Vol. 185 No. 7
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Science Visualized



  • Cosmic question mark

    Two ways of measuring the universe’s expansion rate disagree by about 10 percent. One of the methods may be flawed. Or it could be that a hitherto unobserved phenomenon is at work.

  • Sudden death

    Cardiologists disagree on whether electrocardiograms should be used to screen student athletes for a rare heart condition that can cause them to die suddenly and without warning.

More Stories from the April 5, 2014 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Acetaminophen use in pregnancy linked to kids’ slightly higher risk of ADHD

    A large analysis shows an association between acetaminophen use in pregnancy and slightly higher risks of ADHD, but it does not prove the pain reliever causes the disorder.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Camels in Saudi Arabia teeming with MERS virus

    Three-quarters of animals tested had signs of the MERS virus, which can be deadly in people.

  3. Anthropology

    Cancer proposed as spur for evolution of dark-skinned ancestors

    Fatal ailments might have sparked DNA changes that yielded dark skin in human ancestors.

  4. Climate

    Extreme heat on the rise

    Recent years saw an increase in peak high temperatures on land despite Earth’s stalled averages.

  5. Life

    Rivalry helps fruit flies maintain brainpower

    In lab tests, males dim mentally after generations without competitors.

  6. Astronomy

    Kepler space telescope data uncovers 715 new planets

    Astronomers used a new tool to quickly confirm the detection of exoplanets.

  7. Anthropology

    Human ancestors at West Asian site deemed two species

    Researchers see two species instead of one at oldest known Homo site outside Africa.

  8. Physics

    Laser tweezers manipulate objects just 50 nanometers wide

    Technique could allow scientists to move proteins, viruses and nanomaterials.

  9. Neuroscience

    Brain uses decision-making region to tell blue from green

    Language and early visual areas of the brain are not crucial for distinguishing colors, an fMRI study suggests.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Meaty diets may raise risk of dying young

    Reducing protein consumption can lengthen life and improve health, studies in mice and people suggest.

  11. Physics

    Superfast laser pulses could pave way for beam weapons

    Short light bursts turn columns of air into energy conduits.

  12. Tech

    Shining a light on radio waves

    A new device detects faint signals by first converting them to laser pulses.

  13. Astronomy

    Black holes may shut down stellar factories

    Astronomers find dead galaxies loaded with the cold gas needed to make stars.

  14. Neuroscience

    Music doesn’t move some people

    One study offers a glimpse into those who find no enjoyment in tunes.

  15. Life

    Giant zombie virus pulled from permafrost

    After lying dormant in Siberian permafrost for 30,000 years, the largest virus ever discovered is just as deadly as it was when mammoths roamed the Earth.

  16. Animals

    Chimps catch people’s yawns in sign of flexible empathy

    Chimpanzees may show humanlike empathy, as evidenced by their contagious yawning.

  17. Science & Society

    Slight boost for U.S. climate research funding

    While most science funding remains flat lined in President Obama’s 2015 budget, climate change research gets an increase.

  18. Cosmology

    Gravitational waves unmask universe just after Big Bang

    For the first time, researchers have seen traces of superfast cosmic expansion and gravity waves.

  19. Science & Society

    Flu drug research takes Intel STS top honors

    A teenager’s computer analyses that identified six potential new flu-fighting compounds claimed first place at the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search.

  20. Tech

    Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans

    Simon Head argues that computer business systems leave middle managers and workers with little creative latitude. They acquire fewer skills and their wages stagnate, hurting their job quality and buying power.

  21. Psychology

    Grief takes its toll

    A person’s risk of heart attack or stroke is doubled in the month following the death of a spouse or partner.

  22. Life

    To do: Exhibits to explore in the U.S. and London

    Highlights include the impending arrival of a T. rex skeleton in Washington, D.C., a pterosaur exhibit coming to New York City, and the history of longevity at the Royal Society in London.