Vol. 187 No. 10
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More Stories from the May 16, 2015 issue

  1. Anthropology

    Beads suggest culture blocked farming in Northern Europe

    Baltic hunter-gatherers blocked farming’s spread from south.

  2. Genetics

    Contagious cancer found in clams

    A soft-shell clam disease is just the third example of a contagious cancer.

  3. Physics

    Rubidium atoms used to record coldest temperature — ever

    A swarm of rubidium atoms has been cooled to about 50 trillionths of a kelvin, making it the coldest substance ever measured.

  4. Astronomy

    Afterglow alerts astronomers to gamma-ray burst

    Astronomers have spotted the remnant glow from a gamma-ray burst without first observing its beam of high-energy gamma rays.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Genes may influence placebo effect

    Certain gene variants may predispose people to experience the placebo effect, which may have implications for clinical trials and personalized medicine.

  6. Plants

    From lemons to kumquats, roots of citrus variety dug up

    Citrus fruits’ lineage is traced through chloroplast DNA, revealing both maternal and paternal heritage.

  7. Astronomy

    Galactic split provides clue to dark matter mystery

    An oddly divided galaxy may provide the first evidence that dark matter particles interact through a force other than gravity.

  8. Animals

    Shimmer and shine may help prey sabotage predators’ aim

    Iridescent prey was more difficult to strike in a video game for birds.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Same mutations can show up in tumors, healthy tissues

    Analyzing samples of healthy and tumor tissues could pinpoint which mutations are driving cancer and help develop better-targeted treatments.

  10. Life

    Researchers pull fingers to solve why knuckles crack

    Knuckle cracking is the sound of a bubble forming in a joint, MRI images reveal.

  11. Life

    ‘Geographic tongue’ creates unique topography

    A condition called ‘geographic tongue’ makes mouth organ appear maplike.

  12. Chemistry

    New data on synthetic element trigger rethink of periodic table

    New data on lawrencium, element 103, trigger rethink of periodic table.

  13. Astronomy

    Ringing rings reveal Saturn’s innards

    Scientists propose that exotic structures are buried within Saturn, based on analyses of subtle vibrations in the planet’s rings.

  14. Astronomy

    Cosmic rays misbehave in space station experiment

    A puzzling feature in a new cosmic ray census may force physicists to rethink which cosmic objects send these speedy particles hurtling across the galaxy.

  15. Animals

    Bees may like neonicotinoids, but some may be harmed

    Two high-profile tests raise worries that bees can’t avoid neonicotinoid pesticides and that wild species are at special risk.

  16. Neuroscience

    Catching Zs may snag memories, too

    Flies genetically destined to be forgetful could boost their memory with sleep.

  17. Earth

    Massive magma pool found deep below Yellowstone

    Earthquake waves reveal massive magma reservoir deep inside the Yellowstone supervolcano.

  18. Astronomy

    Astronomers celebrating Hubble’s past focus on its future

    Astronomers celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope by reflecting on its diversity and looking ahead to the future.

  19. Anthropology

    Pots from hunter-gatherer site in China tell tale of lifestyle shift

    Chinese foragers settled down and made pottery shortly before farming’s ascent.

  20. Earth

    Stronger quakes could strike other segments of Nepal fault

    The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal’s capital city could be overshadowed by larger future earthquakes along the Himalayas, scientists say.

  21. Plants

    Medfly control methods were ready for pest’s influx

    50 years ago, researchers prepared to greet Mediterranean fruit flies with sterile males.

  22. Astronomy

    ‘Black Hole’ traces 100 years of a transformative idea

    Implied by general relativity and proven by astronomical discoveries, black holes’ existence took decades for physicists to accept.

  23. Planetary Science

    Explore an asteroid with ‘Vesta Trek’

    Vesta Trek lets users explore the asteroid Vesta with data from the Dawn spacecraft.

  24. Tech

    ‘Ex Machina’ explores humanity as much as AI

    Sci-fi thriller delves into hubris and power relationships.

  25. Plants

    How slow plants make ridiculous seeds

    Coco de mer palms scrimp, save and take not quite forever creating the world’s largest seeds.

  26. Astronomy

    Map pinpoints location of invisible dark matter

    Dark matter can’t be seen, but a new map shows where it’s hiding. The map confirms that the mysterious matter is concentrated in regions that contain a lot of ordinary matter in the form of galaxy clusters.

  27. Animals

    Fossilized seashells’ true colors revealed

    To the naked eye, fossilized seashells lack the colorful patterns of their living counterparts. But ultraviolet light can reveal some of their unique hues.

  28. Physics

    An even more precise atomic clock

    An atomic clock described April 21 in Nature Communications is about three times as precise as its record-setting predecessor.