Vol. 185 No. 11
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More Stories from the May 31, 2014 issue

  1. Anthropology

    Turkana Boy sparks row over Homo erectus height

    Estimating the adult height and weight of an ancient youth from his skeleton has proven tricky.

  2. Climate

    Ocean bacteria may have shut off ancient global warming

    Ocean-dwelling bacteria may have helped end global warming 56 million years ago by gobbling up carbon from the CO2-laden atmosphere.

  3. Astronomy

    White dwarf boosts light of stellar companion

    A gravitational lens in a binary star lets astronomers weigh the core of a dead star.

  4. Animals

    Most extreme female penis is found on cave lice

    Female penis, male vagina have been discovered in tiny Brazilian insects.

  5. Animals

    Submariners’ ‘bio-duck’ is probably a whale

    First acoustic tags on Antarctic minke whales suggest the marine mammals are the long-sought source of the mysterious bio-duck sound.

  6. Quantum Physics

    Major step taken toward error-free computing

    Physicists have achieved nearly perfect control over a bit of quantum information, bringing them a step closer to error-free computation.

  7. Chemistry

    Color-changing polymer maps fingerprints

    Tiny beads of sweat may offer new way to identify people’s fingerprints.

  8. Animals

    Abandoned frog eggs can hatch early

    If their father doesn’t keep them hydrated, frog embryos react by hatching early.

  9. Science & Society

    Students retain information better with pens than laptops

    Compared with typing on a laptop, writing notes by hand may lead to deeper understanding of lecture material.

  10. Health & Medicine

    With help from pig tissue, people regrow muscle

    Noncellular material implanted in patients attracts stem cells to fix injuries.

  11. Animals

    Bird mimicry lets hustlers keep cheating

    Drongos are false alarm specialists that borrow other species’ warning sounds and freshen up their fraud.

  12. Microbes

    Viruses buoy life at hydrothermal vents

    Using hijacked genes, deep-sea viruses help sulfur-eating bacteria generate power in the plumes of hydrothermal vents.

  13. Health & Medicine

    MERS outbreak picks up pace in Middle East

    As the number of MERS cases increases, researchers race to learn more about the deadly virus carried by camels.

  14. Neuroscience

    Young blood proven good for old brain

    Blood — or one of its protein components — restores some of youth’s vibrancy to elderly mouse brains.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Massachusetts insurance mandate lowers death rate

    Since “Romneycare” was phased in, mortality fell by 2.9 percent.

  16. Animals

    For upside-down sloths, what goes down can’t come up

    Upside-down sloths have to hold their organs up and their food down.

  17. Cosmology

    Revamping the size of the universe

    Despite new telescopes and technology, no one knows whether the universe is infinitely large or even if what has been observed is the only universe that exists.

  18. Animals

    Fly more, live longer

    An examination of animal lifestyles reveals that the most important factor linked to longer life is the ability to fly.

  19. Math

    National Museum of Mathematics is antidote to math phobia

    New York's National Museum of Mathematics offers a physical, tactile, even rambunctious presentation of math.

  20. Physics

    ‘The Sound Book’ explores echoes, bad acoustics and more

    Acoustic engineer Trevor Cox provides an international tour of aural amazements.