Vol. 186 No. 2
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More Stories from the July 26, 2014 issue

  1. Animals

    Ant sperm swim as a team

    The desert ant has sperm that swim in bundles for extra speed, perhaps increasing their likelihood of fertilizing an egg.

  2. Neuroscience

    Crayfish get anxious, too

    After receiving a shock, crayfish act anxious, avoiding brightly lit areas.

  3. Animals

    Swimming evolved several times in treetop ants

    Certain ants living in tropical forest canopies turn out to be fine swimmers.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Ulcer microbe changes quickly to avoid immune attack

    During the initial weeks of infection, Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, mutates at a high rate, apparently to evade the body’s defenses.

  5. Life

    Avian flu could strike Asian poultry markets outside China

    H7N9 influenza has a higher chance of spreading to humans in urban areas close to water, researchers predict.

  6. Psychology

    Children negotiate taking turns surprisingly early in life

    Five-year-olds can coordinate decisions with others in a fair way, even when each child has conflicting interests.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Simple blood test detects heart transplant rejection

    Heart transplant recipients whose bodies are starting to reject the new organ might carry genetic warning signs.

  8. Environment

    Triclosan may spoil wastewater treatment

    Common antimicrobial could make microbes more drug resistant and less efficient at breaking down sewage sludge in municipal treatment plants.

  9. Neuroscience

    Sunbathing may boost endorphins in the body and brain

    UV light makes mice churn out a molecule that is a cousin of morphine and heroin, a finding that may explain why some people seek out sunshine.

  10. Quantum Physics

    Commercial quantum computer fails to impress in new test

    Fifteen million dollar D-Wave machine runs no faster than traditional computer in head-to-head challenge.

  11. Life

    Autoimmune diseases stopped in mice

    Reprogramming immune cells may offer a way to treat autoimmune diseases without harming the body’s ability to fight infections.

  12. Humans

    Skulls reveal Neandertal’s hodge-podge genealogy

    A new analysis of ancient hominid skulls reveals a patchy anatomical start of the Neandertal lineage.

  13. Astronomy

    Milky Way galaxy’s dust clouds shown in 3-D map

    A new three-dimensional map of interstellar dust in the Milky Way wraps 180 degrees around the sky and extends over 16,000 light-years from Earth.

  14. Animals

    Lionfish dance can recruit partner for hunting

    Slow but superb predators recruit pals for cooperative hunting, often striking in what looks like well-mannered turn taking.

  15. Astronomy

    Rare trio of supermassive black holes found

    Three supermassive black holes residing where two distant galaxies collide offer new clues about where to look for gravitational waves.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Hidden heart rhythm problem may underlie some strokes

    In two clinical studies, people who had had strokes with no trigger sometimes also had undiagnosed atrial fibrillation.

  17. Life

    HIV hides in growth-promoting genes

    The discovery that HIV can trigger infected cells to divide means scientists may need to rethink strategies for treating the virus that causes AIDS.

  18. Neuroscience

    Busy brain hubs go awry in disorders, study suggests

    Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may occur when the brain’s most active hubs are damaged.

  19. Astronomy

    Magnetic bubbles could shield astronauts from radiation

    With help from plasma and a magnet, solar storms' dangers would lessen on long space trips.

  20. Life

    One lichen is actually 126 species and counting

    One supposedly well-known tropical lichen could really be several hundred kinds.

  21. Life

    Dramatic retraction adds to questions about stem cell research

    Researchers who reported an easy method for making stem cells admit mistakes mar their work, and have retracted their papers from Nature.

  22. Animals

    Elephant shrews are, oddly, related to actual elephants

    A new species in the group is the smallest yet, with adults smaller than a newborn kitten.

  23. Tech

    1960s research paid off in automotive safety

    Scientists in 1964 were studying shatterproof glass, which was mandated just a couple of years later.

  24. Earth

    Humans have long history with causing extinctions

    Data suggests major die-offs of large animals during the last Ice Age were linked to people, not climate.

  25. Earth

    ‘Tambora’ links volcano to the ‘year without a summer’

    Author Gillen D’arcy Wood links the volcano to historical changes in art, opium, cholera and more.

  26. Anthropology

    ‘Kidding Ourselves’ shows the rational side of self-deception

    Author Joseph T. Hallinan explains why people believe the darnedest things.