Vol. 199 No. 4
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More Stories from the February 27, 2021 issue

  1. Animals

    A new orange and black bat species is always ready for Halloween

    A new species from the sky islands of Africa’s Nimba Mountains shows bats’ colorful streak.

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  2. Psychology

    The COVID-19 pandemic made U.S. college students’ mental health even worse

    College students struggled with mental health problems before the pandemic. Now, some vulnerable students are even more at risk.

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  3. Tech

    A robot arm toting a Venus flytrap can grab delicate objects

    By attaching electrodes to the plant’s leaves, researchers found a way to snap its traps shut on command.

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  4. Earth

    Fossil mimics may be more common in ancient rocks than actual fossils

    Evidence of early life may be harder to preserve than pseudofossils — structures that form abiotically but resemble living remnants.

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  5. Health & Medicine

    The antidepressant fluvoxamine could keep mild COVID-19 from worsening

    Newly infected patients who chose to take fluvoxamine quickly recovered, while 12.5 percent who didn’t wound up hospitalized.

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  6. Animals

    Naked mole-rat colonies speak with unique dialects

    Machine learning reveals that these social rodents communicate with distinctive speech patterns that are culturally inherited.

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  7. Anthropology

    Humanlike thumb dexterity may date back as far as 2 million years ago

    A computer analysis suggests early Homo species developed a powerful grip, giving them an evolutionary edge over some other tool-using hominids.

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  8. Genetics

    Lizard-like tuatara carry two distinct mitochondrial genomes

    Having two mitochondrial genetic instruction books, a first for vertebrates, may help explain tuatara’s unique ability to tolerate cold temperatures.

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  9. Physics

    The Milky Way’s newfound high-energy glow hints at the secrets of cosmic rays

    Gamma rays with energies approaching a quadrillion electron volts emanate from the disk of the Milky Way.

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  10. Space

    Crushed space rocks hint at exoplanets’ early atmospheric makeup

    Experiments that heat crushed-up meteorites are helping astronomers understand what to look for in exoplanet atmospheres.

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  11. Animals

    How a tiny spider uses silk to lift prey 50 times its own weight

    Dropping the right silk can haul mice, lizards and other giants up off the ground.

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  12. Health & Medicine

    The animals that ticks bite in the U.S. South can impact Lyme disease spread

    Ticks in the north primarily attach to mice, which do a good job of infecting them with Lyme bacteria, setting up the spread to people.

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  13. Physics

    Diamond holds up at pressures more than five times those in Earth’s core

    Even when pummeled with lasers, diamond retains its structure, which could reveal how carbon behaves in the cores of some exoplanets.

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  14. Health & Medicine

    Diabetes during pregnancy is tied to heart trouble later in life

    Gestational diabetes may increase a woman’s risk of having hardened arteries later in life, a long-term study finds.

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  15. 50 years ago, U.S. commercial whaling was coming to an end

    Commercial whaling has brought many whale species to the brink of extinction. But after bans, some show signs of recovery.

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