Vol. 188 No. 12
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More Stories from the December 12, 2015 issue

  1. Neuroscience

    Brain’s GPS cells map time and distance, not just location

    Brain’s GPS cells map time and distance, too.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Parasite gives a man cancer

    Tapeworms can kick parasitism up a notch to become cancer, a case in Colombia shows.

  3. Life

    Gene editing helps a baby battle cancer

    Doctors used molecular scalpels to tweak T cells to target leukemia but not harm the patient.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Simple steps can offer health benefits

    Studies find that even small changes in eating habits and movement can lower risk of heart disease.

  5. Planetary Science

    Pluto continues to deliver surprises

    Ice volcanoes, young landscapes and twirling moons are just a few more surprises from Pluto.

  6. Archaeology

    Honeybees sweetened early farmers’ lives

    Residue on pottery pegs ancient farmers as devotees of honeybee products.

  7. Planetary Science

    Phobos starting to crack under pressure

    Grooves that wrap around Phobos show that the Martian moon is starting to crack from stress.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Cardiac risks rise for linemen during football season

    Linemen on a football team face raised cardiac risk over the course of a season, a study of college players shows.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Signs of cardiac disease start early in obese children

    Worrisome changes to the heart that are associated with obesity can appear in childhood, a new MRI study shows.

  10. Computing

    New algorithm cracks graph problem

    A new algorithm efficiently solves the graph isomorphism problem, which has puzzled computer scientists for decades.

  11. Earth

    Earth’s water originated close to home, lava analysis suggests

    Scarcity of a hydrogen isotope called deuterium in molten rock from Earth’s depths suggests that the planet’s H2O originated from water-logged dust during formation, not comets.

  12. Planetary Science

    Mighty winds fuel megastorms on Titan

    Saturn’s moon Titan might produce long-lasting storms squalls that flood the surface with liquid methane.

  13. Genetics

    New catalog of human genetic variation could improve diagnosis

    Study of human protein-coding variation reveals which genes are more likely to be involved in genetic diseases.

  14. Planetary Science

    Two-stage process formed moon, simulations suggest

    Certain elements absent from lunar samples but present on Earth might be hidden deep inside the moon, a relic from how it was put together.

  15. Animals

    Inside the roaring sex lives of howler monkeys

    Listening to the intense roars of howler monkeys in Mexico inspired scientists to decipher how and why calls differ among species.

  16. Archaeology

    Search for fossils from the comfort of home

    The citizen science website FossilFinder.org lets anyone with an Internet connection look for fossils and characterize rocks at Kenya’s Lake Turkana Basin

  17. Archaeology

    Mystery still surrounds Neandertals

    Neandertals’ relationship to modern humans is still a matter of debate.

  18. Astronomy

    Super-Earths, meet superpuffs, a lighter weight class of planet

    Superpuffs are underweight, oversized planets that formed in outskirts of star systems before cuddling up close to their sun.

  19. Animals

    World’s smallest snail record broken again

    Snails may not be speedy, but itty-bitty snail shells found in Borneo are breaking a size record at a breakneck pace.

  20. Planetary Science

    Impact from a space rock may have helped shape Pluto’s heart

    Pluto’s heart is deep basin, possibly caused by a run in with something else in the Kuiper belt.

  21. Plants

    Ancient gardeners saved the gourd

    Domestication might have helped early vine plants like pumpkin survive after seed-dispersing megafauna went extinct.

  22. Physics

    Water droplets spontaneously bounce, sans trampoline

    Initially stationary water droplets can bounce on an extremely water-repellent surface as if on a trampoline.

  23. Health & Medicine

    Blood-brain barrier jiggled loose to deliver medicine

    Using ultrasounds, doctors attempted to slip a chemotherapy drug into a woman’s brain through the blood-brain barrier.

  24. Anthropology

    DNA puts Neandertal relatives in Siberia for 60,000 years

    Recovered DNA suggests Denisovans inhabited Siberia for around 60,000 years.

  25. Health & Medicine

    Study brews up more evidence for coffee’s health benefits

    Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of dying early from heart and brain diseases and suicide.