Vol. 187 No. 9
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More Stories from the May 2, 2015 issue

  1. Animals

    Neandertal of ant farmers grows modern food

    The most old-fashioned fungus-growing ant yet discovered grows a startlingly new-fangled crop.

  2. Life

    No-fishing scheme in Great Barrier Reef succeeds with valuable fishes

    Coral trout are thriving in marine protected areas in the Great Barrier Reef, but the no-take zones are having a smaller effect on other reef residents, a new 10-year report card shows.

  3. Materials Science

    A new spin on guiding sound waves along a one-way route

    A proposed acoustic topological insulator made of an array of spinning metal rods would channel sound waves in one direction along its edge, preventing any sound from bouncing away.

  4. Astronomy

    ‘Supernova sweeping’ cleans up a galaxy’s gas

    Supernovas might sweep the remaining gas out of a galaxy after a supermassive black hole triggers the end of star formation.

  5. Anthropology

    Ancient hominids moved into Greece about 206,000 years ago

    New analysis puts people at a contested Greek site about 206,000 years ago.

  6. Earth

    Plate loss gave chain of Pacific islands and seamounts a bend

    The sinking Izanagi tectonic plate may have rerouted the mantle flow beneath the Pacific, halting the Hawaiian hot spot.

  7. Anthropology

    ‘Little Foot’ pushes back age of earliest South African hominids

    Study suggests Lucy’s species had a South African foil nearly 3.7 million years ago.

  8. Anthropology

    Kennewick Man’s bones reveal his diet

    Pacific Northwest man who lived 9,000 years ago ate from an almost entirely seafood menu, a new analysis finds.

  9. Neuroscience

    Rats can navigate mazes, even when blind

    Blind rats can learn to navigate with a compass and microchip prosthetic wired into their brains. Similar devices may one day help humans have super senses.

  10. Astronomy

    Fountains of spewing gas provide look at megastar formation

    Fountains of gas erupt from a young massive star, giving astronomers a play-by-play on how stellar heavyweights form.

  11. Anthropology

    Footprints offer clues about daily hominid life

    Early male members of the human genus spent a lot of time together by the water, as their footprints attest.

  12. Particle Physics

    Exotic particle turns out to be quark molecule

    Subatomic particles made of quarks can bind together to form molecules, according to a computer simulation of a long-studied mysterious particle.

  13. Animals

    Mouse mates with similar personalities start families faster

    Among monogamous mound-building mice, the more closely mates match in a tendency toward anxiety, the sooner they start having babies

  14. Climate

    Canadian glaciers face drastic demise

    Western Canadian glaciers will shrink 70 percent by 2100, a detailed melting simulation suggests.

  15. Paleontology

    Brontosaurus deserves its name, after all

    Brontosaurus belongs in a genus separate from Apatosaurus, a new study proposes.

  16. Genetics

    Anti-inflammation genes linked to longer lives

    Inflammation-dampening genes fight oxidants and promote longer life spans.

  17. Life

    It’s true: Butterfly spots can mimic scary eyes

    Contrary to recent studies, the old notion that butterfly wing eyespots evoke predator eyes may not be so old-fashioned after all.

  18. Astronomy

    Cyanides around young star signal complex organic chemistry

    Abundances of cyanide compounds around a young star match those found in comets in our solar system.

  19. Paleontology

    Fossil reveals terror bird’s power

    Bones of a new terror bird confirm the creatures used their beaks to hatchet their prey but also raise questions about what drove the birds extinct.

  20. Planetary Science

    Before moon landings, scientists thought dust or crust might disrupt touchdown

    Moon dust didn’t swallow spacecraft as was suggested in the 1960s. Successful exploration since that has changed our view of the moon.

  21. Science & Society

    Expedition’s plants illustrated, build your own robot, and more

    Three museum exhibits allow visitors to explore 18th century botanical art, natural disasters and robots.

  22. Health & Medicine

    A more accurate prenatal test to predict Down syndrome

    A test to detect genetic problems such as Down syndrome examines a baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood and may limit the need for more invasive screening.

  23. Environment

    Stinkin’ rich

    Researchers work out the hidden value of sewage sludge.