Vol. 186 No. 8
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More Stories from the October 18, 2014 issue

  1. Genetics

    Source of coffee’s kick found in its genetic code

    Coffee doubled up on caffeine-making genes. Those genes evolved independently from similar ones found in tea and chocolate plants.

  2. Earth

    Death Valley’s sailing stones caught on the move

    Mysterious sailing stones wandering around Death Valley are powered by ice and wind.

  3. Archaeology

    More signs emerge of New World settlers before 20,000 years ago

    Controversial stone tools of pre-Clovis humans have been excavated in South America.

  4. Paleontology

    Fossils push back origins of modern mammals

    Fossils of three newly identified early mammals from China suggest that the common ancestor of today’s mammals lived over 200 million years ago.

  5. Paleontology

    Lost-and-found dinosaur thrived in water

    Fossils pieced together through ridiculous luck reveal Spinosaurus to be the only known dinosaur adapted for regular ventures into water.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Experimental herpes drug outperforms first-line med

    An experimental treatment for genital herpes suppresses the viral infection better than the standard drug, but animal tests raise concerns about side effects.

  7. Earth

    Warming alone triggered Antarctic ice shelf collapse

    Warming surface temperatures, not an unstable foundation, probably doomed Antarctica’s Larsen B ice shelf.

  8. Neuroscience

    Our brains sort words as we sleep

    Even after nodding off, a person’s brain correctly sorts words into categories, adding to the achievements of the sleeping brain.

  9. Life

    Vagina bacteria make molecules that could be drugs

    Microbes on the human body are capable of producing thousands of small molecules that hold potential as drugs.

  10. Astronomy

    Mystery of missing lithium extends beyond Milky Way

    Stars in cluster Messier 54, part of a nearby dwarf galaxy, have just as little lithium as stars in the Milky Way, suggesting that the mystery of the missing element is universal.

  11. Particle Physics

    Evidence for new Higgs-related particle fades away

    A close look at data from the Large Hadron Collider finds no evidence that the Higgs boson decays into a new, unknown particle.

  12. Astronomy

    Tweak to dark matter may explain Milky Way mystery

    Dark matter weakly interacting with light in the early universe might have prevented satellite galaxies from forming around Milky Way, astronomers propose.

  13. Quantum Physics

    Three photons entangled, not just two

    Physicists have found a way to entangle a trio of photons, but it works only once in every quadrillion attempts.

  14. Anthropology

    Strategy, not habitat loss, leads chimps to kill rivals

    Human impacts on chimpanzees have not increased their violence.

  15. Life

    Artificial sweeteners may tip scales toward metabolic problems

    The artificial sweetener saccharin meddles with the gut’s microbial community, setting in motion metabolic changes associated with obesity and diabetes.

  16. Materials Science

    Making metamaterials ‘digital’ could simplify invisibility cloaks

    The digital world of 1s and 0s has inspired a simpler way to make complex metamaterials.

  17. Cosmology

    Gravitational wave discovery gives way to Milky Way dust

    New polarization maps from the Planck satellite suggest that the BICEP2 announcement this year of primordial gravitational waves might be due entirely to dust in our galaxy.

  18. Health & Medicine

    More than 1 million Ebola cases may hit West Africa by January

    New projections of the outbreak suggest that without drastic improvements, weekly cases could increase from hundreds to thousands.

  19. Health & Medicine

    Still waiting on a cure for diabetes

    Diabetes diagnoses have skyrocketed in the past 50 years. While there are now better medications and options for control, there is still only hope of a cure.

  20. Animals

    ‘Planet of the Bugs’ reveals the secrets to insects’ success

    Entomologist Scott Richard Shaw explores the evolution of insects and how they came to rule the world.

  21. Ecosystems

    Help scientists find floating forests of kelp

    By looking for signs of kelp in satellite images, citizen scientists can help researchers keep track of the world’s seaweed forests.

  22. Health & Medicine

    Interactive map tracks obesity in the United States

    An interactive online map illustrates the rise in U.S. obesity since 1990.

  23. Science & Society

    SSP’s new leader has a habit of making things happen

    Maya Ajmera takes the helm as the president and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News.