Vol. 199 No. 8
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More Stories from the April 24, 2021 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Redefining ‘flesh-colored’ bandages makes medicine more inclusive

    Peach-colored bandages label dark-skinned patients as outside the norm, says med student Linda Oyesiku. Brown bandages expand who gets to be normal.

  2. Physics

    Uranium ‘snowflakes’ could set off thermonuclear explosions of dead stars

    Uranium crystals that settle in the cores of white dwarfs could trigger nuclear chain reactions that blow the dead stars apart, a new study suggests.

  3. Paleontology

    An ancient shark’s weird fins helped it glide like a manta ray

    Nicknamed eagle shark, the newly discovered ancient creature achieved underwater flight 30 million years before the first rays.

  4. Archaeology

    A tour of ‘Four Lost Cities’ reveals modern ties to ancient people

    In the book 'Four Lost Cities,' author Annalee Newitz uses cities of the past to show what might happen to cities in the future.

  5. Astronomy

    A new black hole image reveals the behemoth’s magnetic fields

    A new analysis of Event Horizon Telescope data from 2017 brings to light the magnetic fields twisted around the black hole at the core of galaxy M87.

  6. Animals

    A toxin behind mysterious eagle die-offs may have finally been found

    A 20-year study of water weeds and cyanobacteria in the southern United States pinpoints a bird-killing toxin, and it's not your usual suspect.

  7. Astronomy

    Here’s why humans chose particular groups of stars as constellations

    Distances between stars, their brightnesses and patterns of human eye movement explain why particular sets of stars tend to be grouped together.

  8. Archaeology

    Stone Age culture bloomed inland, not just along Africa’s coasts

    Homo sapiens living more than 600 kilometers from the coast around 105,000 years ago collected crystals that may have had ritual meaning.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Frog skin cells turned themselves into living machines

    The “xenobots” can swim, navigate tubes, move particles into piles and even heal themselves after injury, a new study reports.

  10. Ecosystems

    How kelp forests off California are responding to an urchin takeover

    A pair of studies reports 95 percent loss of kelp forests along the northern coast while sea otters are helping maintain surviving kelp farther south.

  11. Animals

    Octopus sleep includes a frenzied, colorful, ‘active’ stage

    Four wild cephalopods snoozing in a lab had long stretches of quiet napping followed by brief bursts of REM-like sleep.

  12. Astronomy

    The ‘USS Jellyfish’ emits strange radio waves from a distant galaxy cluster

    The unusual pattern of radio waves dubbed the USS Jellyfish tells a story of intergalactic gas meeting black hole by-products.

  13. Life

    A plant gene may have helped whiteflies become a major pest

    An agricultural pest may owe part of its success to a plant detox gene it acquired long ago that lets the insect neutralize common defenses.

  14. Animals

    A gene defect may make rabbits do handstands instead of hop

    Mutations in a gene typically found throughout the nervous system rob rabbits of their ability to hop. Instead, the animals walk on their front paws.