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VIBRATE MODE  A new smartphone app called MyShake can detect nearby earthquakes and may one day provide early warnings of tremors, its creators say. Researchers tested the app using vibrating tables that mimic quakes (shown).


FLIP FLAP  New simulations could end years of debate on plesiosaur motoring. The ancient marine reptiles, one illustrated here, most likely swam using their front flippers for power and their back flippers for steering.

Isomorphic graphs

SAME GRAPH, DIFFERENT SHAPE  These two graphs might look different, but each circle on the first graph corresponds to one on the second, connecting to the same other circles. Mathematicians call the graphs “isomorphic.” This year, computer scientist László Babai presented an algorithm that could overcome computers' longstanding difficulty in comparing such graphs. 

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