Vol. 186 No. 11
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More Stories from the November 29, 2014 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Jet lag affects gut microbes

    Jet-lagged bacteria in the gut impair mice’s metabolism, causing obesity and diabetes-related problems.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Tiny human intestine grown inside mouse

    Human gut tissue transplanted into a mouse can grow into a working intestine that doctors could use to test disease treatments.

  3. Humans

    Anglo-Saxons left language, but maybe not genes to modern Britons

    Modern Britons may be more closely related to Britain’s indigenous people than they are to the Anglo-Saxons, a new genetic analysis finds.

  4. Environment

    Engineered plants demolish toxic waste

    With help from bacteria, plants could one day clean up polluted sites.

  5. Physics

    Magnetic detector identifies single protons

    An MRI-like machine can scan an individual proton, raising prospects that a similar technique could eventually image biological molecules one by one.

  6. Humans

    Oldest human DNA narrows time of Neandertal hookups

    A 45,000-year-old Siberian bone provides genetic clues about the timing of interbreeding between ancient humans and Neandertals.

  7. Paleontology

    Stegosaurus landed a low blow in dino brawl

    During a dinosaur scuffle 147 million years ago, a stegosaurus whipped an allosaurus in the crotch.

  8. Environment

    No water contamination found in Ohio’s fracking epicenter

    Methane in Ohio groundwater comes from biological sources, such as bacteria, not fossil fuel exploration.

  9. Science & Society

    E-commerce sites personalize search results to maximize profits

    Travel and retail websites alter search results depending on whether consumers use smartphones or particular web browsers.

  10. Genetics

    Easter Islanders sailed to Americas, DNA suggests

    Genetic ties among present-day populations point to sea crossings centuries before European contact with Easter Island.

  11. Genetics

    Men who lose Y chromosome have high risk of cancer

    Losing the Y chromosome in blood cells may bring on cancer and shorten men’s lives.

  12. Archaeology

    Ice Age hunter-gatherers lived at extreme altitudes

    Two archaeological sites in the Andes indicate that hunter-gatherers inhabited extreme altitudes earlier than previously thought.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Daylight savings time tied to more exercise in children

    Kids in Europe and Australia are slightly more active in longer-lit evenings, a new study shows.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Harmless bacterium edges out intestinal germ

    Researchers treated C. difficile infections in mice with a closely related bacteria that blocks C. difficile growth.

  15. Paleontology

    Ancient jellyfish suffered strange, sandy death

    A fossil hints at the unusual series of events that led to an ancient jellyfish’s preservation and may offer clues to understanding odd sand deposits found elsewhere.

  16. Environment

    Oil from BP spill may be sitting on seafloor

    More than four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists find that oil is still lingering over a large area on the seafloor.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Heavy milk drinking may double women’s mortality rates

    In a study of 60,000 Swedes, drinking three or more classes of milk a day was associated with higher chances of death, cancer and hip fractures.

  18. Earth

    Early animals couldn’t catch a breath

    Low levels of oxygen may have hindered evolution of animal life hundreds of millions of years ago.

  19. Life

    Close look at new fungus reveals origins, spread of salamander killer

    A second chytrid fungus described last year targets salamanders and may be spreading in the animal export trade.

  20. Paleontology

    Some trilobites sported dual digestive tracts

    CT scans reveal trilobites with two-lane digestive tracts.

  21. Animals

    Remote-controlled rover doesn’t spook penguins

    Remote-controlled rovers get close to skittish penguins without bothering them; a chick disguise wins over the wariest birds.

  22. Chemistry

    Atom breaks limit of lost electrons

    An iridium atom sets the record for highest oxidation state at +9.

  23. Astronomy

    Rosetta mission lander set to explore surface of comet

    The Rosetta spacecraft’s minifridge-sized lander Philae is now on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and is beginning to study its geology and chemistry.

  24. Animals

    When sweet little bees go to war

    Tiny Tetragonula bees don’t sting but have strong jaws. The bees fight by biting a combatant and not letting go.

  25. Planetary Science

    Setting sights on Mars — a half-century ago

    Fifty years ago, the United States turned its eyes toward Mars and set a goal of sending humans as soon as possible.

  26. Earth

    ‘Mass Extinction’ vivifies the science of die-offs

    The dinosaurs were killed off some 65 million years ago after a colossal asteroid struck Earth. But what many people probably don’t know is how paleontologists came to that conclusion. "Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink" tells that story.