1. microscope image of a fibers in cotton flannel
    Materials Science

    Microscopic images reveal the science and beauty of face masks

    Important insights into the particle-filtering properties of different fabrics also offer a sense of the unseen, textured world of face masks.

  2. man sitting next to a meat market stand in Wuhan, China
    Health & Medicine

    4 takeaways from the WHO’s report on the origins of the coronavirus

    The leading hypothesis is that the coronavirus spread to people from bats via a yet-to-be-identified animal, but no animals have tested positive so far.

  3. vial and syringe containing pfizer covid-19 vaccine
    Health & Medicine

    Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine has 100 percent efficacy in young people

    Vaccinated 12- to 15-year-olds developed higher levels of coronavirus antibodies compared with vaccinated 16- to 25-year-olds from a previous trial.

  4. microscopic image of several xenobots
    Health & Medicine

    Frog skin cells turned themselves into living machines

    The “xenobots” can swim, navigate tubes, move particles into piles and even heal themselves after injury, a new study reports.

  5. scientists excavating a rock shelter in the Kalahari Desert

    Stone Age culture bloomed inland, not just along Africa’s coasts

    Homo sapiens living more than 600 kilometers from the coast around 105,000 years ago collected crystals that may have had ritual meaning.

  6. a woman receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital
    Health & Medicine

    Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines may block infection as well as disease

    The mRNA vaccines are about 90 percent effective at blocking coronavirus infection, which could lead to reduced transmission, real-world data suggest.

  7. image of the big dipper constellation in the sky

    Here’s why humans chose particular groups of stars as constellations

    Distances between stars, their brightnesses and patterns of human eye movement explain why particular sets of stars tend to be grouped together.

  8. parent working on a computer while child makes a funny face in the background
    Science & Society

    Parents in Western countries report the highest levels of burnout

    The first survey comparing parental exhaustion across 42 countries links it to a culture of self-reliance.

  9. AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in boxes
    Health & Medicine

    AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine holds up in an updated analysis of trial data

    The redo dropped the overall efficacy of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from 79 percent to 76 percent. But a slight fluctuation is not unexpected, experts say.

  10. sheepskin parchment deed

    How using sheepskin for legal papers may have prevented fraud

    Removing fat is key to turning animal skin into parchment. With sheepskin, the process creates a writing surface easily marred by scratched-out words.

  11. street light in a suburban neighborhood

    Dim lighting may raise the risk of a West Nile virus exposure

    Dimly lit nights increased risk of West Nile virus exposure in chickens. Artificial light proved a better predictor of risk than population or paving.

  12. Baré person getting Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
    Health & Medicine

    Here’s what makes 4 promising COVID-19 vaccines unique — and potentially useful

    More vaccines still in the works are exploring a variety of approaches, including pills and electrical zaps.