Vol. 188 No. 11
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More Stories from the November 28, 2015 issue

  1. Life

    A cloud of microbes surrounds a person

    People are surrounded by a personal cloud of bacteria.

  2. Animals

    DNA trail leads to new spot for dog domestication

    A new study suggests that dogs were first domesticated in Central Asia.

  3. Anthropology

    Plagues plagued the Bronze Age

    Ancient bacterial DNA provides first clues to Bronze Age plagues in Europe and Asia.

  4. Neuroscience

    Signs of Alzheimer’s seen in young brain’s GPS cells

    Signs of Alzheimer’s can show up in the brain’s compass decades before symptoms strike.

  5. Genetics

    Muscle-gene edit creates buff beagles

    Gene editing works at low efficiency in dogs.

  6. Quantum Physics

    Light mimics hotel with limitless vacancies

    By mimicking a mathematician’s method for creating vacancies in a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, physicists may have found a way of increasing the amount of data that can be carried via light.

  7. Animals

    Salamander ancestors could regenerate limbs

    Salamanders and ancient amphibians share similar way of regenerating limbs.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Eating meat officially raises cancer risk

    Eating processed meats like bacon, ham and sausage causes cancer, says the World Health Organization.

  9. Life

    Rare reptile holds clue to penis evolution

    Preserved Victorian specimens reveal budding embryonic penis that disappears before adulthood.

  10. Planetary Science

    Oxygen leaking from comet surprises astronomers

    The Rosetta spacecraft detected oxygen molecules coming out of comet 67P that might have been buried since the formation of the solar system.

  11. Life

    How electric eels put more zip in their zap

    With feisty prey, an electric eel curls its tail to intensify shocks and exhaust prey.

  12. Neuroscience

    Itch-busting nerve cells could block urge to scratch

    A group of nerve cells in the spinal cord keep mechanical itch in check.

  13. Anthropology

    Petite primate fossil could upend ideas about ape evolution

    Ancient fossils suggest modern apes descended from a small, gibbonlike creature.

  14. Tech

    Electronic skin feels the heat, hears the sound

    Electronic skin inspired by human fingertips detects texture, pressure, heat and sound.

  15. Planetary Science

    Pluto’s smaller moons pose mysteries

    The four smaller moons of Pluto are finally revealed in images from New Horizons, and might hold some clues to the dwarf planet’s past.

  16. Climate

    How to melt an ice cave

    Frigid winter air keeps gives ice caves their perpetual chill, researchers find, warning that airtight seals on some ice caves could cause the frigid formations to melt within decades.

  17. Paleontology

    Vampire microbes sucked some ancient life dry

    Hole-ridden fossils suggest that vampirelike microbes were among the first predators that targeted eukaryotes.

  18. Particle Physics

    Antiprotons match protons in response to strong nuclear force

    The first study of how antiprotons interact with each other reveals yet again that particles of antimatter behave just like their ordinary matter counterparts.

  19. Paleontology

    Land life spared in Permian extinction, geologists argue

    New rock layer dating in South Africa’s Karoo Basin suggests that extinctions of land species didn’t coincide with the Permian extinction around 252 million years ago.

  20. Astronomy

    Cosmic rays maintain their mystery

    Cosmic rays come from all over the universe, including some places we’re not so sure about.

  21. Life

    ‘Racing Extinction’ documents plight of endangered species

    The new documentary "Racing Extinction" offers hope that people can halt the sixth mass extinction.

  22. Animals

    Cat-versus-virus arms race goes back millennia

    Researchers have found evidence of an ancient arms race between Felis silvestris catus, the species familiar today as the domestic cat, and feline immuno­deficiency virus.

  23. Earth

    New recipe for diamonds: Just add acid

    Simulating the chemistry, pressures and temperatures in Earth’s interior, scientists have discovered a new way diamonds can form.

  24. Earth

    4.1-billion-year-old crystal may hold earliest signs of life

    New evidence suggests that life on Earth arose before 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million years earlier than previous estimates.

  25. Planetary Science

    Probes unveil three hidden blemishes on moon’s face

    Gravitational tugs on a pair of spacecraft have revealed previously unseen blemishes on the moon’s face.