Sorcha McDonagh

All Stories by Sorcha McDonagh

  1. Anthropology

    Monkey Business

    They're pugnacious and clever, and they have complex social lives—but do capuchin monkeys actually exhibit cultural behaviors?

  2. Archaeology

    Art on the Rocks: Dating ancient paintings in the caves of Borneo

    By dating the mineral deposits on top of cave paintings in Borneo, archaeologists have pushed back the date of earliest human habitation on the island by at least 5,000 years.

  3. Astronomy

    Stellar Tantrums: Tracking the flaring cycles of other stars

    Astronomers are closely tracking the ebb and flow of magnetic activity and powerful flares on stars other than the sun.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Prenatal Cares: Popular painkillers linked to miscarriage

    A new study finds that pregnant women taking nonprescription painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin have a higher risk of miscarriage.

  5. Earth

    On Shifting Ground

    In earthquake-prone areas of the United States and elsewhere in the world, debates go on over whether—and how much—to reinforce buildings.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Switching Off Pain: Modeling relief on the action of marijuana

    A new drug, tested in rats, blocks pain caused when the nervous system goes awry without producing unwanted side effects.

  7. Tech

    Shining True: Marking original documents with a lick of gloss

    Scientists have a new way of making forgery-proof documents by using laser color printers to embed hologramlike images in a document’s glossy surface.

  8. Turbo Gene: Getting a speed boost from DNA

    A gene known as ACTN3 may influence whether athletes are better suited to sprinting or to endurance running.

  9. Astronomy

    Sky Prospecting: Surveying the universe’s middle-aged galaxies

    With a new sky survey, astronomers can tell the story of what happened during the universe’s middle years—about 7 billion years ago.

  10. Plants

    Stout Potatoes: Armed with a new gene, spuds fend off blight

    Splicing a gene from a blight-resistant wild potato into varieties used for consumption could lead to blight immunity for all spuds.

  11. Earth

    Digging for Fire: Burning peat underlies Mali’s hot ground

    Superheated ground and smoking potholes in northern Mali are evidence not of volcanic activity but of a layer of peat that is burning 2 feet below the desert surface.

  12. Astronomy

    Solar Terrain: Revealing the sun’s complex topography

    The sharpest images of the sun ever taken, released last week, show our stellar neighbor’s rugged surface in new and surprising detail.