Vol. 184
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Science Visualized



More Stories from the November 2, 2013 issue

  1. Psychology

    Mental rotation gears up by age 5 for both boys and girls

    Kid-friendly test suggests that the ability to visualize objects from different angles starts early.

  2. Life

    Newfound biological clocks set by the moon

    Two unrelated marine organisms have rhythms dictated by tides, lunar cycle.

  3. Neuroscience

    An on-off switch for eating

    By triggering or silencing certain brain cells, scientists can get mice to feed or stop feeding regardless of hunger.

  4. Animals

    Centipede venom fights pain

    Molecule from toxin makes mice less sensitive to pain, may work as well as morphine.

  5. Anthropology

    Ancient farming populations went boom, then bust

    Agriculture’s introduction led to big falls as well as rises in numbers of Europeans.

  6. Life

    Engineered salivary glands keep juices flowing

    Organs grown in a lab dish do their job when transplanted into mice.

  7. Neuroscience

    Some grape-scented compounds repel mosquitoes

    Molecules discovered to drive away bugs after researchers identify cells that detect, and are disgusted by, DEET.

  8. Planetary Science

    Supervolcanoes once erupted on Mars

    Giant eruptions billions of years ago left behind huge craters

  9. Genetics

    Cancer variants found in ‘neglected’ region of genome

    Mutations outside of genes associated with disease in study using data from a thousand people.

  10. Life

    Blocking a hormone helps mice beat lengthy jet lag

    A timekeeping brain molecule steadies the beat of the circadian clock, while stopping it allows for a quick reset.

  11. Psychology

    Reading high-brow literature may aid in reading minds

    Think of it as the bookworm’s bonus: People who read first-rate fiction become more socially literate, at least briefly, a new study suggests.

  12. Microbes

    Microbes signal deceased’s time of death

    In a study using mice, germs accompany the body’s decay in a consistent time sequence.

  13. Astronomy

    Tiny sphere bends light like a black hole does

    Previously seen at the megascale, gravitational lensing goes micro.

  14. Life

    3-D printing builds bacterial metropolises

    By simulating biofilms, new 3-D printing technique may help researchers study antibiotic resistance.

  15. Physics

    Proton-boron nuclear fusion returns to spotlight

    A technique can fuse nuclei without producing harmful neutrons, but it is far from being power plant–ready.

  16. Animals

    Legless geckos slither using skin ridges

    The animal's belly has flat rows of ripples that may help them wriggle.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Old drug may have new trick

    Parkinson’s medication helps mice with condition that mimics MS.

  18. Astronomy

    Water seen in rubble around star

    Hubble sees debris that was part of an asteroid with the ingredients for habitable planets.

  19. Particle Physics

    Nobel’s sharp cuts

    Gerald Guralnik was home when he learned online that physicists François Englert and Peter Higgs had won the Nobel Prize in physics for formulating the same theory he had proposed nearly 50 years ago.

  20. Planetary Science

    Comet belt predicted near farthest planet

    Observations have confirmed the existence of the Kuiper Belt, first proposed in 1963.

  21. Science & Society

    Humans’ living creations put on display

    The Center for PostNatural History, a museum that opened in 2012, features Freckles and other organisms altered by humans.

  22. Science & Society

    2013 Nobels decades in the making

    Prizes show that discovery takes inspiration plus perspiration.

  23. Cosmology

    My Brief History

    by Stephen Hawking.

  24. Neuroscience

    Brainy videos

    A short film that uses humor and science to explain congenital anosmia has won the Society for Neuroscience’s 2013 Brain Awareness Video Contest.

  25. Physics

    Oldest pitch-drop experiment

    The allure of pitch — a black tarlike hydro-carbon by-product of distilling petroleum, wood or coal — comes from its split personality: It shatters from a quick hit with a hammer, but flows if set aside for long periods.