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  • Reviews & Previews

    Fossils illustrate evolution of life

    The Story of Life in 25 Fossils
    Donald R. Prothero...

    07/26/2015 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view

    LAUREL, Md. — Alan Stern, head of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, had just three words for the team of scientists and engineers assembled with him on July 14: “We did it.”

    At 8:52:37 p.m. Eastern time, a radio antenna near Madrid received the first signal from the spacecraft since it buzzed the dwarf planet. After decades of planning and a 9....

    07/26/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    Autism’s journey from shadows to light

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    07/25/2015 - 07:00 Science & Society, Mental Health, History of Science
  • News

    ‘Speed cells’ found in rats’ brains

    From a saunter to a sprint, specialized brain cells keep track of a rat’s swiftness, scientists report July 15 in Nature. These “speed cells” may be a missing piece in understanding how animals and people navigate the world, says neuroscientist Michael Hausser of University College London.

    Scientists have previously uncovered cadres of brain cells that help an animal constantly...

    07/15/2015 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • Feature

    A brief history of timekeeping

    For millennia, humans have harnessed the power of clocks to schedule prayers, guide ocean voyages and, lately, to chart the universe. Whatever their use, all clocks need two basic components: a constant repetitive action (like a pendulum’s swing or an atom’s vibrations) and a way to mark time’s progression.

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    07/15/2015 - 09:47 History of Science
  • News

    LHC reports pentaquark sightings

    Quarks, the elementary units of matter found in every atomic nucleus, are surprisingly comfortable in large crowds.

    Two particles discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva are each composed of five quarks, researchers report online July 13 at arXiv.org. Until recently, quarks had only been found in pairs or trios. Now, in...

    07/14/2015 - 17:44 Particle Physics
  • News

    Sugar makes mice sleepy

    Contrary to parental belief, sugar may actually cause drowsiness, not hyperactivity. Key brain cells awash in glucose put mice to sleep, scientists report July 8 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

    “We all experience this strong feeling of sleepiness after a very large meal,” says study coauthor Christophe Varin of Lyon Neuroscience Research Center and ESPCI ParisTech in France....

    07/14/2015 - 06:00 Neuroscience
  • It's Alive

    A downy killer wages chemical warfare

    It may look sweet and fuzzy. But make no mistake. It’s a cold, calculated murderer.

    The assassin, a common fungus called Beauveria bassiana, slays with a vast arsenal of chemical weapons, leaving corpses in a fluffy white shroud (including the caterpillar above). And like any trained killer, it quickly moves on to the next victim. “If you’ve got six to eight legs, it is going to...

    07/13/2015 - 11:44 Fungi, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Swimming bacteria remove resistance to flow

    Water flows best when it’s chock-full of synchronized-swimming bacteria.

    By coaxing billions of E. coli to work together, French researchers got a small sample of a bacteria-laden solution to have no resistance to flow, or zero viscosity. Such effortless motion is usually reserved for superfluids like liquid helium that are kept at frigid temperatures.

    “The results are...

    07/13/2015 - 08:00 Physics, Biophysics
  • Reviews & Previews

    Flowers’ roles considered in ecosystems and economics

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    07/12/2015 - 09:03 Plants, Evolution, Agriculture