Vol. 198 No. 10
Download PDF Modal Example Archive Issues Modal Example

Reviews & Previews

Science Visualized



More Stories from the December 5, 2020 issue

  1. Planetary Science

    50 years ago, scientists caught their first glimpse of amino acids from outer space

    In 1970, scientists detected amino acids in a meteorite. Fifty years later, a variety of chemical ingredients for life have been found in other space rocks.

  2. Chemistry

    A new portable device can reveal a chili pepper’s heat

    The “Chilica-pod” measures levels of the fiery capsaicin compound in peppers.

  3. Physics

    A photon’s journey through a hydrogen molecule is the shortest event ever timed

    The shortest duration ever measured is 247 zeptoseconds, or trillionths of a billionth of a second.

  4. Animals

    A surprisingly tiny ancient sea monster lurked in shallow waters

    Scientists have found a new species of marine reptiles called nothosaurs from around 240 million years ago.

  5. Anthropology

    Female big-game hunters may have been surprisingly common in the ancient Americas

    A Peruvian burial that indicates that women speared large prey as early as 9,000 years ago sheds new light on gender roles of ancient hunter-gatherers.

  6. Anthropology

    Bolivia’s Tsimane people’s average body temperature fell half a degree in 16 years

    A new study echoes other research suggesting that people’s average body temperature is lower today than it used to be.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Protecting the brain from infection may start with a gut reaction

    In mice, immune cells in the meninges are trained to battle infections in the gut before migrating to the brain.

  8. Genetics

    A key to the mystery of fast-evolving genes was found in ‘junk DNA’

    A new study challenges a long-held belief that essential genes change little over time.

  9. Earth

    STEVE may be even less like typical auroras than scientists thought

    The purple-and-green, atmospheric light show nicknamed STEVE just got even stranger.

  10. Animals

    A blue-green glow adds to platypuses’ long list of bizarre features

    The discovery of platypuses’ fluorescent fur has researchers wondering if the trait is more widespread among mammals than anyone has realized.

  11. Life

    Ogre-faced spiders catch insects out of the air using sound instead of sight

    A new study finds that ogre-faced spiders can hear a surprisingly wide range of sounds.

  12. Space

    Jupiter’s icy moon Europa may glow in the dark

    Europa’s potential “ice glow” could help scientists map the chemical composition of its surface — and the ocean underneath.

  13. Climate

    Once hurricanes make landfall, they’re lingering longer and staying stronger

    Warmer ocean waters due to human-caused climate change can help power hurricanes’ fury even after they roar ashore.

  14. Life

    An ancient amphibian is the oldest known animal with a slingshot tongue

    A tiny amphibian that lived 99 million years ago waited for invertebrate prey before snatching them with a swift, shooting tongue.

  15. Planetary Science

    Chemical reactions high in Mars’ atmosphere rip apart water molecules

    Mars is so dry because its water constant escapes into space. A new study suggests this process occurs in the ionosphere and faster than thought.

  16. Genetics

    Penicillin allergies may be linked to one immune system gene

    Researchers have located a shared hot spot — on the HLA-B gene — in the immune system in people who say they have penicillin allergies.

  17. Sponsored Content

    Conversations with Maya: Dianne K. Newman