Vol. 197 No. 4
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February 29, 2020 cover

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More Stories from the February 29, 2020 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    The first case of coronavirus being spread by a person with no symptoms has been found

    Coronavirus cases among coworkers in Germany suggest that the virus can spread from person to person before symptoms appear, similar to the flu.

  2. Particle Physics

    Misbehaving kaons could hint at the existence of new particles

    Certain extremely rare decays seem to be happening more often than expected, and scientists don’t know why.

  3. Space

    These are the most detailed images of the sun ever taken

    First images from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope reveal details on the surface of the sun three times as small as ever seen.

  4. Archaeology

    Ancient ‘megasites’ may reshape the history of the first cities

    At least two ancient paths to urban development existed, some archaeologists argue.

  5. Life

    Engineered honeybee gut bacteria trick attackers into self-destructing

    Tailored microbes defend bees with a gene-silencing process called RNA interference that takes on viruses or mites.

  6. Paleontology

    A squid fossil offers a rare record of pterosaur feeding behavior

    150 million years ago, a pterosaur attempted to snatch a squid from the ocean surface and lost a tooth in the process.

  7. Space

    This is the first fast radio burst known to have a steady beat

    Brief blasts of radio energy from other galaxies keep stumping astronomers, but one seems to be on a 16-day cycle, a new clue in an ongoing puzzle.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Levels of certain proteins in the blood may act as concussion biomarkers

    College athletes who suffered concussions had elevated blood levels of three proteins, a potential chemical sign that one day may aid diagnosis.

  9. Neuroscience

    Brain cells called microglia eat away mice’s memories

    Immune cells that eliminate connections between nerve cells may be one way that the brain forgets.

  10. Physics

    Scientists cooled a nanoparticle to the quantum limit

    Physicists decreased a nanoparticle’s motion to the lowest level allowed by quantum mechanics.

  11. Health & Medicine

    The FDA has approved the first drug to treat peanut allergies

    The drug, called Palforzia, may reduce the dangers of unintentional exposure to peanuts for allergic children.

  12. Neuroscience

    Injecting nanoparticles in the blood curbed brain swelling in mice

    Nanoparticles divert inflammation-causing cells away from the brain after a head injury, a mouse study shows.

  13. Ecosystems

    Fewer worms live in mud littered with lots of microplastics

    The environmental effects of microplastic pollution are still hazy, but new long-term, outdoor experiments could help clear matters up.

  14. Archaeology

    Mount Vesuvius may have suffocated, not vaporized, some victims

    A new study suggests people living near Pompeii who hid in stone boathouses died a slower death when the volcano erupted in A.D. 79.

  15. Chemistry

    How to brew a better espresso, according to science

    To make more consistent and affordable espresso shots, use fewer beans and grind them more coarsely, a new study says.

  16. Humans

    Stress turns hair gray by triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response

    A study in mice finds stress responses deplete cells that give hair its pigment, making the strand white.

  17. Space

    50 years ago, scientists were studying why the sun’s corona is so hot

    In 1970, scientists were hoping to learn why the sun’s corona is so hot during an eclipse. Fifty years later, the corona’s magnetic field may hold some answers.