Vol. 199 No. 5
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cover of March 13, 2021 issue

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More Stories from the March 13, 2021 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Making masks fit better can reduce coronavirus exposure by 96 percent

    Double masking, rubber bands and other hacks can produce a tighter fit and prevent aerosol particles that can carry coronavirus from getting through.

  2. Astronomy

    The number of Milky Way nova explosions per year has been pinned down

    Knowing how frequently these stellar eruptions occur will help determine their contribution to the galaxy’s chemical makeup.

  3. Plants

    Modified genes can distort wild cotton’s interactions with insects

    In a Yucatan nature park, engineered genes influence nectar production, affecting ants’ and maybe pollinators’ attraction to the wild cotton plants.

  4. Quantum Physics

    ‘Designer molecules’ could create tailor-made quantum devices

    Scientists are making molecules suited to a variety of quantum tasks by building them up, atom by atom.

  5. Life

    Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats’ toll on wildlife

    Outdoor cats kill billions of birds and mammals each year. Simply satisfying their need to hunt or supplementing their diets could lessen that impact.

  6. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, researchers treated chronic pain with electricity

    In 1971, doctors eased chronic pain by sending electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Fifty years later, improved techniques help paralyzed people walk.

  7. Astronomy

    Signs of a hidden Planet Nine in the solar system may not hold up

    Hints of a remote planet relied on clumped up orbits of bodies beyond Neptune. A new study suggests that clumping is an illusion.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Nearly half a million U.S. children missed out on lead tests in early 2020

    A big drop in routine lead tests, which can identify children with elevated blood levels, is another troubling sign of the pandemic’s toll.

  9. Physics

    Tiny, sunlight-powered aircraft could soar beyond airplanes’ reach

    Microfliers levitate when hit with light, in conditions like those high in Earth’s atmosphere.

  10. Archaeology

    Stonehenge may have had roots in a Welsh stone circle

    Ancient migrants to southern England brought the makings of the iconic monument with them, researchers suspect.

  11. Astronomy

    The first black hole ever discovered is more massive than previously thought

    New observations of Cygnus X-1 are leading astronomers to rethink what they know about stars that turn into black holes.

  12. Life

    A reeking, parasitic plant lost its body and much of its genetic blueprint

    The Sapria himalayana flower's extreme parasitic lifestyle inside the body of its host has left a bizarre imprint on its genome.