Vol. 187 No. 7
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More Stories from the April 4, 2015 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Monster black hole lurks in the early universe

    A black hole weighing the same as 12 billion suns is the most massive one known in the early universe.

  2. Climate

    Scientists confirm amassing CO2 heats Earth’s surface

    Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase the amount of thermal radiation striking Earth’s surface.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Additives that keep foods fresh may sour in the gut

    Additives called emulsifiers that are used in ice cream and other foods weaken the intestines’ defenses against bacteria, causing inflammation in mice.

  4. Plants

    Beetle RNA makes crops a noxious meal

    When beetles munch plants bearing their RNA, genes the bugs need to survive are turned off.

  5. Neuroscience

    Brain cells predict opponent’s move in game-playing monkeys

    Newly discovered brain cells help monkeys predict whether a companion will cooperate.

  6. Humans

    Ancient jaw may hold clues to origins of human genus

    A 2.8-million-year-old fossil from Ethiopia raises questions about the origins and evolution of the human genus, Homo.

  7. Animals

    Killer whales follow postmenopausal leaders

    Taking the lead on salmon hunts may be postmenopausal killer whales’ way of sharing their ecological knowledge.

  8. Planetary Science

    Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

    The Dawn spacecraft arrives at Ceres to begin a 14-month investigation of the dwarf planet.

  9. Quantum Physics

    Light trick can retrieve missed messages

    Even if photons pass you by, you can still snatch a signal from their electromagnetic wake, physicists propose.

  10. Physics

    High-temperature superconductivity record awaits confirmation

    A hydrogen-sulfur compound under pressure may transport electrical current with no resistance at a record high temperature.

  11. Environment

    Replacement for toxic chemical in plastics, receipts may be just as toxic

    Mounting evidence suggests that BPS, a common chemical in plastics, may cause the same health effects as BPA.

  12. Earth

    Tethys Ocean implicated in Pangaea breakup

    The shrinking of the Tethys Ocean may have broken up the Pangaea supercontinent.

  13. Paleontology

    Possible ancestor of sponges found

    An exquisitely preserved 600-million-year-old fossil from China has cell types and a shape resembling sponges, thought to be among the first multicellular animals to evolve.

  14. Animals

    Hummingbird may get promoted

    Not just a subspecies: A flashy, squeaky hummingbird should become its own species, ornithologists argue.

  15. Astronomy

    As many as nine new dwarf galaxies found outside Milky Way

    A bevy of newly discovered satellite galaxies around the Milky Way could help astronomers study how galaxies form and the nature of dark matter.

  16. Life

    For healthy eating, timing matters

    Limiting eating times improves heart function in fruit flies.

  17. Planetary Science

    Aurora shift confirms Ganymede’s ocean

    New observations confirm the presence of a liquid saltwater ocean beneath the surface of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede.

  18. Humans

    The expressive face of human history on display

    Busts on display in an Italian exhibit flesh out hominid skulls using the latest in 3-D reconstruction.

  19. Animals

    Piggyback rides and other crocodile fun

    We don’t know the playful side of crocodiles perhaps only because we haven’t looked.

  20. Tech

    Plans fizzled for nuclear-powered artificial heart

    In 1965, researchers saw a nuclear-powered heart in the future.

  21. Anthropology

    ‘The Invaders’ sees dogs as key to modern humans’ success

    Neandertals went extinct when Homo sapiens transformed wolves into hunting aids, author proposes.