Vol. 195 No. 4
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Science Visualized



More Stories from the March 2, 2019 issue

  1. Paleontology

    Tiny eyes make a bizarre, ancient platypus-like reptile even weirder

    An ancient oddball marine reptile had teeny-tiny eyes, suggesting it probably used senses other than sight to catch food.

  2. Neuroscience

    Rocking puts adults to sleep faster and makes slumber deeper

    People sleep better when their beds are gently rocked, a small study finds.

  3. Anthropology

    Why modern javelin throwers hurled Neandertal spears at hay bales

    A sporting event with replica weapons suggests that Neandertals’ spears may have been made for throwing, not just stabbing.

  4. Earth

    Earth’s core may have hardened just in time to save its magnetic field

    Earth’s inner core began to solidify sometime after 565 million years ago — just in time to prevent the collapse of the planet’s magnetic field, a study finds.

  5. Artificial Intelligence

    A new AI training program helps robots own their ignorance

    AI systems struggle to know what they don’t know. Now scientists have created a way to help autonomous machines recognize their blind spots.

  6. Anthropology

    New dates narrow down when Denisovans and Neandertals crossed paths

    Mysterious ancient hominids called Denisovans and their Neandertal cousins periodically occupied the same cave starting around 200,000 years ago.

  7. Animals

    Giant pandas may have only recently switched to eating mostly bamboo

    Giant pandas may have switched to an exclusive bamboo diet some 5,000 years ago, not 2 million years ago as previously thought.

  8. Planetary Science

    Titan’s oddly thick atmosphere may come from cooked organic compounds

    Saturn’s moon Titan might get some of its hazy atmosphere by baking organic molecules in a warm core.

  9. Genetics

    This bacteria-fighting protein also induces sleep

    A bacteria-fighting protein also lulls fruit flies to sleep, suggesting links between sleep and the immune system.

  10. Physics

    Lasers could send messages right to a listener’s ear

    Communication in noisy environments or dangerous situations could one day rely on lasers.

  11. Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial intelligence is learning not to be so literal

    Artificial intelligence is learning how to take things not so literally.

  12. Physics

    Laser light can contain intricate, beautiful fractals

    Fractals show up in cauliflower, seashells and now — lasers.

  13. Plants

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.

  14. Animals

    How black soldier fly larvae can demolish a pizza so fast

    When gorging together, fly larvae create a living fountain that whooshes slowpokes up and away.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Pills equipped with tiny needles can inject a body from the inside

    High-tech pills equipped with medicinal needles could administer painless shots inside the body.

  16. Physics

    The quest for quasicrystals is a physics adventure tale

    In ‘The Second Kind of Impossible,’ physicist Paul Steinhardt recounts his journey to find quasicrystals in nature.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Why some children may get strep throat more often than others

    Kids with recurrent strep throat appear to have a defective immune response to the bacteria that cause the infections, a study finds.