Vol. 193 No. 2
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More Stories from the February 3, 2018 issue

  1. Earth

    A sinking, melting ancient tectonic plate may fuel Yellowstone’s supervolcano

    The subduction of an ancient tectonic plate may be the driving force behind Yellowstone’s volcanic eruptions.

  2. Artificial Intelligence

    Ask AI: How not to kill online conversations

    Tips on not being a conversation-killer, courtesy of an AI that studied over 60,000 Reddit threads.

  3. Microbes

    These disease-fighting bacteria produce echoes detectable by ultrasound

    Ultrasound can help keep tabs on genetically modified bacteria to better fight disease inside the body.

  4. Oceans

    Corals are severely bleaching five times as often as in 1980

    Corals are now bleaching more frequently and severely than they were in the early 1980s.

  5. Anthropology

    ‘Laid-back’ bonobos take a shine to belligerents

    Unlike people, these apes gravitate toward those who are unhelpful.

  6. Life

    A key virus fighter is implicated in pregnancy woes

    In mice, activating a key component of the body’s antiviral machinery in response to a Zika infection can cause harm to developing fetuses.

  7. Animals

    Blowflies use drool to keep their cool

    Personal air conditioning the blowfly way: Dangle a droplet of saliva and then reswallow.

  8. Astronomy

    White dwarf’s inner makeup is mapped for the first time

    The first map of the internal composition of a white dwarf star shows these stellar corpses contain more oxygen than expected, challenging stellar evolution theories.

  9. Genetics

    CRISPR gene editor could spark immune reaction in people

    Immune reactions could shut down CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

  10. Particle Physics

    Magnets with a single pole are still giving physicists the slip

    Using data from particle accelerators and dead stars, scientists eliminate some possible masses for magnetic monopoles.

  11. Materials Science

    This artificial cartilage gets its strength from the stuff in bulletproof vests

    One of the key ingredients in this artificial cartilage is a nanoversion of the synthetic fiber in body armor.

  12. Neuroscience

    Protein helps old blood age the brains of young mice

    Increased levels of one protein in old blood may contribute to its aging effects on the brain, a mouse study suggests.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Not all strep infections are alike and it may have nothing to do with you

    Add-on genes in some bacteria shape the way strains interact with the immune system.

  14. Astronomy

    Trio of dead stars upholds a key part of Einstein’s theory of gravity

    A cosmic test fails to topple the strong equivalence principle.

  15. Astronomy

    Spaceships could use blinking dead stars to chart their way

    Timing signals from five pulsars allowed scientists to pinpoint an experiment’s place in space.

  16. Animals

    The mystery of vanishing honeybees is still not definitively solved

    The case has never been fully closed for colony collapse disorder, and now bees face bigger problems.

  17. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, IUDs were deemed safe and effective

    50 year ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared intrauterine devices safe and effective, though officials didn’t know how the IUDs worked.