May 27, 2017 | Science News

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May 27, 2017View Digital Issue

Editor's Note

Ask 10 people what makes humans human and you’ll probably get 10 different answers — and then some.
By Elizabeth Quill | May 5, 2017
Magazine issue: Vol. 191 No. 10 , May 27, 2017 , p. 2

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Editor's Note

Ask 10 people what makes humans human and you’ll probably get 10 different answers — and then some.

Features

chimpanzee and human
Jumping genes have been a powerful force in human evolution.
Pueblo del Arroyo
A dynasty may have risen from the dead in an ancient Chaco great house.

News

Excess gamma rays are still unexplained, but they might not come from dark matter.
Mars
Mars formed farther away from the sun than its present-day orbit, not near the other terrestrial planets, new research suggests.
watertubing
People’s injury patterns today can’t explain how Neandertals got so many head wounds.
rusty truck
Oxidizing tiny iron particles from the inside out reveals how oxidation works and could offer new vehicles for drugs or energy.
mouse brain
A gene helps nerve cell axons extend to parts of the brain to deliver serotonin, a brain chemical associated with depression.
 Ötzi the Tyrolean Iceman
Copper Age Iceman froze to death, with shoulder and head damage.
warping space
Particles in quantum superposition adhere to the equivalence principle in atomic test.
Mongolian horses
DNA from ancient horses reveals early domestication involved plenty of stallions.
aerial view of Trichodesmium microbes
A new look at marine Trichodesmium microbes suggests trouble for nitrogen fixation in an acidifying ocean.
mastodon bones
Mastodon site suggests first Americans arrived unexpectedly early.
Scott Jasechko
Ancient groundwater that is thousands of years old is still susceptible to modern pollution, new research suggests.
lambs
A device can keep premature lambs alive for a month in womblike conditions.
heliosphere
The bubble that envelops the planets and other material in the solar system does not have a tail, new observations show.
macrophages and heart cells
Immune system cells called macrophages help heart cells rhythmically contract, maintaining the beat of mice’s hearts.
Crack on Larsen C ice shelf
An 180-kilometer-long rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf has forked into two branches, new satellite observations show.
For the first time, biologists have pinpointed the compound that lights up in fungal bioluminescence.
Zika virus
Zika virus sticks around in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of monkeys.

Notebook

ancient pattern loom
Chinese finds offer earliest look at game-changing weaving machine.
Meiacanthus grammistes
Unlike snakes, blennies evolved fangs before venom, through probably not because of any need to hunt big prey.
Saturn's ring system
Scientists now rely on spacecraft to chart the intricate rings of the gas giant.
Kluane Lake
The melting of one of Canada’s largest glaciers has rerouted meltwater from one stream into another in an instance of river piracy.
beetle fossils
The behavior, called social parasitism, has been going on for about 100 million years.

Reviews & Previews

Science of racism exhibit in Paris
“Us and Them,” a new exhibit at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, draws on genetics, psychology, anthropology and sociology to examine why racism and prejudice persist.

Letters to the Editor

Readers sent feedback on cellular slip-ups, moon mayhem and more.

Science Visualized

false-color map of seafloor showing tracks of icebergs
The most detailed atlas of the seafloor ever compiled offers colorful imagery and ghostly glimpses of Earth’s glacial past.