Vol. 201 No. 1

Science Visualized



More Stories from the January 15, 2022 issue

  1. illustration of exoplanet GJ 367b next to a glowing red star
    Planetary Science

    This tiny, sizzling exoplanet could be made of molten iron

    A newly discovered exoplanet that whips around its star in less than eight hours is smaller than Earth, as dense as iron and hot enough to melt.

  2. house on Virginia's Tangier Island surrounded by flood water

    Climate change could make Virginia’s Tangier Island uninhabitable by 2051

    Tangier Island could be lost to rising seas sooner than previously realized. Whether to save the island or move its residents remains undecided.

  3. illustration of a new species of ankylosaur with a sunset in the background

    This dinosaur had a weapon shaped like an Aztec war club on its tail

    The flat and spiky tail club of a newly discovered ankylosaur was unique, even for this often weirdly armored group of dinosaurs.

  4. image of sea ice in the Southern Ocean taken from the window of an airplane

    The Southern Ocean is still swallowing large amounts of humans’ carbon dioxide emissions

    A 2018 study suggested the ocean surrounding Antarctica might be taking up less CO₂ than thought, but new data suggest it is still a carbon sink.

  5. illustration of orange and red prostate cancer cells
    Health & Medicine

    A massive 8-year effort finds that much cancer research can’t be replicated

    A project aiming to reproduce nearly 200 top cancer experiments found only a quarter could be replicated.

  6. image of footprints from the Laetoli site compared to a 3-D contour map of the same area

    Ancient footprints suggest a mysterious hominid lived alongside Lucy’s kind

    A previously unknown hominid species may have left its marks in muddy ash about 3.66 million years ago in what is now East Africa.

  7. image of the Ingenuity helicopter flying towards the Perseverance rover with a red to purple color overlay
    Planetary Science

    Ingenuity is still flying on Mars. Here’s what the helicopter is up to

    NASA’s Ingenuity craft was originally planned to operate only 30 Martian days.

  8. an illustration of viruses attacking a rod-shaped bacterium

    A bacteria-virus arms race could lead to a new way to treat shigellosis

    As bacteria that cause shigellosis evolve to escape a virus, the microbes may become less deadly, a hopeful sign for “phage therapy.”

  9. image of wildfire haze over the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco skyline

    Wildfire smoke may ramp up toxic ozone production in cities

    A new study reveals how wildfire smoke produces toxic ozone and how urban air pollution could exacerbate the problem.

  10. a hand holding a thin green wire at the end of which is a bright light, surrounded by scientific apparatus
    Quantum Physics

    Physicists have coaxed ultracold atoms into an elusive form of quantum matter

    Quantum spin liquids could be used to help protect fragile information in quantum computers.

  11. image of a cannabis flower

    Here’s the chemistry behind marijuana’s skunky scent

    Newly ID’d sulfur compounds in cannabis flowers give the plant its telltale odor. One, prenylthiol, is what also gives “skunked beer” its funky flavor.

  12. image of a xenobot parent next to offspring
    Health & Medicine

    Tiny living machines called xenobots can create copies of themselves

    When clusters of frog cells known as xenobots form a Pac-Man shape, they are especially efficient at replicating in a new way, researchers say.

  13. image of a pair of albatrosses with cliffside and ocean in the distance

    Albatrosses divorce more often when ocean waters warm

    In one part of the Falkland Islands, up to 8 percent of the famously faithful birds ditch partners in years when the ocean is warmer than average.

  14. Launch of Atlantis space shuttle

    50 years ago, NASA’s space shuttle program got the green light

    For over 30 years, space shuttles helped revolutionize science. Now, NASA is tackling new frontiers with help from commercial spaceflight companies.