Vol. 197 No. 2
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More Stories from the February 1, 2020 issue

  1. Life

    A ‘bonanza’ of new bird species was found on remote Indonesian islands

    Bird discoveries typically come in a trickle. But in a remote corner of Southeast Asia, 10 newly described songbird species and subspecies were found.

  2. Earth

    Here’s how climate change may make Australia’s wildfires more common

    An El Niño–like ocean-atmosphere weather pattern called the Indian Ocean dipole helped fuel extremely dry conditions in Australia.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Healthy babies exposed to Zika in the womb may suffer developmental delays

    A small group of Zika-exposed children in Colombia who were born healthy missed milestones for movement and social interaction by 18 months of age.

  4. Space

    The home galaxy of a second repeating fast radio burst is a puzzle

    The second galaxy known to host brief, brilliant flashes of radio waves known as a recurrent fast radio burst looks nothing like the first.

  5. Space

    A giant wave of gas lurks near our solar system

    The Earth and sun are relatively near a newfound, wavy rope of star-forming gas, named the Radcliffe Wave.

  6. Astronomy

    LIGO detects its second neutron star collision, but gains few clues

    Gravitational waves have once again heralded a smashup between neutron stars, but this time with no flash of light to help guide understanding.

  7. Space

    Bubble-blowing galaxies could help solve a cosmic mystery

    Three galaxies ionizing hydrogen 680 million years after the Big Bang show a potential step in the ionization of nearly all hydrogen in the cosmos.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Injecting a TB vaccine into the blood, not the skin, boosts its effectiveness

    Giving a high dose of a tuberculosis vaccine intravenously, instead of under the skin, improved its ability to protect against the disease in monkeys.

  9. Earth

    Climate change is bringing earlier springs, which may trigger drier summers

    An earlier than normal start to spring foliage is associated with drier soils come summer across much, but not all, of the Northern Hemisphere.

  10. Humans

    Homo erectus arrived in Indonesia 300,000 years later than previously thought

    The extinct, humanlike hominid likely reached the island of Java by around 1.3 million years ago, a study finds.

  11. Paleontology

    Small ‘cousins’ of T. rex may actually have been growing teenagers

    Fossil analyses suggest that Nanotyrannus wasn’t a diminutive relative of the more famous behemoth Tyrannosaurus rex.

  12. Life

    Ocean acidification may not make fish act weird after all

    A new study casts doubt on the results of early work into the effects of ocean acidification on coral reef fish behavior.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Global progress in combating child malnutrition masks problem spots

    Low-resource countries are tackling serious childhood malnutrition, national-level statistics show, but a closer look highlights disparities.

  14. Life

    Russian foxes bred for tameness may not be the domestication story we thought

    Foxes bred for tameness also developed floppy ears and curly tails, known as “domestication syndrome.” But what if the story isn’t what it seems?

  15. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists debated the necessity of a smallpox vaccine

    In 1970, scientists debated the necessity of routine smallpox vaccinations as the disease declined. Fifty years later, the debate continues.

  16. Health & Medicine

    A bioethicist says scientists owe clinical trial volunteers support

    Researchers should be aware that many insurance policies do not cover experimental procedures, including side effects that may happen afterward.

  17. Life

    Stick-toting puffins offer the first evidence of tool use in seabirds

    Puffins join the ranks of tool-using birds after researchers document two birds using sticks to groom, a first for seabirds.

  18. Space

    The first glimpses of a pulsar’s surface hint at complex magnetism

    Maps of a rapidly spinning neutron star could eventually help researchers figure out how matter behaves at extraordinarily high densities.