Vol. 185 No. 13
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More Stories from the June 28, 2014 issue

  1. Climate

    Crop nutrients may drop as carbon dioxide rises

    Many staple grains and legumes pack 5 to 10 percent less iron, zinc and protein when grown at carbon dioxide levels expected midcentury.

  2. Astronomy

    Sun’s sibling spotted

    A nearby star may have come from the same birth cluster as the sun; learning how to find other solar siblings could point the way to their common origin.

  3. Quantum Physics

    Quantum cryptography could shed test for hackers

    An added protection of a proposed quantum cryptography method makes eavesdropping nearly impossible.

  4. Life

    In a surprise find, placentas harbor bacteria

    Mouth bacteria make their way to the placenta. Some mixes may trigger premature birth.

  5. Neuroscience

    Life span lengthens when mice feel less pain

    When rodents are missing a sensory protein, their metabolism revs up and they live longer.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Parasite protein offers new hope for malaria vaccine

    A newly discovered malarial protein triggers the immune system to trap disease-causing parasites in red blood cells. The protein offers scientists a promising target for vaccines.

  7. Life

    Flightless birds’ history upset by ancient DNA

    The closest known relatives of New Zealand’s small, flightless kiwis were Madagascar’s elephant birds, so ancestors must have done some flying rather than just drifting with continents.

  8. Psychology

    Recessions take a lasting toll on narcissism

    Coming of age in hard economic times makes people less likely to feel superior and entitled later in life.

  9. Astronomy

    Sun shines new life on Kepler space telescope

    NASA approved a proposal to bring the crippled Kepler spacecraft back to life, using sunlight as balance to help the telescope search for planets and more.

  10. Life

    Drab female birds had more colorful evolution

    Males weren’t the main players in evolution of sex differences in avian plumage.

  11. Tech

    Coffee beans sing distinct tune

    Measuring the crackling noises made by roasting coffee beans could help engineers create automatic acoustic roasters.

  12. Particle Physics

    Proton’s magnetic properties pinned down

    A precise measurement of a proton’s magnetic properties could help reveal subtle differences between matter and antimatter.

  13. Climate

    Violent storms may shatter sea ice

    Tall waves’ effect on sea ice hints at troubled water in the future.

  14. Environment

    Carbon dioxide levels hit landmark in Northern Hemisphere

    The Northern Hemisphere experienced the first full month with the greenhouse gas at or above the symbolic 400 parts per million level.

  15. Tech

    Lasers heal damaged rodent teeth

    Handheld laser spurs stem cells into action, regrowing dentin in drilled teeth.

  16. Archaeology

    First pants worn by horse riders 3,000 years ago

    A new study indicates horse-riding Asians wove and wore wool trousers by around 3,000 years ago.

  17. Life

    Drug candidate takes new aim at MERS

    An experimental drug that shuts down construction of virus-making factories could become a new weapon against MERS.

  18. Health & Medicine

    Brain’s support cells play role in hunger

    Once considered just helpers for neurons, astrocytes sense the hormone leptin and can change mice’s appetites.

  19. Genetics

    How a genetic quirk makes hair naturally blond

    Natural blonds don’t need hair dye. They have a variation on a genetic enhancer that dampens pigment production in their hair follicles, scientists say.

  20. Health & Medicine

    Health risks of e-cigarettes emerge

    Research uncovers a growing list of chemicals that end up in an e-cigarette user’s lungs, and one study finds that an e-cigarette’s vapors can increase the virulence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

  21. Neuroscience

    Stem cell approach for Parkinson’s disease gets boost

    Postmortem study finds Parkinson’s patients can retain transplanted neurons for years.

  22. Animals

    See your lawn through a bird’s eyes with YardMap

    A new web tool lets you map your outdoor spaces and wildlife habitat, helping scientists understand how birds use urban and suburban spaces.

  23. Tech

    Self-driving cars are not a thing of the past

    Engineers have not given up on self-driving cars. The focus has shifted from a mechanical approach to using batteries and GPS.

  24. Life

    California mite becomes fastest land animal

    Despite being the size of a sesame seed, the Paratarsotomus macropalpis mite can outpace Usain Bolt and even a cheetah in terms of body lengths per second.

  25. Science & Society

    ‘Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies’ reveals the secrets of invisible ink

    Kristie Macrakis takes readers on a tour of invisible ink’s history and the need to hide information, from the earliest empires to the Internet age.

  26. Health & Medicine

    Obesity on the rise globally

    Some 2.1 billion people, almost 30 percent of the world’s population, are overweight or obese.