leptin may tell mother hamsters to invest in larger litters, a new study suggests. (p. 14)
Found in: Life and Molecules
Humans metabolize folic acid at a slow rate, suggesting that additional folic acid may yield no more benefits than recommended doses do, researchers report.
Found in: Genes & Cells and Humans