Mystery Solved

  1. Planetary Science

    Mercury’s dark secret revealed

    Graphite from Mercury’s primordial crust might be responsible for making the innermost planet darker than the moon.

  2. Agriculture

    Plants trick bacteria into attacking too soon

    Scientists have discovered that a plant compound interferes with bacterial communication.

  3. Paleontology

    Plesiosaurs swam like penguins

    Computer simulations of plesiosaur swimming motion may resolve long-standing debate on how the marine reptile got around.

  4. Physics

    Aircraft industry could take tips from penguins

    Tiny grooves and an oily sheath prevent water droplets from freezing on the feathers of some penguins.

  5. Genetics

    Bad Karma can ruin palm oil crops

    Missing epigenetic mark makes for Bad Karma and poor palm oil crops.

  6. Chemistry

    Mussels use chemical primer to cement themselves to rocks

    Gluing proteins contain their own built-in primer.

  7. Earth

    Natural concrete keeps lid on Italian volcano

    Naturally occurring, concretelike rock allows the ground around Italy’s Campi Flegrei caldera to bulge without bursting.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Why cancer patients waste away

    A tumor-produced protein that interferes with insulin causes wasting in fruit flies with cancer.

  9. Astronomy

    Source of puzzling cosmic signals found — in the kitchen

    One type of radio burst has a pretty mundane origin: prematurely opened microwave ovens.

  10. Astronomy

    Enigmatic 17th century nova wasn’t a nova at all

    A nova observed in 1670 was actually two stars colliding, new evidence suggests.

  11. Physics

    Why lattes are less prone to spills than regular coffee

    Foam dampens liquids’ sloshing, keeping keeps lattes and beer from spilling so easily, researchers find.

  12. Life

    Chili peppers’ pain-relieving secrets uncovered

    Scientists discover how stuff that makes chili peppers hot relieves pain.