Vol. 199 No. 6
cover of March 27, 2021 issue

Reviews & Previews

Science Visualized



More Stories from the March 27, 2021 issue

  1. medical staff transporting a patient at a hospital in Rome
    Health & Medicine

    Some COVID-19 survivors face another foe: PTSD

    The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors of severe COVID-19 is comparable to the rate among survivors of some natural disasters.

  2. Liolaemus tacnae

    A mountain lizard in Peru broke the reptilian altitude record

    Liolaemus tacnae was photographed 5,400 meters above sea level in the Andes, breaking the highest elevation record for a reptile by about 100 meters.

  3. dice scattered in the air

    A new laser-based random number generator is the fastest of its kind

    A new laser’s chaotic light beam lets the device generate multiple number sequences at once, similar to throwing multiple dice at a time.

  4. robot swimming in South China Sea
    Materials Science

    This soft robot withstands crushing pressures at the ocean’s greatest depths

    An autonomous robot that mimics the adaptations of deep-sea snailfish to extreme conditions was successfully tested at the bottom of the ocean.

  5. image of Andromeda galaxy

    Andromeda’s and the Milky Way’s black holes will collide. Here’s how it may play out

    Supermassive black holes in the Milky Way and Andromeda will engulf each other less than 17 million years after the galaxies merge, simulations show.

  6. cat rubbing on a catnip plant

    Catnip repels insects. Scientists may have finally found out how

    The plant deters mosquitoes and fruit flies by triggering a chemical receptor that, in other animals, senses pain and itch.

  7. Burned remains of a woman

    A body burned inside a hut 20,000 years ago signaled shifting views of death

    Ancient hunter-gatherers burned a hut in which they had placed a dead woman, suggesting a change in how death was viewed.

  8. street scene in Lagos, Nigeria

    The first human genetic blueprint just turned 20. What’s next?

    The Human Genome Project led to many medical advances. Deciphering 3 million African genomes and using new tech to fill gaps could lead to even more.

  9. Ardi skull

    Ardi may have been more chimplike than initially thought — or not

    A contested study of hand and foot fossils suggests this 4.4-million-year-old hominid was a tree climber and branch swinger.

  10. scientist holding small piece of ancient dog bone

    An ancient dog fossil helps trace humans’ path into the Americas

    Found in Alaska, the roughly 10,000-year-old bone bolsters the idea that early human settlers took a coastal rather than inland route.

  11. male superb lyrebird with feathers spread

    A single male lyrebird can mimic the sound of an entire flock

    The Australian birds, already famous for their impressive song-copying skills, appear to be replicating the sounds of a “mobbing flock” of birds.

  12. noctilucent cloud as seen from International Space Station

    To understand how ‘night-shining’ clouds form, scientists made one themselves

    A rocket, a bathtub’s worth of water and a high-altitude explosion reveal how water vapor cools the air to form shiny ice-crystal clouds.

  13. researcher working on laser-cooled plasma experiment

    A magnetic trap captures elusive ultracold plasma

    Pinning plasma within a set of magnetic fields offers physicists a new way to study clean energy, space weather and the inner workings of stars.

  14. quarks and antiquarks inside a proton
    Particle Physics

    Protons’ antimatter is even more lopsided than we thought

    The SeaQuest experiment finds that down antiquarks within the proton are more prevalent than up antiquarks.

  15. Jennifer Doudna presenting at an NIH event

    ‘The Code Breaker’ tells the story of CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna

    In his latest book, Walter Isaacson chronicles the discovery of CRISPR and delves into the ethics of gene editing.

  16. Perseverance parachuting down to Mars

    50 years ago, experiments hinted at the possibility of life on Mars

    In 1971, lab experiments suggested organic molecules could be made on Mars. Fifty years later, robots are searching for such signs of life on the planet itself.