Vol. 200 No. 6
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Science Visualized



More Stories from the September 25, 2021 issue

  1. Plants

    A well-known wildflower turns out to be a secret carnivore

    A species of false asphodel wildflower snags prey with gluey, enzyme-secreting hairs, leaving a trail of insect corpses on its flowering stem.

  2. Psychology

    ‘Ghost games’ spotlight the psychological effect fans have on referees

    Soccer teams won fewer games and received more fouls when playing at home during the 2019–2020 season, when many fans were absent, than before the pandemic.

  3. Life

    An incredibly resilient coral in the Great Barrier Reef offers hope for the future

    At more than 400 years old, a massive coral off the coast of Australia has endured as many as 80 cyclones and 99 bleaching events.

  4. Health & Medicine

    New studies hint that the coronavirus may be evolving to become more airborne

    More coronavirus RNA is in fine aerosols than in larger droplets, but masks can reduce the amount of virus in the air.

  5. Psychology

    Everyone maps numbers in space. But why don’t we all use the same directions?

    The debate over whether number lines are innate or learned obscures a more fundamental question: Why do we map numbers to space in the first place?

  6. Astronomy

    New ideas on what makes a planet habitable could reshape the search for life

    New definitions of “habitable worlds” could include planets with global oceans under a steamy hydrogen atmosphere or exclude ones that started out habitable but lost all their water.

  7. Animals

    These baby greater sac-winged bats babble to learn their mating songs

    Greater sac-winged bat pups babble their way through learning their rich vocal repertoire, similar to how human infants babble before speaking.

  8. Animals

    Female hummingbirds may sport flashy feathers to avoid being harassed

    Some female white-necked jacobin hummingbirds boast bright blue plumage that’s similar to males. The colors may help females blend in to avoid attacks.

  9. Astronomy

    Here’s how cool a star can be and still achieve lasting success

    The dividing line between successful stars and failed ones is a surface temperature of about 1,200° to 1,400° Celsius, a new study reports.

  10. Paleontology

    This big-headed pterosaur may have preferred walking over flying

    The most intact fossil of a tapejarid pterosaur ever found yields new insight into how the ancient reptile lived.

  11. Health & Medicine

    How personalized brain organoids could help us demystify disorders

    Personalized clusters of brain cells made from people with Rett syndrome had abnormal activity, showing potential for studying how human brains go awry.

  12. Animals

    Some wasps’ nests glow green under ultraviolet light

    Some Asian paper wasps’ nests fluoresce so brilliantly that the glow is visible from up to 20 meters away.

  13. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists found a link between aspirin use and pregnancy complications

    Scientists are still learning about the risks and benefits of taking aspirin at each stage of pregnancy.