Vol. 198 No. 4
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More Stories from the August 29, 2020 issue

  1. Animals

    A South American mouse is the world’s highest-dwelling mammal

    At 6,739 meters above sea level, the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse survives low oxygen and freezing conditions atop a dormant volcano.

  2. Astronomy

    This is the first picture of a sunlike star with multiple exoplanets

    A first family portrait reveals a weird cousin of the solar system: a star about the mass of the sun orbited — distantly — by two massive gas giants.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Many U.S. neighborhoods with the worst air 40 years ago remain the most polluted

    Air pollution has declined in the United States, but marginalized communities are still disproportionately affected despite the improvement.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Rogue immune system reactions hint at an early treatment for COVID-19

    A comprehensive look at the immune system shows multiple ways it misfires in COVID-19. Treating with interferon early might prevent trouble later.

  5. Animals

    An immune system quirk may help anglerfish fuse with mates during sex

    Deep-sea anglerfish that fuse to mate lack genes involved in the body’s response against pathogens or foreign tissue.

  6. Animals

    How tuatara live so long and can withstand cool weather

    Tuatara may look like your average lizard, but they’re not. Now, researchers have deciphered the rare reptiles’ genome, or genetic instruction book.

  7. Space

    Paradoxically, white dwarf stars shrink as they gain mass

    Observations of thousands of white dwarf stars have confirmed a decades-old theory about the relationship between their masses and sizes.

  8. Physics

    The physics of solar flares could help scientists predict imminent outbursts

    Physicists aim to improve space weather predictions by studying the physical processes that spark a solar flare.

  9. Physics

    A black hole circling a wormhole would emit weird gravitational waves

    A new calculation reveals the strange gravitational waves LIGO and Virgo could see if a black hole were falling into a hypothetical tunnel in spacetime.

  10. Space

    An Antarctic ice dome may offer the world’s clearest views of the night sky

    The highest point in East Antarctica could be an ideal place for an optical telescope, a new study finds.

  11. Archaeology

    Ancient DNA suggests Vikings may have been plagued by smallpox

    Viral genetic material from human remains provides direct evidence that smallpox infected people dating back to the year 603.

  12. Archaeology

    A submerged Inca offering hints at Lake Titicaca’s sacred role

    Divers found a stone box holding a figurine and a gold item, highlighting Lake Titicaca’s sacred status to the Inca.

  13. Animals

    Some spiders may spin poisonous webs laced with neurotoxins

    The sticky silk threads of spider webs may be hiding a toxic secret: potent neurotoxins that paralyze a spider’s prey.

  14. Life

    Water beetles can live on after being eaten and excreted by a frog

    After being eaten by a frog, some water beetles can scurry through the digestive tract and emerge on the other side, alive and well.

  15. Oceans

    These ancient seafloor microbes woke up after over 100 million years

    Scientists discover that microbes that had lain dormant in the seafloor for millions of years can revive and multiply.

  16. Animals

    Penguin poop spotted from space ups the tally of emperor penguin colonies

    High-res satellite images reveal eight new breeding sites for the world’s largest penguins on Antarctica, including the first reported ones offshore.

  17. Space

    ‘Exotic’ lightning crackles across Jupiter’s cloud tops

    Newly spotted lightning, which could form thanks to ammonia antifreeze, is weaker but more frequent than any flashes seen on Jupiter before.

  18. Cosmology

    Scientists can’t agree on how clumpy the universe is

    A measurement of 21 million galaxies finds a level of clumpiness that disagrees with estimates based on the oldest light in the universe.

  19. Sponsored Content

    Conversations with Maya: Ray Kurzweil

    Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News, chatted with Ray Kurzweil, an alumnus of the Science Talent Search and a renowned inventor and futurist.

  20. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists were trying to develop a low-emission car

    Electric cars have surged in popularity, but the vehicles still contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.