Vol. 199 No. 11
cover of the June 19, 2021 issue

Reviews & Previews

Science Visualized

Notebook

Features

More Stories from the June 19, 2021 issue

  1. European fire ants
    Life

    European fire ant chemicals may send spiders scurrying away

    Black widows and some other common spider species avoid spaces where fire ants once roamed, suggesting the insects could inspire a spider repellent.

    By
  2. sharpened turkey leg bones used for tattoos
    Archaeology

    The oldest known tattoo tools were found at an ancient Tennessee site

    Sharpened turkey leg bones may have served as tattoo needles between 5,520 and 3,620 years ago, at least a millennium earlier than previously thought.

    By
  3. LHAASO observatory
    Astronomy

    Record-breaking light has more than a quadrillion electron volts of energy

    Hundreds of newly detected gamma rays hint at cosmic environments that accelerate particles to extremes.

    By
  4. smoke billows up behind a row of trees
    Climate

    ‘Zombie’ forest fires may become more common with climate change

    Wildfires that survive winter underground can flare up after warm summers and account for more than one-third of the scorched ground in some regions.

    By
  5. Therapists working with PTSD patient
    Health & Medicine

    MDMA, the key ingredient in Ecstasy, eases symptoms of severe PTSD

    By the end of the trial, 67 percent of the participants who took MDMA had improved so much that they no longer qualified as having a PTSD diagnosis.

    By
  6. person playing brain training game on smartphone
    Neuroscience

    Playing brain training games regularly doesn’t boost brainpower

    Comparing brain training program users with those who don’t do the mini brain workouts, scientists found no proof that the regimens boosted brainpower.

    By
  7. an illustration depicting a person thinking about writing the word "hello" and "hello" appears on a computer screen
    Neuroscience

    Brain implants turn imagined handwriting into text on a screen

    A person who was paralyzed from the neck down was able to communicate, thanks to brain-to-text technology.

    By
  8. side-by-side comparison of images of a galaxy
    Astronomy

    Some fast radio bursts come from the spiral arms of other galaxies

    Tracking five brief, bright blasts of cosmic radio waves to their origins suggests their sources form quickly in regions with lots of star formation.

    By
  9. Red trinitite
    Physics

    A newfound quasicrystal formed in the first atomic bomb test

    Material formed in the wake of the first atomic bomb test contains a strange material that is ordered but that is not a standard crystal.

    By
  10. image of Milky Way
    Astronomy

    The Milky Way may have grown up faster than astronomers suspected

    Most of the galaxy’s disk was in place before a merger 10 billion years ago with a dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus/Sausage, a new study suggests.

    By
  11. image of the Crab Nebula
    Astronomy

    A study of Earth’s crust hints that supernovas aren’t gold mines

    Supernovas aren’t the main source of gold, silver and other heavy elements, a study of deep-sea crust suggests.

    By
  12. photo of a red/pink sea star
    Animals

    Urchin mobs team up to butcher sea stars that prey on them

    Urchins are important herbivores in nearshore ecosystems, but are not strict vegetarians, with hunger that extends even to munching predatory nemeses.

    By
  13. a woman spots a humpback whale tail
    Animals

    ‘Fathom’ seeks to unravel humpback whales’ soulful songs

    The film ‘Fathom’ on Apple TV+ follows the quest of researchers on the ocean’s surface to decipher the eerie symphony of humpback whale calls below.

    By
  14. a screen capture from a declassified video of an unidentified object
    Science & Society

    50 years ago, UFO sightings in the United States went bust

    In 1971, reports of unidentified flying objects were on the decline. Fifty years later, sightings have spiked thanks in part to pandemic lockdowns.

    By