Uranus and Neptune

THE OTHER BLUE PLANETS  Uranus (left) and Neptune (right) have not been visited since Voyager 2 sped by in the late 1980s. Many researchers argue that it’s time to go back.

floating microbes

HITCHHIKER A microscopic diatom latches onto a tiny plastic piece from the Sargasso Sea (colors added). 

raspberry leaf and microbes

This raspberry leaf (in a closeup, colorized electron micrograph) is covered in a biofilm of bacteria and fungi. Rosmarinic acid may keep bacterial visitors from overtaking a plant.

Egyptian Book of the Dead

GODS’ WRATH  Beliefs in all-knowing, punitive gods helped turn hunter-gatherer groups into large civilizations, a new study suggests. Here, a papyrus manuscript from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead shows a line of Egyptian gods (top) ready to judge whether the dead Theban scribe Ani should be admitted to the afterlife or sent to the underworld.



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