Vol. 186 No. 5
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More Stories from the September 6, 2014 issue

  1. Genetics

    Gene activity change can produce cancer

    Scientists have long thought that epigenetic changes, which alter gene activity, can cause cancer. Now they have demonstrated it in a mouse experiment.

  2. Tech

    With two robotic fingers, humans get a helping hand

    Mechanical fingers grasp like the real thing.

  3. Neuroscience

    Hippocampus may help homing pigeons explore

    When researchers remove pigeons’ hippocampi, birds fly straighter on early parts of journey home.

  4. Neuroscience

    Study linking narcolepsy to autoimmunity retracted

    Data linking disorder to immune cells couldn’t be replicated, scientists say.

  5. Astronomy

    Tilted binary stars test theories of planet formation

    Tilted disks in binary star systems may help astronomers explain variety of exoplanet orbits.

  6. Quantum Physics

    Quantum Cheshire Cat experiment splits particles from their properties

    When facing a fork in the road, neutrons appear to go in one direction and their spins in the other.

  7. Psychology

    Goalkeepers deceive themselves when facing penalty kicks

    Soccer’s goalies fall victim to a logical fallacy during the sport’s most high-pressure situation, seeing trends where none exists.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Resistance to key malaria drug spreads

    Parasites that are less susceptible to artemisinin now affect several Asian countries.

  9. Animals

    Nematode sperm go rogue

    Worm sperm a killer when nematode species crossbreed.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Mummies reveal hardened arteries

    Mummy studies suggest heart disease is an ancient malady, not just the product of modern diets and sedentary lifestyles.

  11. Planetary Science

    Saturn moon’s geysers draw water from subsurface sea

    More than six years of Cassini data indicate that the water jets on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus connect to deep-ocean reservoirs via expanding cracks in surface ice.

  12. Life

    Airborne transmission of Ebola unlikely, monkey study shows

    No evidence found of macaque monkeys passing deadly virus to each other.

  13. Astronomy

    Single black hole may be masquerading as a pair

    New observations of a recently discovered binary black hole reveal that astronomers may have been seeing double.

  14. Planetary Science

    Rosetta spacecraft confabs with a comet

    After a 10-year chase, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has met up with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

  15. Computing

    Brain-inspired computer chip mimics 1 million neurons

    By processing data in parallel, computer chips modeled after the human brain could perform certain tasks, such as pattern recognition, faster and more energy-efficiently than traditional computers.

  16. Oceans

    World’s largest ocean dead zone may shrink as Earth warms

    North Pacific dead zone may grow smaller, not expand, as climate change weakens Pacific Ocean trade winds.

  17. Life

    Grizzly bears master healthy obesity

    Tuned insulin signals explain how grizzly bears can fatten up for hibernation in the winter without developing diabetes.

  18. Health & Medicine

    ‘NOVA’ takes science’s side in vaccine debate

    A TV documentary dissects concerns about vaccinations and spells out the science supporting their use.

  19. Astronomy

    Distance to quasars debated

    Some astronomers thought quasars were buzzing around our galaxy; turns out these starlike objects live on the other side of the universe.

  20. Life

    New gut-dwelling virus is surprisingly common

    It’s not clear yet whether the bacteriophage crAssphage, found in people’s intestines, has any health effects.

  21. Animals

    Bumphead parrot fish declare their arrival with a crunch

    Months of swimming with the coral-biter bumpheads exposes the animal’s extreme digestion and also a conservation dilemma.