Vol. 185 No. 6
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  • Whooping cough bounces back

    A new type of pertussis vaccine introduced in the late 1990s may have led to the return of a disease that was nearly eradicated 40 years ago. Public opposition to vaccination hasn’t helped matters.

  • Buying time when quakes hit

    On the West Coast, geologists are developing an earthquake warning system that can provide seconds of notice before destructive shaking begins. The system could be ready before the next big quake hits.

More Stories from the April 19, 2014 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Experimental drug no Methuselah formula

    Compound lets mice live healthier lives but doesn't extend life span.

  2. Physics

    Material’s magnetism tuned by temperature

    Layered substance may lead to more reliable hard drives in the future.

  3. Astronomy

    Galaxy drags trail of stars behind it

    A Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy ESO 137-001 dragging star trails behind it as it plows through the Norma galaxy cluster.

  4. Materials Science

    Phosphorene introduced as graphene alternative

    Sheets of ultrathin phosphorus could lead to faster semiconductor electronics.

  5. Physics

    Shifting grains may explain earthquake lightning

    Mysterious lightning before or during earthquakes could get its spark from underground shifting.

  6. Animals

    Elephants can tell men’s voices from women’s

    Amboseli elephants may pick out age and gender — and even distinguish between languages — when listening to human voices.

  7. Health & Medicine

    MS milder when patients begin with higher vitamin D levels

    Multiple sclerosis patients with low concentrations of vitamin D early in their disease have more nerve damage several years later.

  8. Neuroscience

    Brain chemicals help worms live long and prosper

    Serotonin and dopamine accompany long lives in C. elegans worms under caloric restriction.

  9. Neuroscience

    Pianists learn better by playing

    Pianists’ muscle memory helped them recognize incorrect notes.

  10. Paleontology

    Fossil whale skull hints at echolocation’s origins

    Ancestors of toothed whales used echolocation as early as 34 million years ago, analysis of a new fossil skull suggests.

  11. Chemistry

    Milk protein a potential flame retardant

    Protein found in milk offers a nontoxic way to extinguish fabric fires.

  12. Archaeology

    Roman gladiator school digitally rebuilt

    Imaging techniques unveil a 1,900-year-old Roman gladiators’ training center that’s buried beneath a site in Austria.

  13. Physics

    A tractor beam reels in objects with sound

    A tractor beam of focused sound waves has pulled on an object as large as a Toblerone chocolate bar.

  14. Space

    Exoplanet oxygen may not signal alien life

    Oxygen in an exoplanet atmosphere may come from water and ultraviolet light, not alien life.

  15. Genetics

    Giant moa thrived before people reached New Zealand

    Humans probably caused the extinction of giant wingless birds called moa in New Zealand, DNA evidence suggests.

  16. Plants

    Fossil fern showcases ancient chromosomes

    Fossil nuclei and chromosomes seen in a 180-million-year-old fern reveals that the plants have stayed mostly the same.

  17. Life

    Human noses know more than 1 trillion odors

    Sense of smell displays a vast reach in study of people’s ability to distinguish between scents.

  18. Animals

    A parasitic cuckoo can be a good thing

    Great spotted cuckoo chicks show that brood parasites may benefit their hosts.

  19. Climate

    Kangaroo gut microbes make eco-friendly farts

    Understanding kangaroos’ low-methane flatulence could help researchers lower greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

  20. Science & Society

    Millions of working mamas

    It has been a long time since millions of American women working outside the home was big sociological news. Women are now 47 percent of the U.S. workforce.

  21. Animals

    The Thing With Feathers

    In the new book, "The Thing With Feathers," Noah Strycker brings people nose to beak with the plumed creatures he knows so well.

  22. Animals

    See-through shrimp flex invisible muscle

    Much of the body of a Pederson’s transparent shrimp looks like watery nothing, but it’s a superhero sort of nothing.

  23. Tech

    Soft robots go swimming

    A new robotic fish can wiggle and writhe like the real thing.