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  • Wild Things

    How the giraffe got its long neck

    The neck of a giraffe isn’t all that different from any other mammal’s. There are seven neck vertebrae, like those of humans, but they are much bigger. (This is a different strategy than other long-necked creatures in history. Marine reptiles called plesiosaurs, for instance, had 38 to 42 vertebrae to lengthen their...

    10/07/2015 - 14:30 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Oldest pregnant horselike fossil found

    A confluence of unlikely events led to the exquisite preservation of the oldest fossil of a primitive pregnant horse ever discovered.

    Some 48 million years ago, an equoid mare (Eurohippus messelensis) and her almost fully gestated fetus fell into an ancient lake in the area of Grube Messel near Frankfurt, Germany. The lake had just the right mix of bacteria to preserve even soft...

    10/07/2015 - 14:03 Animals, Evolution
  • October 17, 2015

    10/07/2015 - 11:49
  • Editor's Note

    General relativity centennial celebrates Einstein’s genius

    eva headshotEinstein is shorthand for genius, and describing everything Albert Einstein did to inspire that synonym would take a book, or multiple books (see...

    10/07/2015 - 11:40 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Special Report: Gravity’s Century

    In 1915, the universe was small and static. Space was smooth. Gravity pulled things to the ground. At least that’s the way it was in the minds of all but one exceptional physicist — Albert Einstein.

    After years of pondering the interplay of space, time, matter and gravity, Einstein produced, in a single month, an utter transformation of science’s conception of the cosmos: the general...

    10/07/2015 - 11:27 Science & Society, Cosmology, Astronomy, Physics
  • Feature

    Entanglement: Gravity's long-distance connection

    When Albert Einstein scoffed at a “spooky” long-distance connection between particles, he wasn’t thinking about his general theory of relativity.

    Einstein’s century-old theory describes how gravity emerges when massive objects warp the fabric of space and time. Quantum entanglement, the spooky source of Einstein’s dismay, typically concerns tiny particles that...

    10/07/2015 - 10:42 Quantum Physics, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Chemistry Nobel honors studies of DNA repair mechanisms

    Studies of DNA’s repair mechanisms have won Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar the 2015 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

    DNA encodes the instructions for building and conducting life. But it’s a fragile molecule that can be altered or damaged by sunlight, toxic chemicals, radiation or even normal chemical reactions inside the cell.

    Lindahl, of the Francis Crick Institute in...

    10/07/2015 - 07:14 Genetics, Chemistry, Cancer
  • News

    No eyes, no problem for color-sensing coral larvae

    Staghorn coral larvae don’t have eyes. Yet shifting the color of underwater light can reverse their usual preferences for spots to settle.

    Horizontal surfaces bathed in blue-green light attract more larvae of Acropora millepora coral than normal, says behavioral ecologist Marie Strader of the University of Texas at Austin. And vertical surfaces lit through red filters...

    10/06/2015 - 19:05 Animals
  • Context

    Top 10 subatomic surprises

    Neutrinos are popular among the people who award the Nobel prizes.

    In 1995 Fred Reines won the physics Nobel for detecting neutrinos, bizarre subatomic particles that some experts said could never be detected. In 2002, Ray Davis and...

    10/06/2015 - 16:52 Particle Physics, History of Science
  • News

    Neutrinos’ identity shift snares physics Nobel

    Capturing the identity-shifting behavior of neutrinos has won Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur McDonald of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics. The scientists spearheaded giant underground experiments that revealed that the elusive particles morph from one variety into another. Those crucial...

    10/06/2015 - 16:35 Particle Physics, Cosmology