Vol. 199 No. 2
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More Stories from the January 30, 2021 issue

  1. Climate

    Ocean acidification may make some species glow brighter

    Ocean organisms use bioluminescence for hunting, defense and more. A new analysis shows that declines in water pH might change who glows and how much.

  2. Animals

    50 years ago, scientists made the case for a landlubbing Brontosaurus

    In 1971, a scientist argued for a landbound Brontosaurus instead of a swampy swimmer. Recent evidence comes from studies of its ancient environment.

  3. Animals

    Clearing land to feed a growing human population will threaten thousands of species

    Changing where, how and what food is grown could largely avoid biodiversity losses, scientists say.

  4. Archaeology

    Ivory from a 16th century shipwreck reveals new details about African elephants

    Ivory from the sunken Portuguese trading ship Bom Jesus contains clues about elephant herds that once roamed Africa, and the people who hunted them.

  5. Earth

    Reawakened Yellowstone geyser isn’t a sign of imminent explosion

    The 2018 reactivation of Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser isn’t a portent of dangerous volcanic or hydrothermal eruptions, scientists say.

  6. Animals

    These spiders may sew leaves into fake shelters to lure frogs to their doom

    Madagascar’s huntsman spiders use silk to turn two leaves into a cool hollow. Such microhabitats may appeal to the spiders’ prey, a study suggests.

  7. Animals

    These Arctic squirrels recycle bits of their own bodies to survive winter

    Arctic squirrels not only slow their metabolism while hibernating, but also harvest crucial substances from their muscles.

  8. Space

    How future spacecraft might handle tricky landings on Venus or Europa

    Scientists are getting inventive with ways to touch down on these worlds, where landers will face obstacles not seen elsewhere in the solar system.

  9. Climate

    What the pandemic can teach us about ways to reduce air pollution

    Data collected during COVID-19 shutdowns may help tease out the complicated chemistry that brews poor air quality.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are extremely rare, CDC says

    Out of the first 1.9 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine given in the United States, there were 21 reported cases of anaphylaxis, a CDC study finds.

  11. Genetics

    Some identical twins don’t have identical DNA

    Mutations arising early in development may account for genetic differences between identical twins.

  12. Anthropology

    Ice Age hunters’ leftovers may have fueled dog domestication

    Ancient people tamed wolves by feeding them surplus game, researchers suggest.

  13. Chemistry

    This weird chemical bond acts like a mash-up of hydrogen and covalent bonds

    Chemistry students are taught that hydrogen bonds and covalent bonds are distinct, but a new study shows they exist on a continuum.