Vol. 196 No. 4
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More Stories from the August 31, 2019 issue

  1. Particle Physics

    Dark matter particles won’t kill you. If they could, they would have already

    The fact that no one has been killed by shots of dark matter suggests the mysterious substance is relatively small and light.

  2. Life

    Giving cats food with an antibody may help people with cat allergies

    Research by pet-food maker Purina aims to disable the major allergen carried in cat saliva, a protein called Fel d1.

  3. Climate

    Mercury levels in fish are rising despite reduced emissions

    Climate change and overfishing can increase how much mercury accumulates in fish, counteracting efforts to reduce human-caused emissions.

  4. Life

    How these tiny insect larvae leap without legs

    High-speed filming reveals how a blob of an insect can leap more efficiently than it crawls.

  5. Anthropology

    Ancient Maya warfare flared up surprisingly early

    Extreme conflicts broke out well before the decline of the Maya civilization, researchers say.

  6. Astronomy

    Stars may keep spinning fast, long into old age

    NASA’s TESS telescope has spotted an old star that spins too fast for theory to explain, suggesting that stars may have a magnetic midlife crisis.

  7. Astronomy

    TESS has found the first-ever ‘ultrahot Neptune’

    NASA’s TESS telescope has spotted a world that could be a bridge between other types of exoplanets: hot Jupiters and scorched Earths.

  8. Life

    Monkeys can use basic logic to decipher the order of items in a list

    Rhesus macaque monkeys don’t need rewards to learn and remember how items are ranked in a list, a mental feat that may prove handy in the wild.

  9. Health & Medicine

    A new study challenges the idea that the placenta has a microbiome

    A large study of more than 500 women finds little evidence of microbes in the placenta, contrary to previous reports on the placental microbiome.

  10. Earth

    Decades of dumping acid suggest acid rain may make trees thirstier

    Acidified soil loses calcium, which can affect trees’ ability to hang on to water.

  11. Particle Physics

    How a 2017 radioactive plume may be tied to Russia and nixed neutrino research

    A botched attempt at producing radioactive material needed for a neutrino experiment may have released ruthenium-106 to the atmosphere in 2017.

  12. Paleontology

    This newfound predator may have terrorized the Cambrian seafloor

    A newly discovered spaceship-shaped predator raked through the Cambrian seafloor in search of food.

  13. Life

    This is the first fungus known to host complex algae inside its cells

    In the lab, an alga and a fungus teamed up to exchange food, similar to lichens. But instead of staying outside, the alga moved into the fungal cells.

  14. Life

    50 years ago, scientists thought they knew why geckos had sticky feet

    50 years ago, scientists thought gecko feet had suction cups that allowed the animals to stick to surfaces. Today we know tiny hairs do the job.