THE SHIFTING NUCLEAR TERRAIN  Within the nucleus, as in this artist’s rendering, the genome coils around proteins and packs into a cell-specific architecture.

ancient lava

MURDEROUS MAGMA  Gases coughed up by the Siberian Traps volcanic eruptions could have triggered the Permian extinction around 252 million years ago, new research demonstrates. Researchers measured the age of the eruptions by analyzing crystals embedded in ancient lavas (shown).

CSI: SCIENCE  From fingerprints to blood splatters to DNA, people leave all sorts of traces at the scene of a crime. To help identify suspects, scientists are beefing up classic forensic techniques, and coming up with new ones. One day, microbes and odors from a suspect’s body may give investigators additional pieces of evidence to examine.

illustration of a ring of light around a black hole

RECORDED IN LIGHT  A ring of light surrounds the boundary of a black hole in this artist illustration. Stephen Hawking theorizes that light on this boundary encodes information about everything that falls into the black hole.

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