Vol. 187 No. 8
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More Stories from the April 18, 2015 issue

  1. Plants

    Tropical plant knows whose bill is in its flowers

    A rainforest plant avoids inbreeding by accepting pollen only from hummingbird species that must travel to reach it.

  2. Life

    Experimental herpes vaccine works in mice

    An experimental herpes vaccine works in animal tests by using an approach starkly different from that used in previous vaccine development.

  3. Neuroscience

    Electrical zap of cells shapes growing brains

    The electric charge across cell membranes directs many aspects of brain development, and changing it can fix certain brain birth defects.

  4. Planetary Science

    Something’s cooking on Enceladus

    A trail of silicon-rich particles in one of the rings of Saturn points to possible hydrothermal activity on Enceladus.

  5. Climate

    Arctic warming bolsters summer heat waves

    Sagging storms brought on by rapid Arctic warming worsen summertime heat waves across the Northern Hemisphere.

  6. Planetary Science

    Chinese rover reveals moon’s layers

    Radar imaging done by China’s Yutu lunar rover reveals that the moon’s geological history could be more complex than once thought.

  7. Anthropology

    People moved into rainforests much earlier than thought

    People lived year-round in rainforests well before previous estimates, an analysis of teeth excavated in Sri Lanka suggests.

  8. Astronomy

    Super-Earths may form in two ways

    Rocky planets much heavier than Earth may form in different ways.

  9. Archaeology

    Ring brings ancient Viking, Islamic civilizations closer together

    Ancient find fingers ninth century connection between Vikings and Islamic civilization.

  10. Quantum Physics

    Finding quantum entanglement in a crowd

    Physicists have measured entanglement between pairs of photons within a macroscopic beam of light, a first step toward understanding how particles’ quantum connections lead to large-scale effects.

  11. Chemistry

    Cooking up life’s ingredients, all in one pot

    An interconnected series of chemical reactions with a few primordial chemicals can cook up all the necessary elements of life

  12. Materials Science

    Copper-wire ‘metamirror’ reflects selectively

    A metamaterial mirror reflects only a single wavelength of light, potentially leading to more compact and affordable radio antennas.

  13. Chemistry

    New method leaves older ways of 3-D printing in its goopy wake

    Finding the sweet spot in a pool of resin, chemists can create detailed 3-D objects faster than 3-D printers.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Aspirin, other painkillers may not reduce colorectal cancer risk for everybody

    Aspirin and NSAIDs appear widely protective against colorectal cancer, but not for everyone.

  15. Health & Medicine

    For heart repair, call RNA

    Mice regrow muscle cells after heart attacks if injected with molecules mimicking RNA involved in cell growth.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Prospective Crohn’s drug yields high rate of remission

    An experimental Crohn’s disease drug triggers a high remission rate in patients.

  17. Paleontology

    Fearsome croc called the Carolina Butcher once ruled the north

    Early ancestors of crocodiles, not dinosaurs, may have been northern Pangaea’s top predator 230 million years ago, according to a new fossil find.

  18. Astronomy

    Space dust is tough enough to survive supernova aftermath

    Dust still lingers in the remnants of supernova that exploded 10,000 years ago, affirming that the explosions filled the early universe with dust.

  19. Planetary Science

    Martian aurora, high-altitude dust clouds surprise scientists

    Surprise auroras and mystery dust clouds dance in the Martian atmosphere, NASA’s newest Mars orbiter discovers.

  20. Anthropology

    Cache of eagle claws points to Neandertal jewelry-making

    Eagle-claw jewelry points to Neandertals’ symbolic behavior before contact with humans, researchers argue.

  21. Climate

    Winter storms 24 times as deadly as estimated

    By ignoring car and plane crashes related to bad weather, U.S. tallies of winter storm deadliness severely underestimate hazard.

  22. Chemistry

    Air pollution molecules make key immune protein go haywire

    Reactive molecules in air pollution derail immune responses in the lung and can trigger life-long asthma.

  23. Chemistry

    Idea for new battery material isn’t nuts

    Baking foam peanuts at high heat can form wee structures that lure lithium ions and could make for cheaper, more powerful batteries.

  24. Genetics

    Iceland lays bare its genomes

    A detailed genetic portrait of the Icelandic population is helping scientists to identify the genetic underpinnings of disease.

  25. Materials Science

    Suds turn silver nanoparticles in clothes into duds

    Bleach-containing detergents destroy antibacterial silver nanoparticles that coat clothes.

  26. Astronomy

    The art of astronomy

    Astronomer Zoltan Levay uses the Hubble Space Telescope to create stunning images of cosmic landscapes.

  27. Humans

    History of the United Kingdom revealed in its genes

    A genetics study finds subtle differences that reveal secrets about the history and ancestry of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  28. Health & Medicine

    Early birth control study probed effectiveness of pill

    A 1960s study probed birth control pills’ effectiveness for women. Researchers are still trying to make a pill for men.

  29. Animals

    ‘The Last Unicorn’ takes readers on quest to see a saola

    Nature writer William deBuys introduces readers to the enigmatic saola of Southeast Asia.