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Massospora cicadina

FREAKY FUNGUS  The cicada-infecting Massospora cicadina fungus makes an amphetamine called cathinone, which spurs cicadas to mate and spread fungal spores. Other species of the fungus produce psilocybin, more often found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.


GETTING ATTACHED A tick that is attached to the skin for about two days can spread Lyme disease, the most common tickborne infection in the United States. The disease is hard to detect, but scientists are investigating new diagnostic approaches.

capuchin monkey

GRIPPING PAST  A Brazilian excavation indicates that capuchin monkeys have used stones as pounding tools for 3,000 years, with variations along the way in tool size and weight.

51 Pegasi

LOOK TO THE STARS  This giant planet orbiting the star 51 Pegasi (illustrated) was the first confirmed exoplanet around a sunlike star. A new algorithm hopes to find hundreds of similar worlds by looking at stars’ chemical elements.

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