Vol. 186 No. 4
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More Stories from the August 23, 2014 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Bone marrow transplant could reverse sickle cell in adults

    A relatively mild treatment involving radiation and chemo followed by a bone marrow transplant may treat sickle cell disease in adults.

  2. Life

    Fiber optics in mammals’ eyes separate colors

    Specialized cells in the retina separate different wavelengths of light to enable sharp vision during the day without harming night vision.

  3. Life

    Domesticated animals’ juvenile appearance tied to embryonic cells

    Mild defects in embryonic cells could explain physical similarities along with tameness across domesticated species.

  4. Astronomy

    Voyager may not have entered interstellar space, after all

    Two scientists argue that Voyager 1 space probe is still in solar bubble, despite NASA’s announcements to the contrary.

  5. Life

    Pregnancy disorder shares aspects with Alzheimer’s

    Misfolded proteins, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s and mad cow diseases, are found in urine of women with preeclampsia.

  6. Anthropology

    Romanian cave holds some of the oldest human footprints

    A group of Homo sapiens left footprints about 36,500 years ago, not 15,000 as scientists had thought.

  7. Tech

    Wax-coated plastic morphs between soft and stiff

    Heat-controlled materials could serve as skeleton for shape-shifting robots.

  8. Planetary Science

    Comet ISON fell apart earlier than realized

    Comet ISON disintegrated at least eight hours before it grazed the surface of the sun last fall, new observations show.

  9. Earth

    Sandstone structures form without cement

    Lasting sandstone structures form when weighed-down sand locks into stable formations, researchers find in laboratory experiment.

  10. Animals

    Termite soldiers locate battles with vibrational clues

    To locate invasions, termite soldiers listen for millisecond-long delays in vibrational distress signals sent out by other soldiers.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Carbs and gut microbes fuel colon cancer

    Western nations experience high levels of colon cancer, and carbo-loading gut microbes might explain why, says a new study in mice.

  12. Genetics

    Hints about schizophrenia emerge from genetic study

    From thousands of genomes, researchers pinpoint dozens of DNA changes that may underlie schizophrenia

  13. Life

    Mouse sperm parties make for straight swimmers

    Mouse sperm hunt for eggs in packs, but grouping doesn’t boost speed. Instead, gangs of the reproductive cells move in straighter lines.

  14. Ecosystems

    Moose drool can undermine grass defenses

    Saliva from moose and reindeer sabotages plants’ chemical weaponry.

  15. Materials Science

    Weird materials could make faster computers

    Topological insulators could speed up how computers switch between 1s and 0s.

  16. Paleontology

    Feathered dinosaurs may have been the rule, not the exception

    Newly discovered fossil suggests feathers may have been common among all dinosaur species.

  17. Chemistry

    Molecular cage traps rare gases

    Organic compound could cull valuable xenon from the air and detect cancer-causing radon in homes.

  18. Environment

    Wild monkeys near Fukushima have low blood cell counts

    Primates near the ill-fated nuclear power plant may have been affected by radiation.

  19. Health & Medicine

    Long-term Parkinson’s treatment sheds bad rep

    Prolonged used of levodopa doesn’t increase the severity of side effects from the Parkinson’s drug, new research shows.

  20. Earth

    Merging magma can set off supervolcanoes in less than 10,000 years

    The reconstruction of a massive eruption 4.5 million years ago near Yellowstone National Park suggests that magma chambers merging together beneath a supervolcano can trigger explosions in less than 10,000 years.

  21. Environment

    Recycled water may flood urban parks with dangerous germs

    Irrigating city parks with recycled water may flood the soil with drug-resistant microbes.

  22. Earth

    Early life probably fell victim to massive space rocks

    Planet-sterilizing impacts probably snuffed out early life on Earth until around 4.3 billion years ago.

  23. Math

    Father-son mathematicians fold math into fonts

    MIT’s Erik and Martin Demaine create puzzle typefaces to test new ideas.

  24. Animals

    Here’s your chance to see the last passenger pigeon

    On display for the 100th anniversary of her species’ extinction, the final passenger pigeon specimen looks pretty good.

  25. Earth

    Cloud seeding fueled fire about weather modification

    Experiments in 1964 resulted in “exploding” clouds.

  26. Cosmology

    Cosmologist’s ‘Cosmic Cocktail’ is a refreshing read

    Katherine Freese shares her insights as a scientist studying dark matter and other mysterious components of the universe.

  27. Health & Medicine

    Survey catalogs what is stressing out Americans

    Along with work and other responsibilities, health problems are prominent causes of stress.