Vol. 189 No. 3
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More Stories from the February 6, 2016 issue

  1. Paleontology

    Bubbles may have sheltered Earth’s early life

    Bubbles formed on ancient shorelines offer scientists a new place to look for traces of early life.

  2. Chemistry

    Four elements earn permanent seats on the periodic table

    The four newest elements on the periodic table gain official recognition and will be getting new names soon.

  3. Astronomy

    Black hole burps up gobbled gas and dust

    Two belches from a supermassive black hole are drifting away from another galaxy.

  4. Life

    Gene tweak led to humans’ big toe

    For lack of gene regulator, the human big toe appeared.

  5. Paleontology

    Saber-toothed salmon teeth more like tusks than fangs

    Saber-toothed salmon teeth may not have been positioned like fangs at all.

  6. Astronomy

    The votes are in: Exoplanets get new names

    Arion, Galileo and Poltergeist are just three winners of a contest to name planets and suns in 20 solar systems.

  7. Astronomy

    This black hole is an extreme recycler

    A cosmic pump powered by a supermassive black hole is recycling gas through a galaxy.

  8. Genetics

    The Iceman tells a new tale: Infection with ulcer-causing bacteria

    Ötzi the Iceman was infected with a virulent strain of H. pylori. A new study is the first to piece together an ancient genome of these bacteria.

  9. Astronomy

    To search for an advanced civilization, take a U-turn to star clusters

    Globular star clusters might be safe, stable homes for long-lived advanced civilizations.

  10. Earth

    Ground shakes expose faraway earthquake hot spots

    A major earthquake in Costa Rica revealed faraway areas where fluids have weakened rock and boosted the risk of a major earthquake, new research suggests.

  11. Astronomy

    Newfound gas cloud may be graveyard of first stars

    A 12-billion-year-old gas cloud, rich in hydrogen and helium but nothing else, may house the remains of the universe’s first stars.

  12. Life

    Body’s bacteria don’t outnumber human cells so much after all

    New calculations show human cells about equal bacteria in the body.

  13. Neuroscience

    Pain produces memory gain

    Searing pain can burn memories into the brain.

  14. Astronomy

    Red giants map how the Milky Way grew

    A new catalog of the ages of our galaxy’s stars confirms that the Milky Way grew from the inside out.

  15. Archaeology

    Ancient stone tools raise tantalizing questions over who colonized Sulawesi

    Hominids reached an island not far from hobbits’ home by around 200,000 years ago.

  16. Paleontology

    Plesiosaurs swam like penguins

    Computer simulations of plesiosaur swimming motion may resolve long-standing debate on how the marine reptile got around.

  17. Life

    Search is on for missing pieces in puzzle of male genital diversity

    The debate over extreme diversity of male genitalia needs to rethink the female side. And the landscape.

  18. Physics

    Early quark estimates not entirely realized

    Decades of research have shed a little light on quarks, the mysterious building blocks of atoms.

  19. Cosmology

    ‘The Cosmic Web’ weaves tale of universe’s architecture

    A new book chronicles the quest over the last century to understand how the universe is pieced together and how it came to be this way.

  20. Animals

    Christmas tree worms have eyes that breathe, gills that see

    Christmas tree worms and other fan worms have improvised some of the oddest eyes.

  21. Animals

    Small lizard packs powerful tongue

    A tiny chameleon from South Africa sets an acceleration and power record for amniotes.

  22. Physics

    More details on Stephen Hawking’s solution to black hole problem

    Stephen Hawking and colleagues have finally provided more information about how black holes might preserve information.

  23. Archaeology

    Roman toilets didn’t flush parasites

    Roman sanitation measures did little to dent parasite numbers, a study finds.

  24. Genetics

    Drug candidate fails to improve symptoms of fragile X syndrome

    A drug designed to treat fragile X syndrome has proven ineffective in clinical trials.

  25. Chemistry

    Experiment offers glimpse at how to make hydrogen metallic

    A new phase of hydrogen could represent the stepping stone for transforming element 1 into a metal.