Vol. 190 No. 9
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More Stories from the October 29, 2016 issue

  1. Earth

    Where the young hot Earth cached its gold

    A simulation of the infant Earth provides a new view of how the iron-loving precious metals ended up buried deep in the planet’s core.

  2. Ecosystems

    Shrinking sea ice threatens natural highways for caribou, plants

    As Arctic sea ice declines, Peary caribou or plants risk getting stranded when their frozen highways thaw.

  3. Genetics

    New era of human embryo gene editing begins

    Gene editing of viable human embryos is happening, in and out of the public eye.

  4. Archaeology

    Ancient Maya codex not fake, new analysis claims

    New report suggests an ancient Maya text — the bark-paper Grolier Codex — could be the oldest known document in Americas.

  5. Planetary Science

    Mercury’s surface still changing

    A population of small cliffs on Mercury suggests that the planet might have been tectonically active in the last 50 million years.

  6. Climate

    Methane didn’t warm ancient Earth, new simulations suggest

    Scarce oxygen and abundant sulfate prevented methane from accumulating enough to keep Earth warm hundreds of millions of years ago, reviving the faint young sun paradox.

  7. Animals

    New case emerging for Culex mosquito as unexpected Zika spreader

    The much-debated proposal that a Culex mosquito could help spread Zika gets some international support.

  8. Paleontology

    Ancient microbe fossils show earliest evidence of shell making

    Armor-plated, 809-million-year-old fossilized microbes discovered in Canada are the oldest known evidence of shell making.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Concern expands over Zika birth defects

    Infection with Zika virus in utero can trigger a spectrum of birth defects beyond microcephaly, and could potentially cause long-term health problems as well.

  10. Earth

    Glass bits, charcoal hint at 56-million-year-old space rock impact

    Glassy debris and the burnt remains of wildfires suggest that a large space rock hit Earth near the start of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum warming event around 56 million years ago.

  11. Genetics

    Gene linked to autism in people may influence dog sociability

    DNA variants were linked to beagles’ tendency to seek human help.

  12. Cosmology

    After Big Bang, shock waves rocked newborn universe

    Shock waves in the early universe could explain the generation of magnetic fields and the predominance of matter over antimatter.

  13. Animals

    Primitive signs of emotions spotted in sugar-buzzed bumblebees

    When bumblebees eat a sugary snack, they make more optimistic decisions, a new study finds. This could be early evidence for emotion in insects.

  14. Physics

    Rarest nucleus reluctant to decay

    Tantalum-180m has a half-life more than a million times the age of the universe.

  15. Genetics

    To make female pill bugs, just add bacterial genes

    Genes from Wolbachia bacteria infiltrated pill bugs and now make genetic males female.

  16. Particle Physics

    Evidence for new form of matter-antimatter asymmetry observed

    Particles known as baryons show their first hints of antimatter-matter discrepancies.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Deciphering cell’s recycling machinery earns Nobel

    The 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his work on autophagy, a process that cells use to break down old parts for future use.

  18. Physics

    Nobel awarded for using math of shapes to explain exotic matter

    The three scientists who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics predicted new materials using mathematics illustrated by bagels and pretzels.

  19. Chemistry

    Molecules for making nanomachines snare chemistry Nobel

    Nanochemists win Nobel prize for devising molecular machines

  20. Cosmology

    ‘Voyage of Time’ is Terrence Malick’s ode to life

    With “Voyage of Time,” director Terrence Malick brings the history of the universe — and the evolution of life on Earth — to the big screen.

  21. Tech

    How to read a book without opening it

    New technique allows scientists to read the pages of an ancient text without opening the book.

  22. Climate

    Extreme lightning events set records

    A lightning flash stretching 321 kilometers across and one that lasted 7.74 seconds have been named the most extreme events on record, thanks to a new rule change.

  23. Animals

    Melatonin makes midshipman fish sing

    Melatonin lets people sleep but starts male midshipman fish melodiously humming their hearts out.

  24. Astronomy

    Solar system sits within major spiral arm of Milky Way

    The solar system appears to live in one of the major spiral arms of the Milky Way, not in an offshoot as previously thought.

  25. Planetary Science

    Rosetta spacecraft ends mission

    The Rosetta mission comes to an end as spacecraft touches down on surface of comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

  26. Health & Medicine

    Staph infections still a concern

    Scientists have been searching for a vaccine against a deadly microbe for 50 years.