Vol. 198 No. 3
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More Stories from the August 15, 2020 issue

  1. Animals

    Calculating a dog’s age in human years is harder than you think

    People generally convert a dog’s age to human years by multiplying its age by seven. But a new study shows the math is way more complex.

  2. Genetics

    A bacterial toxin enables the first mitochondrial gene editor

    Researchers have engineered a protein from bacteria that kills other microbes to change DNA in a previously inaccessible part of the cell.

  3. Planetary Science

    An asteroid’s moon got a name so NASA can bump it off its course

    A tiny moon orbiting an asteroid finally got a name because NASA plans to crash a spacecraft into it.

  4. Humans

    Competitive hot dog eaters may be nearing humans’ max eating speed

    Just how many hot dogs can one human eat in 10 minutes? New research suggests the answer is 83.

  5. Astronomy

    The closest images of the sun ever taken reveal ‘campfire’ flares

    The first images from Solar Orbiter, a NASA-European Space Agency spacecraft, show tiny, never-before-seen flares across the sun’s surface.

  6. Earth

    Agriculture and fossil fuels are driving record-high methane emissions

    Releases of the heat-trapping gas methane from human activities have ramped up in the 21st century, especially in Africa and Asia.

  7. Physics

    The universe might have a fundamental clock that ticks very, very fast

    A theoretical study could help physicists searching for a theory of quantum gravity.

  8. Paleontology

    This dinosaur may have shed its feathers like modern songbirds

    One of the earliest flying dinosaurs, the four-winged Microraptor, may have molted just a bit at a time so that it could fly year-round.

  9. Physics

    Physicists have ‘braided’ strange quasiparticles called anyons

    All known particles fall into two classes. Physicists just found new evidence of a third class in 2-D materials.

  10. Health & Medicine

    A blood test may show which COVID-19 patients steroids will help — or harm

    An inflammation marker was a good indicator of which patients had lower or higher risks of dying or needing a ventilator when given steroids.

  11. Climate

    Climate change made Siberia’s heat wave at least 600 times more likely

    Siberia’s six-month heat wave during the first half of 2020 would not have happened without human-caused climate change, researchers find.

  12. Physics

    A giant underground motion sensor in Germany tracks Earth’s wobbles

    A giant underground gyroscope array has taken its first measurements of how the world goes ’round.

  13. Paleontology

    An ancient skull hints crocodiles swam from Africa to the Americas

    A group of crocs, or at least one pregnant female, may have made a transatlantic journey millions of years ago to colonize new land.

  14. Earth

    50 years ago, scientists clocked the speed of Antarctic ice

    Today’s instruments offer a more precise view, and reveal the effects of climate change.