Vol. 197 No. 6
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More Stories from the March 28, 2020 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Immune cells in the gut may play a big role in peanut allergies

    A study finds loads of allergy-inducing cells in the stomachs and intestines of adults allergic to peanuts, but few in people without the condition.

  2. Life

    A distant cousin of jellyfish may survive without working mitochondria

    A tiny creature that parasitizes salmon is the first known multicellular eukaryote without a mitochondrial genome, a hallmark of complex life.

  3. Planetary Science

    China’s moon rover revealed what lies beneath the lunar farside

    China’s Yutu-2 rover found layers of fine sand and coarse gravel under the surface of the moon’s farside.

  4. Astronomy

    Molecular oxygen has been spotted beyond the Milky Way for the first time

    Astronomers have detected molecular oxygen in another galaxy for the first time. The discovery is only the third sighting beyond our solar system.

  5. Planetary Science

    An ancient magma ocean may have once driven Earth’s magnetic field

    Computer simulations of molten silicate under extreme temperatures and pressures may have just filled in a gap in the history of Earth’s magnetism.

  6. Climate

    Economic costs of rising seas will be steeper than we thought, unless we prepare

    A study estimates 4 percent in annual global GDP losses by 2100 due to sea level rise, unless people curb emissions and prepare for flood risks.

  7. Physics

    This fundamental constant of nature remains the same even near a black hole

    A number that sets the strength of electromagnetic interactions isn’t altered by the extreme gravity around the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole.

  8. Climate

    Climate change is slowly drying up the Colorado River

    Annual water flow in the Colorado River decreased by over 11 percent due to warming in the 20th century, a new study estimates.

  9. Health & Medicine

    A more convenient, monthly treatment for HIV cleared a key hurdle

    Two phase III clinical trials suggest that a once-a-month injection of antiretroviral drugs treats HIV just as well as daily pill regimes.

  10. Animals

    Bright yellow spots help some orb weaver spiders lure their next meal

    Experiments with cardboard arachnids suggest that orb weaver spiders have evolved yellow colorations on their undersides to attract bees and moths.

  11. Chemistry

    Thirdhand smoke wafting off moviegoers hurts air quality in theaters

    Nonsmoking theaters can still get exposed to cigarette-related pollutants carried in on audience members’ bodies and clothing.

  12. Animals

    Sea turtles may confuse the smell of ocean plastic with food

    Sea turtles respond to the smell of plastic that’s been in the ocean similarly to food, suggesting the reptiles may end up eating the harmful debris.

  13. Humans

    Evolving an arch across the foot’s width helped hominids walk upright

    The arch across the foot evolved at least 3.4 million years ago, possibly before the lengthwise arch. Both arches help humans to walk and run.

  14. Anthropology

    The ancient hominid species that includes ‘Nutcracker Man’ may have made tools

    Newly described hand, arm and shoulder fossils suggest that Paranthropus boisei had powerful arms with hands capable of making simple tools.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Travel bans have barely slowed the coronavirus’s spread

    Travel restrictions in Wuhan and greater China have only modestly impacted the spread of the virus to other countries, researchers say.

  16. Neuroscience

    Brain waves common during sleep also show up in awake sheep

    Sleep spindles, thought to help solidify memories in people, may do similar work during wakefulness if these daytime ripples occur in humans.

  17. Archaeology

    South Asian toolmaking withstood the biggest volcanic blast in 2 million years

    Toolmakers continued to strike sharp-edged flakes as usual after a volcano’s colossal eruption around 74,000 years ago on what’s now Sumatra Island.

  18. Planetary Science

    Some ‘superpuff’ exoplanets may actually be ringed worlds like Saturn

    “Superpuff” planets look fluffy and light. But for some of the worlds, the effect could instead be explained by large, rocky rings, a study suggests.

  19. Climate

    Ordering from a local store can curb online shopping’s CO₂ emissions

    Online shopping isn’t necessarily better for the environment than going to the store in person, a new study finds.

  20. Space

    A black hole eruption marks the most powerful explosion ever spotted

    Hundreds of millions of years ago, a black hole blasted out roughly 100 billion times as much energy as the sun is expected to emit in its lifetime.

  21. Physics

    Listening to soap bubbles pop reveals the physics behind the bursts

    The quiet, high-pitched sound made by a popping soap bubble reveals the forces that occur during the bubble’s demise.