Vol. 196 No. 10
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December 7, 2019 cover

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More Stories from the December 7, 2019 issue

  1. Climate

    California landfills are belching high levels of climate-warming methane

    Airborne remote sensing spots the Golden State’s biggest emitters of the potent greenhouse gas from the sky.

  2. Earth

    Plastics outnumber baby fish 7-to-1 in some coastal nurseries

    Ocean slicks serve as calm, food-rich nurseries for larval fish. A new study shows that slicks also accumulate plastics, which get eaten by baby fish.

  3. Animals

    Power lines may mess with honeybees’ behavior and ability to learn

    Under power lines, honeybees might suffer neurological effects from exposure to electromagnetic fields.

  4. Space

    Light leaking from a distant galaxy hints at a cosmic makeover’s origins

    Ultraviolet light slips through a hole in a distant galaxy’s gas. Older galaxies might have used the trick to ionize most of the universe’s hydrogen.

  5. Physics

    Trapping atoms in a laser beam offers a new way to measure gravity

    A new type of experiment to measure the strength of Earth’s gravity uses atoms suspended in light rather than free-falling atoms.

  6. Humans

    The medieval Catholic Church may have helped spark Western individualism

    Early Catholic Church decrees transformed families and may help explain why Western societies today tend to be individualistic and nonconformist.

  7. Life

    Self-destructing mitochondria may leave some brain cells vulnerable to ALS

    Mitochondria that appear to dismantle themselves in certain brain cells may be a first step toward ALS, a mouse study suggests.

  8. Neuroscience

    People who lack olfactory bulbs shouldn’t be able to smell. But some women can

    Some women who appear to lack the brain structures that relay scent messages still have an average sense of smell, and scientists have no idea how.

  9. Humans

    Fossils suggest tree-dwelling apes walked upright long before hominids did

    A partial skeleton from an 11.6-million-year-old European ape still doesn’t answer how hominids adopted a two-legged gait.

  10. Space

    Realigning magnetic fields may drive the sun’s spiky plasma tendrils

    Solar spicules emerge near counterpointing magnetic fields, hinting that self-adjusting magnetism creates these filaments, which may heat the corona.

  11. Health & Medicine

    A human liver-on-a-chip may catch drug reactions that animal testing can’t

    An artificial organ may better predict serious drug side effects than animal testing does.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Dengue cases in the Americas have reached an all-time high

    There have been more dengue cases in the Americas this year than ever before, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

  13. Humans

    50 years ago, income inequality was severe in the U.S. It still is

    In 1969, lower-income households tended to be nonwhite and in the U.S. South. That still holds true today.

  14. Tech

    The first artificial material that follows sunlight may upgrade solar panels

    Rows of tiny stemlike rods called SunBOTs orient themselves toward light, optimizing the solar energy that they can harvest.

  15. Life

    Caribou migrate farther than any other known land animal

    Caribou in Alaska and Canada migrate up to 1,350 kilometers round trip each year, a study reports.

  16. Space

    The solar system may have a new smallest dwarf planet: Hygiea

    New images reveal Hygiea is round, a final criterion for promoting the wee world from asteroid to dwarf planet status.

  17. Sponsored Content

    Conversations with Maya: Feng Zhang

    Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News, chatted with Feng Zhang, a Core Institute Member of the Broad Institute, a Professor at MIT and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.