Vol. 195 No. 9
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More Stories from the May 11, 2019 issue

  1. Materials Science

    Bacteria can be coaxed into making the toughest kind of spider silk

    Lab-altered bacteria have made a copy of a spider’s strongest silk strands, which could one day be used to make more sturdy materials.

  2. Math

    Mathematicians may have found the fastest way to multiply huge numbers

    A new theoretical method for multiplying enormous figures appears to achieve a speed first predicted decades ago.

  3. Animals

    Cats recognize their own names

    A new study suggests that cats can tell their names apart from other spoken words.

  4. Astronomy

    This planetary remnant somehow survived the death of its sun

    A small, sturdy piece of planet survived the collapse of its sun and now orbits the dead star.

  5. Life

    How emus and ostriches lost the ability to fly

    Changes in regulatory DNA, rather than mutations to genes themselves, grounded some birds, a study finds.

  6. Paleontology

    Peruvian fossils yield a four-legged otterlike whale with hooves

    A newly discovered species of ancient whale unearthed in Peru split time between land and sea.

  7. Earth

    How deadly, fast-moving flows of volcanic rock and gas cheat friction

    Mixtures of hot volcanic rock and gas called pyroclastic flows travel so far by gliding on air, a new study suggests.

  8. Health & Medicine

    A common food additive may make the flu vaccine less effective

    A food preservative may impair the ability to fight the flu, a study in mice suggests.

  9. Science & Society

    Why some low-income neighborhoods are better than others

    Levels of violence, incarceration and lead exposure in a neighborhood can predict a low-income child’s future earnings and outcome, a study suggests.

  10. Anthropology

    A new hominid species has been found in a Philippine cave, fossils suggest

    Cave fossils found in the Philippines come from a newly discovered member of the human lineage, researchers say.

  11. Health & Medicine

    NASA’s Twins Study reveals effects of space on Scott Kelly’s health

    Ten research groups studying the twin astronauts found long-term spaceflight can alter a person’s physiology and gene activity.

  12. Materials Science

    A new graphene foam stays squishy at the coldest temperatures

    Researchers have now made a material that is superelastic even at extremely cold temperatures, which could be helpful in space.

  13. Health & Medicine

    People with stress disorders like PTSD are at higher risk of heart disease

    Those coping with psychological trauma have a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, a large-scale study that goes beyond men and veterans finds.

  14. Archaeology

    Newly translated Cherokee cave writings reveal sacred messages

    Cherokee inscriptions highlight the tribe’s rituals nearly 200 years ago in what’s now a tourist cave in Alabama.

  15. Genetics

    Some people may have genes that hamper a drug’s HIV protection

    Newly discovered genetic variants could explain why an anti-HIV medication doesn’t protect everyone.

  16. Planetary Science

    Saturn’s moon Titan sports phantom hydrocarbon lakes

    Three lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan have pulled a vanishing act, a study finds.

  17. Climate

    Tiny microplastics travel far on the wind

    Airborne bits of plastic that originated in cities ended up in pristine mountains at least 95 kilometers away, a study finds.

  18. Planetary Science

    Meteor showers dig up water on the moon

    Meteorites release water from the moon’s soil, hinting that the moon has water buried all across its surface.

  19. Genetics

    A genetic scorecard could predict your risk of being obese

    A genetic score predicts who is at risk of severe obesity, but experts say lifestyle matters more than genes.

  20. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists tried to transplant part of a human eye

    In 1969, a doctor tried and failed to restore a 54-year-old man’s vision. Fifty years later, scientists are still struggling to make eye transplants work.