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More Stories from the January 19, 2019 issue

  1. killer whale
    Animals

    50 years ago, scientists studied orcas in the wild for the first time

    The study of killer whales has come a long way since the capture of seven in 1968 allowed scientists to study the animals in their habitat.

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  2. liver cell microscope image
    Life

    Dads, not just moms, can pass along mitochondrial DNA

    Data from three families suggest that in rare cases children can inherit mitochondria from their fathers.

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  3. glassy-winged sharpshooter
    Life

    How some sap-sucking insects fling their pee

    Sharpshooters hurl their pee with structure called a stylus, which sends droplets flying at 20 times the acceleration of Earth’s gravity.

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  4. black holes
    Physics

    Scientists’ collection of gravitational waves just got a lot bigger

    The biggest black hole merger yet seen created one set of the spacetime ripples.

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  5. COSINE-100 dark matter detector
    Particle Physics

    A controversial sighting of dark matter is looking even shakier

    Two dark matter experiments disagree despite using the same type of detector material.

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  6. mass grave
    Genetics

    A 5,000-year-old mass grave harbors the oldest plague bacteria ever found

    DNA from an ancient strain of the plague-causing bacterium could help uncover the origins of the deadly disease.

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  7. metamaterial unit cells
    Materials Science

    Magnets make a new soft metamaterial stiffen up in a flash

    Scientists can dial the stiffness of a bizarre new type of synthetic material up or down using magnets.

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  8. goose bumps
    Life

    Getting goose bumps could boost hair growth

    The same nerves and muscles that create goose bumps may make hair grow.

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  9. asteroid bennu
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx finds signs of water on the asteroid Bennu

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft found signs of water and lots of boulders on the asteroid Bennu.

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  10. food shortages in Somalia
    Climate

    The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows

    The tally of extreme weather events linked to climate change continues to grow, with new studies outlining links to more than a dozen events in 2017.

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  11. milking snake venom
    Life

    Biologists are one step closer to creating snake venom in the lab

    Milking snakes for venom may soon no longer be needed to make antidotes for bites.

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  12. Ron Clarke
    Humans

    ‘Little Foot’ skeleton analysis reignites debate over the hominid’s species

    Long-awaited analyses of the Little Foot skeleton have researchers disagreeing over resurrecting a defunct species name.

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  13. divers in a deep reef near Australia
    Animals

    Nearly 200 Great Barrier Reef coral species also live in the deep sea

    There are more coral species lurking in the deep ocean that previously thought. That could be good news for their shallow water counterparts.

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  14. baby
    Health & Medicine

    Babies born in opioid withdrawal have unusually small heads

    Infants born dependent on opioids had heads that were smaller than babies whose moms didn’t use the drugs during pregnancy.

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  15. scientists with hybrid rice plants
    Plants

    Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

    New research has created self-cloning hybrid rice, raising hopes of higher food production.

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  16. sun's plasma
    Astronomy

    The Parker Solar Probe takes its first up-close look at the sun

    NASA’s Parker Solar Probe survived its first encounter with the sun and is sending data back to Earth.

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  17. Lab-grown brain organoids
    Neuroscience

    Big data reveals hints of how, when and where mental disorders start

    The first wave of data from the PsychENCODE project holds new clues to how and when psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia emerge.

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  18. mini tumor
    Health & Medicine

    Tumor ‘organoids’ may speed cancer treatment

    Growing mini tumors in a lab dish, researchers can screen compounds to find promising combinations for treating rare cancers.

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