Vol. 185 No. 8
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Science Visualized



  • Unsolved drugs

    Long thought to launch precision attacks against bacteria, antibiotics may also cause lethal collateral damage, according to a controversial theory. Exploring how these compounds kill may reveal new ways to fight antibiotic resistance.

  • The name of the fungus

    A rebellion has broken out against the traditional way of naming species in the peculiar, shape-shifting world of fungi.

More Stories from the May 3, 2014 issue

  1. Animals

    Like a boomerang, relocated python comes back again

    Burmese pythons, which have invaded the Everglades, can find their way home when people move them dozens of kilometers.

  2. Health & Medicine

    E-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit, study finds

    People who tried e-cigarettes no more likely to give up smoking a year later.

  3. Humans

    Former baseball players have big, strong bones in old age

    Decades later, health benefits of exercise persist in male athletes’ bones.

  4. Astronomy

    Zoom in on amazing detail in NASA moon map

    An interactive mosaic of images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter lets you fly over the Moon’s north pole with unprecedented detail.

  5. Life

    When hummingbirds fly unfriendly skies

    Hummingbirds hover easily in turbulent air as long as the disturbances aren’t too wide.

  6. Neuroscience

    Scans suggest how the mind solves ethical dilemmas

    Brain scans suggest how the mind solves a moral dilemma.

  7. Planetary Science

    Icy planetoid found lurking at edge of solar system

    Astronomers discovered an icy planetoid orbiting beyond the edge of the Kuiper belt.

  8. Planetary Science

    Icy rings found around tiny space rock

    Astronomers discover an icy ring around the planetoid Chariklo, held in place by unseen moons.

  9. Life

    With Taxol, chromosomes divide and get conquered

    New mechanism discovered for how the cancer drug Taxol works.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Diet fix eases Huntington’s symptoms in mice

    Supplement improves health of rodents with mutation that causes neurodegeneration like that seen in Huntington’s disease.

  11. Humans

    Childhood program improves health 30 years later

    A preschool intervention for kids from poor families benefits their health as adults, especially among men.

  12. Life

    First chromosome made synthetically from yeast

    Work with yeast marks the first time scientists have synthesized a chromosome from organisms with complex cells and represents a major step toward lab-created eukaryotic life.

  13. Neuroscience

    Ten thousand neurons linked to behaviors in fly

    By studying the wiggles of 37,780 fly larvae, scientists link specific neurons to 29 distinct behaviors.

  14. Materials Science

    Light filter lets rays through from only one direction

    Angle-sensitive light filter could improve photography, telescopes and solar energy harvesting.

  15. Astronomy

    This winter warrior made the gravitational waves discovery possible

    Engineer Steffen Richter played an important role in the recent gravitational waves discovery, wintering at the Amundsen-Scott research station at the South Pole and making daily treks to keep the BICEP2 telescope running.

  16. Animals

    Zebra stripes may be mainly defense against flies

    The function of zebra stripes may not be for camouflage or cooling, a new analysis finds.

  17. Genetics

    Neandertal legacy written in Europeans’ fat metabolism

    DNA inherited from Neandertal interbreeding may have helped people adjust to Europe’s environment.

  18. Anthropology

    Bronze Age herders spread farming around Asia

    Ancient seeds indicate that Central Asian animal raisers had an unappreciated impact on early agriculture.

  19. Computing

    A tale of touching tubes

    Mathematicians solve the challenge of putting seven cylinders in contact without using their ends.

  20. Planetary Science

    Subsurface sea hides below ice of Saturn moon

    Astronomers add to evidence for a subsurface ocean on Enceladus using subtle variations in the moon’s gravity.

  21. Genetics

    Bank voles provide clue to prion disease susceptibility

    A protein from bank voles makes mice susceptible to disorders that wouldn’t otherwise infect them.

  22. Tech

    Animated movies made by computer

    A 17-minute animated movie made with a computer in 1964 took 2,000 hours of film processing and cost $600 per minute. The 2013 animated film Frozen cost about $1.5 million per minute to make.

  23. Microbes

    One giant leap for zit-causing microbes

    A bacterium that lives on humans and causes acne also hopped to domesticated grapevines and relies on the plant for crucial DNA repairs.

  24. Physics

    Laser kicks molecules into fastest ever spin

    The powerful kick of a laser has spun molecules faster than they’ve ever been spun before: 10 trillion rotations per second, or 600 trillion RPM.

  25. Ecosystems

    War’s ecological effects laid bare in ‘A Window on Eternity’

    In "A Window on Eternity," entomologist E.O. Wilson chronicles both the shifting ecology of Gorongosa National Park after the war and how researchers are trying to repair the damage.

  26. Tech

    To do: Exhibits to explore this May in D.C. and New York

    Events include a celebration of science and original watercolor paintings from John James Audubon.