Vol. 188 No. 5
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More Stories from the September 5, 2015 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Source of blazars’ super brightness comes into focus

    Astronomers take a close look at a blazar, a galaxy whose central black hole emits gamma rays and other high-energy material toward Earth.

  2. Paleontology

    50-million-year-old fossil sperm discovered

    Ancient worm sperm preserved in 50-million-year-old cocoons from Antarctica set age record.

  3. Physics

    Revamping the metric measure of mass

    The units of the metric system are on track for a 2018 makeover.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Resveratrol’s anticancer benefits show up in low doses

    Small amounts of the compound found in red wine and grapes prove protective against colon cancer in mice fed a high-fat diet.

  5. Animals

    Caterpillar treats and tricks ants by oozing spiked juice

    Caterpillars ooze droplets that lure ants away from colony duties to instead lick and defend their drug source, new lab tests suggest.

  6. Animals

    Where salamanders should be very afraid

    Three zones of North America at high risk if the salamander-killing fungus disease Bsal invades.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Ebola vaccine protects people in West Africa

    In Guinea trial, zero cases of Ebola occurred in people potentially exposed who received immediate shots of a new experimental vaccine.

  8. Climate

    Desert dig uncovers caches of missing CO2

    Irrigation water may wash significant amounts of carbon into groundwater systems beneath Earth’s deserts, researchers propose.

  9. Planetary Science

    Map of Ceres’ surface shows surprises

    Clusters of craters on Ceres and smooth landscapes hint at an unusual past for the dwarf planet.

  10. Quantum Physics

    Quantum communication takes a new twist

    A three-kilometer transmission of light above the Vienna skyline demonstrates that scientists can use the twistiness of light to encode delicate quantum information.

  11. Materials Science

    Buckyballs turn on copper’s magnetism

    Exposure to buckyballs bestows ironlike magnetic properties onto the normally nonmagnetic metals copper and manganese.

  12. Planetary Science

    Mini moons may zip around Earth

    Mini moons may buzz around Earth, and they make great targets for space missions.

  13. Planetary Science

    Quest to trace origin of Earth’s water is ‘a complete mess’

    Understanding the origin of Earth’s water is hard enough, and it’s made harder by not knowing where all that water is hiding.

  14. Animals

    First known venomous frogs stab with toxin-dripping lip spikes

    Two Brazilian frogs jab foes with venoms more deadly than pit vipers'.

  15. Life

    Chemical magic transforms skin cells into nerve cells

    Just a few chemicals can transform skin cells from Alzheimer’s patients and healthy people into nerve cells.

  16. Earth

    Nepal quake’s biggest shakes relatively spread out

    The seismic rumblings of the April 25 Nepal earthquake were mostly in low frequencies that are more likely to collapse large structures, new research suggests.

  17. Genetics

    Ancestral humans had more DNA

    A new genetic diversity map marks where humans have gained and lost DNA.

  18. Astronomy

    Faint red stars can build water worlds drip by drip

    Rocky planets around faint red stars have a hard time getting water, but they’re still probably the most common habitable locales in the Milky Way, new computer simulations suggest.

  19. Health & Medicine

    Fish oil may counter schizophrenia

    Three months of omega-3 fatty acids protects against psychosis for years, a small study suggests.

  20. Life

    Gastric bypass surgery changes gut microbes

    Weight loss surgery changes microbes for good.

  21. Health & Medicine

    Spicy food linked to longevity

    Spicy food in the diet seems to contribute to longevity, a study of thousands of people in a Chinese registry finds.

  22. Tech

    50 years ago, an automat began taking paper money

    Ubiquitous today, vending machines that accepted bills were once considered exciting technological achievements.

  23. Animals

    ‘Prehistoric Predators’ is a carnival of ancient dinosaurs, mammals and more

    A new children’s book offers gorgeous illustrations and information for everyone about ancient carnivores.