Vol. 203 No. 12
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Science Visualized



More Stories from the July 1, 2023 issue

  1. An artist reconstruction of a grave holding several bones.

    Homo naledi may have dug cave graves and carved marks into cave walls

    Proposed discoveries of humanlike activities by these ancient, small-brained hominids have elicited skepticism from some researchers.

  2. A snapshot of a collapsing star spewing jets, colored red and green, outward against the backdrop of space

    A simulation of a dying star shows how it could create gravitational waves

    Massive jets and an expanding cocoon of debris from a collapsing star could be a source of never-before-seen ripples in spacetime.

  3. A satellite image of Hurricane Ian with its eye just west of Florida

    Why the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is especially hard to predict

    It’s hard to know how busy this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be, thanks to a rarely observed combination of ocean and climate conditions.

  4. A shape called a spectre covers an infinite plane with some of them a light green connected to a dark green scattered amongst white spectres.

    A ‘vampire einstein’ tile outdoes mathematicians’ latest feat

    A newfound shape covers an infinite plane with a pattern that doesn’t repeat and without mirror images of the shape.

  5. An overhead photo of a black bowhead whale mother with a smaller gray bowhead whale child swimming on the surface of icy water.

    Bowhead whales may have a cancer-defying superpower: DNA repair

    Bowhead whale cells repair damaged DNA exceptionally well, an ability that could prevent cancer and help the marine mammals live for centuries

  6. A close up photo of a tiny brown mouse poking the top half of its body out of a hole in a tree.

    How a new Lyme vaccine for mice may protect people

    A vaccine, distributed as pellets, can neutralize Lyme-causing bacteria in wildlife. Scientists hope it will reduce Lyme exposure for people and pets.

  7. A photo of a wooden walkway leading between several gray and white boxes in a large grassy field.

    Air pollution monitoring may accidentally help scientists track biodiversity

    Filters in air monitoring facilities inadvertently capture environmental DNA, which could give scientists a new tool to track local plants and animals.

  8. A photo of several different flavors of Monster, Red Bull and other energy drinks sitting on grocery store shelves.
    Health & Medicine

    Taurine slows aging in mice. Will it ever work for people?

    The amino acid taurine — found in meats, produced by the body and common in energy drinks — may have a role in health and aging, a new study suggests.

  9. Two scuba divers investigating a coral reef

    Coral reefs host millions of bacteria, revealing Earth’s hidden biodiversity

    A new estimate of microbial life living in Pacific reefs is similar to global counts, suggesting many more microbes call Earth home than thought.

  10. Three images of a cyclone at the north pole of Uranus are seen in different wavelengths. The image on the left shows the cyclone in a white color, the middle cyclone a green color and the cyclone on the right is an orange color.

    A cyclone has been spotted swirling over Uranus’ north pole for the first time

    Voyager 2 hinted at a cyclone at Uranus’ south pole. Now Earth-based observations give the first direct evidence of a storm at the ice giant’s north pole.

  11. A false-color image of a watery plume coming off Saturn's moon Enceladus.
    Planetary Science

    JWST captured Enceladus’ plume spraying water nearly 10,000 kilometers into space

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals the rate at which Saturn’s moon Enceladus spews water and where that water ends up.

  12. A close up photo of a forager Cataglyphis fortis ant standing on a brown sandy surface.

    These ants build tall nest hills to help show the way home

    Desert ants living in the harsh, flat salt pans of Tunisia create towering anthills to aid with navigating the near-featureless terrain.

  13. An over head photo of a mug of coffee sitting on a white plate all sitting on a pink background.
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists thought coffee might treat hyperactivity

    Decades of follow-up research into whether caffeine can treat the symptoms of kids with ADHD has come up with more questions than answers.

  14. An ancient toilet that looks like a square stone block with a circular hole in the middle

    Oldest traces of a dysentery-causing parasite were found in ancient toilets

    Scientists have found traces of giardia in two toilets used by wealthy residents of Jerusalem in the 7th and 6th century B.C.

  15. A photo of a clear glass container with a white sea cucumber floating in a clear liquid. Other clear glass containers are sitting on the table behind the sea cucumber with out of focus books on shelves in the background.

    5,000 deep-sea animals new to science turned up in ocean records

    Scientists compiled a list of animals unknown to science that live in a deep-sea Pacific Ocean ecosystem targeted for mining exploration.

  16. A photo of several Formula cars driving on a curvy race track with stands full of people in the distance.

    Race car drivers tend to blink at the same places in each lap

    Blinking is thought to occur randomly, but a new study tracking blinks in racing drivers shows it can be predictable — and strategic.