Vol. 186 No. 6
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More Stories from the September 20, 2014 issue

  1. Neuroscience

    Part of brain’s pleasure network curbed in mice with chronic pain

    Part of brain’s pleasure network is muffled in mice with chronic paw injuries, a new study finds.

  2. Astronomy

    Gamma rays streaming from stellar explosions stump astronomers

    The Fermi satellite detected gamma rays coming from an unexpected source — and astronomers don’t understand what made that possible.

  3. Genetics

    Debate rages over mouse studies’ relevance to humans

    Last year, researchers said rodents are not good mimics of human inflammation; a new study says the reverse.

  4. Oceans

    Mercury at ocean surface may have tripled since preindustrial times

    Questions remain over dangers of toxic metal in environment.

  5. Neuroscience

    Prosthesis uses swinging arms to tell legs when to step

    Device creates artificial neural connection that could help paralyzed people walk.

  6. Neuroscience

    Busy neurons don’t always draw blood

    Study of mice suggests caution in inferring the activity of the brain’s neurons from functional MRI results.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Inflammation-blocking cells might fight often-fatal sepsis

    Treatment saved young and old mice from overactive immune response to infection.

  8. Humans

    Antibiotics in infancy may cause obesity in adults

    By altering the microbiome of infant mice, drugs predisposed the animals to gain fat as adults.

  9. Astronomy

    Dust nabbed by spacecraft may be from outside the solar system

    NASA’s Stardust mission captured seven particles that probably come from interstellar space, providing researchers with the first direct samples from beyond the solar system.

  10. Anthropology

    Origins of Egyptian mummy making may predate pyramids

    Preservative mixture for mummy wrapping found on linens that covered the dead as early as 6,300 years ago.

  11. Anthropology

    Earlier dates for Neandertal extinction cause a fuss

    Revised dates suggest Neandertals coexisted with modern humans for several thousand years in Europe before disappearing 40,000 years ago.

  12. Genetics

    Long before Columbus, seals brought tuberculosis to South America

    Evidence from the skeletons of ancient Peruvians shows that seals may have brought tuberculosis across an ocean from Africa.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Experimental drugs and vaccines poised to take on Ebola

    The use of experimental drugs and vaccines against Ebola may turn the tide against an outbreak in Africa that has defied efforts to control it.

  14. Ecosystems

    Lake under Antarctic ice bursts with life

    Abundant microbes thrive in subglacial lakes deep under the Antarctic ice sheet.

  15. Climate

    Multiple oceans may help stall global warming

    The Atlantic and Southern oceans, not the Pacific, may be largely to blame for the recent pause in rising global temperatures.

  16. Materials Science

    Magnets get flipped by light

    Controlling magnetism with lasers could lead to faster computer hard drives.

  17. Animals

    Antarctic midge sports tiniest insect genome

    Antarctic midge‘s genetic minimalism achieved by skipping a lot of repetitive stretches.

  18. Anthropology

    Richard III ate like a king before biting the dust

    King Richard III’s brief reign included a sudden shift to eating fancy food and drink.

  19. Animals

    Corals, fish know bad reefs by their whiff

    Compounds drifting off certain overgrown seaweeds discourage young corals and fish from settling in failing reefs.

  20. Quantum Physics

    Blind quantum camera snaps photos of Schrödinger’s cat

    Quantum weirdness lets physicists snap photo without collecting incoming light from cardboard cat subject.

  21. Genetics

    Ebola genome clarifies origins of West African outbreak

    Genetic analyses suggest that a single infected person sparked the ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

  22. Tech

    Space tourism’s price tag rockets upward

    The “high price” of space tourism proposed in the 1960s is nowhere close to the astronomical price tag of trips today.

  23. Genetics

    Molecular biologist honors ancient bones

    After deciphering an ancient skeleton’s genetic secrets, molecular biologist Sarah Anzick helped reinter the remains.

  24. Paleontology

    ‘Dinosaur 13’ details custody battle for largest T. rex

    Documentary details nasty custody battle over the dinosaur nicknamed Sue, the largest T. rex skeleton ever found.