Vol. 189 No. 2
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More Stories from the January 23, 2016 issue

  1. Archaeology

    6,000-year-old skeletons in French pit came from victims of violence

    Human bones in a French pit recall lethal conflicts and limb lopping 6,000 years ago.

  2. Chemistry

    Elusive chemical reaction transition state captured

    A new method provides a detailed look at the elusive transition state.

  3. Life

    To push through goo, use itty, bitty propellers

    Newly designed micropropellers mimic bacteria to move through viscous surroundings.

  4. Health & Medicine

    To treat the heart, start with the gut

    Preventing gut bacteria from making certain chemical compounds reduced artery clogging in mice, researchers report.

  5. Physics

    General relativity caught in action around black hole

    X-rays enable scientists to spot a black hole twisting the surrounding fabric of spacetime, just as Einstein’s theory predicts.

  6. Climate

    Ice rafts traveling farther and faster across the Arctic Ocean

    Climate change may be causing Arctic sea ice to travel farther and faster than it did 15 years ago, taking pollutants and other material along for the ride.

  7. Physics

    Pulsar pair ripples spacetime

    A pair of pulsars gives scientists the best evidence so far for gravitational waves, which have yet to be detected directly.

  8. Earth

    Solid inner, inner core may be relic of Earth’s earliest days

    Earth’s innermost inner core may have formed billions of years earlier than previously thought, shortly after the planet’s accretion.

  9. Agriculture

    Number of wild bees drops where they’re needed most

    Wild bee abundance in the United States is lowest in agricultural regions, according to a new model.

  10. Astronomy

    Exoplanets need right stuff to be habitable

    The elemental makeup of a star can reveal whether planets in its solar system could support sustained plate tectonics, a requirement for Earth-like life, researchers propose.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Gene behavior distinguishes viral from bacterial infections

    Researchers have identified signatures of viral infection, a distinction that may help doctors tell whether bacteria or a virus is causing trouble.

  12. Astronomy

    New recipe found for making supermassive black hole

    The universe’s first supermassive black holes may have formed directly from gas in colliding galaxies, new simulations suggest.

  13. Astronomy

    ‘Bones’ in Milky Way could help map galactic structure

    Six newly discovered tendrils of interstellar gas might be “bones” of the Milky Way that could help researchers understand the scaffolding of our galaxy.

  14. Climate

    Arctic passageways let species mingle

    People aren’t the only animals likely to use passages that open up as the Arctic melts.

  15. Physics

    Physics’ metamorphosis explored in slim new book

    From ancient Greek philosophy to quantum mechanics, a new book charts the evolution of physics.

  16. Planetary Science

    Equipment failure delays Mars mission

    A leaky instrument will push back launch of the Mars InSight lander by at least two years.

  17. Tech

    SpaceX rocket sticks its landing

    A Falcon 9 rocket section lands after launching a set of satellites during a successful test of SpaceX’s reusable rocket parts.

  18. Earth

    Succession of satellites keep eye on Earth

    50 years after plans were laid for the first Earth-observing spacecraft, the youngest Landsat satellites are still flying and imaging the planet’s surface.

  19. Animals

    The fine art of hunting microsnails

    Flotation, tact and limestone all prove vital to the quest for microsnails.

  20. Anthropology

    Iceman has the world’s oldest tattoos

    A more than 5,000-year-old European mummy gets his tattoos confirmed as world’s oldest.

  21. Paleontology

    Fossils provide link in dino crest evolution

    Fossils from a newly identified duck-billed dinosaur in Montana could explain how their descendants developed flamboyant nose crests.

  22. Science & Society

    Human evolution, biomimicry and more go on display

    A new human evolution gallery and a lecture series on Europa are among science events to explore in February 2016.